Serta Simmons Bedding Discovers New Possibilities in Its Dream for Effortless, Personalized CX


There’s nothing quite like settling down for a good night’s sleep. For millions of people, getting a good sleep comes down to a good mattress, which is where Serta Simmons Bedding delivers. But Serta Simmons Bedding is about more than just the mattress. They’re about providing an unparalleled customer experience to all their customers, otherwise known as their “sleepers.”

For more than 90 years, Serta Simmons Bedding has delivered top-quality mattresses under the Serta, Simmons, and Beautyrest brands to sleepers in more than 150 countries worldwide. The company used to operate primarily in the B2B space, where dealer partners were their sole customers. Before they entered the world of eCommerce, the US and Canadian customer service teams didn’t interact at all—there wasn’t even an integrated phone system between facilities. That changed in 2018 when Serta Simmons Bedding acquired the online bed-in-a-box brand Tuft & Needle. With their expansion into online sales across all brands, Serta Simmons Bedding became a B2C company, and operations changed significantly.

The shift also changed how Serta Simmons Bedding thought about their customers. Those customers use to be dealer partners like Mattress Firm or Sleep Country, but the introduction of the direct-to-consumer division meant Serta Simmons Bedding had to shift their definition of the customer to include the sleeper. Serta Simmons Bedding's CX vision soon evolved to focus on providing consistent, effortless, and personalized experiences. 

How to Unify a Disconnected CX Setup?

Several roadblocks stood in the way of achieving that vision, including a disconnected, siloed CX setup:

  • Various divisions were unable to communicate with each other
  • Some contact centers didn’t have any dedicated contact centers solution
  • Those facilities with a contact centers solution still required agents to use a mishmash of platforms and applications

Three of Serta Simmons Bedding's divisions used NICE inContact but were under three different contracts. This lack of cohesion frustrated the Director of CX Enterprise Project Management, Rita Michaud, who joined Serta Simmons Bedding early 2017 as Director of Customer Service for Canada. “When I was short-staffed on the Canadian side, I couldn’t reach out to my counterpart and say, ‘Can you lend me two customer service representatives for today?’ It was not a possibility with the existing deployment instances,” Michaud says.

Two years ago, Serta Simmons Bedding began to overcome these challenges by bringing all of CX together under one leadership team, with Chris McShane at the helm. It was a step in the right direction, but they still had issues with introducing new innovations into a complicated tech stack. “If I want to introduce something like AI to the team, it’s hard to do that across six different platforms,” Michaud says.

“When we say ‘effortless,’ it means for the caller, but also the agent. Talkdesk’s self-serve options improve the user experience as well as the customer experience.”—Rita Michaud, Director, CX Enterprise Project Management, Serta Simmons Bedding, LLC

While considering this challenge, she heard how happy the direct-to-consumer team was with Talkdesk. Not only did the system work well, but Talkdesk proved to be a good partner. That piqued Michaud’s interest since she worked with some other vendors who left much to be desired in terms of service, proactive support, and platform optimization. Could all of Serta Simmons Bedding's CX consolidate into a single Talkdesk instance? To Michaud, it was “a no-brainer,” and they moved ahead with the project.

Serta Simmons Bedding began the first phase of implementation with Talkdesk Retail Experience Cloud, which includes Talkdesk Digital Engagement across their SMS, chat, and voice channels, Customer Experience Analytics, and Talkdesk Agent Assist. The first phase with Retail Experience Cloud also included three integrations: Salesforce, Confluence, and ServiceNow, which the help desk team uses to create tickets.

An Improved Experience for Customers, Agents, and Management

Talkdesk integrations have also improved the agent experience. Serta Simmons Bedding stores all its internal information and processes in Confluence, and when a customer reaches out with a product question, the Talkdesk Confluence integration means agents don’t have to scramble for information the way they once did. Now, they can simply type in a keyword, and Talkdesk will surface the relevant information.

Talkdesk for Salesforce™ integration offers another good example of how Serta Simmons Bedding streamlined the agent experience. Previously, an agent may have worked on a case in Salesforce for two days, but there was no way to connect a callback to a previous call. Now, if a customer calls to follow up on a case, the platform automatically opens the Salesforce case in Talkdesk, and when the call ends, it saves notes from the call in Salesforce. From one console, agents can take a call, chat, or text the information from those interactions appears in Salesforce. These small details offer agents a 360-degree view of a customer issue, which improves productivity and efficiency. “The more we can offer them through Talkdesk to simplify processes, the simpler their job gets,” Michaud says. “Those things have already improved, and will continue to improve, the user experience.”

Managers are also very excited with the resource allocation and quality management that Talkdesk offers. Talkdesk Customer Experience Analytics offers management insights into the quality of a customer’s interaction with the team. This increased visibility opens the door for coaching opportunities for individuals and teams. And their newfound ability to direct calls anywhere means they can share calls between divisions. The single Talkdesk instance makes it easier for customers to reach the people who can solve their issues and for managers to place agents where they’re needed most.

Serta Simmons Bedding knows they’re on the right path because they continue to innovate, like introducing SMS to the dealer side of the business and beginning to use automated proactive notifications. When considering new possibilities for her team, “It’s like a light bulb goes off,” Michaud says.

Serta Simmons Bedding is a large organization with many moving parts, and this project was the first time the CX team performed such a large-scale rollout across so many divisions. Michaud is proud of how teams collaborated during group discovery sessions during the Talkdesk implementation. The project provided visibility into what other teams are doing, spawned new ideas, and set the foundation for everything that comes next.

Being Open to Transformational Opportunities

Serta Simmons Bedding expanded their Talkdesk instance to the entire CX department on the direct-to-consumer division’s experience with Talkdesk as a partner, and their instincts were right. “It’s continued to be a very good partnership,” Michaud says.

“What I really love about Talkdesk is when we need them, they’re readily available. To me, that’s a partnership: Someone who wants us to be successful versus just giving us a tool to use.” —Rita Michaud, Director of CX Enterprise Project Management, Serta Simmons Bedding, LLC

Any company managing a complicated tech stack understands the challenges and importance of understanding those systems and the technical components of adding new integrations. Serta Simmons Bedding didn’t have to do this alone; they leaned on Talkdesk, taking advantage of the implementation team’s resources and expertise to work through technical questions and navigate around roadblocks. As they finish the first phase of the project, Talkdesk continues to be readily available—something that Serta Simmons Bedding hasn’t always seen from other vendors.

Most contact center leaders look for tools that replicate their current processes, but implementing new technology with a strategic partner provides the opportunity to reimagine those processes and do things a better way. “Keep your mind open,” Michaud says. “It can be transformational.” At Serta Simmons Bedding, Talkdesk has opened minds to new processes and capabilities, all of which will help them reach their ultimate goal of providing unparalleled customer experiences.