Kustomer is Proud to Join the Shopify Plus Certified App Program



Here at Kustomer we are constantly looking for new ways to make our customers’ jobs easier, building solutions and partnerships that optimize and personalize the customer experience. That’s why this partnership with Shopify Plus is so exciting for us.

The Shopify Plus Certified App Program supports the largest Shopify merchants by helping them find the apps and solutions they need to build and scale their business. The program is exclusive to Shopify Plus apps that have shown a level of exceptional product quality, performance, privacy, and support, that can be relied upon for the advanced requirements of Shopify Plus Merchants.

Kustomer is excited to announce that we have been selected as the only enterprise customer service CRM platform in the Shopify Plus Certified App Program. Our seamless integration with the Shopify App creates contextualized, actionable customer profiles so that merchants and agents can build and drive more personalized and data-driven customer journeys, while resolving conversations quickly and building long-term customer loyalty.

Scaling With Your Business

The world’s leading brands need a customer service CRM that can scale as they do. By automating 40 percent of customer interactions and optimizing omnichannel experiences for customers and agents alike, Kustomer is able to help e-commerce brands quickly and efficiently resolve conversations across all digital channels in a single platform.

According to Loren Padelford, GM of Shopify Plus, “The Shopify Plus Certified App program is designed to meet the advanced requirements of the world’s fastest growing brands. We’re happy to welcome Kustomer to the program, bringing their insight and experience in Customer Support to the Plus merchant community.”

We are so excited to be recognized as a best-in-class customer service platform by Shopify Plus and join this incredible partnership network to extend our leading customer service and support capabilities to help brands and customer service agents succeed and further fuel business growth.

Integration Benefits

As part of our enhanced integration with Shopify Plus, Shopify Plus merchants will be able to integrate with Kustomer’s best-in-class platform with one click, making Shopify data viewable within the context of their customers’ historical activity, and actionable so that they can process returns and exchanges. Merchants can also instantly navigate to Shopify invoices as needed, or initiate conversations based on that data.

The Kustomer and Shopify integration offers a chronological and detailed timeline that views, tracks and manages past and present interactions and Shopify orders all in one actionable agent workspace. In addition, the integration allows use of Shopify data to identify and segment customers for proactive engagement based on purchase history and lifetime value, which in turn, helps retain more customers and build loyalty. Kustomer’s powerful automation features also help optimize teams and empower agents to use Shopify data to maintain and resolve conversations.

Through this partnership, Shopify merchants and agents will also be able to access a Shopify insights card, a one-stop shop for each customer’s entire Shopify purchase history, available directly in their profile. This dynamic card includes a chronological view of all purchases, with the ability to internally navigate to itemized lists, payment methods, as well as an ability to search the entire card by product item and SKU number, so that every detail around every purchase is discoverable within Kustomer.

What Our Customers Have to Say

Kustomer already serves as the customer service platform of Shopify Plus brands like ThirdLove, Ring and HiSmile. “Using Kustomer allows us to give our customers the freedom and flexibility to reach out anytime, anywhere and via any channel they want,” said Fabio Alferi, Head of Customer Experience at HiSmile. “This extraordinary customer service tool has played a significant role in enabling our team to deliver the type of highly efficient and personalized service that today’s customers expect and demand.”

Want to get started? Learn more about the power of our Shopify integration here.

 

Kustomer Selected as Enterprise Customer Service CRM Available in Shopify Plus Certified App Program

Kustomer Selected as Enterprise Customer Service CRM Available in Shopify Plus Certified App Program PR TW

Kustomer’s integration with Shopify Plus will help brands and customer service agents optimize and personalize customer experiences.

New York, NY – July 8, 2020 – Kustomer, the omnichannel SaaS platform reimagining enterprise customer service to deliver standout experiences, today announced that it has been selected as the only enterprise customer service CRM platform in the Shopify Plus Certified App Program. Kustomer’s seamless integration with the Shopify App creates contextualized, actionable customer profiles so that merchants and agents can build and drive more personalized and data-driven customer journeys, while resolving conversations quickly and building long-term customer loyalty.

