How the JRB CX team increased 6-month CLTV by 111% 🤯

Hello CX Scholars,

Welcome backkkk.

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Busy week. Some updates:

1. I put together a CX onboarding doc that I'd love for y’all to see. I’ve shared it here. 📚2. JRB launched our first complexion product, The Best Blush. Folks are LOVIN’ it. 😊3. We took home a “Best in Beauty” award from Allure for our Miracle Balm. 🏆4. I had to fire a customer for the first time (I guess I deserved it after writing the script here last week). 🙃

For this week, we’ll be focusing on two topics:

1. The ultimate abandoned-cart flow2. How JRB makeup artists increase 6-month CLTV by 111% 🤯

Before we get into it, a massive shoutout to Gorgias, the sponsor of this week’s newsie.

Gorgias is the best-in-class CX helpdesk, which helps our team create memorable customer experiences. If you have been here for a bit, you know how much I love Gorgias and why I think it’s an absolute must-have for any Shopify business. More on my fav Gorgias use cases here. (Do yourself a favor, get away from Zendesk so that your customers don’t feel like a “ticket.”)

Let’s jump right in.

Picture this.

You are scrolling through FB, catching up on your grandma’s latest shenanigans. You learn that Rebecca, your friend from high school, just dropped her kiddo off at college and has got THE FEELS.

Scroll a bit more, and you see one of these ads:

Say you want to get “yoked” (whatever that means) and like the idea of high protein, low carb cereal, and you click on the ad to learn more.

You get whisked to a colorful landing page filled with all the stuff.

There’s a letter from the founders.A chart with all the reasons why they RULE. An elaborate us vs. them chart detailing why big cereal is awful. A “brag bar” with quotes from Fast Company, Forbes, and Delish is proudly displayed.And, of course, nostalgic photos, social proof of 25,000 reviews, and a satisfaction guarantee.

It feels like a no-brainer, right?

Then you get to the price.

$39 for four 7-oz boxes. $43.99, including shipping.

Then comes the upsell to subscription, the add-on options in-cart—the bowls, the spoons, the build-your-own box option.

This page is HAPPENING.

If you do add to your cart and then abandon said cart before purchase, why would that be?

I can think of a few primary reasons, and these are pretty widely applicable across CPG.

🙋 Is this worth the price? 🙋 Is this a product I’d like?🙋 Will this work for me?

As CPG has grown, we have gone more and more down the rabbit hole of spreadsheet/algo “optimization” and further and further away from common sense and human nature.

What we think “works” has taken precedence over what we’d like to see as consumers, in a fiery mess of GrOwTh HaCkS, with a not insignificant splash of cognitive dissonance.

We’ve overoptimized, and shopping carts are beginning to feel like walking through the bazaar and hearing someone screaming, “buy my mangos.”

Picture that scene in your mind. The smell of fresh spices, warm bread . . . fish; the hustle and bustle and pushing—and this dude shouting about his fucking mangos. Are you persuaded to buy?

“Eli’s doing that spiel again,” you must be thinking.

I indeed am.

But I think now is the perfect time to take a few steps back and optimize for an elevated customer experience.

Abandoned-Cart Messaging Strategy

The difference between shitty messaging and solid messaging not only changes the game revenue-wise but also transforms how your customers feel about your brand.

Let me tell you why.

As we’ve briefly mentioned, the reasons people abandon your cart are usually because of one of a few objections.

The key to converting those customers is proactively handling those objections.

Before we hop into tactical ways to tackle each one, let’s hit you with some ✨core values✨:

  • For the love of the CX gods, avoid the cringe messaging such as “your cart is missing you.”

  • They know they did not purchase, so remind them why they added your product to the cart in the first place.

  • Discounts are not the only way to handle the “price objection.”

Let’s tackle them one at a time. 🕺

🙋 is this worth the price?

For some reason, most brands hear this concern and immediately turn to discounts. The first abandoned cart email starts with 15% off. The next day, it hits 20%. By day three, they are hitting their customers with the double 🚨 emoji in the subject line.

What if we re-engineered our thinking to “how can we show the value of the product?” instead of discounting it and preventing a large percentage of those shoppers from ever repurchasing at full price?

At OLIPOP, abandoned-cart messaging was about instilling the value of the product. Although customers compared it to standard soda, OLIPOP’s products, while much more expensive, were actually beneficial to your gut, as opposed to soda which is phosphoric acid, sugar, and coloring.

At Jones Road, our messaging is talking about the brand's values and clean formulas. Every brand should have a reason they are charging the prices they charge, and customers should understand the importance of it. Keep instilling those values. Department stores don’t lower their prices as you walk away from the shelf.

🙋 is this a product I’d like?

This is the most common objection, even though marketers often address price with the discount codes they are slinging.

If a customer added your product to their cart, they considered purchasing it and did not feel confident enough to pull that trigger.

Social proof is critical—share quotes and reviews from customers who have purchased and liked it.

Bonus: It does not have to be the ravest reviews. It may even be better to share reviews from customers who were ambivalent about the product: “I wasn’t sure this was for me… and I now love it.”

🙋 will this work for me?

This question is popular and can be deciphered in quite a few ways. In the JRB sense, it’s generally a shade or skin type question. Will this shade of Miracle Balm work, will the WTF work for my oily skin?

