How ThreadBeast drives conversions with personal, multi-channel support
With Blake Bolona, Head of Customer Experience at ThreadBeast
At a glance
customer conversations a month
ThreadBeast delivers a curated selection of menswear to thousands of subscribers every month. To communicate personally with each customer, ThreadBeast uses Intercom. Intercom integrates with the other channels and tools they use, like Facebook and Stripe, so they can provide personal, helpful support from one platform – increasing customer retention and improving conversions from Facebook advertising.
Support from day one
When ThreadBeast started out in 2015 they chose Intercom to handle all of their customer communication. “We were looking for something that really engages with our customers and provides a happy experience every single time,” says Blake Bolona, Head of Customer Experience.
Intercom’s “trifecta” of email, in-app messaging and live chat was key to the decision, Blake explains. “We were looking at other programs like MailChimp for email marketing, Zendesk for customer support, and Olark for live chat, but then we'd have three separate platforms. Intercom has everything, all in once place. It's a no-brainer.”
In two short years, ThreadBeast has gained 20,000 paying customers and continues to grow rapidly. Blake credits Intercom as a key part of their success: “It's had a huge impact on the business. When you find an easy way for customers to communicate with you, and an effortless way to prioritize and organize those communication channels, customers really appreciate that.” Blake manages 10 customer experience representatives who manage more than 40,000 customer conversations each month. They have a strict service-level agreement (SLA) of responding to every message, whichever channel it comes through, within 24 hours. With Intercom, they never have to worry about meeting the 24-hour deadline – they’ve kept their average response time down to just 4 hours.
My main goal is to provide the absolute best customer experience possible. With happier customers, retention comes naturally, and the business improves.
Making it easy for customers with Facebook support
Much of ThreadBeast’s growth comes from Facebook advertising, so the Facebook Messenger is a common channel for customers and prospects to contact them. To manage these conversations from the same place as their other customer communication, they began using Intercom’s Facebook integration.
“Facebook is a big part of our marketing strategy, so people will often message us from our Facebook page,” explains Blake. “They typically ask questions about our service, how much we cost, and how to sign up. With Intercom, we can convert them directly over live chat. That's really big for our business.”
The integration means the team can offer multiple channels of communication for their customers and manage them from one inbox. “The ease of having messages filter directly into our Intercom inbox means we don't have to worry about checking Facebook - it makes it much simpler and extremely efficient for the team,” says Blake. The increased efficiency and ease-of-use has helped ThreadBeast ensure they’re responding to 100% of Facebook messages, up from 75% before they started using the integration.
Providing such personal, helpful support also results in “astounding” brand loyalty among ThreadBeast’s customers: “ A lot of customers will answer questions for us and advocate on our behalf on our Facebook advertisements, which is amazing to witness.”
Providing better support with context
In addition to Facebook, ThreadBeast also uses Intercom’s Stripe integration so they can see a customer's account whilst they’re chatting with them. This significantly reduces the time needed to help customers with billing and account questions.
“Having the ability to push data through integrations has definitely helped us use Intercom as our CRM,” Blake says. "We have an internal database, but we try to keep most of our information and all customer communication within Intercom whenever possible.”
This information, along with Intercom’s automated conversation assignment rules and tagging features, helps the team prioritize and route messages to different inboxes depending on the request.
“We can see when we're speaking with members that have subscribed with us versus prospective members that ask about our service and haven't subscribed yet. We can see the subscription plan they're on, the date they signed up, and the last time they reached out to us. Rather than having to look up their account in Stripe and going through a separate platform, we can see everything within Intercom. It saves significant time, and helps scale our customer support efficiently.”
A personal touch
Intercom also helped ThreadBeast hit the right tone when talking to customers; initially, they kept support messages very formal, but found this wasn't resonating with customers. “I've discovered that being B2C and because of our marketing demographics, having less formal and more personable conversations hold exceptional value," says Blake.
Now, everyone on the team uses their own unique, personal communication style: “Sometimes our customers will request to talk with a customer experience representative by name - it doesn’t really get more personal than that.”
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