By automating 40 percent of customer interactions and optimizing omnichannel experiences for customers and agents alike, Kustomer is able to help e-commerce brands quickly and efficiently resolve conversations across all digital channels in a single platform. As part of its enhanced integration with Shopify Plus, Shopify Plus merchants will be able to integrate with Kustomer’s best-in-class platform with one click, making Shopify data viewable within the context of their customers’ historical activity, and actionable so that they can process returns and exchanges. Merchants can also instantly navigate to Shopify invoices as needed, or initiate conversations based on that data.

“We are excited to be recognized as a best-in-class customer service platform by Shopify Plus and join this incredible partnership network to extend our leading customer service and support capabilities to help brands and customer service agents succeed and further fuel business growth,” said Brad Birnbaum, Co-Founder and CEO of Kustomer. “By seamlessly integrating into the Shopify App, our platform will help Shopify Plus merchants deliver efficient and effective service by automating 40% of interactions via self-service, reducing handle times with intelligent routing, and driving omnichannel experiences between customers and agents.”

Integration Benefits

The Kustomer and Shopify integration offers a chronological and detailed timeline that views, tracks and manages past and present interactions and Shopify orders all in one actionable agent workspace. In addition, the integration allows use of Shopify data to identify and segment customers for proactive engagement based on purchase history and lifetime value, which in turn, helps retain more customers and build loyalty. Kustomer’s powerful automation features also help optimize teams and empower agents to use Shopify data to maintain and resolve conversations.

Through this partnership, Shopify merchants and agents will also be able to access a Shopify insights card, a one-stop shop for each customer’s entire Shopify purchase history, available directly in their profile. This dynamic card includes a chronological view of all purchases, with the ability to internally navigate to itemized lists, payment methods, as well as an ability to search the entire card by product item and SKU number, so that every detail around every purchase is discoverable within Kustomer.

“The Shopify Plus Certified App program is designed to meet the advanced requirements of the world’s fastest growing brands,” said Loren Padelford, GM Shopify Plus. “We’re happy to welcome Kustomer to the program, bringing their insight and experience in Customer Support to the Plus merchant community.”

Kustomer already serves as the customer service platform of several Shopify Plus brands, including HiSmile and ThirdLove. “Using Kustomer allows us to give our customers the freedom and flexibility to reach out anytime, anywhere and via any channel they want,” said Fabio Alferi, Head of Customer Experience at HiSmile. “This extraordinary customer service tool has played a significant role in enabling our team to deliver the type of highly efficient and personalized service that today’s customers expect and demand.”

About Kustomer
Kustomer is the omnichannel SaaS CRM platform reimagining enterprise customer service to deliver standout experiences. Built with intelligent automation, Kustomer scales to meet the needs of any contact center and business by unifying data from multiple sources and enabling companies to deliver effortless, consistent and personalized service and support through a single timeline view. Today, Kustomer is the core platform of some of the leading customer service brands like Ring, Glovo, Glossier and Sweetgreen. Headquartered in NYC, Kustomer was founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneurs Brad Birnbaum and Jeremy Suriel, has raised over $174M in venture funding, and is backed by leading VCs including: Coatue, Tiger Global Management, Battery Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Cisco Investments, Canaan Partners, Boldstart Ventures and Social Leverage.

Media Contact:
Cari Sommer
Raise Communications
cari@raisecg.com
 

Scale-Up Your Digital Experience for Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday 2017 was the largest online shopping day in history. Consumers spent over $6.59 billion, a growth of 16.9 percent year-over-year, with $1.59 billion coming from mobile. Cyber Monday is the biggest opportunity out there for North American ecommerce companies, and your customer experience organization needs to be ready for it. This is a time when you can turn one-time shoppers into loyal, repeat customers, and that requires great CX. A seamless digital experience that still feels human will help build a bond between you and your customers that will last long after the Thanksgiving leftovers are gone.

