How to create delightful customer experiences: after the sale

Two weeks ago we started a mini-series on creating delightful customer experiences. We decided to turn this three-part series into a two-part series because your time is important and we want to help you optimize your store in the least amount of time possible. For the finale of this mini-series, we're discussing how to create customer experiences that delight your customers after the sale.



Octane AI
Octane AI enables fast-growing D2C brands to increase revenue and collect data from the marketing channels your customers use.

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show notes.

  • [09:00] Perfection is the enemy of progress
  • [10:17] Send a personalized thank-you email
  • [13:41] How to Transactional email
  • [17:35] Order lookup apps
  • [19:49] Keep your customers up to date about shipping
  • [24:20 Add a surprise to your unboxing experience
  • [30:23] Have an easy-to-use returns process
  • [32:31] Follow up on negative reviews
  • [39:28] Create a magical moment (if cost allows) *end of year, birthday, something
  • Store shoutout: Copper Cow Coffee
  • Store shoutout: Milk Bar




Kelly (00:00):
Two weeks ago, we started a mini series on creating delightful customer experiences. We decided to turn this three-part series into a two-part series because your time is important, and we want to help you optimize your stor ein the least amount of time possible.

Kelly (00:12):
For the finale of this mini series, we're discussing how to create customer experiences that delight your customers after the sale. Let's dig in.

Rhian (00:25):
Welcome to Commerce Tea, a podcast to help you succeed on Shopify. I'm Rhian.

Kelly (00:30):
And I'm Kelly. Grab a mug and join us as we talk about all things commerce.

Rhian (00:34):
Hey, Kelly. How can merchants leverage customer data to drive more revenue and increase retention? How can they create personalized experiences customers love?

Kelly (00:50):
I recommend Octane AI, the leading buyer profile platform for Shopify and Shopify Plus merchants.

Rhian (00:56):
How does it work?

Kelly (00:57):
Octane AI features a shop quiz, Facebook messenger and SMS, and opt-in tools. Using the shop quiz, merchants can get to know customers with interactive questions, from product recommenders to gift finders, you can learn about a customers needs, preferences, pain points and more. This information gets saved in the buyer profiles, and you can sync your buyer profile data with your Facebook messenger, SMS, email and ad campaigns for personalized customer journeys.

Rhian (01:22):
What kinds of returns can brands expect?

Kelly (01:24):
Brands using the shop quiz have increased email sign-ups by 16 times and driven a 28% increase in average order value. Facebook messenger and SMS see 80% to 95% average open rates and drive up to a 20% increase in revenue. Better yet, Octane AI has plans for any size business and offers a 14-day free trial. Every plan gives you access to the shop quiz, Facebook messenger, SMS and opt-in tools. There are also plans available where Octane AI's experts will help you set up and optimize your tools for success.

Rhian (01:57):
That sounds great. Where can merchants go to learn more?

Kelly (01:59):
You can learn more, book a demo, or try it free at Again, that's

Kelly (02:11):
Good morning, Rhian.

Rhian (02:13):
Good morning, Kelly. How are you?

Kelly (02:16):
I am tired.

Rhian (02:18):
The amount of these you start with, "I"... It is like you're like, I feel like something else is going to get said. And you're just like, "I am tired."

Kelly (02:28):
It's almost like I'm just always tired.

Rhian (02:32):
It's almost like it's a theme of your life.

Kelly (02:36):
And you know what? It absolutely is.

Rhian (02:40):
That's fair. That's fair.

Kelly (02:41):
If any sleep aid company want to sponsor this podcast, I won't be mad.

Rhian (02:48):
Or you could just send us free stuff.

Kelly (02:51):
Or that. Or that.

Rhian (02:52):
Or both.

Kelly (02:53):
Yes, help me sleep.

Rhian (02:56):
Help me... Yeah, oh my gosh. I appreciate that. What number coffee are you on?

Kelly (03:05):
I had a double this morning and... Okay, well, we're recording this at 4:30 in the afternoon. I'm still tired. It's still very true. Yeah, I had a double this morning, and I had another cup of coffee at 1:30 today.

Rhian (03:19):
That's not bad.

Kelly (03:20):
And I think that's all I'm going to be having.

Rhian (03:20):
That's not bad.

Kelly (03:22):
I have this magical power that allows me to drink coffee and then go to sleep whenever. I'm not sure it's a good thing, but-

Rhian (03:30):
That's not a good thing.

Kelly (03:31):
It's... I'm Hispanic. My family did this growing up. I've been drinking coffee since I was 13. This is just who I am.

Rhian (03:40):
This is how I am. If I drink coffee past 11:00 AM, I'm up until 3:00 AM. It's just the rule. It's just my body.

Kelly (03:51):
I feel like that's what caffeine's supposed to do to you.

Rhian (03:53):
Yeah. Also, I think it's an age thing. I feel like I was more tolerant to this, like a hangover. When you're younger, you don't really get them as much. Then, there's something in your body that flips, or at least in my body.

Kelly (04:08):
I was going to say, speaking of magical powers.

Rhian (04:13):
Actually, okay, so the first time I ever met Kelly was at a Shopify event. She said on stage that her superpower was not getting hangovers.

