Gladly Is the Right Customer Service Fit for Andie

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Ten times in the past three years, Andie, a direct-to-consumer women’s swimwear retailer, has had more than 10,000 people on waiting lists for new product releases. It has also built an Instagram following of 67,400 people since its launch in 2017.

Andie, a small team of 15 women working out of New York, prides itself on creating a positive, personalized customer experience. It’s a core brand pillar that starts at the top of the marketing funnel with realistic, relatable ads and continues straight through to the post-purchase experience.

The personal touch is important to Andie because buying swimwear can be such a personal and intimidating experience, whether making the purchase in a brick-and-mortar location or online, says Melanie Travis, the company’s founder and CEO. “We picked the name of the company, Andie, because it sounds like someone who is your friend.”

And that friend is there not just to help the customer pick the right swimsuit but to guide the customer through the entire process. It’s a theme that is reflected in the way that Andie conducts customer service interactions, collects customer feedback, and even carries out returns and exchanges.

Andie originally outsourced its customer service functions, which worked fine for a while, according to Travis, but as the company grew—nearly 600 percent year over year—the company saw the need for a change. A year ago, Andie brought customer service in-house, initially hiring some part-time staff to start, then eventually building to a staff of eight full-timers.

Andie’s customer service is an essential revenue generator. Customers who engage with agents make larger orders, make repeat purchases, have a higher lifetime value, and become meaningful brand advocates.

But the legacy customer service technology it had in place didn’t allow the in-house team to provide customer service at the level that executives wanted, Travis says. “We were looking for something with a clean user interface—a customer service platform that would provide customers with a better view for email exchanges as well as quick, efficient self-service for customers.” San Francisco-based Gladly fit the bill.

Most of Andie’s queries involve returns and exchanges, and Gladly’s platform enables customer to handle those as efficiently as possible, whether through self-service or with the help of a customer service agent.

“We didn’t want something that was robotic,” Travis says. “We wanted the email experience to be natural for the customer.”

Gladly, which Travis chose in September and which went live in November, enables Andie to have all of its channels in one location and offer customers quick answers and self-service as well as access to “higher-value interactions,” Travis says.

Andie is already seeing impressive results, according to Travis.

The average wait time for a customer service agent to respond to an email before switching to Gladly was 18.5 hours; that time has been cut to 11.25 hours today.

Customer satisfaction scores are impressive, with 4.8 out of five stars. Andie’s Net Promoter Score currently sits at 68. Before Gladly, Andie didn’t have a way to track customer satisfaction metrics.

Based on the success it’s had so far, Andie is looking to expand its use of Gladly, bringing on additional channels and live phone support, according to Travis. The current phone support option requires customers to leave call-back information so that agents can follow up at a later time. 

The Payoff

Since switching to Gladly's customer service platform, Andie has seen the following results:

  • the average wait time for an agent response dropped from 18.5 hours to 11.25 hours;
  • its customer satisfaction scores are 4.8 out of five stars; and
  • its Net Promoter Score is 68.

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