Prepare Your Agents to Deliver Incredible Service

Today, customers do most of their holiday shopping online. In 2017, shoppers planned to spend 51% of their holiday shopping budget online versus 42% in stores, Deloitte found in a survey of 4,000 consumers. While many customers line up for sales at brick-and-mortar outlets, it’s just as important that your digital experience is up-to-date during the holidays.

Step back and take a look at your experience: Increasing efficiency can depend on a lot of small fixes, but analyzing the data and finding common agent and customer sticking points are the first steps towards making a difference. Take the time to look at your digital experience as a whole before the busy season starts to ramp up. Small fixes to things like your exchange process or the information customers can access on your site will add up to big efficiencies. This can have a huge impact on the number of customers they serve, and their ability to do so.

Triage your customer requests: Your customer service agents are at the vanguard of your CX during any busy period, so they need to be hired and trained well in advance. If you can equip them more information about your customers, making it easy to access their history with the brand, they can make better recommendations and provide a memorable experience during this hectic time. You should train new or temporary agents to answer the easier questions and perform more common, routine tasks for faster resolution. Save the more complex interactions between experienced staff, or these issues will have to be elevated to them anyway, drawing out the process for agents and customers alike.

Automation with a human touch: To take out some of the pressure, automation can help whittle down the massive volume of inquiries and requests during this busy time. Chatbots are one solution brands are exploring, but you have other options. Simply updating your self-service helpdesk, providing clearer product information, or equipping agents with a tool that suggests relevant responses or knowledgebase articles to share with customers can go a long way towards cutting out the short, simple questions that pile up and distract them from bigger tasks. But you shouldn’t lean on these solutions without considering how they can be used to empower your staff. To deliver a memorable, emotionally resonant experience in the long term, you need a human touch. Use them to help customers connect to agents more quickly, and make sure that agents know everything about your customers. Automation exists to empower employees, not replace them. Any way that automation can speed up service and take busy work off of agents’ desks will pay dividends for your CX.

Have a mobile mindset: Also, keep in mind that many customers will start their journey on mobile, using it to find deals and coupons, inspiration on social, competitive prices, and to read customer reviews. According to Salesforce, mobile made up 64 percent of shopping visits during Cyber Monday. This information needs to be easy to access and find on mobile—if it’s not, your customers may end up getting answers from your competitors instead. Ideally, the same agent should be able to respond to and SMS messages, chat with the same customer on desktop, then call them on the phone on the phone and back. Mobile experience is a deciding factor at this time of year, and shouldn’t be neglected.

Be ready for anything: You should be ready for something to go wrong. The holidays will push your team and your technology to their limits. More than likely, something will give—and even if it doesn’t, your team should be prepared for it. Train for the worst-case scenario, like your site going down, or a major storm disrupting shipments. Proactive outreach can help handle some of these issues before they get out of control, allowing you to make contact with customers before they have a chance to reach out. Leading up to Cyber Monday, make a list of common customer complaints or problems, and make sure every agent knows the solution. If your agents are prepared to diffuse holiday stress and help out no matter the situation, your customers will thank you.

Cyber Monday is overwhelming for even the most prepared ecommerce brands. However, every step you take now to ready your customer experience organization now will pay back tenfold for your agents and customers alike. By the way, this year Cyber Monday is November 26th—but you already knew that, right? Mark those calendars, and start making progress towards an amazing online shopping experience for this year, and the years to come.

Scale Your Online Marketplace Faster Through Customer Support

The Marketplace model is exploding in eCommerce, so much so that it’s taking over entire industries. By 2025, it is estimated that Marketplace companies could account for $335 billion of revenue globally. If you’ve used Lyft, ordered from Amazon, gotten a late night snack through Seamless, or stayed in an AirBnB, you’ve participated in a Marketplace transaction.

With the Marketplace model comes unique challenges. Managing a Marketplace business where you don’t own all the pieces increases the complexity of delivering support. Imagine a Marketplace that connects boutique shop owners with customers around the world. If a shipment goes missing, who owns that mistake? Who does the customer communicate with? Who ultimately fixes the problem and makes sure the customer walks away happy?