Kelly (04:25):
This was three years ago. It still stands true. I don't know why I don't get hangovers, but it does not matter how much I drink. I wake up the next morning, and I'm just like, "Okay, let's do this." I'm also tired, but that has nothing to do with the alcohol.

Rhian (04:43):
I drink a glass of wine and the next day wrecked. I'm like, "Oh gosh, is this aging?"

Kelly (04:50):
Everyone is like, "Oh yeah, enjoy it while it lasts. It's going to kick in when you're older," and they've been telling me this since I was 21.

Rhian (04:58):
Well, let me be the first one when you do have your first hangover. I'm going to be calling you every five minutes on the phone. Just air horns. You'll be like "This is awful. What's happening?" I'm like, "This is called a hangover. Welcome."

Kelly (05:13):

Rhian (05:14):
Welcome to your mid-thirties. You have arrived.

Kelly (05:19):
Maybe I'll just stay 30. We'll see. You know what? I wasn't able to celebrate turning 30 really, because I turned 30 during a pandemic and didn't actually do anything. I wanted to do the really obnoxious "I turned 360 months old, and I like these things and I don't like these things. And I want to be this when I grow up." But I didn't do it. If you have any idea what I'm talking about, like things that-

Rhian (05:44):

Kelly (05:44):
... parents do with the baby. They're like, "My baby is five months old. They have two teeth."

Rhian (05:49):
We should just take a picture of you once a month, like how baby get pictures taken of them.

Kelly (05:56):

Rhian (05:57):
And be like, "This is what I accomplished this month!" And it'll just be for me. It'll be like, "Didn't just absolutely have a meltdown for the month."

Kelly (06:09):
Kept it together.

Rhian (06:10):
Kept it together. Responded to emails.

Kelly (06:13):
That was just... Made it to therapy on time every time.

Rhian (06:18):
Every time. Actually, let's just one up this, make a digital star chart. We'll just make it in Notion, and we'll just give each other stars.

Kelly (06:26):
Let's do it.

Rhian (06:27):
Then after 10 stars, we can have a coffee.

Kelly (06:31):
Okay. Give me 20 different things to do so I can just always have coffee.

Rhian (06:36):
I know. I know. That's the thing. If this is a competition, Kelly's winning.

Kelly (06:40):
Yeah. So I got accepted into Quantic's Executive MBA program. Very excited. Rhian is already in the program, so she's always... I think you're what? You're gt be six months ahead of me? You started this month?

Rhian (06:56):
Yeah. I started three weeks ago. I don't know if I said it in the last podcast, but I am just not great at accounting. I feel like it's the weeder class, and I'm very much like a, I want 100% or a high 90s. And in this class I'm like, I'll take an 85. 85 sounds fine. Yeah, 85. Yes, I passed the test. That's me every single day.

Kelly (07:19):
I think that's totally fine though. I know this is not at all what we are going to be talking about with this podcast, but I think it's an important thing. This is something that I've been actively working on myself, because I've always been such a perfectionist. And I've become more comfortable with embracing not being perfect, I guess. It's an adjustment. I've been doing this Harvard Business School Online program for... It's kind of like a pre-MBA. It covers accounting, economics and business analytics at an introductory level. I've gotten... Okay, I've gotten 95 on all of my quizzes, so it's not like [inaudible 00:08:00] bad.

Rhian (08:02):
But it's not 100. The thing is, and this, actually, it really relates to entrepreneurship and selling online, because it's like we're conditioned, many of us are conditioned to strive for that A.

Kelly (08:17):

Rhian (08:18):
And then you're not going to be perfect when you write your first newsletter, when you write your hundredth newsletter. If you are not a professional copywriter, it's not going to be perfect. You just at some point have to... in product we say, shut up and ship, or eff it, ship it, right?

Kelly (08:37):

Rhian (08:38):
I'm trying to really embrace that because I just won't write it. I'll write it, and it'll never get pushed live because I get so in my head that it is not perfect. Isn't it perfection is the something of progress? Or there's a quotation around it.

Kelly (08:55):

Rhian (08:56):
Have you heard it?

Kelly (08:56):
I have.

Rhian (08:57):
My business partner says it all the time, and I really like that mindset.

Kelly (08:59):
The enemy of progress.

Rhian (09:00):
Yeah. That's it. Perfection is the enemy of progress. I have to keep telling myself that, otherwise, I'll just sit here and just write things that are never published anywhere ever.

Kelly (09:08):
Yeah. This is actually also relatable to reviews you get from customers. You're aiming for that five-star rating across all of your products, but... I sent a newsletter this past week, I'll link to it in the show notes, about embracing the negative reviews that you get and turning them into a good opportunity and not hiding those negative reviews [inaudible 00:09:31]. Yeah, I'll definitely link to that in show notes. It's a very important thing, and actually something we do cover in this episode, which we should probably go ahead and get started on.

Rhian (09:41):
Yeah. I know you can tell Kelly and I haven't talked for a while.

Kelly (09:43):

Rhian (09:43):
And by a while I mean since yesterday. Okay, so Kelly, what are we talking about today?

Kelly (09:51):
We, last time, talked about how to create a delightful customer experience for your customers before actually hitting that place order button. What will actually entice them to place that order? Now, we're looking after the sale, whether it's before delivery or even after the item's been delivered, there's still so many opportunities to continue to create those delightful customer experiences that are going to keep those customers coming back to purchase again.

