Stio's use of web chat messaging bots for retailers

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. 

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“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

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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%.  

Kim Essensa, Stio

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

~Kim Essensa, Stio

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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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