Successful Marketplaces know that a great Customer Experience isn’t just about delivering a product. Everything comes down to supply and demand. To really succeed, you need strong relationships with both buyers and sellers. The best Marketplaces elevate everyone’s experience. The necessity of managing so many relationships adds to the complexity of delivering great support in a Marketplace environment.

The Complexity of Marketplace Support

Most support solutions are designed for 1-1 interactions. Traditionally, companies focused only on the relationship with the end customer. For Marketplaces, there’s more to it. You have the Marketplace team talking to their vendors, who are talking to their customers, who are also talking to the Marketplace—all with their own workflows.

Slice, a Marketplace for pizza, has experienced this challenge firsthand. Pizza shops want to know when their customers complain. Slice Customer Support handles complaints from both the hungry customers and the pizza shops. Cody, Director of Product at Slice, says “We have to interface with many restaurants, who all have different workflows that we need to accommodate. Our team wants to provide service that allows them to run their business better, not just answer their questions.”

Our tools often shape the way we work, but most tools aren’t built for this. Most systems aren’t designed to support so many complex relationships and that can contribute to a poor end-user experience.

Ultimately, managing the Marketplace means ensuring a consistent experience for the end customer. All the complexity behind the scenes shouldn’t make it more complex for the customer to get problems resolved. Customers shouldn’t need to know how your business works, in order to do business with you.

Building Relationships, Not Transactions

Multiple relationships mean a complex data model. A simple transaction like a return or exchange means communicating with a multitude of systems, many that might not even be owned by your company. From package tracking to conversation management to inventory updates—support teams are on the hook for a ton of moving parts. And they have to search for the correct information across these many disconnected systems.

Usually resolving an end customer concern means logging into several point solutions. Support team members will look up shipping numbers in one tab, confirm inventory in another, all while reading customer conversations in another help desk screen. Support teams are overloaded with transactional systems, instead of focused on relationships.

Relationships are built on a shared history. Knowing the past experiences of buyers and sellers means that support teams can provide proactive, helpful advice. Getting this data into one place empowers support teams to build stronger relationships with both vendors and purchasers.

We need to focus our data models around the one thing every transaction has in common—the end customer.

To visualize what this data model looks like, imagine pulling up a support conversation with an AirBnB customer in your help desk. If you’re only looking at the customer’s history, you’d see their past reservations. That’s helpful! But you’re missing part of the picture—you also need to view past host bookings to see if there’s a history of issues there. Only by connecting to both the buyer and seller can you truly understand the source of the issue.

Supporting Multiple Stakeholders

When supporting a Marketplace, there’s so many stakeholders involved, both inside and outside the organization. Vendors want to know customer concerns, Marketplace support teams want to improve their own service and product teams want insights to improve too. Like Slice, all businesses want to provide value to their vendors.

Thinking beyond the individual conversations with customers, you need a data model that delivers insight on both buyer and supplier behavior. Lyft drivers want to know what riders say about their experience. They also want to know where the most profitable ride requests come from, and how many riders they can expect to serve in a day. The Lyft product team wants to know what tasks trip-up customers when booking. And the support team wants to know when things go wrong so they can staff their contact center effectively.

That’s a lot of information to sort through and deliver to the various stakeholders—but there are even more valuable insights to glean if you’re able to identify issues early on.

With a platform that’s designed to help businesses unlock the data that’s being collected in support conversations and build better workflows around them, you can do more. If your platform operates on a flexible data model like Kustomer, even unconventional businesses like a pizza marketplace can fit the tool to their needs.

Finding Business Value in Your Platform

Businesses can struggle with balancing the individual needs of a customer with their strategy for the entire company. Traditional help desks aren’t helpful. They let you export raw data, but aren’t set up to serve up insights for the business.

Using a customer experience platform will help you serve up insights from customer conversations to the major stakeholders without the need to hire a data scientist.

Showing Internal Teams the Value of Support

How many teams wish they could talk to customers all day long? Marketing, product, and executives all want to know more about how customers think and the problems they have. But often, that valuable information is locked up in Customer Support conversations. Getting that data out of your service platform in a usable format and into the hands of internal teams is often an impossibility.