Kelly (10:17):
That's what we're really talking about this time. I'm going to kick things off with what's probably a very obvious thing, but very, very important one to make and you can do it incorrectly as well, is starting with sending a personalized thank you email. Now, this is not a... You got the order confirmation email, the transactional email, here's all your information. That's not the email I'm talking about. I'm also not talking about a standard just, "Thank you, Flo" that you might get through Klaviyo that's the default. They have it split whether it's your first purchase or subsequent purchase like, "Thank you." or "Wow, thanks again!"

Kelly (10:56):
What I'm talking about here is, you can still send this automatic by the way. It's not like you have to manually write each of your customers every time, but what I love to do, and I did this on my store and, actually, had so many people reply to this email as well with just additional fun information. Send a plain text email, so not a template, not any kind of colors, literally just text on page as if you were drafting that email in Gmail, or whatever you're using. Thank them for placing an order. Tell them why it's so important that, if you're trying to build this business, that you really appreciate their support. If there's anything that you can do for them, let them know. I included on mine that I would love to know what you do and what brought you to the site to place this purchase. And I would love to see pictures once you receive the item as well.

Kelly (11:50):
I've had so many people follow up being like, "Hey, here's that picture you asked for." Or "Wow, I really appreciate you sending this email to me. It means a lot." They didn't even know there was an automated email that's literally sent 24 hours after they place that order. They don't have to know.

Rhian (12:06):
No. And there's magic in plain text emails.

Kelly (12:10):

Rhian (12:12):
That's why we use the... I'm like what's it called? The help management. That's not what it's called.

Kelly (12:19):
The help desk?

Rhian (12:20):
The Help Desk system that we use is because it's all plain text. There's never a ticket number assigned. Of course, on my end it threads, so I can see it all. But I like the idea that it never feels like, "Oh, yeah. Okay, we took your request. We put it in the queue. We're getting to it." It's like no, I think it's important that customers feel seen and they feel like they're part of the journey with you.

Kelly (12:50):

Rhian (12:51):
Otherwise, what's the incentive? You're just another company.

Kelly (12:54):
Exactly. Exactly.

Rhian (12:55):
Why leave a review? Like... you know?

Kelly (12:58):
So touching on how to do this, I originally I set up my automated email using Kit. They have an automatic integration with Kit that just will automatically send the email for you. I highly recommend making sure that if you ever move away from using Kit and you want to send the email through Klaviyo or something like that, make sure you disable the previous email so they don't get two of them. Not speaking from experience or anything. It can happen.

Kelly (13:28):
But yeah, you can also do this through Klaviyo as well. Then, do the time optimize send that makes the most sense, like 10:00 AM in their time zone, especially if you're selling to an international audience, that's a good way to make that a little more personal.

Kelly (13:41):
Before we move on from email, I touched on this briefly, but your transactional email, the order confirmed email, you can customize that as well. Whether you're sending it through Klaviyo or you're routing it if you're on Shopify Plus, or if you're literally using the Shopify notification email. First off, there are apps that you can use to customize those emails and OrderlyEmails is one of them. I will definitely mention that in the show notes before I forget. Kelly newsletter and OrderlyEmails and Kit. I'm just actively doing this while we [inaudible 00:14:15], it's pretty great.

Kelly (14:17):
You can have some fun with this. Some of the ones I've seen have a GIF of the team high-fiving and being like, "We just got an order from Kelly!" It's just like, you can have all kinds of fun with it. Again, this is an opportunity to bring your brand's voice into it and not just do, "Your order has been confirmed. Here is your order number. Here's what you purchased and where it's being shipped and the last four digits of the credit card you used to actually purchase it."

Rhian (14:44):
Yes, I totally agree. I love when people take that time to create that delight. I've talked about this brand before, ElonWick Candles, because they do this with their SMS marketing. They send little GIFs being like, "Your order's on the way!" And it's a little Charlie Brown dance. There's something so fun about that.

Kelly (15:08):
There is.

Rhian (15:08):
Bring the fun. Bring the magic. Otherwise, you just blend in with the crowd, and the crowd is a little boring and full.

Kelly (15:17):
The crowd is full. We're not used to full crowds right now, but it is still very crowded in the virtual world.

Rhian (15:25):
Yes, absolutely. Any opportunity that you can take to differentiate yourself from your competitors that make your customers just say, "Oh, that was a nice email."

Kelly (15:36):

Rhian (15:36):
It's just that moment of, "Oh, I like that." Sure they might not action right away, but they're going to remember. When you email them back, let's say, you don't ask for a review right away because they haven't received the product. When you do ask for the review, they're like, "That was such a fun experience. Yeah, I will write them an... I will take the time out to write a review" because you've already captured that je ne sais quoi.

Kelly (16:01):
Agreed. All right, so this next one, you know what? You should take this next one, because I think it's a little more relevant to your line of work.