It’s an important objection, but generally, an easy one to handle if we can speak specifically to their concern. Because most of our customers go through a quiz, we have enough info to cater those messages directly to them. If a customer has WTF in their cart and we know they have oily skin, we can share tips and how-to’s for oily skin specifically in the abandoned cart email flow.

But what if we could go a step further?

Shade Matching

When a customer goes into a Sephora or Ulta to purchase makeup, they can try some shades and get a feel of what it would look like for them,

Because JRB is mostly DTC, we run into many customers asking, “what shade am I?”

In talking to customers, we have seen that to be one of the most significant objections to buying makeup online. But what if we could hire professional and experienced makeup artists to help folks choose their perfect shade by sending in a selfie online?

And offer a no-questions-asked 30-day return policy in case they don’t like it?

But Eli, wouldn’t that be so expensive?

But Eli, I imagine then your returns would be through the roof?

Oh, simmer down. No interruptions until I finish this monologue, please.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So, we went on a mission.

We brought fantastic makeup artists to the team, some with prior CX experience and others that we trained on the CX side of the house.

And we started tagging the folks we shade-matched in Gorgias under tag #shade-match. It was a few at first.

After a few months of collecting this data, we used Peel to track those groups of customers against others in their same cohort.

90-day LTV for customers shade-matched through the CX team was 78% above our standard LTV, and 6-month LTV was up by a staggering 111%.

Now, I know the growth people in the audience are already doing math on the cost of hiring a CX team. But folks, it’s not just about the extra money from these customers. We can also assume that customers that purchase and love their product have a higher chance of telling their friends and becoming brand evangelists.

Think of it as a personal shopper, like Nordstrom's in-store styling.

In the last 12 months, 82% of first-time customers that were shade-matched by our CX team have purchased again.

And so, we have now started pushing folks to shade matching through specific flows and campaigns such as this one:

And as a footer on our “quiz results” email:

All these shade-match requests are filtered into a special Gorgias folder and auto-assigned to our shade-match team to tackle.

Lastly, once we have these folks segmented and tagged, we can send them unique messaging regarding a loyalty program, push them to refer friends, or even cultivate a concierge-shopping relationship with these folks and maybe even have their “shade-matcher” announce future launches to them directly vs. an email from JRB!

The possibilities are endless. Start imagining. Get your gears turning.

Before I go, I wanted to hire two fantastic job opportunities:

1. Jones Road Beauty is looking for a Director of Influencer Marketing. The Director of Influencer Marketing will create an influencer marketing strategy, including evergreen seeding, product launches, paid promotions, and affiliate deals. The ideal candidate is a creative thinker who is collaborative and has strong communication and follow-through. This position will work closely with the Marketing team as well as with our founder, Bobbi Brown, to elevate Jones Road across all demographics and raise brand awareness.

2. Wonderment is looking for their first Senior Product Designer (UI & UX). Great opportunity to build the foundation and DNA of the Wonderment product and create software experiences that will be in front of great ecommerce brands, and millions of consumers. Contact [email protected] for more info.

That’s it for this week!

Any topics you’d love to see me cover?

Drop a reply!

Appreciate you more than you know,

Eli 💛

For this week’s CX Chronicles, I’m thrilled to be chatting with Molly Garaway, Director of CX and Ops at LoveSeen. Molly is a CX legend and a great friend. She spent time at Away and The Farmer’s Dog before LoveSeen. Read along, and you’ll see why I love how Molly thinks about CX. 😃

1. What is your CX Philosophy?

Focus on relationships, not tickets. This goes for your customers AND your employees. Building a great—neigh, GOLDEN—customer experience starts with creating a safe and supportive workplace for your team.

If your team feels heard and is engaged and happy then that will inevitably pass on to your customer. Taking the time to learn your team’s strengths, weaknesses, needs and passions will help to cultivate a culture that in turn does the same—listens and responds (VERY different from reacting, but that’s for another conversation).

It’s not about closing a ticket and racking up numbers (though yes, there is a place for productivity and efficiency), it’s about building trust and creating connections.

Customer Experience is also more than just the support or service function of a business. No department is exempt from listening to and advocating for the customers.

After all, if your Tech Team goes off and builds a site feature without thinking of how it contributes to your experience or benefits your customer, then what even do it for?

2. Your favorite Loveseen CX story?

I can very honestly say that there is not a singular experience that immediately comes to mind, but rather a myriad of moments that have helped shape our team and brand (I know, most every CXers would say that…).

From the beginning, we’ve attracted a lot of wonderful customers who stan Jenna Lyons (our founder) and enthusiastically share their stories of the ways that Jenna has changed their lives - She is the woman who dressed America, after all. But with Jenna’s openness around her experience with incontinentia pigmenti—a struggle at the very core of why she started LoveSeen—so many more women have come forward to share their own stories of a similar nature, and they send the kindest thanks to our brand for helping them feel seen.

I don’t have just one favorite story because so many women have shared such powerful, wonderful stories. My favorite part would be the way in which I’m able to respond though—with freedom, authenticity, and with the support of our famous founder ;) From sending a free pair of lashes for whatever reason to having Jenna hop on FaceTime to personally instruct our customers on application, truly nothing is off the table in making sure our customers feel seen.

Brought to you by Gorgias