If you can highlight trends in customer contacts, focus on your neediest vendors, and illuminate your biggest areas of opportunity—all from the customer conversations you’re already having—then you’ll be able to share this valuable insight with relevant stakeholders across the organization.

Building Stronger Relationships with External Partners

Companies are successful when their customers are. Using a support platform with a flexible data model means you can pull insights from your partner’s perspective. Independent vendors often don’t have the big business tools to gather their own business intelligence.

That’s where a great Marketplace support team comes in. Being able to analyze customer trends and serve up insights for their business means building a stronger relationship. Your support platform shouldn’t just provide value to you—it should provide value for your partners too.

Highlighting Opportunities For Business Intelligence

The best tools help you grow. If you’re thinking of your help desk as just an email inbox, you’re missing opportunities for growth.

Pulling out service trends, customer questions and feedback can highlight new markets to expand into. Combining this with other data can help superpower your growth machine.

A Platform for Marketplaces

Supporting customers in a Marketplace environment is a tough gig. But tools are improving to help support teams be more effective in building relationships. Using a support platform with a flexible data model means that your workflow (however complex) doesn’t need to compromise.

If you’re working with multiple stakeholders, you need software that makes complicated relationships simple. Take a test run of Kustomer and see how we can help you manage your Marketplace.

’Tis the Season for Returns

With the Holiday rush behind us and both Black Friday and Cyber Monday a distant memory, a new season for retailers is just beginning. That’s right, when all those regrettable gifts from in-laws and mis-sized sweaters go back where they came from — with the express expectation that they’ll be returned or exchanged without a hassle. According to the National Retail Federation, 8% of total sales are returns — and that number will only rise alongside online shopping, as 1 out of every 5 items bought online is returned.

Returns are an increasingly crucial element of the customer experience. The rush and excitement of buying is replaced by frustration and boredom, and customers want the return process to be over as soon as possible. As a result of their rising frequency, customers have come to expect clear and agreeable terms — the lower the bar to return, the more likely they are to buy. UPS’s research even shows that 15% of customers will abandon their cart if the policy isn’t clear.

Providing a better return experience might feel like hiking uphill in a headwind, but the retailers that are able to overcome the logistical complications will see real rewards. Not only will shoppers be more inclined to buy, they’ll also shop some more if they have to return. UPS also found that 70% of online shoppers made another purchase when returning in-store, and 45% bought something extra when returning online.

Prioritizing the return process means connecting your view of the customer across your service teams and fulfillment partners. However, that prep will be invaluable once the return season is in full swing. Kustomer client DSTLD—a digital-first retailer that sells high-quality, affordable denim and basics—found that laying the groundwork for their exchange process in the offseason paid dividends in terms of customer experience over the holidays. “We’ve created a new process for exchanges to make completing them even easier. As a result, our customers receive their item even faster than before, giving them a better customer experience and helping us stay competitive. Then, when the winter season gets closer, we hire seasonal workers to meet the influx of demand.” Said Laura Gramlich, DSTLD’s Customer Experience Manager.

Returns are, increasingly, inevitable. But with planning, you can deliver a demonstrably better return experience, encouraging customers to shop without fear of a harrowing trial when they get to the service desk. This leads to more willingness to buy, and they may even add a few extra items to their cart as they bring back back a pair of jeans that wouldn’t have fit in middle school. And, by enabling your service teams and streamlining your view of the customer, Kustomer can make that return experience that much better. ’Tis the season!

Winter Is Coming

By Laura Gramlich, Customer Experience Manager, DSTLD

Winter is coming: it’s a phrase you may have heard before in a popular show. In the retail industry, Winter is a symbol of great opportunity, and also of great stress, because it represents the holiday rush of just 6 weeks that makes up 30% of our annual sales. This means that we have to be ready to scale everything about our business. Before I describe how DSTLD prepares for winter, I’ll tell you a bit about what we do. DSTLD is a direct-to-consumer ecommerce company. We sell premium denim and essentials without the retail markup and offer a high-quality offering it to you at ⅓ of the typical retail price. DSTLD focuses on simple design and superior quality. Our founders have always valued a top-quality product and customer experience over the name of the label stitched on their clothes.

