Customer stories
Kirby Allison

How Kirby Allison Boosted Conversions by 23% After Automating 30% of Tickets

more conversions
more sales from support
tickets deflected by automation

Challenge: The two-person customer support team was swamped by repetitive questions and slow manual processes. Unanswered inquiries piled up outside of business hours, and staff had limited time for higher-value tasks to drive business growth.

Solution: Gorgias Automate provides 24/7 quick answers to common customer questions, self-service order management, and AI-driven article recommendations. With 30% of tickets now deflected by automation, shoppers get the answers they want, manual processing has plummeted, and revenue has increased.

Luxury shoe and garment care retailer Kirby Allison has been helping well-dressed customers look stylish since 2011. Emphasizing quality, craftsmanship and tradition, Kirby Allison sells everything a debonair gent could need, from silk ties to specialist shoe polish to handcrafted cedar hangers. The large product range spans from $30 socks to $700 umbrellas.

“What sets us apart is our commitment to quality across the board for all of our products. They're crafted to the utmost standards, and with the proper care they can be maintained for years to come.”

— Addison Debter, Head of Customer Service at Kirby Allison

The challenge: Manually processing customer support queries took time away from business growth 

With a dedicated, ever-expanding customer base and booming YouTube audience, business is flourishing for Kirby Allison. Yet this welcome growth brought a hefty workload for its small, two-person customer support team, as customer inquiries surged.  

The customer support team was drowning in a sea of manual tasks, from processing exchanges and returns to managing back orders. To add to the challenge, the Head of Customer Service, Addison Debter, had a wide-ranging role that included inventory management, product information updates, and website development. It was a lot for a small team to handle.

"We were inundated with simple, repetitive questions: Where is my order? What kind of shoe polish do I need? We had to keep repeating similar answers to similar questions. And we were doing the exchanges and returns manually, one by one. We were losing so much time. We couldn't follow up with customers as quickly as we wanted."

— Addison Debter, Head of Customer Service at Kirby Allison

Mondays were particularly hectic, as Addison and his colleague battled to process the influx of emails that had accumulated, unread, over the weekend. They had limited time for more strategic business growth activities because handling routine customer support inquiries was so labor-intensive.

The solution: Gorgias Automate deflects 30% of tickets to automation within just one month

Kirby Allison switched from Zendesk to Gorgias, opening up a new realm of possibilities for managing customer support queries. Automating responses to selected questions was crucial for the company, and so they implemented Automate.

Automate connects with the Chat, Help Center, Contact Form and email. It gives customers:

  • Instant, personalized answers to common questions
  • A real-time order tracking and management portal
  • AI-based Article Recommendations
  • AI-based email Autoresponders

Because it operates 24/7, customers can get the quick answers they need even outside of business hours.

"Our favorite features are definitely the Quick Responses and Article Recommendations — they drive so much automation for us. Thanks to the Quick Responses, shoppers get answers to their questions by themselves: what's the right size hanger, where is my order, what shoe polish would you recommend, etc. The auto-close of spam tickets is awesome too — we had so much spam and now it’s dropped off."

— Addison Debter, Head of Customer Service at Kirby Allison

Quick Responses handle basic FAQs  

Kirby Allison set up six Quick Responses to provide custom, templated responses to frequent customer questions. Most are evergreen, but they also have the flexibility to temporarily add seasonal questions such as shipping times for Father’s Day. 

These Quick Responses deflect a significant chunk of the customer support tickets Kirby Allison receives. Customers get the information they want, while staff are freed up to focus on more complex inquiries.

Article Recommendations use AI to answer chat tickets

Sometimes, customers want more detailed information to help them choose the right product for their needs. When customers send questions in the Chat, Automate scans those incoming tickets with AI and sends  Help Center articles with relevant answers, pre-written by Kirby Allison. 

For example, Article Recommendations can answer questions about how to choose the right color shoe polish, achieve a mirror shine, or store dress shoes.

Article Recommendations make it easier and faster for customers to get the information they need to confidently move forward with a purchase. With no upper limit on the number of articles Gorgias can recommend, Kirby Allison is creating a whole library of articles covering niche questions.

“Sometimes, a customer will ask for a product care recommendation for a more obscure brand of shoes or garments. We can only put a limited amount of information within a product description to help out customers with these kinds of questions. But now, we can build an unlimited number of articles to address those kinds of inquiries, to eliminate those uncertainties for future customers.” 

— Addison Debter, Head of Customer Service at Kirby Allison

Overall, the Kirby Allison team has been blown away by how easy Gorgias is to use, and the quality of support.

“Gorgias is a great tool — streamlined and connected with Shopify in a really straightforward way that makes it easy to handle customer orders. And we’ve received an incredible amount of high-level support from Gorgias. They’ve been amazing about responding to any inquiries or any support issues we’ve had.”

— Addison Debter, Head of Customer Service at Kirby Allison

The results: 23% more conversions and 46% more sales from support, thanks to automating 30% of tickets

Within two months of implementing Automate, Kirby Allison was achieving 23% more conversions and 46% more sales from support by automatically answering pre-sales questions and freeing up the team to focus on conversations that lead to a sale. 

Alongside increased revenue, efficiency has also shot up. Thanks to automation deflecting up to 30% of tickets, response times have been slashed, because the team isn’t answering every single repetitive question by hand. The customer support team’s daily workload has been transformed — with manic Mondays a thing of the past.

“Gorgias really helps eliminate the turnaround times for getting back to customers in a timely fashion. Automate has definitely helped lighten the load. Now shoppers have self-service options, they get their questions solved even outside of business hours.”

— Addison Debter, Head of Customer Service at Kirby Allison

Less time spent on manual ticket handling means more time and headspace for higher-value tasks which helps drive business growth. This includes dedicating more time to Kirby Allison’s Patreon program, as well as website and inventory management.

"Now my support agents can focus on the most important tickets. And I can focus on developing the website, inventory management, and updating product information — growth aspects that would historically have been put on the back burner because of the heavy manual workload."

— Addison Debter, Head of Customer Service at Kirby Allison

Next up: Embracing even more automation options

After such impressive results from implementing Automate, Addison and his colleagues are eager to dive further into the possibilities for streamlining workflows and improving customer experience via automation. The team is keen to improve its use of Gorgias automation for even more efficient, nuanced processes. 

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