Hobbii’s founders started supplying yarn and free patterns to knitting and crocheting enthusiasts around the world in 2015. Today, they are one of the fastest-growing companies in Denmark. In 2021, they shipped more than 1.5 million parcels to yarn lovers all over the globe. Originally an eCommerce shop, Hobbii now has 8 retail stores across Denmark and Germany and are looking to continue to expand into new international markets. In addition to adding more retail stores, Hobbii’s ambitious strategic growth plans include investing heavily in their eCommerce business with technology that will help them to continue to delight customers while quietly revolutionizing the industry.
The 2020 pandemic led to many people learning new hobbies they might never have considered before the global crisis. From outdoor physical activities such as running and biking, to cozier, self-isolation activities like baking sourdough bread and learning new arts and crafts. These activities often involved the entire family as parents looked for new ways to entertain children at home. Yarn crafts is one of those hobbies that many people took up with a passion, some for the first time. When physical visits to retailers came under restrictions, online purchasing became one of the main ways to get supplies and demand for yarn boomed. The arts and crafts industry has long been considered a more traditional pastime and the retail stores where people could get their supplies were often quite traditional retailers.
Hobbii came into the arts and crafts market with a more modern, digital-first, point of view about how to successfully run their business. Considering themselves more of a tech company, they actively look for ways to use technology to improve their business and this includes how they manage customer service.
The growth of their online business naturally led to a growth in support requests. The customer service team is organized into 4 regional teams and supports customers in 20 markets. Customer support channels included human resource-intensive email and telephone. To keep on with requests, Hobbii found themselves having to hire and train many new agents, up to 40 in one year. The challenge was not only the hiring time but also the onboarding time. As the business and support requests grew, more and more customers were left waiting and their excellent CSAT scores were in jeopardy.
In addition to customer wait times growing, one of Hobbii’s most important customer success metrics, contacts per order (CPO), rose to over 30%. In 2021 alone, with 1.5 million orders placed, that meant 500,000 tickets a year.
With digital-first in their DNA, Hobbii decided they needed a way for customers to self-service to find answers about products, retail stores or orders. By allowing customers to find the answers to common, repetitive questions, the Hobbii customer service team could also then shift their focus to delivering more proactive service.
Customer service agents have the time to share their expertise with customers
Hobbii’s customer service agents are not only responsible for delivering great service, they are also yarn enthusiasts themselves. They have expert, user knowledge of the products and Hobbii wanted a way to give their agents more time to engage with customers and help with expertise-driven engagement.
The digitally-savvy team decided a chatbot and new CRM system were critical to improving their customer service experience and give customers a self-service option. After reviewing several platforms, Hobbii selected Dixa’s chatbot for the customer service automation solution and Yarnii the chatbot was born.
Highly personalized customer service conversations delivered cost-effectively, at scale
Hobbii went live with 3 chatbots for 3 markets in September 2021 and quickly added 8 more. They now have chatbots for the 11 biggest markets that handle the repetitive and simple questions, giving their agents more time for the meaningful conversations that require a human touch.
In order to make their self-service offering a great experience, Hobbii used a chatbot function to integrate with their order management system so that customers track order/delivery status across markets. This is used by thousands of people every month.
Easy hand over to an agent when required
Offering a highly personalized chatbot experience is an important aspect of the service experience. In order to make the chatbot as helpful and relevant to each market, each market is responsible for the content of their chatbot. Using their knowledge of common requests and being product experts themselves, 10-12 agents were involved in ensuring the chatbot content fit their local market customer needs.
The chatbot conversation is integrated into Dixa’s smart routing to create a seamless handover of conversations from the chatbot to an agent to handle requests, if needed. Hobbii is able to deliver fast, efficient, and effective customer service across all channels be it phone, email, contact form, chat, or messenger.
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