How Stio Geared Up For Growth

Since opening its doors in 2012, Stio has embraced a direct-to-consumer model selling high-quality, active apparel for outdoor enthusiasts online and in-store. Clearly, the market has embraced them right back, experiencing rapid growth, especially in eCommerce which makes up 75% of the company’s revenue.

The mountain lifestyle brand, headquartered in Jackson Hole, Wyoming realized that it had to scale its digital customer experience to keep up with that growth. The company looked for technology that was just as adaptable and functional as their gear, turning to Quiq’s messaging, web chat, and bot platform for support.

The Good Problem of Growth

Stio's use of web chat messaging bots for retailers has helped the company deflect phone callsWhen Kim Essensa, Stio’s Customer Experience Manager, joined the company in June of 2018, Stio had been experiencing annual growth rates of 52 percent. In the second quarter of 2018, Stio’s growth accelerated to an impressive 70% year over year.

That kind of growth comes with a few growing pains, especially in a contact center of 7. Based on previous experience in both her personal and professional life, Kim felt that live chat could help alleviate some of the load. The company already had a simple version of live chat available on their website but hadn’t turned it on. Her instincts were right. Turning on web chat helped the contact center feel an immediate relief.

Kim knew that text messaging was the next natural progression for engagement with consumers. While she had experience with other vendors like Live Chat, Olark, and Boldchat, she knew that having SMS and text messaging were key to take the company to the next level. Kim had used Quiq at her previous employer and evaluated it for Stio, knowing that it was going to have to make an impact on their efficiency, while working with their current systems.

“A few other programs were vetted. The relationship I had with Quiq before and knowing how responsive everyone is there, especially with tech issues, is what made Quiq stand out for me. When something is not working, you just need it fixed.”

~Kim Essensa, Stio

Quiq fit with the vision of where Stio wanted their contact center to be and the company went live with Quiq’s web chat on October 1. Implementation was short and successful, and employees only had to receive a small amount of training to get started,

“The platform is so intuitive and easy to use that the amount of training it takes to give it to my staff was super minimal,” says Kim. Having Quiq in place with a trained and ready staff was crucial since Q4 was looming on the horizon and like other retailers, the holiday season would make up a good portion of the company’s annual revenue.

Improving Efficiency 

Before the holidays, Stio onboarded an after hours contact center to handle chat when the in-house team was offline. The after-hours answering service has been able to take some of the pressure off of Stio’s team during business hours as well, easily managing chat on Quiq’s messaging platform with very little training or day to day management from Kim and her team.

The increase in productivity helped employees and customers over the holiday season. Kim puts it this way, “Last year we were leaving the office with 300 emails in the inbox. This year we’re leaving with like 30.” After the holidays, Stio turned on text messaging and saw call volumes drop by 9%. 

“Agents love Quiq. It’s just intuitive and super easy to use.”

~Kim Essensa, Stio

Now, Stio’s agents handle inbound messages from SMS, web chat, and Facebook Messenger all within Quiq’s intelligent workspace. Questions are typically focused on orders, with inquiries around shipping status or price adjustments. Now, if a customer just placed an order and the final cost didn’t reflect the promo code entered, they don’t have to call in and wait on hold for help. Now, they can send a text and get a faster response, since Stio’s agents can handle multiple conversations simultaneously.

Bots

In 2019, Stio took another step toward more efficient operations. Stio was one of the first companies to embrace Quiq’s bots across their messaging channels. Kim worked with the Quiq team to scope out what the Stio bot experience should be. It was important for Kim to keep the bot language short, simple, and casual, so it would feel like consumers are engaging with a human. It was also important to give customers easy access to a human agent whenever they wanted . Within a few days, the bot was up and running on the site.

Stio saw immediate results from implementing bots. The company, which drops 1.2 million catalogs for the holidays, used to take requests from customers who wished to be removed from the physical mailer. Today, a bot does it all on behalf of the agents- from beginning to end. During the first two weeks after implementing this single bot, Kim saved 83 precious agent hours on the catalog process alone. Agents can now concentrate on helping customers find the gear they want instead of managing catalog removals.

Quiq’s Shopify Integration

Stio recently integrated Quiq Messaging with their Shopify account. This integration gives agents incredible visibility into what the consumer is doing. They can see which web page the customer is looking at and what’s in their cart in real-time. According to Essensa, this has drastically reduced the time it takes agents to collect that information from customers and makes the experience smoother and faster for customers.

