CX E-Commerce Case Study in Focus: Cult Beauty, Skinnydip and Zendesk

E-Commerce Brands Achieve Growth with Zendesk

CX Ecommerce Case Study in Focus: Cult Beauty, Skinnydip and Zendesk
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Last Edited: May 9, 2022

Rebekah Carter

Over the last couple of years, e-commerce companies from all landscapes have seen a rapid change in the shopping habits and preferences of their customers. To deal with this shift, business leaders have had to implement a wider range of CX tools to enable more consistent, streamlined customer service.

Two companies who managed to not only survive but thrive in the pandemic thanks to the right CX innovation, were Skinnydip, and Cult Beauty. The Cult Beauty brand stocks carefully curated products from over 300 brands and serves around 2 million customers with a team of only 40 customer service professionals.

Skinnydip is a rapidly evolving fashion and accessories company that has rapidly made the transition into a more e-commerce-focused world in recent years. When Cult Beauty and Skinnydip both saw their offices become 100% home-based as a result of the pandemic, they turned to Zendesk to keep customer service running smoothly.

Let’s take a look at how Zendesk worked with Skinnydip and Cult Beauty.

Implementing New Strategies with Zendesk

According to Cult Beauty, implementing Zendesk as a solution for managing customer service tickets and strategies became a significant driver to the company’s success. Crucially, both brands said that while Zendesk technology helped them to keep a closer eye on the needs of their customers, it also meant they could better support their customer service teams in a changing workplace.

With access to an all-in-one environment for tracking customer service strategies, Skinnydip and Cult Beauty could empower their teams to accomplish more. Zendesk also integrated with the tools the organisations were already using to support their teams, like Slack and Zoom.

With Skinnydip’s brick-and-mortar stores closed during the pandemic, and Cult Beauty experiencing double the typical demand for customer service, both brands noted Zendesk was an essential tool for keeping track of sales and keeping customers aware of any delays caused by issues with their supply chain. The proactive approach the two organisations were able to take to customer service using Zendesk led to an extremely “positive” response from their customers.

Zendesk technology also allowed Skinnydip and Cult Beauty to leverage better methods of onboarding new employees to deal with peaks in demand. According to Skinnydip, it only takes around 2 weeks to have a new employee fully engaged and ready to excel in the team.

Preparing for Success in Uncertain Times

For both brands, preparing for peak periods (which usually starts anywhere as early as October and ends towards the close of January) is all about agility and preparation. Zendesk has been a helpful tool for this purpose too. Within the Zendesk platform, Cult Beauty and Skinnydip can both leverage a range of macros, triggers, and automations, ideal for improving productivity.

According to Skinnydip, their team had been working from templates in previous years to manually respond to customer queries. However, implementing macros with Zendesk had a significant impact on their email levels. The use of automation meant teams could handle the highest demand the customer service inbox had ever had in 2020 (More than 2,602 emails with an average response time of 42 hours).

Cult Beauty also noted that their team had been using macros and automations via Zendesk more aggressively during the pandemic. In 2020, the team revisited their macros, looked at their triggers, and made sure their team members had all the tools they needed within Zendesk to answer customers in the best possible amount of time.

Delivering Better Levels of Service

With customers no longer able to contact Skinnydip and Cult Beauty through a telephony system during the pandemic, the two companies also found they needed to provide another means alongside their emails to help customer get queries answered. An important breakthrough for Skinnydip was introducing the Zendesk Help Centre and Help widget feature on the website. One week before they launched this new functionality, the new tickets in their inbox were at 1366.

A week after launching the help centre, tickets were reduced to 902. The help centre and help widget from Zendesk diverted a significant number of emails for the team. This not only helped to take some of the pressure off employees, but it also improved customer service experience significantly, as customers could find the answers to their questions more rapidly.

Subsequently, the Skinnydip team was able to reach its daily target of first response to emails within 24 hours and can now clear the inbox of new tickets and emails by the end of each day – which is a huge success for the brand.

For Cult Beauty, additional help and support was offered through the use of Live Chat with Zendesk in April 2020. This allowed the company to provide quick-fire responses to any issues customers might have in the moment. More than 30,000 contacts came through over Live Chat in 2020, accounting for 8% of all contacts in the year. What’s more, Cult Beauty was able to achieve an amazing 59 second wait time and 62 second reply time with Zendesk, leading to a CSAT of 92.6%.

Unlocking a New Era of CX

While 2020 and the years since the beginning of the pandemic have been complex for all companies, embracing the right CX solutions can clearly make a significant difference to any brand’s chances of success. Both Skinnydip and Cult Beauty were able to offer a sensational customer experience with the agile functionality offered by Zendesk, despite the challenges their teams were facing.

According to Skinnydip’s customer service team, the past year has taught them that even if they only have a handful of people in their service group, they can still make the most of the team members they have with the right technology. In the years ahead, Skinnydip are hoping to connect with customers on an even deeper level and will be looking at Zendesk to achieve this goal. The team will even be looking at ways of communicating via live chat and WhatsApp in the years ahead.


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Brands mentioned in this article.


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