Nick Ang

How to give fantastic customer service online

November 22, 2018

How to give fantastic customer service online

Someone in Smartly.io recently shared with the company this article on how an outdoor equipment brand, Backcountry, managed to give such fantastic customer service that their reps get invited to customers’ weddings. That title alone drew me in.

Turns out, it wasn’t just click bait. This 20-minute read is packed full of insights and it challenged the way I think about customer service in digital e-commerce. I highlighted copiously ideas that I thought were going to be applicable to my work at Smartly.io as a Service Operations Engineer (owning our already-good 24/5 support chat) and as a new e-commerce business owner at ang veil yú (strategising and executing marketing and sales).

Some things I highlighted:

  • “Gearheads have always been all-around experts in the products Backcountry sells; some are former pro-athletes or even Olympians, but all are passionate about getting outdoors”
  • “each Gearhead managing up to 4,000 dedicated customer relationships”…
  • Heavily customise your CRM tool to enable reps to keep tabs on each customer. Leave notes per account, including reminders to send out messages or call the customer whenever there’s a good opportunity (eg. before a race, recovery from surgery, birthday)
  • Literally get your customer excited through “tone, language and intent.”
  • Provide a well-designed onboarding training that focuses on themes each week. Backcountry has a 3-week onboarding. At the moment, Smartly.io has 1-week.
  • Also, because best practices of what works and what doesn’t continually changes, provide continual training with an in-house Training team
  • Invest in customising and integrating your CRM tool - “If you ask a question in the community, if you write a review, if you abandon a product in your cart, if you do a self-service return, then the Gearhead knows about it”.
  • Personalise the online shopping experience. “Say you were going mountain biking for the first time, and you’re exploring what accessories or outerwear you should buy. Your Gearhead proactively builds you a fitting room that gives you multiple options of tops, bottoms, shoes and helmets, with specific notes on each product and why she recommends it,” he says. “We’ve also built out more generic fitting rooms based on category of trips or adventures, and we can leverage those for storytelling throughout our site.”

You can (and should) read the original article at First Round Review. It’s worth your time if you’re interested in this kind of stuff.


Written by Nick - I don't know but I'll learn (twitter)

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