How 8 of the Best Shopify Storefronts Use Chatbots to Provide Excellent Customer Service

Written by Emily Cummins  on   Sep 22, 2020

Some of the coolest brands today were started by teenagers, have products adored by Michelin-star chefs, and create products that are sustainable and environmentally-friendly. They’re also operated as some of the best Shopify stores online.

As consumers continue to become less loyal to big brand names, it’s opened the door for a new breed of brand: direct-to-consumer, entrepreneurial, niche, global. Brands that typify this new model include Allbirds (shoes) and Harry’s (men’s grooming). Shopify’s ecommerce platform and tools are increasingly the online face of these new brands. The company’s growth has been incredible. Today, more than one million merchants worldwide use Shopify; their revenues spiked 97% in the second quarter of 2020.

Due to the COVID-19 driven leap in online shopping, Shopify CTO Jean-Michel Lemieux says the company now sees Black Friday level traffic….every single day. 

Every Shopify merchant needs a chatbot 

To turn new and casual customers into long-term loyalists, merchants need to prioritize customer service as much as their products. According to Forrester, customers who chat with a brand are 3X more likely to convert and have a 10-15% higher average cart value1. On the flip side, if a question arises during the online shopping experience, 57% will abandon their cart if questions are not answered quickly2. That’s why leading online storefronts deploy Shopify chatbots to provide convenient, effortless and quick resolutions to questions that arise along the entire customer journey.

The 8 Best Shopify Stores That Use Customer Service Chatbots

When you look at some of the most successful Shopify stores, there’s a common theme: they offer chat for customer service. In addition to innovative products and impeccable websites, these stores prioritize their customer service.

1. Taylor Stitch  

Taylor Stitch is a hip men’s shirting and casual pants company, committed to building the best possible clothing while pledging to limit its environmental impact. Taylor Stitch founders wanted to create clothes without limitations – that could handle chopping wood or going fishing but fit right in at the office, too. The company’s live chat made clearly available across every website page. It only answers chats during office hours, however. (To be fair, during office hours, the company was very responsive). Customers don’t just shop Monday – Friday during the daytime when it’s convenient for a business. Today’s discerning consumers expect support when they need it. Taylor Stitch could leverage AI to provide around-the-clock support and make out-of-office hours a lot better for customers.

2. Gymshark 

Founded in 2012 by a teenager and a group of high school friends, fitness apparel & accessories brand Gymshark today provides athleisure clothing to customers in 131 countries. The company uses chat to answer questions quickly throughout the pre-sale and post-sale journey. The chat connects customers with a live agent who can answer questions ranging from returns, deliveries or product help. If the company used AI to automate resolutions for repeatable, easy questions, Gymshark could eliminate the wait for a human agent to join the conversation.

Learn how to automatically resolve customer service inquiries at the industry’s highest rate over messaging, chat, email, and voice with our helpdesk AI solutions.

3. Verve Coffee 

Verve has cafes along the West Coast and Pacific – from Los Angeles to San Francisco to Japan. The company also sells coffee online and has a subscription model, ensuring that their customers never run out of their favorite beans.

The company uses live chat on its website to provide customer support. Live agents immediately respond to every customer, offering amazing personalization. Customers can rate the conversation, providing immediate feedback about whether the experience was what they expected and if they got the information that they needed. However, for Verve Coffee to automate resolutions to the most common questions to ensure customers are never waiting in a queue.


Looking to maximize your CX? Discover what platform may be best for you in our comparison of Intercom vs. Zendesk.


4. Made In

Made In sells high-end kitchen and cookware. The company’s kitchenware is used in multiple three-Michelin-star restaurants (such as Chicago’s Alinea and NYC’s Le Bernardin) and is on tables and in the kitchens at dozens of other top-rated restaurants and hotel groups across North America.

The company uses a Zendesk chatbot feature to connect customers with live agents for anything from product recommendations to other key support issues. If the company used AI, though, live agents could focus exclusively on more complex issues – decreasing resolution time across the board.

5. Package Free 

Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy by reducing package waste. The founders believe that access to sustainable products and resources that positively benefit people and the planet is a basic human right. They sell everything from shampoo to kitchenware – all using sustainable materials.

