Mark Billingham, Shop Direct

Mark Billingham

Mark Billingham

Group Customer Operations Director
Shop Direct


Despite being one of the UK’s largest online businesses, Shop Direct’s customer service was still set-up to reflect some of its print catalogue origins, when Mark started as group customer operations director in 2017.

Mark and the team were tasked with assisting in the business’s modernisation programme, improving the digital experience for its customers, helping to drive up NPS and reduce its cost base.

Part of the strategy for enhancing customer experience included applying automation in key areas and digital participation; however a crucial component was an ‘absolute focus on customer resolution’.  

Mark describes two game-changing areas that have helped Shop Direct along the road to success with its strategy – the first being the implementation of webchat and a chatbot, which combined have become a significant part of its service output and have led to improved customer outcomes.

Secondly, the launch of Shop Direct’s ‘Customer Closeness Centre’, which has put customer service agents at the very centre of the organisation’s headquarters, training staff in agile and continuous improvement and giving everyone 2 weeks out of every 4 to work in agile business wide scrums to solve customer issues.

The initiative has paid off, with Shop Direct recognised publicly for its new measures, also winning a gold award at the 2019 European Contact Centre & Customer Service Awards for best transformation programme.

"I think the team deserves as many accolades as possible as they have completely transformed CX across the organisation - I’m very proud to lead the charge."

Return to CX Leader of the Year 2019 finalists>>>

Shop Direct