For as long as mailmen have delivered packages, dogs have been there to bark at them. And while most vets would say that’s to ward off threats or defend territory, the people behind BarkBox have a different theory: it’s because the packages never come for Fido.
BarkBox—the world’s largest subscription service for pets and their people—is changing all that with its monthly box of themed goodies, treats, and toys. With more than 50 million items shipped worldwide, they’ve taken a serious bite out of the pet supply market—and these self-described “crazy dog people” show no signs of easing up. Their passion for pups and the folks that care for them shines through at every brand interaction, from their #BarkBoxDay Insta hashtag to their email ‘pup-dates’, and the loyal community they’ve built reflects that customer-centric M.O.
A ‘ruff’ time delivering on expectations.
Running a business that depends on timely deliveries doesn’t come without its challenges, and BarkBox has to maintain a delicate and complex balance of product warehousing, logistics planning, and customer care. “With the word ‘box’ in our name, you can imagine that managing deliveries is central to our business,” says Rob Snowden, BarkBox’s Director of Fulfillment.
Doing right by the customer is of the utmost importance to the BarkBox team—even a minor communication slip-up can permanently damage a relationship. Because of this, BarkBox has invested heavily in their customer service team—the “Happy Team”, as they call it—to proactively manage issues and keep every customer satisfied, even when logistical hiccups arise.
“When you tell customers when they should expect their shipments, they’re pretty good at holding you accountable to that,” Snowden says. But the homegrown fulfillment solution BarkBox was using made it difficult to communicate with customers when delivery information changed, and nearly impossible to get timely feedback when something went wrong. In the event of a delay, the information might not reach the customer until it was too late, and worse still, the customer would oftentimes reach out to the carrier’s customer support to get help. “The carriers of course do everything they can, but we as a brand lost the control over that experience,” Snowden says.
We analyze the Narvar survey feedback every single month, which gives us the opportunity to improve our customer experience in a way we couldn’t before.
Rob Snowden, Director of Fulfillment
Leading the pack in logistics.
BarkBox implemented Narvar to give customers clear, precise, and timely updates about their deliveries in a way that simplified the process for the team. Instead of deciphering a wide variety of different statuses from different carriers—each meaning something slightly different—now customers receive one of just three options: just shipped, on its way, or delivered. “Narvar puts everything into one universal template, which makes it much easier for customers to digest and deal with the information,” Snowden says about the current experience. “It removes a lot of the noise.”
Beyond streamlining outgoing communications to customers, Narvar also simplifies incoming feedback so the BarkBox team can better understand how their customers really feel about their experiences. “It feels great when you see the good, and it breaks your heart when you see the bad,” Snowden says. “But most importantly, we’re seeing it at all. We analyze the Narvar survey feedback every single month, which gives us the opportunity to improve our customer experience in a way we couldn’t before.”
Narvar simply allows us to focus 100% on the customer.
Rob Snowden, Director of Fulfillment
A bone-a-fide customer loyalty strategy.
As a direct result of that feedback, BarkBox has implemented a new shipping upgrade program, which gives at-risk customers special incentives to put them back in the green. For every poor rating or dissatisfied review they receive, the BarkBox Happy Team reaches out directly to see how they can improve future deliveries for the customer. “Now it’s within our power to do something when customers are dissatisfied, whereas before we were essentially in the dark,” Snowden says. “It’s another touchpoint with our customers that we didn’t have before.”
As a result of implementing Narvar, BarkBox has seen:
- 22% drop in WISMO (“Where Is My Order?”) inquiries from customers.
- Customers are kept in the BarkBox-branded environment instead of being sent to a carrier’s site, with an average of 3 tracking page visits per order.
- 11% click-through rate from the tracking page back to the BarkBox site.
- The launch of a new shipping upgrade program that enhances the tracking experience for at-risk customers.
With Narvar, BarkBox is better equipped to put the customer at the center of their business no matter where they are in their journey. “It’s all too easy to focus on business statistics—margins and profitability—but those don’t always translate to happier customers,” Snowden says. “Narvar simply allows us to focus 100% on the customer.”