Rhian (16:11):
It's really important that you surface order tracking. Whether that looks like, if you use Shop Pay, there's the shop integration, which I love Shop. I think it's phenomenal. Sometimes, though, and many times customers wants another touch point. That is the ability to look up where their order is on the front-end of your store. That behavior is because of Amazon. It's a learned customer behavior, but so many people use Amazon that it's just what people expect. So if you have an order status link on your home page, whether it's in your footer or in your header, it really depends on how many emails you get.

Rhian (17:01):
The best way to really gauge this, let me back up a bit. The best way to gauge if you should have an order status page on your store is if you are getting more than one or two emails a day that you have to answer saying, "Where's my product?" You can just have an app that does that so you don't have to answer those emails. It'll help save you time and money when it comes to support that. There's a few apps that do it. I have one called Order Tracking App. That's not what it's called.

Kelly (17:32):
Do you know the name of your own app?

Rhian (17:35):
It does order tracking, but it's called Order Lookup. My app is called Order Lookup, and that's what it does. But this isn't to push my app. This is to talk about why you need this as an option. Would I prefer you use my app? Of course, but also just use an app to do this because it is better than having to respond to... I have one person who's been using our, one client, merchant, who's been using this for years. He told me, and he's like, "I'm just guessing, we save about 90 hours a week answering emails." Granted this is a Plus merchant. This is someone who's doing really high volume. We can't prove that number. We're not like, "Oh you know, if you used our app, you're going to save X amount of hours," because I don't like that. If you can't prove it, it's not real.

Rhian (18:29):
But think of the time that you're spending and how much money you're spending, and if any part of that could be automated. If this was on Clubhouse, "The end. I am done speaking."

Kelly (18:43):
My favorite ending is still... Oh, nevermind. I'm not going to get political. There's a time and place for everything and political is probably not what we want to discuss on here.

Rhian (18:56):
Okay. So that's my feelings on order tracking apps and why you should have one in addition to what comes natively with Shopify.

Kelly (19:06):
Yes. Okay, so this next one is something that I think is fun, also important to know and is still in the same line of order tracking. November, December, we all experienced what we are coining as Shippageddon. It's picking up again. I'm noticing longer delays once again. This is pretty standard every year around the holidays. There are a lot more packages going through. Shipping just takes longer in general and your customers want to know where are their packages, and why the courier hasn't actually updated anything in certain amount of time.

Kelly (19:49):
There is an app that is called Wondermint that I think is one of the coolest things. It has a database inside the Shopify admin that you can see when the last status update was for a package. So if it's just been sitting as pending for five days, or it's been in the same status, like it's been in Detroit for two days at this point or whatever, you're able to see how long a package has been sitting there for a while. And you can automatically follow up with your customers letting you know that you're aware that the package is currently sitting there, and they're trying to get it to you as soon as we can, whatever you want to say. Obviously, once it's actually shipped, it's out of your hands.

Kelly (20:38):
But the point is these touch points, keeping up with the shipping process, letting your customers know, hey, you also see that there's a delay here. Don't wait for them to reach out to you. Be proactive about it. I absolutely love that. Also handy, I was talking to the founders of the co the other day, and they brought this point where if you have an SLA with a shipping provider that says your items will be delivered within three business days or something like that, you will have actual data to back up whether or not that's true. Then, you could be like, "Hey, I'm paying X rate and you promised this, but you're not delivering on this." I, personally, think that's really cool. I'm all for data backed literally everything, and this is such a great opportunity to have data to back up something that's very obscure. Shipping is difficult to track as well.

Rhian (21:33):
Two things. What is an SLA for those of us who might not know that acronym?

Kelly (21:39):
Good point. Good point. SLA is a service level agreement. A service level agreement is, basically, a commitment between the service provider and you, what's being agreed upon, and there's usually some type of expectation that's set in there. Let's say I expect 99.99% up time for my website. That would be an example of something you would see in an SLA. Basically, you're agreeing that this service provider is agreeing to actually hit these metrics that the two of you have set together, or that they have produced.

Rhian (22:12):
Then, I also, the other thing I wanted to say to your point about shipping and the difficulties surrounding it all, it's if there wasn't anything that was stripped... I mean, there was a lot of things shipped [inaudible 00:22:24] last year. But the supply chain and our infrastructure, in terms of delivery and fulfillment, we are still in difficult waters and that's the reality. So really setting expectations for your customers right out the gates still is so, so important in keeping people in the loop if there are challenges, if you hit a supply chain issue because you thought you were going to be able to deliver it in a week. Instead, oh no, your imported stuff got held up. Just really being transparent, because if you aren't transparent, you will for sure get a negative review.

Kelly (23:10):

Rhian (23:10):
That's the best way to get a negative review is if you just disappear, then they're like a month later, "Hey, where's my stuff?" Then they're mad. It's much more difficult to help a situation when someone is already coming in hot and upset.

Kelly (23:30):
I agree. I hate shipping. Of all the things that was... I shut down my store earlier this month because I just literally got tired of dealing with the shipping issues, not only long time shipping delays but also packages getting lost. That was the worst.

Rhian (23:54):
It's really... For all of you shipping physical goods, we commend you.

Kelly (24:00):

Rhian (24:02):
We know that it's hard, and we appreciate what you do.

Kelly (24:04):
Let's talk about a fun one.

Rhian (24:06):

Kelly (24:07):
Because we're over talking about shipping. Fun is the unboxing experience.