At DSTLD, we prepare for a great experience during the holiday season by setting a high bar for our regular operations. Customer experience plays a large role at DSTLD and was an important factor when the founders were creating the company. We are customer first. That means making things seamless and easy for our customers. Our customer service department plays a huge role, because at the end of the day if we didn’t have our customers, we wouldn’t have a business.

One of the ways we practice to scale during the holidays is to use the concept of “all-company support.” Everyone in our company — from the founders to our finance department — have been trained to use our tools and support our customers in a friendly, individualized way. As with any ecommerce company, there will always be issues out of our realm of control with customer’s orders, including deliveries to the wrong address, missing packages, or delays in delivery, and at the end of the day we aim to deliver an incredible customer experience, no matter what issues arise.

For example, one of the highest rates of drop-off for an ecommerce site occurs when a customer has issues prior to and at checkout. After launching chat on our site, we were able to respond immediately to our customers and provide great customer service. Just being able to answer our customer’s questions through live chat resulted in higher sales and a higher conversion rate at checkout. But pre-sale support is just one aspect of the customer journey. And as we get closer to the holiday demand, making sure we get a complete view into our customer’s journey is important. We have many different touch points with our customers, and making sure each one delivers a positive experience is key to our success as a company.

During the brief holiday season, we see a rise in increased demand and also in customer service requests. We use a structured framework to organize our response to each type of issue, which helps us manage the customer journey from beginning to end. For example, a common issue is a delivery being delayed due to a snowstorm. We start by identifying customers who may be affected by using Kustomer, our CRM platform for customer experience. Using Kustomer, we create a search of customers, identify who might be affected, prioritize our outreach based on different customer segments, and then reach out to those who have been affected. To improve our consistency and speed up our outreach, we send a bulk message to our customers in their preferred channel of text or email, notifying them of the delay.

But it doesn’t stop there. We believe that individualized customer service is a competitive differentiator. To scale this effort across many customer segments, we use Kustomer to create automated customer journey workflows that identify common issues and make it easy to respond quickly. Then, we follow up with personalized customer service.

Here’s how it works for a typical customer. For example, if a customer orders a specific holiday gift and that shipment is unavoidably delayed due to a snowstorm, we know that regular solutions like a refund or discount code will not cut it. Our customer wants that item and doesn’t want to go through the hassle of last minute holiday shopping. We want our customers to be happy and we will do everything in our power to make sure that they have a great customer experience even when issues arise.

In this scenario we would send a new shipment of that item using our integrated access to our Spree ecommerce solution to expedite the new shipment and make sure it arrives on time. Once we get a delivery confirmation, we will reach out to our customer and make sure that they are happy. This costs us a bit more for the individual customer who has an issue, but also creates a customer for life.

Another way we prepare to scale our typical high-touch customer experience is through operation and system updates during the slow seasons. Our main focus is to speed up processes both within our Admin system and our team, to improve productivity. For example, we’ve created a new process for exchanges to make completing them even easier. As a result, our customers receive their item even faster than before, giving them a better customer experience and helping us stay competitive.Then, when the winter season gets closer, we hire seasonal workers to meet the influx of demand. Due to our refined operations, they get up-to-speed faster and are more productive and efficient. The additional, temporary team members help us continue to deliver great customer experience that is at the center of our brand.

Learn more about Kustomer here.

DSTLD is not just an ecommerce company. We are friendly, human, and focused on delivering a great customer experience throughout all aspects of our customer’s journey. As winter draws closer, we are prepared to handle the rush and any issues that may arise. Are you? Because winter is coming.

About The Author:
Laura Gramlich manages the customer service department at DSTLD whose mission is to provide simple design and superior quality denim and luxury essentials at 1/3 the price. Laura began her career in customer service on the east coast and moved to LA to hone her skills in fashion merchandising. Her expertise has contributed to the growth of DSTLD through the design and implementation of best-in-class loyalty programs that engage valued-conscious consumers seeking high-quality merchandise.

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