Online print and design company MOO launched in 2006 with the aim of making high-quality design more accessible to all businesses. It operates under the mission of “Great design for everyone,” but as this everyone audience grew, it struggled to maintain consistent customer experiences.
In order to further its growth strategy, the company knew it needed to increase visibility into its fulfillment, and so it teamed with operations experience platform provider parcelLab. RIS News connected with Dan Moross, MOO director of customer experience, to learn more about the implementation, and why digital CX needs to extend beyond a retailer’s e-commerce platform and into the physical world.
RIS: What were the pain points that prompted you to partner with parcelLab? What were the goals?
Moross: MOO’s ability to measure performance versus our customer promise had some big gaps — similar to many e-commerce companies. We manufacture hundreds of thousands of customized products and ship them all over the world, so we were frustrated that we could only really monitor our own internal dispatch performance, [such as] if we are dispatching orders from our warehouses on time. What happened in transit was unknown and considered to be outside of our control.
Our second major challenge was the lack of control we had over shipping communications with our customers — relying on the inconsistent and off-brand messages our carriers send to our customers about goods in-flight.
Since the last impression is a lasting one, we wanted to change this, and parcelLab gave us an opportunity to tackle our two biggest problems in this space: visibility and agility.
RIS: How have business processes changed as a result of this project?
Moross: We use parcelLab in a variety of different ways. For customer services, we have new ways to monitor MOO deliveries in our own order management system and via a plug-in for Zendesk (our customer service application).
For operations, we’re able to send branded communications (with MOO delivery GIFs) to our customers and control those at a granular level without the need for engineering teams to change content or business rules.
For merchandising, we’re using a new MOO-hosted tracking page powered by parcelLab to get our customers back to our site, not the carrier site, when they need to find out where their order is. We can also use it to up-sell and re-engage them.
For supply chain, we are using an events based reporting system which, through the pandemic last year, helped us stay ahead of issues. We monitor the on-the-ground reality of how our carriers perform and where we saw poor performance, we’ve reacted quickly to adjust our promise and proactively communicate issues.
RIS: Which business functions have most benefited from the implementation?
Moross: The real winner is the customer. The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc with our logistics, which has been compounded by Brexit. parcelLab has given us the ability to make informed decisions based on near real-time performance reporting.
We’re using this reporting to calibrate our customer promise and manage it according to what’s really happening around the world.
RIS: What have been the benefits? How are you measuring success?
Moross: We’ve used it to evaluate our own performance and adjust advertised lead times to specific destinations. This additional visibility, along with the logistics challenges we’ve faced, mean we’ve been able to introduce “Customer SLA” as a company-wide objective.
In the last two months, using a combination of our parcelLab data and our own MOO performance data, we’ve seen improvements across the U.S. and U.K. domestic markets and we’re still using it as we navigate Brexit.
RIS: What were some of the challenges you encountered? Were any unexpected?
Moross: Understanding how carriers manage their own performance is confusing. The way goods move through different carriers is complex, particularly where international carriers may inject into local courier networks.
Being able to work through the intricacies of status updates and monitoring where events seemed to be missing took time to understand. We worked with the team at parcelLab to get the best outcome in each situation we saw. Carrier statuses are so inconsistent, even between bordering countries! Being able to use something that simplifies those problems is a big win.
RIS: What best practices can you offer to retailers seeking to improve their customer experience, especially during this challenging time?
Moross: There’s a fascination with onsite experience in e-commerce. Many see digital as a buzzword for the future of online commerce, but forget the constraints of the physical world that right now are really strained. Getting a better handle on this will make you a better business.
Retaining your existing customers is often much cheaper than acquiring new ones, and if your delivery experience or the customer promise you make isn’t being met, you are likely experiencing churn.
ParcelLab has enabled us to see issues and the opportunities in our network which were previously invisible. Companies tend to over invest in measuring digital interactions, but there is a wealth of possibility in applying those same principles to the latter stages of the customer journey.