Gap Turns Customer Service Into Room Service With Imaginative New Initiative

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Convenience is increasingly a decisive factor for today's customer and a new initiative launched by Virgin Hotels and the clothes retailer fills that gap.

Customer service is a constantly evolving industry, especially with the technological advancements available in today's digital age. And looking at what other companies are doing can provide a great source of inspiration for how you can develop your own customer strategy.

Unless you work in the hospitality industry, one thing you probably had not considered yet is adding to your customers' convenience by offering room service. Yet a new announcement from retailer Gap shows that this is something that can provide a differentiated strategy for other companies too.

Partnering up with Virgin Hotels, the lifestyle hotel brand founded by entrepreneur Richard Branson, Gap will provide guests the option to have the latest styles delivered straight to their hotel room.

This initiative is first launched in Chicago where by leveraging Gap's Reserve in Store technology, guests of Virgin Hotels Chicago can shop on the retailer's website to reserve the styles they want and within a few hours try and purchase the items they reserved - all within the privacy of their hotel room.

Tricia Nichols, Global Lead of Consumer Engagement and Partnerships for Gap, said: "Gap is always exploring new ways to respond to the many ways people shop, whether online, in store or on the go.

"Traveling can be full of unexpected surprises - weather, lost baggage or you just want something new. Through this partnership, our goal is to provide shoppers convenience, ease and on-trend fashions, all through the touch of a button."

So how does it work?

On the website, customers select their item(s) and click "Find It Now" to see options from nearby Gap stores. From there, they can reserve their size and colour by clicking "Reserve in Store" and, within an hour, get an email (or a text, if they choose) confirming the item has been placed on hold at the store they've selected.

Through the Virgin Hotels partnership, the process takes on a new twist. Guests access the website via "Lucy", the hotel's mobile app, or by visiting, select the styles through the Reserve in Store button, and the hotel takes it from there. Guests never have to leave their room, instead finding the items they reserved already tucked away in their closet.

Convenience is an increasingly decisive factor for today's fast-moving and multi-tasking customer, so providing them with the option of shopping online while travelling and never even having to leave the hotel room to receive the items ordered caters to this changing demand perfectly.