3 Ways to Scale Linjer’s Customer Service Experience
Identify pain points in Linjer’s current Customer Service Experience, and propose solutions for growth
Airtable, Google Developer Tools, Marvel
Just me! :)
Linjer is rapidly growing, and they’ve managed to keep their business intimate and customer-centric since their early days on Kickstarter. Knowing this, I wanted to focus a mini case-study on how Linjer could scale their current Customer Service Experience (CSX) without sacrificing intimacy. After consulting every resource I could that pertained to Linjer’s history, customer base, and future aspirations (e.g. articles, interviews, and podcasts), I settled on 3 suggestions: customer interviews, organizing the FAQs, and representative/affiliate pages.
I know that Linjer has a very active approach to communicating with its customers. Whether it’s through personal letters or social media, customers are engaged on every level! Most reviews confirm Linjer’s success, but I think an important part of scaling a user experience is honing in on what doesn’t work for customers and getting them to articulate their reasoning. This way, you can avoid assumptions about what kind of experience customers are looking for, and it provides a more accurate roadmap for a customer service (CS) strategy than, say, market trends. Customers are not always right, but it helps to listen!
With that in mind, I went out and compiled data based on negative reviews of Linjer (three stars or lower). The questions I wanted to answer were what drew customers to Linjer in the first place? Why were they having problems? And what prompted them to reach out to CS? I organized my findings in a spreadsheet-like app called Airtable so I could easily see if any common patterns existed. Take a look at it here.
Though my sampling size is quite tiny, customers griped the most about:
A. No refunds for what they claimed to be unused products.
B. A confusing CSX where the outcome to their request was different than what they expected.
Most problems were related to the return policy; some customers felt falsely accused of lying when CS told them their returned items were damaged, or as one customer put it, they simply felt “uneducated” about the policies, and just wished for more guidance.
Were this study more official and more formal, I’d conduct extensive one-on-one interviews with customers who interacted with CS to get their opinions on the entire process. I could even target the interviews to specifically gain insight on customers understanding of Linjer’s policies. Something like that would help scale the CSX in a direction that provided real value to the customers. No guesswork needed!
An influx of new customers to Linjer could also prompt a large wave of recurring questions related to shipping, ordering, or as I noted above, returns and exchanges. FAQ pages or knowledge bases are a great way to help customers help themselves; Kayako, a help desk software company, reported that 90% of all consumers expect a brand or organization to offer self-service or FAQ pages.
At the time of writing this case study, Linjer briefly mentions free international shipping and 30-day returns on the home page.
There is also an excellent guide to caring for their leather goods, and a direct email for questions exists on the “About” page. This is a great start, but could be even better with a few simple additions.
Linjer already uses Zendesk Help Center for live chat support, and that same software bundle offers a robust FAQ tool that is customizable, hooks up to analytics, etc. But a simpler and equally effective option is a single FAQ page organized by topic. With one click in the menu, customers can find answers to easy questions without having to hop onto chat support.
This would decrease the work load on the support team, and free up the queue so that more involved questions get addressed faster!
Speaking of letting customers help themselves, Linjer can utilize the power of their brand and loyal following to let customers help each other through a Representative or Affiliate program. In this unique blend of peer-to-peer marketing and customer service, Linjer can recruit “ambassadors” to not only review products, but also make recommendations and offer style tips. Brands like Glossier and Everlane leverage these programs as important feedback loops within their customer base.
Linjer can carefully curate their own army of authentic, enthusiastic influencers. If the Representative pages live on the site itself, they can keep each page consistent with their branding, design, etc. This is a great avenue for genuine report with customers, but with more control over the aesthetics and storytelling than social media, which is important for a brand that pays such close attention to the overall picture! Here’s a rough sketch of what one of the pages might look like:
Linjer is a powerhouse brand that has managed to generate over $10 million in the first three years alone! I’m incredibly inspired by the founders’ internationally-minded designs and their passion for affordable luxury. I’d love an opportunity to learn more about Linjer’s customers and contribute to the pool of ideas around their experience. Let’s get in touch, shall we?