Main illustration: Luca Romeo
The rise of subscription services brought with it a huge shift in consumer buying habits. According to research, the subscription economy has grown by more than 350% in just under a decade, which perhaps isn’t all that surprising when you consider how many of the services you use on a daily basis are subscription-based.
Leading the charge in the tech subscription space is Grover, a platform that offers consumers more flexible ways to access tech by enabling them to rent devices such as phones, laptops, and smart watches. “Our mission is to create the most innovative ways for everyone to get the tech that they want,” says Jason Efstathiou, Product Manager & UX Designer at Grover.
Operating in the e-commerce industry, Grover experiences spikes in shopping activity at key points throughout the year – Black Friday being a prime example. Anticipating a sharp increase in order and support conversation volume in the months leading up to the popular shopping holiday, the product team sought to find solutions that would help to automate manual work for their team and make it easier for customers to shop.
“Renting is somewhat novel – and even potentially scary – when you’re doing it for the first time”
Using Intercom to power their customer support and on-site marketing, the team was able to analyze customer conversations and behavioral data and leverage these insights to inform the suite of custom apps they built to enhance their support automation. Grover’s apps combined with Intercom’s self-serve support capabilities have not only helped the team to improve the experiences of their customers, they’ve also unlocked the ability to offer personalized support at scale.
Empowering customers to self-serve
When analyzing customer behavior in their product, Jason and his team realized that a seemingly innocuous “Cancel order” button displayed on the order confirmation page was actually prompting customers to cancel. “Renting is somewhat novel – and even potentially scary – when you’re doing it for the first time. We’ve seen that just having the ‘Cancel order’ button be visible on the order page for a long period of time is causing people who wouldn’t have otherwise canceled, to cancel,” Jason explains.
“In an effort to blend the best of both worlds, the team built an “Order cancellation” app for the Intercom Messenger, which would enable customers to self-serve through the cancellation process with the help of Resolution Bot”
Removing this button would inevitably create more manual work for the customer support team, with customers then having to reach out directly to cancel their orders. So, in an effort to blend the best of both worlds, the team built an “Order cancellation” app for the Intercom Messenger, which would enable customers to self-serve through the cancellation process with the help of Resolution Bot. When a customer starts typing “Cancel my order” in the Intercom Messenger, Resolution Bot will share the app, pulling in data from the customer’s dashboard to allow them to choose the subscription they’d like to cancel. Once selected, a poll pops up in the conversation asking customers to submit their reason for cancelling, enabling the product team to consistently capture and analyze customer feedback.
Streamlining processes to improve team efficiency
Making processes lean and efficient for the support team is a top priority for the product team at Grover. To ensure that their agents have as much context to hand as they need when speaking with customers, Jason explains that they built a custom app for the Intercom Inbox that enables the support team to leverage relevant product data, such as the customer’s last viewed subscription, by pulling it directly into the conversation view in Intercom.
When a customer opens a subscription on the Grover website, the team sets a custom attribute on that customer and stores the subscription. From there, the custom attribute can be pulled into the conversation view in Intercom via the API. Armed with this data, the support team is empowered to resolve customer queries more quickly – and maintain a high level of customer satisfaction.
Protecting customer data with high-level security
To protect customer data, Grover requires two-factor authentication (2FA) before specific actions can be carried out by their team, such as changing an account name or requesting a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) personal data summary.
Using the Twilio verify API, Grover’s “Verifier” app sends authentication codes by text message to customers, prompting them to enter the code and perform the two-factor authentication right within the Intercom Messenger. Once the customer is verified successfully, the app leaves a note on the conversation and reopens it, if snoozed, so that the agent receives a notification and can carry out the requested action.
Creating cross-functional alignment
With multiple teams from across the company working to resolve customer problems and improve the customer experience, Jason explains that cross-functional alignment is crucial. At Grover, the operations team uses Asana to track pending customer requests for actions such as performing a refund, investigating a lost package, or reverting an order. To enable more seamless collaboration, the product team built a two-way sync between Asana and Intercom.
“With over 2,000 lines of code running in the background, this app allows customer support agents to create tasks in Asana from within a conversation in Intercom”
With over 2,000 lines of code running in the background, this app allows customer support agents to create tasks in Asana from conversations in Intercom. Once they’ve chosen the task type to be created, the app begins to collect metadata using Grover’s private APIs and sends that data to Asana to create the task. The task then enters “follow mode,” which keeps the customer support team updated on the progress of the task. When a task is completed, a note is added to the Intercom conversation as confirmation, and the chat is un-snoozed so the support team can jump back in.
Keeping track of important account information
With so many order and subscription numbers for the support team to keep track of, Jason explains that they wanted to build a solution that would make it easier for agents to see which orders and subscriptions customers were referencing in conversations. To do this, the team built a “Numbers finder” app, which scans customer conversations for numbers that follow the same format of Grover’s order and subscription numbers, and displays them to the agents in the conversation view.
Customizable support, sales, and engagement
Intercom is a powerful platform set up to enable support, sales, and marketing teams to have better conversations – and build stronger relationships – with their existing and prospective customers. But every business is different, which is why we’ve also built a suite of developer tools to help you customize our Conversational Support, Engagement, and Marketing solutions to fit your needs.
“The ‘Order cancellation’ app we built resolves over 90% of all incoming conversations in which the customer indicates that their request is about cancelling their order. That adds up to more than 1,000 conversations per week”
Using the Intercom Canvas Kit, the team at Grover built a suite of custom apps to boost their support efficiency and create stronger customer experiences – and the results speak for themselves. “The ‘Order cancellation’ app we built resolves over 90% of all incoming conversations in which the customer indicates that their request is about cancelling their order. That adds up to more than 1,000 conversations per week. We’ve seen a total reduction of incoming volume by almost 10% with just this one app,” he says, “On top of that, our ‘Verifier’ app has reduced our time to resolve sensitive GDPR requests by almost 50%.”