Are you sitting down?
If you’re on your couch, take a second to think about that piece of furniture you’re so firmly planted on.
Where did you buy it from? What was the experience like? Was it a pain to finally get it into your living room? If your memories are less than rosy, there’s good news: Burrow is working hard to make buying a sofa as convenient as ordering lunch. In fact, founders Stephen Kuhl and Kabeer Chopra were complaining about Ikea assembly times and West Elm delivery fees when they were inspired to create a startup that solves the problems facing big-name furniture sellers.
Burrow delivers a luxury sofa made with the highest quality materials that is easy to ship, fully modular, and stain resistant. That means it’s made to last, so you can take it from apartment to apartment to your first home, and easily add on new seats and sections to fit your lifestyle. Its flat pack design also makes shipping way less expensive than traditional retailers, and it’s made entirely in the US with sustainable materials.
We spoke with Steve Finnern, Burrow’s Chief Operating Officer, to find out how they manage to deliver an amazing customer experience alongside an amazing sofa.
Kustomer: What is your approach to CX at Burrow, and how does that tie into your business at large?
Steve: As an ecommerce company, we want to build an amazing brand that people connect to and love. These are the four principles we believe are key to doing just that.
- Creating a product that meets our value propositions and lives up the promise we have committed to our customers.
- Creating a brand that customers engage with, connect to, and relate to.
- Creating ways of improving and enhancing the shopping experience.
- Delivering amazing customer service.
For us, Customer Experience and Service is key to our brand, to our success, and it’s something we’re absolutely committed to and passionate about.
Kustomer: What does this commitment to delivering a great customer experience look like?
Steve: Communication is crucial to our experience. Our customers can reach over live chat, email, the phone, or Facebook Messenger. We make sure we’re notifying our customers of every change or update that will affect their delivery date. We’re constantly trying to put ourselves in the customer’s’ shoes, and help our team understand what they’re going through.
We have to keep in mind that our customers have just bought a high-ticket item, so we make sure we’re constantly reassuring them throughout the experience.
We use Kustomer to manage the entire process, for example generating emails to help customers understand what happens after they’ve placed their order. Letting them know: “Your order is on the way, now we’re building your couch, here are the materials we’re using.”
We’re always reiterating that there’s a lot of thought, care, and detail going into what they’ve just purchased, and we want them to feel confident about the choice they just made. On the day of delivery, we send them a text or email letting them know it’s Burrow Day—we really try to make our customers excited about the experience.
Kustomer: How do you keep communicating with customers after their couch is delivered?
Steve: First off, we’re building a customer feedback system. We examine the delivery process, the quality, the assembly, and the comfort of the couch. We want to understand what the experience was like, collect the ideas people have had, and try to improve.
We also look at how they rate the experience or product against those three or four pillars. If they respond and don’t rank some of those as high as they could be, we’ll respond and follow up over Kustomer to understand what we could do better.
We’re also implementing a content program that lets us show off our different kinds of customers and their lifestyles so that we stay top of mind.
While people probably won’t buy another couch right away, there are other products like an ottoman or a chaise they might want to purchase later on, or they may want to get a matching one-seater—so we can build lifetime value by remaining in touch.
Kustomer: What do you feel is different about Burrow’s customer experience from your competitors’?
Steve: If you start with the product, one of the reasons this is such an amazing brand is because we’re solving actual problems with our design.
We’re solving the problem of moving, making it easy to pack up and take with you.
We’re solving the adaptability problem—if you’re starting off with a 2-seater but move in with a significant other, you can easily add another seat.
And we’re solving the issue of shipping: our flat pack model cuts out a lot of the cost of shipping that comes from traditional furniture retailers.
All of these things allow our product to be more attainable for a larger audience. I think people connect to that and want that higher level of quality without all the extra costs.
What we have to do is make sure people understand the story and what they’re getting, why we’re innovating, and why that matters. As long as we’re doing a good job of communicating this story, people absolutely connect to it.
Kustomer: How are you using Kustomer to help meet your goals for a better customer experience?
Steve: One thing we’re looking at are the responsibilities on our team.
We have a number of parts to our support, including escalation levels, swatch fulfillment, refunds—so we’re using Kustomer to create inboxes to assign roles and responsibilities to make sure that outstanding tasks aren’t getting lost, and better-allocating resources for the specific task or function that needs to take place.
Our next big focus in on building a custom issue-tracking and feedback system. It will allow us to report issues or delays directly to the manufacturer. This allows a lot more efficiency than spreadsheets or emails. We can keep all of our discussions and workflows centralized, then automate an email to the customer once the issue is closed and their coach has shipped.
This will have the added benefit of helping us follow trends in certain issues to see why there’s a spike—is it a breakdown in our quality control process, with our shipping provider, or somewhere else? We’re really excited to have this total view so we can deliver an even better experience.