Customer stories

How Shinesty Automates 50%+ of Tickets to Offer Great CX with a Team of 5

of tickets automated
faster resolution time
faster first response time

Challenge: Improving efficiency while maintaining high-quality CX and keeping headcount low during peak sales seasons. Shinesty already had Automate but wasn’t using it to its full potential. 

Solution: Optimizing use of Automate to deflect half of customer tickets using automation. Customers get the answers and guidance they need via self-serve order management, automated Flows, and AI-driven Article Recommendations — faster and more easily.

Shinesty is on a mission to force the world to take itself less seriously. After its early days selling wacky vintage suits, Shinesty is now best known for its men’s underwear range — providing booty bliss and scrotal serenity courtesy of its signature Ball Hammocks. 

As well as standard purchases, Shinesty operates a subscription service where customers receive a new pair of underwear monthly — men’s, women’s, or couples’ — with exclusive prints and discounts.

The challenge: Improving CX efficiency without damaging customer satisfaction or ramping up headcount

Like many ecommerce brands, Shinesty’s peak sales period is from Black Friday Cyber Monday through Christmas. Shinesty has three internal customer support agents year-round, and adds extra agents during the holidays to manage increased demand — up to 20 agents in 2021. 

When planning for the 2023 holiday season, Molly Kerrigan, Shinesty’s Senior Director of Retention, was interested in improving CX efficiency through automation. Specifically, how could automation tools help the CX team work more efficiently, with fewer agents, without downgrading the customer experience?

“We get a lot of praise from our customers and they talk highly of our CX team after 1:1 interactions. We can’t lose that as we scale.”

— Molly Kerrigan, Senior Director of Retention at Shinesty

The Shinesty CX team spent a lot of time repeating the same information over and over, to answer similar, straightforward customer questions on order status, discounts, account management, and more. 

These are important questions, but not the kinds of 1:1 interactions that require a human touch, or build the relationship. Molly needed a way to get quick answers to these customers but save the human team’s time for those complex, sensitive, or relationship-building interactions.

Self-service solutions were clearly the answer. However, some previous tools Shinesty had tried had struggled to cope with the extra layer of complexity caused by its subscription model.

“Other tools required a high level of customization to handle the subscription element. But Gorgias Automate has been straightforward. Nothing has really compared to Automate.”

— Molly Kerrigan, Senior Director of Retention at Shinesty

The solution: Scaling support and improving CX with Automate

Gorgias Automate helps ecommerce support teams work more efficiently by handling simple queries using automation and AI, freeing up CX agents for more personalized and complex customer conversations. Molly and her team focused on improving and expanding their use of Automate, with some impressive results.

Automate personalized responses with Quick Responses and Flows 

Quick Responses offer customers 1-click answers to common questions, while Flows offer a more interactive experience to guide customers through the shopping experience. With Flows, Shinesty offers personalized, helpful information and recommendations based on the options a customer selects throughout the Flow. 

Shinesty uses both to advise customers on everything from picking the right pair of undies to managing their subscription account and applying discount codes. 

Customers can access these convenient automations via Chat, the Help Center, or the Contact Form. They can get the information they need, and fast, without needing to speak to an agent — although that option is always available.

Shinesty’s Flows are so well-designed that many top Flows have an automation rate over 90% — that means 90% of the time, the customer’s inquiry is completely resolved by Automate. 

Make tracking orders and requesting changes easy for customers 

Self-serve order tracking and management is extremely popular among Shinesty’s customers — and its CX team. Customers can access it via the Help Center or Chat, to get instant updates on what’s happening with their order. They can also use this portal to report issues with their order.  

Provide more in-depth information to guide customer decision-making

When customers ask questions in Chat, Automate’s AI-driven Article Recommendations feature checks Shinesty’s Help Center for an article that might answer the question. If it finds one, Automate shares the article with the customer. Often, this resolves the customer’s query without needing interaction with an agent. 

Commonly asked topics cover both pre- and post-sales, from choosing the right size to managing subscriptions and the best way to wash Shinesty underwear.

As with other aspects of Automate, Shinesty has meticulously optimized its Article Recommendations to increase automation rates and customer satisfaction. After realizing that some articles contained duplicate content, the team streamlined its library to reduce the number of articles from 45 to 17 — and saw customer engagement with Article Recommendations soar.

“When we refined our content, that's when we really started seeing huge improvements with Automate. Because you definitely see people ask the same things over and over again, but they're wording it in different ways. So most of the time, they're going to need the same article, just using different keywords.” 

— Molly Kerrigan, Senior Director of Retention at Shinesty

The results: 50%+ automation rate leads to 69% faster resolution time and 65% faster FRT

Since optimizing their Automate set-up and use, Shinesty’s first response time has dropped by 65%, and resolution time by 69%. This is the fastest Shinesty’s resolution time has ever been, with the smallest CX team it’s ever had — just 5 agents for the 2023 peak season, compared to 20 in 2021, and 12 in 2022.

“Now, customers can self-serve for 50% of interactions. It's a win-win: Our team has double the time to focus on tickets that need human attention, and customers are getting much faster responses.”

— Molly Kerrigan, Senior Director of Retention at Shinesty

With over half of all customer tickets deflected by automation, CX agents have far more time to deliver personalized and proactive support to customers. Customers are happy with both the automated and human interactions, giving Shinesty a steady 4.4/5 CSAT score. 

“Automate has allowed us to focus on improving customer experience from the ground up, because we're not so deep in ‘ticket town.’”

— Molly Kerrigan, Senior Director of Retention at Shinesty

Using Automate has helped reduce stress for the CX team during busy periods. And being able to keep the team small has made it more manageable, with stronger internal communications.

“The CX agents say it feels way more organized and less frazzled now during peak season. And a smaller team means more attention from leadership to help them learn faster and develop.”

— Molly Kerrigan, Senior Director of Retention at Shinesty

Given Shinesty’s experiences, Molly wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Automate to other ecommerce brands looking for efficiency savings that not only won’t damage customer experience, but will actually enhance it.

“Automate would be useful for any ecommerce company that needs to lower their ticket counts, or wants to provide a more consistent experience.”

— Molly Kerrigan, Senior Director of Retention at Shinesty

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