It’s a new year and a new opportunity to connect with shoppers through a good customer experience.
After many popular requests, we spoke with one of the masters in customer experience himself, Eli Weiss from Olipop, to bring you another CX breakdown.
🧐 What channels should you use as a CX specialist?
The short answer is… it depends.
Every brand has different channels they’re comfortable with and teams of various sizes. All of this has an impact on how you approach your CX channels.
“I don't fully agree with the concept of trying to be everywhere. Instead, be in as many places as you can while still being able to help customers in a fair and productive time,” said Eli.
Eli’s team uses social media, email, SMS, and live chat. As a smaller team, they decided not to prioritize phone support because they didn’t think they’d offer the best experience on that channel.
“My take is that phone support is only helpful if you can properly operate it. If you call a brand and they're like, ‘leave a message and we'll call you back,’ it's less exciting because you're not solving their problem.”
🗣 The importance of real conversation
When reaching out to a brand, usually the conversation is binary. You’ll get asked what your issue is, share your order number, and hopefully get a solution.
But there are times where a customer will go off-script. Eli says this is an opportunity to open up a conversation with that customer and build a relationship.
“Most of us preach about being a human and engaging the same way you would with a friend. Well, if a friend sends you a text saying ‘Hey, how are you?’, You wouldn’t respond with ‘What do you want?’”
This approach has opened up many informal opportunities between Olipop and its customers, including one example where a customer actually sent pictures of their pet pig to the team via live chat.
👀 Looking for conversation cues
One question you may have is, “how do I initiate this kind of conversation with a customer?”
A lot of it comes down to having high emotional intelligence, but it’s also essential to catch conversation cues—like when a customer goes off-script.
“When you reach out to a customer experience team, it's generally a very straightforward script, right? But if somebody's talking about their day, their love for our brand, and asking how we’re doing—if any sort of conversation like that pops up, it’s a way for us to jump in,” said Eli.
Essentially, if a customer is taking the time to write extra kind things in their emails, DMs, or live chat tickets, you can leverage their love for the brand to talk to them more.
“Some of the best relationships that we've built are in times of crisis. Get in when somebody has an issue with an order and go above and beyond. That's where the magic happens.”
💬 How to handle comment moderation on social media
According to Eli, you never want to disrupt a conversation, meaning if two people are having a conversation about your products, you shouldn’t jump in and talk about how great the brand is.
If there are people who had a problem with their order, drive those concerns over to a DM so you can have a conversation with them one-on-one.
The Olipop team also uses a social listening tool to stay on top of any conversations about Olipop on social media, Reddit, or blogs. In many cases, Eli will respond from his personal account versus the brand account to make the engagement more meaningful.
🛠 CX as an acquisition tool
Often, especially for CPG products like Olipop, customers that come from paid ads are difficult to keep long-term. This is because they don’t fully know what your product is or why it’s so beneficial.
“The cheap customers aren't always quality customers,” said Eli.
Where does CX come into that? Customers that have great experiences with the brand are always excited and eager to share.
If you’ve been following Eli or Olipop on Twitter, you’ll know this statement is definitely true.
“What people post on Twitter, nobody gets paid to do that. And the reason why people are doing it is because we broke the script. They expect an average experience and we elevated it.”
While tracking conversions from CX is tricky, the team has noticed that customers who purchase from a word-of-mouth referral are loyal and often make more than one purchase.
🌟 Leveraging superfans for word-of-mouth opportunities
When you have a group of loyal customers, you should be doing everything to nurture those relationships. Period.
Olipop leveraged their superfans for customer acquisition this holiday season and sent a few hundred customers a link with an opportunity to share a free case of Olipop with one of their friends.
The team decided to sling free cases of soda because they realized their superfans could do a better job selling the product to their friends than a Facebook ad ever could.
“That's exciting for us when we have these superfans that love Olipop. Instead of spending $50 to acquire a customer on Facebook with a cold lead, we can give these cases to people that love Olipop and they can sell it for us. And these customers will be so much stronger.”