Rhian (24:13):
That's my favorite thing. It's a gift to yourself.

Kelly (24:20):
Tell me about one of your favorite unboxing experiences or what... you know. There are certain surprises that you can add.

Rhian (24:27):
There are some surprises. I tweeted about this, and I am not making this up. My daughter has a friend who started a wellness company for teens. They're 14, 15. So my daughter got a welcome gift and it was hand-wrapped. This little gift is hand-wrapped. There's a little heart sticker on it. Remember the demo here. So then you take off the wrapping, and then it's the full little unboxing experience. On the inside was everything you needed to have to experience a wellness moment. This was, in this case, this welcome package had a coloring book. But it included the coloring pencils and it included some other crafting things. There's six different things in it. I was like, "This is better thought out than most D2C brands I have seen recently."

Kelly (25:19):
That's amazing.

Rhian (25:19):
Because I feel like there's this want to cut corners and be like, "Oh, screw it. Let's just ship it in a poly mailer." But you know what? When I open a poly mailer I'm like, "Oh." There's this beautiful branding that happens with so many D2C brands, so I get really hyped on it. Then, it comes to me in a poly mailer, and I'm kind of like, "Womp. Womp." That's how it feels. It feels like a womp womp.

Kelly (25:43):
It's because it's boring.

Rhian (25:44):
It's boring.

Kelly (25:45):

Rhian (25:45):
It's boring. A good example of this, one that I love, was Journ, which I know I've spoken about in previous episodes. That's been my favorite unboxing in the past two months. You unbox it. There's a hand-written note from the founders. You read the hand-written note, you put it aside. Then, there's a layer of tissue paper with a gold sticker, then you open that. Then, inside is your product sitting on dried flowers. Oh, also, the entire box is branded. Every part of this experience has been branded and thought about. That to me is what makes... It takes a good experience into a great experience, and it makes me want to keep going back to that company, because I love that level of attention to detail.

Rhian (26:37):
Also, like you said, when you have those unboxing experiences, it feels like a gift to yourself. Even if it's something you have to buy anyways.

Kelly (26:45):

Rhian (26:45):
You still want to feel like it's a gift to yourself. There's big companies who are on board of this train, like Drunk Elephant's unboxing experience is phenomenal. No matter where you're at in your D2C journey. I mean, they straight up got acquired by Shiseido, so that's a huge acquisition. But no matter where you're at, they were doing that pre-acquisition, and they have a cult following. It's like, "Well, why? Is it because their product is good?" Well yeah, in my opinion, yeah. I use it on my face. But also, there's always a little bit of magic when you get it in the mail. What's your favorite unboxing?

Kelly (27:21):
One of my favorites is Otherland. It's candle company. I received these as a gift in December of 2019, and I'm still talking about it. Talk about memorable. The actual box they came in, it was just beautiful. The candles were... It was a gift set of three candles beautifully packaged, came with matches and everything just in case I did not have a lighter. It's those little things.

Rhian (27:52):
That is the thing. That is the thing. Don't send me something I can light on fire assuming I have something to light it on fire with, because [crosstalk 00:28:00]-

Kelly (27:59):
Not everyone knows how to start a fire.

Rhian (28:01):
No. Yeah, I'm out here with a flint and a stick. I got something recently with matches in it as well, and I was like, "Oh, that's a great addition, because I can never find a lighter in my house."

Kelly (28:12):
Exactly. Exactly. So yeah, I think about hat unboxing experience a lot, and it's usually my go-to example for a good unboxing experience. Now, I can name a bunch of brands who have really boring bland unboxing experiences as well, which is most of what I order. But I will not do that. But, alas, I shall not.

Rhian (28:36):
Yeah, I'm going to have to order from them.

Kelly (28:39):

Rhian (28:39):
First of all, because I love candles.

Kelly (28:40):
Yep. I'm tempted to order some more, because why not? Not that I'm through these.

Rhian (28:45):
Does it bring you joy?

Kelly (28:48):
It does bring me joy. I have so many candles.

Rhian (28:51):
I do as well. I'm in. I'm fully in. That's why the matches matter so much to me is because I literally... Every time I buy lighters, they just disappear. They're like socks. Where do they do? Or like bobby pins. Where are they? How many bobby pins are just in my house? Who's to say? How many just rogue lighters are around? I don't know.

Kelly (29:15):
Yep. It's a mystery.

Rhian (29:17):
Also, I will say something about the matches being really nostalgic.

Kelly (29:22):

Rhian (29:22):
You know, that they're like the... I don't know. They're the little flappy, they close like a Pac-Man mouth.

Kelly (29:27):

Rhian (29:28):
It reminds you kind of of the 90s. Remember you could get them at restaurants?

Kelly (29:33):

Rhian (29:34):
[crosstalk 00:29:34] I don't know. It kind of gives me that vibe, and I like's nostalgic, but it's also really now. Anyway, I digress.

Kelly (29:39):
It is. Also, I still have a childhood fear of setting my fingers on fire when I use them.

Rhian (29:44):
Oh yeah, because you've got to like... it.

Kelly (29:45):

Rhian (29:47):
Yeah. Don't worry. To this day I've never lit my fingers on fire, so.

Kelly (29:52):
I haven't either, but the fear is there every single time I use a match.

