Article | 3 min read

How Birchbox provides personalized customer support

By Leanna Nazzisi, Customer operations at Birchbox

Last updated September 10, 2019

For millions of Birchbox customers, there’s nothing quite like that moment when they crack open their personalized package of beauty products. And whether members are discovering the perfect color lipstick, lathering up great-smelling shaving cream, or calling customer support to resolve a billing issue, we want every interaction to be as personal and satisfying as opening that box each month.

As one of the world’s largest grooming and beauty subscription services, Birchbox is obsessed with delighting our customers with personalized, white-glove experiences. And one of the most powerful tools in our toolbox for delivering world-class experiences is exceptional customer service and support. Today, I wanted to walk you through a few of the tips, tools, and strategies that have helped us delight our customers over the years.

Data-driven decisions for our customers, and our agents

Zendesk allows our agents to deliver omnichannel support from one dashboard, so agents can have a complete picture of the customer’s history. This makes it possible for customers to seamlessly connect with us in whatever way is most convenient, whether that’s via phone, email, chat, or on social media.

Zendesk also allows me to dive deep with data to understand our customers’ experiences. In particular, we pay close attention to ticket volume and average resolution time. This not only helps us monitor the experience our customers are having but lets us evaluate the performance of our own agents. Are we seeing ticket resolution time going down and volume going up as agents have more experience? If not, we can jump in and help find new ways to empower them to do even better.

For customer-centric businesses like Birchbox, tools like Zendesk also help us collect feedback from customers about what they love about the service, and what we can be doing better. This helps us to constantly optimize our tools to deliver a better service—whether they’re telling us something directly, or we’re seeing it in unusual spikes with different types of requests.

For example, we recently saw an uptick in contacts around our checkout process. I was able to tap into the Zendesk data and specify confusion around the size of our promo code field. Customers were not able to find the field to enter their promo code and were reaching out to us for retro-applications instead. I measured ticket volume over time and was able to ascribe a dollar value to poor customer experiences. This data helped the product team prioritize a fix for our promo system and improve the checkout flow, as well as the overall customer experience.

Lean on industry experts to lead the way

We also work closely with Zendesk’s Customer Success team to constantly optimize our customer support experience. We’ve been working with the Success team since 2017, and we meet every quarter, if not more, to look for ways to improve our level of customer service. Jillian, our dedicated Customer Success Executive, knows our business inside and out but brings a neutral outside perspective to both our day-to-day challenges and big strategic initiatives.

We’re always learning and testing new ways to delight customers, across whatever channel they prefer. For example, in the last year, we’ve partnered with Zendesk and our CSAT partner StellaConnect to launch SMS as a channel, which enables Birchbox to launch surveys within text messages to customers.

The results have been awesome, and SMS has already grown to be our second most popular channel. Customers love the convenience, and it gives us the ability to do things like automatically generate a ticket when we receive a poor rating. This lets agents properly address customer concerns with fast, thoughtful follow-ups. It’s been an incredibly data-intensive process to implement and we’re excited about what we’ve learned about our members and their preferences. It’s always exciting and rewarding to do work that translates into even more you-time for our customers.

You can learn more about delivering a customer experience that stands out here.