The company uses Zendesk chat and live agents proactively reach out to see if the visitor has any questions or needs assistance instead of waiting for the customer to initiate the conversation. This level of proactivity is powerful especially in the low-waste category where education is key. Without the use of AI, though, this proactive care may be hard to scale as the company grows. After the initial proactive message from the company, there is a delay in response from a live agent. Package Free already does a lot to improve their conversion rate on Shopify. However, making slight changes, like removing this wait time, will be a crucial way to educate customers faster and improve conversions.

6. Beauty Bakerie 

Beauty Bakerie sells cruelty-free cosmetics and beauty products. such as long-lasting, smudge-free makeup in stores around the world as well as via its online storefront.

An on-brand pink chat icon opens up a window in which a customer is prompted to provide their name, email and question. Instead of enabling a live chat on the website itself, a live agent reaches out via email with the sought-after information. While the gateway to support is easily accessible, immediate full resolutions are not available. The customer must move over to email, interrupting their online store experience.. If Beauty Bakerie was able to automate responses in the same chat window (at least for the high-volume, mundane questions), the company would see customer satisfaction (CSAT) rise, and likely see higher conversions driving greater revenue.

7. Velasca 

Velasca sells hand-crafted, classic shoes made in Italy. The company’s founders believe that high-quality craftsmanship should be accessible to all. And, they cut out the middle-man and connect their artisans to the people.

The company offers a live chat feature on its site, but only during limited business hours (Rome timezone). During Italian business hours, the company appears to automate an initial message, letting the customer know that they will be helped shortly. A live agent then joins the conversation to answer questions. By leveraging AI to automate conversations, Velasca would be able to provide always-on support, regardless of when a person has a question, for at least basic-level questions.

8. Harris Farm Markets 

Australian-based Harris Farms sources quality fresh fruit and vegetables direct from markets and farmers daily. Same-day or scheduled deliveries come to a home or office at a customer’s preferred time slot. All of their produce is sourced from Australian, family-owned businesses.

The company offers a chat window that pulls up related articles from a knowledge base. If a customer can’t find the information that they are looking for, they are prompted to fill out a form which will lead to a follow-up email reply. The company should use live and AI-powered virtual agents to try and resolve a higher percentage of tickets within the chat itself, eliminating response delays.

Shopify Stores With Chat Can Use More Smart Chatbots

These top Shopify stores have a few core things in common. They have aesthetically pleasing and easily navigable online storefronts. They prioritize customer service and have some form of web-based chat. That’s a great first step as customers today expect immediate support.


We compiled a list of the “Best AI Chatbots” by solution providers — many of which integrate seamlessly with your existing Shopify store.


Beyond the basics – immediate, effortless resolutions are the new standard in customer support. In order to scale as their customer base grows, fast-growing Shopify-based merchants need to use AI-powered chatbots to automatically resolve mundane queries like, “What is your return policy?” or “Are your clothes cut large or small?”.

AI chatbots can seamlessly integrate within agent desk platforms like Zendesk or Freshworks, working alongside live human agents. With AI managing the simple queries, this frees up human agents to focus on more complex questions or specific customers. The result is higher customer satisfaction (CSAT), lower resolution time and reduced customer service costs. AI is also always-on, responding to customers 24/7 and can scale to handle an infinite number of tickets simultaneously.

While the Shopify stores above have taken a great first step to improve customer service with chat, there are opportunities to further impact the customer experience with AI.

Are you ready to explore how AI can help your Shopify store convert more customers and build long-term loyalty? Get in touch today.

For more information on customer service, visit:

References

A Change in My Tide: My Internship at Netomi

Written by Can Ozdoruk  on   Sep 16, 2020

A chance encounter…or fate? 

On the bustling streets of San Francisco, I overheard the sound of home. As an international student studying in the U.S., I was surprised and thrilled to hear my first language Turkish in front of a coffee shop. Within seconds, I struck up a conversation with someone who would soon open the door for a turning point in my career (albeit, as a college student my professional life was relatively young).

My coffee run on that day led me to meet a fellow Turkey native, Netomi’s VP of Marketing Can Ozdoruk. Following a few interviews with the leadership team, I became the company’s first-ever marketing intern! Although COVID-19 led many companies to suspend their internship programs, Netomi allowed me to gain hands-on experience at a fast-growing AI startup, even if all of my meetings occurred over Zoom.  

At the time I joined, Netomi was in hyper-growth mode regardless of the COVID-19-induced market uncertainty. The ballooning client base and employee count was incredibly promising and exciting.  