Rhian (29:55):
You're like, "This is the time. This is the time." Okay, so let's say whether you deliver the great unboxing experience, a terrible unboxing experience, whether your product is amazing or your product is meh, you're still going to probably have people who aren't stoked on it.

Kelly (30:18):

Rhian (30:19):
That's just the reality. And people who are going to want to return.

Kelly (30:22):

Rhian (30:23):
How do you handle returns?

Kelly (30:26):
It's really, really important to have an easy-to-use return process. Out of the box, Shopify, it does not have this easy-to-use return process. Just putting that out there right now. It does require some sort of app to implement something like this. Two of my favorites are Loop Returns and Returnly. They're all going to vary based on feature set, based on pricing. Some of the will generate the shipping label and let the customers print it out. It also depends on whether you want to charge for shipping coming back. There are all different kind of options here.

Kelly (31:05):
Those two are two that I definitely recommend doing or using. Of course make the shipping returns policy clear, of course, on every point on the website. Because if a customer places an order, maybe it's the wrong size shirt that they ordered, or maybe their order arrived damaged, make it easy for them to know, or for them to find out how to actually initiate a return or an exchange.

Rhian (31:33):
Absolutely. Absolutely. If you don't take returns, for whatever reason, depending on maybe if you sell intimates or something like that, make sure you make that really abundantly clear out the gate.

Kelly (31:46):
Yeah. What's obvious to you is no obviously to others.

Rhian (31:50):
Yeah. You have to smack people in the face with it, honestly, and put it... If you have non-refundable and non-returnable items, have it in your PDP, product description page, have it in your cart, and then in your receipt have it again so there's not a, "You never told me." You're like, "Actually, I did in three different places and also on the FAQ page and also on the returns page." You really have to make that bulletproof in my opinion. Otherwise, they're right and you're wrong.

Kelly (32:16):

Rhian (32:18):
Straight up.

Kelly (32:20):
It's true.

Rhian (32:21):
Let's say, no matter what, they return the item, or they hate the item and they've kept it. Then, what happens if you get a negative review?

Kelly (32:36):
Okay. Once again, I will be linking to my newsletter in the show notes. I guess I can link to this particular email as well. I never really considered doing that but probably should. So okay, here's the thing about negative reviews. One of the things that I go on and on and on about is how important it is to be both authentic and transparent. You are always going to have customers who are not happy. It is just customers and it's running a business. This is how-

Rhian (33:06):
It just is.

Kelly (33:08):
It is. It is. Exactly. It is. How you handle this is what's most important. First off, if it is a legitimate complaint, maybe their package arrived damaged, maybe it took longer to ship than you listed on their site. Maybe it wasn't as advertised. Maybe they... It turns out that the food you had contained some kind of allergen that you didn't list. I mean, that'd be a very... Anything-

Rhian (33:36):
Don't do that.

Kelly (33:36):
Don't do that, please. But it is possible. That is absolutely possible review. And they leave this negative review. Use this as an opportunity to show you care. Reply to that review, but also reply to the person individually, privately, saying you want to make this right. You can mention that we sent you an email to followup on your complaints, whatever, however you want to phrase it. It doesn't matter, on your concern. Don't get defensive. I mean, if-

Rhian (34:10):
Yeah. Do not get defensive.

Kelly (34:11):
It's so easy to just jump and get defensive over... "Well, it's not my fault shipping's taking forever. Have you read the news?" Okay.

Rhian (34:21):
It's so hard. You have to gut check yourself there. Because I have to respond to negative reviews on my app. You have to take that moment where it's like, okay, it's not personal. This isn't about me. You can't put up those hackles when you feel attacked. It's not about you.

Kelly (34:42):

Rhian (34:43):
I feel like that's a very human response is you're like, "What? No, you're wrong!" But I mean, even if the customer is wrong, it doesn't matter.

Kelly (34:56):
It doesn't matter.

Rhian (34:57):
And like what you were just saying, Kelly, is how you respond to it says everything.

Kelly (35:02):
Yeah. Exactly. Don't get defensive. Answer in... Be polite. If you need a moment to process it before you respond, vent elsewhere. Do not use the reply option as where you actually respond to it.

Rhian (35:19):

Kelly (35:19):
Publish these reviews. Publish your negative reviews. I know it's going to take away the five-star rating for a certain product.

Rhian (35:28):
So what?

Kelly (35:28):
Here's the thing. If I visit a website and it has, let's say, 90 reviews and every single one of them is five stars, I'm not impressed. I'm suspicious.

Rhian (35:39):

Kelly (35:40):
I'm like, what are they hiding? There's no way literally every single person is happy with this. People only ever remember to leave a review when they're unhappy.

Rhian (35:50):
Yes. That is very true. Two things I want to bring up is when you're responding to a negative review, don't, and I'm sure we've seen this. You know on Yelp and you see someone leaves a negative review and the merchant claps back? That is not a good look.

Kelly (36:10):
Don't do that.

Rhian (36:11):
It makes me feel like cringe inside. I'm like, "Oh god, don't do that. Don't fall into that trap. I know why you're doing it, but don't do it." But also, look, some of the best restaurants in the world, like the top 50 restaurants in the world, if you look them up on Yelp, they don't have a five-star review.

