How Chubbies uses the Zendesk Support and Shopify integration to deliver ‘the perfect weekend’

By Julie Barbezat

Published July 22, 2016
Last modified July 22, 2016

Beach time, backyard barbecues, Netflix marathons...the perfect weekend is different for each person. But, we can probably all agree that the perfect weekend is a problem free. Chubbies, a retail company, aims to help their customers live their best weekend. One that does not include customer service issues. So, when Chubbies was looking for an integration with Shopify it was important to find a solution that resulted in good vibes for everyone.

We sat down with Joel Ivey, Head of Customer Experience, to learn how the Zendesk integration with Shopify helped the support team be more efficient and focus on their customers.

What’s Chubbies?

In their own words: “Simply put, Chubbies are the best shorts out there. Comfortable, flexible, aerodynamic and most of all utterly Radical. Chubbies are everything a short should be and more. They are weekend BBQs in the sun. They are that perfect day on the beach. They are trampoline dodgeball and intramural sports. They are radical mustaches and longboarding in Costa Rica. They go where no cargo shorts can go, and they do it in style.”

What is Chubbies’ Mission?

This mission of Chubbies is to be the go-to weekend lifestyle brand for our customers via our amazingly creative apparel and original content. We are the Weekend.

Hey Joel, What is your role? National coverage?

When I started at Chubbies in 2013, the customer experience team consisted of just me and two other guys. We all started at 9 a.m. PST, which was already lunch time for our many customers on the East Coast. We realized pretty quickly that we needed to expand our team in a way that would better optimize the experience for our customers.

Today, I lead an extensive team of customer service agents working remotely across the United States. It’s a cool dynamic that allows us to expand our coverage time to better suit the needs of our customers.

How is your support team structured?

We have agents in Texas, Colorado, California, and all along the East Coast. Even though we’re a California-based company, it’s imperative for us to provide support for folks that are heading into the office at 8:00 a.m. EST.

We also offer training for all team members (not just those on the customer experience team) across all of our support platforms, so that people can pitch in when needed. In high-traffic moments such as July-ber Monday when we have a large campaign or during peak season (spring-summer), we’re able to move members in our San Francisco HQ into a temporary customer service role. This makes us flexible. It also provides opportunities for members of different teams—like the production and design team—to hear feedback first-hand from our customers about our products.

When did you start using Zendesk Support?

Back in the day we were using multiple platforms for customer support: one for customer email interactions, one for live chat, another for phone calls. When we started building a remote support team, we realized we’d be better served by a seamless, single platform to help monitor metrics, measurements, and interactions with customers. Support quickly became the obvious solution to our problem.

We’d heard a lot about Support’s effortless experience. The promises turned out to be true. In addition to centralizing our customer interactions and support metrics, with Support we were able to create an amazing help center that provides powerful answers to our customers without the need of support agent assistance.

How do you use Support? How does the broader team benefit from Support?

Our customer service team works via chat, phone, tickets, and directing people to the help center. We use tags and different classification of tickets, keep an eye on trending tags, and build customer reports that tell us what our customers are saying. That way, we can use real data to understand what works and what doesn’t.

At peak times, our product and design teams work on tickets. This allows them to hear first-hand customer feedback directly and think about changes to improve the overall Chubbies experience. The Support reporting gives the team great insights as well.

Chubbies is a fast-growing company and Support has proved a flexible and innovative partner. When we first came on, it was refreshing to use a company that didn’t mind product suggestions and really seemed to want to work with us to make sure we were having the best experience possible, as well as our customers.

How does Support help Chubbies deliver on your mission?

Chubbies main goal is to help our customers live their best weekend, so it’s important to us that they have nothing but positive, leisurely associations with the brand. So, when problems DO arise, it’s imperative our support experience is as stress-free as possible. Support makes that a reality because it has made talking to our customers extremely easy.

Since the launch of our help center, we’ve seen a decrease in the overall number of tickets alongside a massive increase in revenue. We’re able to help customers help themselves and that alone boosts customer satisfaction. During the July-ber Monday campaign, where we help our U.S. customers prepare for July 4th, we had a seven-minute response time on email! Effectively, our email channel was operating like a live channel bot.

Lastly, Zendesk keeps innovating. Recently, they launched a partnership with Facebook Messenger that allows us to converse with customers over Messenger. When our customers realize that there’s a human staffing it and it’s not a bot, they get more comfortable using that channel and it often becomes their go-to for support.

What led you to decide to use Shopify?
When I started in January 2013, we were already using Shopify. We love Shopify because it’s easy to use, and we can customize many different facets of our website.

When did you start using the Zendesk Support integration with Shopify?
Pretty much immediately after we started using Support! We started using Support in early February 2015. Once we got our entire support team to use Support for all our customer-facing interactions, we downloaded the Support integration in the Shopify Marketplace.

What do you like about the Support integration with Shopify?
One great thing about the Support integration with Shopify is the fact that we’re able to look up customer information within the Support dashboard instead of having to open multiple tabs. Going back and forth between Shopify and Support would be a pain. The integration allows us to stay focused on the customer, and our interaction, instead of traveling around the internet chasing down information.

How did the integration help you save time and efforts?
Our support agents love this integration because it majorly decreases the time needed to solve a customer’s issue or answer a customer’s question. For example, if someone complains about an issue with their most recent order, we don’t have to go to Shopify to search their information anymore; the integration has already pulled up their orders details. We can see which orders are most recent, and exactly what the customer is talking about, all within the Support dashboard. Gone are the days of having 20+ tabs open while trying to solve one problem.

What’s your favorite thing about Support?
Oh, you mean beyond the fact that they’ve streamlined our customer support experience and given us an incredible help center? They listen to us. Everything that I’ve thought about, all those ideas and suggestions that have come across my mind in terms of improvement, I’ve shared with Zendesk and they really hear me.

Even when I have questions about the platform or functionality, it’s been incredibly easy for me to call someone up or even walk down to Market St, (in San Francisco, where the Zendesk headquarters are located), to ask someone a question in person. I’m actually surprised that I haven’t been blacklisted yet! (laughs) But I love how easy and accessible Zendesk makes support for their customers and for our customers. I guess it makes sense that experts in customer support would have an excellent customer support team of their own!

Interested in integrated support? Learn more about Zendesk Support integration with Shopify.