Stio is focused on keeping their agents available for customers who need human attention. That’s why they’ve introduced bots. When a customer uses messaging, a bot will collect core information from customers and take action on that information, sending the conversation to the best-suited human agent.

Kim believes the integration of Quiq and Shopify will increase overall cart value and conversions because agents will be better equipped with the information they need to close the transaction with the customer.

What’s in Store For Messaging

Stio is approaching conversational commerce from a very personal level and they are using technology to help “For us, it’s that natural conversation between the customer and the agent. We really want the customer to feel at home with Stio, like they’re talking to their best friend who just recommended the best ski kit in the world. We really try to make it a personal experience.” states Kim.

Stio continues to look for ways to make their customers experience more fluid and personal. “From the epic to every day”, that’s the mantra that inspires the team at Stio to create gear known for technical performance, quality, and versatility. Leave it to them to bring that same ingenuity to their customer experience with Quiq’s messaging platform.

Let’s put technology to work for you in your company to streamline workflows, increase efficiency, and deliver a seamless customer experience. Schedule a demo to discuss messaging and how Quiq can work with your company’s unique processes and systems.

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Customer Spotlight: TodayTix

TodayTix is no stranger to bringing more accessibility to experiences. The company started with the goal to provide effortless access to shows. Since launching in 2013, the company has brought theater to a new audience of theatre goers with “thoughtful service at each moment along the way”. There’s no waiting in lines or rushing for last minute ticket sales here. TodayTix provides the convenience of buying theatre tickets online with just a few taps of a button.

As TodayTix continues to see growth in subscribers and sales, it has also seen an increase in inbound calls. TodayTix looked at chat as a way to reduce calls while providing customers the ease and convenience of another channel. Today, the New York-based company uses Quiq’s Chat and SMS/text messaging channels to provide their customers with the kind of 21st century communication they were seeking.

Prior to implementing chat, TodayTix provided support through phone (80%) and email (20%). Since opening the messaging channel, the company has seen a drop in approximately 1,000 calls per month and a decrease in emails. James Potter, Senior Guest Services Manager at TodayTix, says that customers appreciate the quick response they get via messaging versus email.

“We were surprised to see a lot of our repeat customers move over to chat. Many of them have an .aol account, so it was interesting to see that shift.”

– James Potter, Senior Guest Services Manager

After just one day of training and some adjustments to the integration of the their existing Salesforce instance, the company was up and running with messaging. TodayTix still looks to their FAQs to help customers, but placed chat on their support page in the event that any of the 2,500 weekly visitors may need additional help.

The guest services team, which usually consists of 3 to 5 people, love that they are able to see a preview of what the customers are typing, in order to get a head start on helping them. They also love that they can handle multiple cases at one time, with the ability to handle up to 5 conversations simultaneously.

While the majority of questions TodayTix agents handle via messaging involve canceling or modifying an order, the company has also been able to improve their concierge service. For a small fee, customers can have tickets hand-delivered to them 30 minutes prior to the start of the show. Since the company sells internationally, and many times to tourists who don’t have access to their email, messaging helps coordinate delivery if meeting times or locations have to change on the fly.

What’s Next

The company has been pleased to see an increase in their NPS scores rising from the low 60’s to the high 70’s in large part due to messaging. It appears that customers aren’t the only ones noticing how the company uses technology. In 2018, TodayTix was named as one of Deloitte’s 2018 Technology Fast 500. The honor recognizes the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies in North America.

TodayTix would like to take messaging further and implement the chat feature in their app too, as many of their customers are on mobile devices and engaging via the app. The company is also interested in enhancing their IVR by adding an option that would allow customers to initiate a text-based conversation instead of waiting on hold. These improvements will continue TodayTix’s ability to offer thoughtful service for every customer engagement.

Quiq Helps Tailored Brands Dress For Success

Tailored Brands prides itself as a brand that provides a personal, convenient, one-of-a-kind shopping experience. When the company wanted to complement its compelling products, it added the text messaging channel to augment its already world-class service.

Q: What caused you to consider deploying a messaging solution for your brands?

A:  As we look at how people communicate in general, the dominant channel is far and away text messaging. We all text before we call or email each other. So, we wanted to see if that would translate to consumers texting us, a business. We did not decide to add text messaging for call deflection, as we are focused on allowing our customers to communicate with us any way they want.

As Tailored Brands started to look at how people communicate, they noticed a desire within their target market to use text messaging versus the more traditional methods of phone and email. Tailored Brands brought on Quiq Messaging to support its two largest brands: Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Banks. Now these retailers are able to quickly respond to customer inquiries about online orders, products, promotions, and tuxedo rentals – all via messaging, the customer’s preferred way to communicate.

