With Jason Efstathiou, Product Manager & UX Designer, and Ciro Ferraiuolo, Head of Customer Support, at Grover
At a glance
Technology subscription platform Grover is on a mission to revolutionize how consumers access tech. From smartphones to gaming consoles, the team is committed to offering more freedom, flexibility, and choice to buyers through renting.
Using Intercom to power their customer support and on-site marketing, Grover is focused on creating strong experiences across the entire customer lifecycle. Having previously used Zendesk, Jason Efstathiou, Product Manager & UX Designer at Grover, explains that what set Intercom apart was its ability to offer personalized support and engagement through conversations.
In support of their mission to “create the most innovative ways for everyone to get the tech that they want,” as Jason puts it, the team’s North Star is maintaining a high standard of operational excellence behind the scenes. When assessing customer communication platforms, they knew they needed a solution that would empower them to maintain that high bar of excellence – which is what brought them to Intercom. “We find Intercom to be extremely useful as a customer support tool that really goes the extra mile, both from the customer’s perspective and ours. It makes getting in touch with us a great experience, and offers lots of features that make us more efficient,” says Jason.
Improving the customer experience
Grover moved from Zendesk to Intercom because they wanted to improve their customer experience. “Intercom stood out to us because the messages are polished and the UX is good,” Jason says. “The API and Canvas Kit sealed the deal for us. When we assessed different tools, the extensibility of Intercom was pretty much unmatched.”
Above all else, they wanted to move their support to a platform that embodied the same spirit of innovation that they champion throughout the business. As Jason explains, “We really liked that Intercom enabled our support to be conversational, rather than being based on tickets or emails.” Ciro Ferraiuolo, Grover’s Head of Customer Support, agrees. “Intercom has definitely changed the way we support our customers. In our industry, customers want quick answers and resolutions, both of which we’re now able to provide.”
Getting ahead of problems with proactive support
Grover uses Banners to proactively communicate with their customers, getting ahead of known issues in an effort to reduce inbound conversation volume to the support team. By adding targeted banners to their website, they’re able to let customers know about important updates related to their account, such as whether there’s an outstanding balance that needs to be paid. When customers interact with the banner, they’re directed to the help center where they can self-serve the information they need to take action.
By leveraging proactive support in this way, the team has been able to successfully prompt action from customers while also driving down their inbound support volume, seeing an impressive 36% completion rate on their “Outstanding amount” banner.
Driving results through automation
Grover’s product team has built a robust suite of custom apps and automated workflows to underpin their support operation. With sophisticated bots on the frontline to answer common questions, collect valuable information upfront, and triage conversations, the support team can be freed up to deal with more complex and sensitive queries. “There are times when customers have complex questions that bots aren’t able to answer, which is where humans come in. I think that support teams should only intervene when a human touch is really needed,” Ciro explains.
Using a combination of Resolution Bot and Custom Bots, Jason and team have invested heavily in making their self-serve support journey a seamless experience for their customers – and the results speak for themselves. “Our main custom bot, which interacts with all customers when they write to us, resolved almost 20,000 conversations in January. That’s pretty huge,” Jason explains. “Resolution Bot also answers 30% of our common questions automatically. We frequently check the questions that it can’t answer and use that to prioritize new custom integrations that allow customers to self-serve.” This focus on solving customer problems enables the team to keep customer satisfaction high, maintaining a CSAT score of 83%.
Increasing efficiency with inbox tools and custom apps
Leveraging Intercom’s inbox management capabilities, Jason explains that they’ve been able to set up assignment rules for routing issues to the right team and indicating whether an issue is urgent. They’ve also created custom views to enhance organization and prioritization across their team inboxes. “The flexibility of assignment rules has been a godsend. We’ve also found views extremely useful as they allow us to filter out specific types of issues and assign dedicated agents to work on them,” he says.
The team has also built a range of custom apps for Intercom, enabling them to integrate tools in their wider tech stack to boost support efficiency and enhance their customer journeys.
“Order cancellation” app
Grover’s “Order cancellation” app empowers customers to self-serve through the cancellation process with the help of Resolution Bot. With this one app, the team has seen a total reduction in inbound conversations of 10%, resolving more than 1,000 conversations per week.
“Last viewed subscription” app
This app enables Grover’s support agents to leverage relevant product data, such as the customer’s last viewed subscription, to solve customer queries faster and ensure customers have a great experience when they contact the team.
Grover’s “Verify” app allows the support team to perform two-factor authentication (2FA) directly in the Intercom Messenger. Jason notes that it’s brought the team’s time to resolve sensitive GDPR requests down by close to 50%.
“Operations request” app
To ensure alignment between the operations and support teams, Jason explains that they’ve built an app that enables support agents to create tasks in Asana from right within a conversation in Intercom. This facilitates easier tracking of customer requests and increased efficiency across both teams.
“Numbers finder” app
Grover’s “Numbers finder” app helps support agents keep track of the many order and subscription numbers being mentioned in customer conversations by pulling them directly into the conversation view.
Speedy support that stays personal
At the beginning of last year, Jason notes that the team’s average first-response time was sitting at 17 hours – a number they were determined to curtail. By focusing on building out their self-serve support capabilities and automation, they were able to reduce that number by 79%, and it now sits at just over 3 hours.
“We saw an immediate decrease in our response time after introducing Custom Bots last year and decided to invest more in building out efficiency-increasing functionality and making better use of Intercom’s features,” Jason says. Thanks to these enhancements, Grover’s support team is now equipped to manage the 37,000 monthly conversations they receive with ease.
Creating a tailored experience across the full customer lifecycle
Serving both B2B and B2C customers, Jason explains that the ability to customize viewer permissions in Intercom Articles has been a game changer for their team. “We’re running a few invite-only betas, and being able to only show articles about the betas to the customers who are enrolled has been super useful. We also often write two versions of our articles – one for a B2B audience and one for B2C – so it’s great that we’re able to show the relevant articles to the right customers.”
Outside of support, the team leverages Intercom’s Conversational Marketing solution to engage and convert website visitors, using Custom Bots to qualify leads on the B2B side of the business. Grover’s product organization also leans heavily on Intercom to get a deep understanding of their customers. “We use Intercom a lot for UX research, where its conversational approach really shines from our point of view. We also use Series to trigger surveys and segment customers for tests, and facilitate direct conversations between customers and UX researchers internally,” Jason says.
Planning for the future
Looking ahead, Grover has plans to further build out their use of Intercom across sales, marketing, and support, focusing on continuously improving the experiences of their customers and adapting to meet their needs as they evolve. “We have a lot of ideas to create even better experiences for our customers in the future, and I’m definitely looking forward to working with Intercom to build them,” says Ciro.