Kelly (36:27):

Rhian (36:29):
They have one stars. That's okay. What is a cup of tea for most people, may be not your cup of tea. That's fine.

Kelly (36:36):
It's life.

Rhian (36:37):
It's life.

Kelly (36:37):
It's one of the things that you have to learn, especially as you're an entrepreneur, you have to have that thick skin. There are always going to be people who don't like you. It's just-

Rhian (36:46):

Kelly (36:47):
This is reality. This is life. You're always going to have customers who are disappointed. You cannot avoid that. It's how you handle it. Now, I want to add one caveat to publishing the negative reviews. If it is a review that is completely unrelated, let's say somebody left a negative review on your store when they didn't actually buy from you.

Rhian (37:10):

Kelly (37:10):
People have done that before.

Rhian (37:12):

Kelly (37:13):
This is a thing that's in the app world. People will leave negative reviews on competitors' apps to bring down... It is a thing and it's stupid. Your competitors can be doing the same thing to you. I'm saying if it is not a legitimate review.

Rhian (37:33):
If there's no purchase associated with the review.

Kelly (37:35):
Yeah. Don't publish it.

Rhian (37:37):

Kelly (37:38):
But it could very much be an actual person who's unhappy. Publish, reply to it. If it is completely irrelevant, if it is not the correct product, if it is wrong store, if it is just gibberish, which I've gotten some of those before as well. Literally, a one=star review with just button mashing the keyboard. It's like, what?

Rhian (38:02):

Kelly (38:02):
I don't publish those. Keep it clean in the sense that you're publishing actual reviews, but publish your positive reviews, publish your negative reviews. I think I've beaten this horse enough.

Rhian (38:17):
But I like that that's the hill you're willing to die on.

Kelly (38:19):
This is a hill I am willing to die on. This is probably my newest hill. [crosstalk 00:38:22]-

Rhian (38:22):
It is your newest hill.

Kelly (38:24):
I don't think I've actually vented about reviews before, and I think this is a good one. I'm going to add this to my list of hills.

Rhian (38:29):
Okay. Perfect. Perfect. I think that sound board that we've been talking about getting, one of the buttons should just be like, "This is the hill."

Kelly (38:38):
Yes. That's going to happen.

Rhian (38:41):
Okay. So, moving past reviews, let's talk about creating some magic.

Kelly (38:46):
Yes. I love me some unexpected magic from a brand. Some of the most obvious ones are when you're getting a customer's birthday at registration. Keep in mind, you only need the month and day. You do not need their year. All you want to know is that it is their birthday, so you can send them a cute happy birthday email. I will say, a lot of customers, I get a lot of emails on my birthday. I unsubscribe from a lot of newsletters as well, so I don't get them. But people are looking for the... I look for the [inaudible 00:39:21] ones, basically. People want free stuff on their birthday. It's natural. It's how it works.

Rhian (39:27):

Kelly (39:28):
Send them a cute happy birthday email. Customize it, especially based on their past purchase history if they've purchased from you before, especially. If they're a VIP customer, give them a little something extra that compared to what you would give somebody else.

Rhian (39:41):
I couldn't agree more. My daughter's birthday is this week, and I bought gluten-free birthday cake for her from Milk Bar. You check out, there's a great upsell for candles, which I'm like, genius because I was going to forget those, which goes to the matches point from earlier. I went through the checkout flow and at the very end, after you've checked out, there's two things. One, the top banner is just cookies and baking, which is... I'm like, "First of all, how dare you? Second of all, this is delightful." The second thing underneath, and it has sur shipping confirmation and stuff, it's like, "Let us treat you." It has some kind of framing around that, and it's a place to gather your birthday. I'm like, "This is genius." I loved it here. I thought it was the perfect place for it for Milk Bar, and I filled it out.

Kelly (40:40):
You got this from where?

Rhian (40:42):
Milk Bar.

Kelly (40:42):
Where'd you get this message? Where did it show up?

Rhian (40:45):
Oh, when you check out. I think you might need to buy something, but I don't know. I didn't-

Kelly (40:50):
Oh, I must've missed. I just ordered a Milk Bar cake, a birthday cake, for my best friend. Her birthday is next month. I went ahead and did it now before I forget.

Rhian (40:59):
That's a great idea. I love... It's just a great experience all around. But you talk about Motherly a lot as having a similar feature.

Kelly (41:09):

Rhian (41:11):
Mine is the cookies.

Kelly (41:13):
I mean, cookies are always okay. I think this is a good example, by the way, of the order confirmation email when you're buying a gift for somebody else. It says, "Hi Kelly, we received your order. Yay! We'll drop you a note once your order for Megan going to Atlanta has been boxed up and is ready to ship." They included who I was giving it to and where it was going directly in that little message there.

Rhian (41:34):
See. That's perfect.

Kelly (41:36):
I think it's super cute. Also, they include a link to the FAQs, right in the email in the next paragraph, things that make me happy.

Rhian (41:45):
That's great. That's a great example. That is a phenomenal example.

Kelly (41:49):
Other magical moments, one of my favorites is if you have a subscription business, "Hey, you've officially been a subscriber for a year and we really appreciate you. We're recognizing this."