“Retail is a highly competitive space, so we strive to set ourselves apart based on the service we provide our customers, whether online or in-store. Adding text messaging from Quiq has allowed us to differentiate even more.”

– Melissa Porter, VP Customer Relations, Tailored Brands

The most common way messaging is used at Tailored Brands is for inbound customer inquiries. Customers have quickly shifted their way of communicating from phone and email to text messaging for getting help choosing the right suit, placing an order, tracking a shipment, promotion questions, or setting in-store appointments.

Another way Tailored Brands has implemented messaging is to send outbound appointment notifications and reminders. This comes in handy when scheduling bridal parties or prom tuxedo rentals. Because Quiq Messaging allows customers to reply to an outbound text message, if there happens to be a conflict, the appointment can easily be adjusted in real-time.

Finally, Tailored Brands has integrated the option to text message them into their Cisco phone system. Presenting consumers with the option to text instead of wait on hold has been a popular option and is particularly helpful to the brands when call volumes are high.

Q: What channels did you support before adding messaging?

A: We supported phone calls and email. When we purchased Quiq, we were able to add support for SMS/text messaging, live chat, and Facebook Messenger.

The company has now extended support for Men’s Warehouse to 24/7 coverage, adding more convenience. When customers reach the after-hours message on the company’s IVR, they are given the option to text. Knowing the brands cater to a younger demographic, it’s not a surprise the company has seen more customers go straight to text first versus going to the IVR to initiate a text conversation.

Customers and Agents Love Messaging

The company has seen call deflection as a bonus, but one of the real benefits has been the way employees can now communicate with customers. Prior to messaging, responses through email were formal and felt too structured. Now, employees are able to engage with customers on a more genuine, personal level with text messaging.

“Since most of our employees are Millennials, it freed them up to have the kind of conversations with customers that we’ve been wanting them to have.”

– Melissa Porter, VP Customer Relations, Tailored Brands

Messaging Helps Manage Growth

Quiq’s Messaging platform was a timely addition as the Tailored Brands has recently seen a notable increase in business, both instore and online. During busy times when phone volume increases, the company is happy to see customers shift from their most expensive channel, the phone, to text messaging.

STATS:

  • Phone calls 3x more expensive than texting
  • Agents average 5 text conversations at a time and upwards of 8 when busy
  • Over 175% increase in text messages received for each brand

Their customer service agents love the messaging channel. They are able to respond to customers quickly, typically in less than two minutes via messaging. Many conversations are pretty straightforward, like order and shipping information, and can be resolved in three to four exchanges. The company also sees a fair amount of more complex inquiries coming in over messaging, such as brides texting in to change the vest color for her wedding party.

Easy Implementation & Seamless Integration

Originally supporting phone and emails within Salesforce.com, Tailored Brands chose to integrate Quiq into Salesforce Service Cloud right from the start. This ensures agents use only one desktop interface to resolve inquiries, regardless of channel. With the Quiq Messaging platform, agents can view a complete history of all messaging conversations with each customer to more efficiently answer new questions.

“The Quiq implementation into the Salesforce.com desktop was the easiest I’ve ever done. The Quiq interface is super intuitive and provided the features that we couldn’t get from Salesforce LiveMessage.”

– Melissa Porter, VP Customer Relations, Tailored Brands

Quiq Messaging offers the sophisticated capabilities required to deliver a great experience to Tailored Brands’ customers. With the ability to automatically prioritize incoming and existing text and chat conversations for each agent, Quiq ensures agents respond to customers based on the cadence they are engaging with the brands. Not only that, but having the ability to queue and route, transfer and collaborate, and present real-time, dynamic management reporting made Quiq the best choice.

Tailored Brands has plans to expand text messaging for new use cases and new markets. The company plans to continue to expand its use of messaging to help brides and grooms set in-store appointments for custom and rental tuxedos. In addition, store employees have started texting into the contact center, so employee messaging is now under consideration. FInally, there is interest in expanding to support the French-Canadian market with messaging.With the holiday season always on the retail horizon, the ability to quickly train phone and email agents to support text messaging remains top of mind. The company plans to cross-train more contact center employees to give their workforce more flexibility during peak times.Whatever the next new initiative is for Tailored Brands, you can rest assured they will evaluate it through the lens of their ever-evolving customers. Continuing to set themselves apart and be recognized for their world-class service, Tailored Brands is raising the bar in their industry.