To many companies, it’s the department most unloved, neglected and left toiling away in the most distant corner of the office.
But the customer services function at Bloom & Wild couldn’t be more different. It’s not even defined as providing a service – it’s called ‘Customer Delight’. And as Phill Burton, COO of the online flower gifting brand, explained, putting this team at the very heart of the business makes perfect sense for staff and customers alike.
Phill was speaking at the latest GeekMeet, Piper’s popular roundtable of ecommerce minds from the consumer branded world, which meets regularly to share learnings from their everyday work.
Co-founded in 2013 by Aron Gelbard and Ben Stanway and renowned for its pioneering letterbox packaging, Bloom & Wild has shipped more than 50 million flowers across the UK, France and Germany. Piper led a £15m investment into the brand in October 2018.
Phill, previously Operations Director at two start-ups, joined Bloom & Wild in 2015 as employee number 12. At that stage, the brand was a subscriptions-focused business, an area Phill knew well from his time at beauty brand Birchbox. ‘But we soon switched our focus to gifting.’
Quick thinking is aided by the brand’s use of technology which facilitates every aspect of the business. 22 of its 70 staff work in the tech department. ‘As far as I know, we’re the only flower company to employ data scientists,’ said Burton.
He described the team’s ‘obsession with data on a granular level’ and how it is gathered and utilised. The key metric is Net Promoter Score, which measures customer loyalty and happiness and is captured through a tool called Chattermill.
Everything at Bloom & Wild, from letterbox packaging to batch resending (which can result in people receiving two bouquets if there’s a remote chance the original order may not arrive on time), is specifically designed to enhance customer experience and instil further confidence in the brand. In turn, this helps to drive conversion rate, which currently stands head and shoulders above industry norms.
Which may explain why Customer Delight at Bloom & Wild plays such a central role – both metaphorically and literally. The department desks lie right in the middle of the office – not at the back or on a separate floor, as often happens elsewhere.
The team is highly valued, with clear routes for progression through the business. All staff are required to spend 10% of their time doing some other activity within the company, and a number of the Customer Delight team have gained experience in other departments before making permanent moves.
What’s more, everyone in the business is expected to complete a minimum number of Customer Delight tickets per month. ‘This helps the entire team live and breathe being Customer First,’ said Phill.
It also enables the brand to scale up very easily during peak periods such as Christmas and Mother’s Day. There’s even a ‘friendly cohort of ex-Customer Delight employees’ who are happy to be drafted in whenever the need arises.
All consumer facing businesses claim to put customers first. But few go to the lengths of Bloom & Wild to ensure those handling customer queries, complaints and (hopefully) praise on a daily basis are rightly given the star treatment themselves.
For more information, please contact:
Leon Hughes, Associate Partner
Phone +44 (0)207 727 3842