Rhian (42:00):
Yes. You know who does this? Book of the Month.

Kelly (42:03):

Rhian (42:04):
Granted they're not on Shopify, but that's fine because this is a great idea for anybody. Once you've been subscribed for X amount of time, they send you a gift. Then, on your birthday, they give you a token, if you will, for an extra book. I might have those two things backwards in my mind. I've been a subscriber for a really long time and every year I get a thing, and then on my birthday I get another thing. I'm like, "This is cool." I haven't canceled. It's the longest subscription I've ever had.

Kelly (42:33):
Wow. Okay.

Rhian (42:35):
So whatever that means.

Kelly (42:37):
I don't think I've had a subscription for that long for anything. I think the longest subscription I ever had running was Graze, the snack box that arrives once every other week. That was back when I was in college, which was really great. But I don't think they ever sent me anything or a note saying, "Hey, you've been with us for a year." [inaudible 00:43:02]-

Rhian (43:01):
It's so special.

Kelly (43:03):

Rhian (43:03):
OLIPOP does it too with their subscriptions. They'll send a little thing every so often. I think it's great. It sets you apart from the crowd. You want user generated content? Guess what? People are going to post it. And then be like-

Kelly (43:16):
Exactly. They're going to post that.

Rhian (43:17):
"Unprompted?" They're going to be like, "Oh my god, I got this gift. This is so cool!" I think it's just something that, especially if you have a subscription business, you could just really take a good experience and turn it into an absolutely magical one.

Kelly (43:30):
Yeah. Yeah, my default I use are usually birthday and first purchase anniversary. This goes not even only for subscriptions, but literally... You purchased from us a year ago, and we're checking in with you to see how you're doing and if you want to buy something else.

Rhian (43:47):
I like that. Hey, would you like to buy something?

Kelly (43:48):
So I would, this is a free example for anyone who's selling plants, okay? I am a new plant mom. Okay, I've had my plants for a little while now, but let's say six months in you send me an email being like, "Hey, it's been six months since you purchased. How are your plants doing? Are they still alive? Are they happy? Are you happy? Can we help you in any way?" I think those kinds of things, those experiences really, really add up.

Rhian (44:18):
They really do. They make all the difference in the world. If you're on the receiving end of it, shout it out, whether you're a customer in this situation or merchant in this situation... I'm always about, not only be excellent to one another but also, if you have a great experience, remember to leave a review. This goes back to reviews. Remember to leave a review because remember that you want that to come back to you as well.

Kelly (44:52):
Yeah. I cannot stress that one enough. People do not leave enough positive reviews. Again, we only ever think of leaving a review when we're unhappy for some reason. So please leave positive reviews. They make people really happy. Hence, leave a review for our podcast. Anyway...

Rhian (45:11):
So Kelly, let's do our store shout-outs of the week, yeah?

Kelly (45:13):
Okay. Yeah, let's do it. Okay, I'll go first.

Rhian (45:17):

Kelly (45:18):
My shout-out this week is Copper Cow Coffee. They make Vietnamese pour over coffee, and it is delicious. I am really excited to... They actually recently signed a contract with us for the Tap Room, so we're going to be overhauling their subscription experience. And it's going to be so much fun. I love working with brands that I actually like, so... That's a weird thing to say, that I have experience with and I like.

Rhian (45:45):
That's excellent news. That is super, super great. My store of the week is Milk Bar, because of exactly all the stuff that I just said earlier. It was just such a great experience. I was like, "This is great. I love it. I'm here for it." I also love the food, which is a great addition. Check it out if you are, no matter what process or stage you are in business, I think that their website is a phenomenal example of what to do, especially with perishable consumer goods.

Kelly (46:18):
Oh, yes. For sure. Their upsell experience is really great too. There are so many really great things about it, so yeah, heavy, heavy recommend.

Rhian (46:27):

Kelly (46:28):
All right. I think that wraps up our super mini series on creating delightful customer experiences. I don't think there's much more to add right now.

Rhian (46:40):
I don't think so. If we think of something, though, we will tell you.

Kelly (46:43):
We will have an encore episode or something like that. We'll see how it goes.

Rhian (46:48):
An encore.

Kelly (46:50):
Anyway, thank you so much for tuning and thanks again to our sponsors for supporting this episode. We have a YouTube channel. I'm going to keep on talk about the YouTube channel that we will eventually be posting more videos to. You can find at It's hard running multiple businesses. It's just a lot of work to find time to do all these things.

Rhian (47:09):
It truly is. It truly is.

Kelly (47:11):
I swear I enjoy doing these videos, but again, I had to wash my hair to actually... I don't really have to, but it's a nice thing to do. Anyway, once again, if you like our podcast, please leave us a review on Apple Podcast. Reviews make us really happy and we love to read them. You can subscribe to Commerce Tea on your favorite podcasting service. We post new episodes every Tuesday, so grab your mug and join us then. We'll see you next week.

Rhian (47:34):

Rhian (47:39):
ClockedIn is a time clock for Shopify. With ClockedIn, your team members can easily clock in and out of their shifts from anywhere. You can manage your team's hours as they work remotely with an intuitive interphase that can be used from desktop, tablet or mobile. Check it out at or on the Shopify app store.

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