ModCloth Speeds Service Response Times With Zendesk

Overall, consumers rely heavily on call centers to interact with customer service agents, with 60% of shoppers preferring the channel to others, according to Forrester research. However, as online sales continue to rise, shoppers also are turning to digital channels, such as social media, email and “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) sections. By offering seamless access to customer service tools online, retailers significantly can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

ModCloth, an eTailer that specializes in vintage-style fashion and décor, has implemented Zendesk to meet the demands of a growing customer base. The cross-channel customer service solution has empowered ModCloth to streamline internal processes and improve customer response times leading, to higher satisfaction rates and overall “brand happiness.” In fact, 94% of ModCloth customers have reported a satisfactory experience, a significant difference to the retail industry average of 79%, according to Audrey Griffith, Senior Manager of the ModCloth Customer Care division.

“We really strive to be our customers’ friend,” Griffith said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Our target customer expects us to deliver a personalized, transparent, genuine and empathetic experience. Because of that, we have high standards when it comes to our customer service strategies and technologies.”


Speed of response and capturing a complete view of customers both are key to addressing shopper wants and needs effectively. Previously, the ModCloth customer care team struggled with responding to questions and concerns quickly and efficiently, largely because employees relied on manual processes to track, manage and respond to inquiries.

However, Griffith soon learned that as a community-focused company, ModCloth “needed specific visibility into why customers contacted us, as well as the ability to collect that information in an organized and cohesive way,” she explained. The Zendesk platform allows ModCloth to gain “deeper insight into what satisfies our customers. We now are able to reply with more meaningful and relevant responses, resulting in achieving incredible customer satisfaction, which is something we struggled with prior to Zendesk.”

Instant access to rich customer service data also is helping ModCloth track and maintain satisfaction scores. Metrics such as first-response rate, first-resolution rate and comparisons with industry benchmarks arm employees with the information they need to keep a pulse on performance, and in turn, speed response times. Overall, 96% of care tickets are answered at first contact, with agents responding to inquiries within seven hours. This resolution time is an enormous improvement from the previous 37-hour window.

Due to the effectiveness of the Zendesk solution, ModCloth is in the process of transitioning to the voice solution, Griffith explained. “We also plan to optimize our customer information center as something that is more aesthetically ModCloth-branded and engaging in the very near future.”

Keeping Pace With Customer Conversations


As the ModCloth business continues to grow, team members will focus on creating great customer experiences across communication channels, according to Griffith. This includes participating in genuine dialogue with consumers on a consistent basis.

“We truly listen to our customers’ wants and needs, which has helped set us apart from the crowd,” Griffith said. “When customers ask for help with building a wardrobe, we have a team of ModStylists whose purpose is to assist in ModCloth’s total social shopping experience and make style recommendations. When consumers want us to respond to service inquiries via social media, our customer care team has a Facebook and Twitter presence.”

The company Twitter account, email address and web channels all have been consolidated within Zendesk, which creates a more complete picture of customer chatter. All social interactions also are tracked through Sprout Social, a social media monitoring solution that is integrated into the platform.

Rich archiving and tagging features available via Zendesk has helped ModCloth group together service tickets based on the context of customer questions and concerns. This empowers team members to track and understand trends, as well as quickly find and resolve issues.

“Zendesk has allowed for a much more manageable workflow for the team and, as a result, we’ve seen over 20% improvement in productivity due to workflow efficiencies and integration partners,” Griffith said. “We now are to focus more on interaction quality while still being able to accurately track the production of our care team overall.”

In addition, a Yammer feed that is triggered by good and bad feedback empowers the entire ModCloth network to stay up-to-date on customer sentiment, Griffith added. “This has been a great way to communicate the anecdotal and emotional content that statistical data lacks. Additionally, it pairs well with user experience research and Net Promoter Score findings.”

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