Even though I wasn’t able to be present in an office setting, the leadership team made me feel welcome on the first day. I was able to meet, virtually, with the executive bench. The more I learned about the company, the more invested I got in our team and product. Netomi was on a mission to transform customer service with AI. Like every customer, I was intimately familiar with all of the delays and frustration that occurred when I had to reach out to a company with a question or issue. My team had a groundbreaking solution. 

Just like the company’s platform, this wasn’t an ordinary internship. I was an integral part of the small, but mighty, marketing team. I wasn’t doing mindless busy work, I was contributing in a meaningful way. The marketing team respected my input and appreciated my contributions.

During my three months at Netomi, I spearheaded two research reports, led the social media, and tackled data-driven marketing initiatives. As an intern, it was motivating to help with projects that have a tangible impact on the company’s bottom line and brand reputation. Our Customer Service Benchmark Reports, for example, were featured in key media outlets, including Forbes. Similarly, we saw all-time spikes in Netomi’s website traffic as our social media posts gained traction. This is what I loved about marketing –  the results were directly visible to me, and the rest of the company! 

From day one, my marketing colleagues put faith in me and trusted me to manage high-stake projects. Whenever I was interested in exploring different tasks, they created opportunities for me. Most importantly, they were understanding when I got stuck. During a global pandemic, it was reassuring to see the empathy that is embedded in the team’s DNA.

As Netomi’s first-ever marketing intern, I had the privilege of interacting with a world-class leadership team, working autonomously, and learning from continuous feedback. In our quarterly all-hands meeting, our CEO Puneet Mehta said that the company’s true differentiator is not the product but the people. This summer, I experienced this first hand. I also learned many valuable skills and witnessed the exponential growth of a Silicon Valley startup. 

While I previously thought my professional trajectory was with larger, established corporations, the feeling of being part of a fast-growing company and seeing my work make a real impact motivates me to work for a start-up. After all, wearing many hats and getting pulled in a million directions is exciting. You never know that the day is going to bring. 

I am so grateful for the connections that I have built and the growth that I experienced over my 3 months at Netomi.

Telecommunications Industry: A Full Look at the Latest Telecom Industry Trends for 2021

Written by Can Ozdoruk  on   Sep 1, 2020

To download a copy of our full Telecom Industry Benchmarks report, visit here.


The telecommunications industry is a long and storied business vertical that is unlike many others. The telecom industry includes telephone, cable, and internet companies.  With the emergence of new technologies – like 5G – the telecom industry is now super competitive. Super competitive is also a great phrase to describe the day to day operations of telecom customer service at the world’s leading providers.

What separates the best telecommunications companies from those that underperform?

This is a complicated question and is dependent on many factors. One clear indicator of future business performance is the quality of customer service. With that, we’re excited to announce the launch of our new Customer Service Benchmark Report, following the success of our inaugural report on the retail industry. In this edition, we analyze the email customer support of the world’s largest 1,000 telecom companies in an effort to establish unbiased telecom industry benchmarks for customer service.

For telecom companies, providing a positive customer experience is more important now than ever before as it is tied directly to customer retention. Telecom companies are universally regarded as the same with little differentiation in service, quality or price. Customer service is a fruitful area in which to differentiate.

Modern customers expect quick, effortless resolutions on their channel of choice. Email remains the preferred digital channel for support.

So we set out to see the availability and quality of email support from telecom companies. Our study revealed that telecom operators are failing when it comes to providing email support.

Telecom Industry Trends

[Source: NobelBiz]


To download a copy of the full Telecom Customer Service Benchmark report, visit here.


Here are 10 key findings in the telecommunications space:

  1. Only 53% of telecom companies provide an easily accessible email address.
  2. 65% of telecom companies did not respond to a simple question about their plan options.
  3. The average score for the Support Performance Index (SPI), which measures personalization, empathy, answer quality and responsiveness, is 49.1, with 60% scoring within the 25-50 point range out of 100 total points.
  4. Out of companies that replied to emails, 46% responded in less than 6 hours. However, when it comes to answer quality, the companies that respond in 6-12 hours are 2X more likely to provide a more meaningful and complete response.
  5. Even when telecommunications respond, 55% provide a poor quality response as compared to only 19% that provided exceptional responses and achieved an Answer Quality Index of 100, the perfect score.
  6. Almost 45% of telecom customer service teams fully personalized their response to customer emails.
  7. Out of the telecom companies that responded to an email, 94% did not send surveys to gauge customer satisfaction (CSAT).
  8. Only 4% of the telecom companies in our study showed empathy by acknowledging the customer’s personal struggle around COVID-19.
  9. Telecom companies in the Asia-Pacific region outperformed the companies in other regions with an average SPI of 58.9. North American companies came in second, but were 10 points behind APAC.
  10. Telecom companies that used Zendesk were 1.3X faster than average to respond.

