Success Story is a Sourcing Journal feature highlighting innovative solutions across all areas of the supply chain.
Like many retailers throughout the 2020 holiday season, bedding and home essential retailer Brooklinen saw its online delivery capabilities pushed to the limit amid an unprecedented surge of seasonal orders. But while the retailer’s customer care team typically would have felt overwhelmed in such circumstances, solutions from delivery experience management platform provider Convey helped Brooklinen cut response times when it needed it most.
During the holiday season, Brooklinen’s customer care team reduced the time to resolve an inquiry from an average 48-to-72-hour range to a much more expedient three to four hours. Using bulk alerts, the retailer grouped customers at risk of delivery delays and sent a templated message all in one fell swoop, rather than individually.
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2020, Brooklinen sent more than 1,300 bulk alert messages to proactively notify customers about shipment issues, substantially reducing manual processing time.
“There are three or four main exceptions that many of our customers are experiencing more frequently,” said Lindsay Keys, senior manager of logistics at Brooklinen. “Whether that be a weather delay, an incorrect address or a pickup that is only available at a specific access point, they’re creating friction within that post-purchase experience. The [bulk alerts] feature allowed us to create unique messaging surrounding these types of exceptions.”
With branded tracking pages and SMS messages, the system lets brands display delivery notifications that mirror their brand presence.
During the holiday season, Brooklinen automatically opted in customers to email alerts about their packages. As a result, WISMO (Where Is My Order?) customer inquiries dropped 10 percent within the holiday period.
“Having that volume drop allows us to quicker service other customers having different types of issues,” Keys told Sourcing Journal. “Where Is My Order? puts that information in customers’ hands so we can instead proactively focus on product recommendations, international shipping or other inventory concerns, including questions on product restocking.”
With Convey, Brooklinen receives data on transit times and carrier performance, then analyzes the information to identify regional slowdowns and make decisions about alternative routing. The retailer also tracks whether carriers are delivering to the standards promised in their Service Level Agreements (SLAs), and monitors the post-order experience from carrier pickup at the warehouse through delivery.
Brooklinen gains access to delivery data, opens direct communication
In 2018, Brooklinen first implemented Convey’s Engage and Recover products. Despite Brooklinen’s emphasis on superior service, the retailer felt it had a gap in the customer’s post-purchase experience.
At the time, when Brooklinen generated a tracking number for a shipment post-purchase, customers only interacted directly with the carrier, instead of the retailer, when receiving delivery updates. Email links took customers to the carrier’s generic delivery status page. The page even advised customers to contact the carrier with any problems or delays.
As a result, Brooklinen wasn’t always aware whether orders resulted in successful, timely deliveries.
But the combination of Engage and Recover fixed this problem. Through the Engage product, Brooklinen could access real-time delivery information via a single dashboard instead of from the carriers. And upon implementing Convey’s Recover module, Brooklinen could contact customers directly when orders were delayed or going astray, cutting out the carrier and building a more transparent communication process.
The newfound delivery experience management capabilities gave Brooklinen more visibility into its last-mile delivery customer experience.
“What was really important was having that insight into how our carriers were performing, how our fulfillment centers were performing, and collecting carrier service level data,” which refers to the performance of Brooklinen’s ground shipping, expedited shipping or one-day rush shipping services. “We wanted to understand that post-purchase customer experience and gauge where we were,” Keys said.
In total, the Convey platform has tracked more than 1.7 million Brooklinen deliveries since the start of the partnership.
After customer loyalty, advanced reporting is next on the agenda
In 2020, Brooklinen also started leveraging Convey to promote initiatives such as its Comfort Crew loyalty program. Using data from the tracking page, Brooklinen’s retention team can monitor how often customers opt in to receive notifications, then derive new strategies for reengagement. These post-order insights were valuable throughout the pandemic, particularly as the retailer sought to keep delivery promises amid shipping slowdowns and other supply chain challenges.
Going forward, Keys said the bedding retailer has bigger goals for its Convey partnership, particularly to develop advanced reporting and generate more specific customer data that answers three questions: What was our delivery experience like in 2020? What did it grow to in 2021? And where do we want it to be in 2022?
“I’m really excited about this upcoming year. Last year especially during the holiday, we spent more time reacting to the rapid online spending growth. In 2021, it’s been easier to get ahead of demand, but we’re bringing a lot of great expedited learnings into this year,” Keys said. “We’re seeing what’s working well and what could have been done better. Companies are finally back to the place where you can take smaller risks in terms of that post-purchase to see how people are responding to what you’re doing.”