To download a copy of the full Telecom Customer Service Benchmark report, visit here.


Our Customer Service Benchmark Report Says Telecom Email Support is Largely Unavailable

Email customer support offers many benefits that people expect when they have to contact a company for customer service: it’s convenient because the entire interaction is on the customer’s terms; it’s readily available across all of our devices, and there is a record of the conversation that can be referenced at any time.

We found, though, that only 53% of telecom companies provide an easily accessible email address. And of the companies that have email addresses, emails are completely ignored 65% of the time. At a time when customer expectations for customer support are higher than ever, only 28% of telecom companies respond to a straightforward question from a potential new customer.

A 360-degree analysis of telecom customer support emails reveals large disparity

We created two groundbreaking new support measurement indexes. First, our Support Performance Index (SPI) measures the overall support received analyzing personalization, responsiveness, empathy, and thoroughness. We found that approximately 60% of companies scored in the 25-50 point range for SPI (out of 100), and the average SPI ranking is 49.1.

Companies sacrifice answer quality for speed 

Our second proprietary index is our Answer Quality Index (AQI) which measures the usefulness and thoroughness of the response. We found what while nearly 1 in every 5 telecoms gave exceptional responses and reached an Answer Quality Index between 81-100 points, the majority of telecoms (55%) scored below 20.

We also found that the companies that prioritized response time often sacrificed the quality of the answer. Companies that responded in less than 6 hours almost doubled the fastest responders when it comes to the quality of the answer provided.

57% of telecoms that respond to emails do so within 12 hours

Telecom communications companies that leverage email as a support channel respond  Three in four companies that prioritize email as a support channel respond within the first day: 46% respond within 6 hours and 57% respond within 12 hours.

There is a difference in weekend and weekday response times, however. Customers are waiting 2.4X longer on the weekend, with an average weekend response time of 27 hours, compared to just 11 hours during the week.


To download a copy of the full Telecom Customer Service Benchmark report, visit here.


Telecommunications companies are rarely empathic 

We conducted our study in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and looked to see the rate at which companies would show empathy to a customer who mentioned that she was unusually stressed during the outbreak. Our research revealed that only 4% of companies showed empathy by acknowledging the customer’s personal struggle.

APAC telecoms provide the highest quality resolutions, North America is the fastest 

Telecom companies in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region outperformed companies in other regions with an average Support Performance Index (SPI) of 58.9 (out of 100). North American companies trailed APAC by 10 points, on average. Interestingly, despite having the highest response rate (34%), telecom companies in the Middle East & Africa scored 42.9, the lowest average SPI.

When we looked at response time, there were even more disparities between regions. North American telecom companies responded, on average, in 10 hours and achieved the fastest response time across all regions. APAC companies came in second, responding in 17 hours, while Europe lagged behind all regions with an average response time of 35 hours.

Telecom companies provide better support if they use Zendesk or Salesforce

Telecoms that use a Zendesk or Salesforce chatbot solution outperformed other companies. On the Support Performance Index, Zendesk and Salesforce users performed, on average, 56 while non-agent desk users scored 46. On the Answer Quality Score, Zendesk users came in at 43, Salesforce users at 35 and non-agent desk users at 32.

We also found that telecom companies that used Zendesk are 1.3X faster in their response time than average and Salesforce users are 1.2X faster than average.

With the cost of switching to another telecom provider lower than ever, and more competition breaking into the market, it’s important that global telecom providers prioritize the customer experience to reduce churn and drive long-term loyalty.

Conclusions on our efforts to establish Telecom Industry Benchmarks

The telecommunications industry is changing rapidly. There are new telecom companies beginning to take market share, which is making the telco space more competitive than ever. New trends favoring customer service have emerged.

Telecom companies like Singtel are starting to differentiate their CX to become the best in the industry. To learn more about the state of telecom email support, download your copy of our Telecom Industry Benchmarks Report here.

Interested in our inaugural report on the Retail and Consumer Goods Customer Service Benchmark Report? Grab your copy here.