Like most millennials, I am easily swayed by the beauty and fashion trends. At the start of my college career, I (regrettably) left my eyebrows wild and free and wore an unsteady streak of liquid eyeliner. Gradually, I transitioned into bold eyeshadows, thinly-plucked brows, and globs of mascara. Now, I find myself faithful to products that give me that "bare-faced" (but not really bare-faced) look, and I invest extraneous amounts of time and money on my skincare. Yes, it's true: I am a Glossier girl.
I was first introduced to Glossier by a friend who claimed her skin had never felt more plump and dewy. These were not adjectives I had ever considered to be associated with one's skin, especially in a positive way. I found myself thinking, "What the heck is dewy skin?"
Now, dewy skin is all I strive for. Every morning, I apply Boy Brow to my eyebrows, roll Haloscope onto my cheekbones, swipe a layer of Birthday Balm Dotcom onto my lips, and immediately feel like a boss lady. The kind who dons a fitted blazer, has a permanently arched right eyebrow, and struts to work in the morning with "Miss Independent" by Kelly Clarkson blasting in the background.
Glossier makes me feel confident and empowered in my own skin. Natural, healthy skin is in, and women all over the world are hungrily following the Glossier cult. It's partly because we all want that perfect, dewy skin. But it's also partly because of the unwavering loyalty of their customer service.
What is Glossier?
Glossier is a leading direct-to-consumer makeup and skincare brand. It was founded in 2014 by Emily Weiss, born from her makeup and skincare blog Into the Gloss. Into the Gloss got its claim to fame through Weiss's interviews with icons, such as Kim Kardashian, about their beauty regimens.
When Weiss founded Glossier, it already had a cult-like following from her blog. Within 6 weeks of the launch of the company's first four products, Glossier had $8.4 million in Series A funding.
Glossier thrives on its perfected brand image. Some key aspects of the brand include: that natural, dewy skin; the trademark Glossier pink; the motto of "skin first. makeup second."; minimal makeup; diverse women; and cool and casual vibes. Also, its packaging is very memorable. All Glossier goodies are delivered in a pink box and filled with fun stickers and a pink bubble makeup bag containing your products.
While Glossier has opened two locations -- the New York Showroom and Glossier LA -- it is still an e-commerce brand. It has an incredible customer service team, affectionately known as the gTEAM. The fierce passion, kindness, and drive of the gTEAM is an inspiration and a testament to the hustle and dedication customer service teams bring to the table.
Here, we have composed a list of the top lessons we've learned from Glossier, based on the values and mantras of the gTEAM.
8 Customer Service Lessons We Learned from Glossier
1. Call it what you want it to be.
At Glossier, the name is "customer experience", not customer service. The gTEAM prefers this name because so much of what they do is about creating a better customer experience.
Customer Experience Coordinator Emily Mullaney believes the gTEAM is different than other customer service teams. Rather than speaking from a script and rapidly sending emails, the gTEAM has real conversations with customers comparing products and talking about they use each product.
In addition, customer service reps are referred to as "editors." The gTEAM is well-equipped with a sensational group of people. They are experts on the brand and provide personal opinions and insights to their customers. It was only fitting that their titles reflect their role.
The bottom line: Titles matter. If you want your customer service team to achieve greatness, it may help motivate them if you recognize their hard work. Changing the name of the team and titles of each position may seem menial, but it can make your reps feel appreciated and have a huge impact on their mentality.
2. Don't separate; integrate.
Customer service is an integral part of every marketing department. So...why is it not always considered that way in many companies?
At Glossier, the gTEAM helps with product development decisions. The gTEAM takes customer feedback, questions, and complaints and uses them to help create new products that will be fan favorites, such as the Glossier Invisible Shield daily sunscreen.
These contributions the gTEAM makes to product development brings in actual retention and conversions. Basically, without the input of their customer experience team, Glossier wouldn't know what customers really need.
The bottom line: Recognize the value your customer service team brings. Let them have a say in marketing decisions. Don't outsource your team or separate them from the rest of the marketing team. Instead, use the customer feedback gained through customer service to continuously improve products, packaging, shipping, and more.
3. Let your customers help you.
Glossier has its own representative program. According to Weiss, Glossier's customers are their best form of marketing. They spread the word about the brand and its products and have interpreted Glossier to be what they want and need it to be. And, it gives an opportunity to young women, like Emily Loughridge above, who love the brand and want to be more involved with it.
Reps get their own pages. When customers buy products through their pages, the reps get a combination of commission and credit towards products. They typically post photos of products on their Instagram Stories or share the news about launches of new products. Basically, Glossier has recruited real customers to simply talk more about the brand and get their friends invested.
The bottom line: Let your best customers do the marketing for you. Potential leads are way more likely to trust a customer review or fellow friend's suggestion over a paid marketing advertisement from the company itself. If you have customers who are loyal to your brand, give them the chance to represent it, and they'll be sure to build your customer base.
4. Be what you are ... human.
This email exchange between a gTEAM editor and my colleague Sophia Bernazzani shows how authentically the gTEAM converses with its customers. The editors on the gTEAM pride themselves on being friendly, warm, and thoughtful.
Not only do they exhibit these traits, but they are typically employees who started out as customers. They understand their customers, and thus, are empathetic towards them.
In any customer service interaction, the last thing a customer wants is to be speaking to a generic bot. Going off-script and being genuine with customers means saving time, but also, providing them with support they will remember.
The bottom line: Bring your unique personality to your role. Be honest about mistakes you make and questions to which you don't have answers, but also apologize for that. Share with them your own experiences with those products and services and give real recommendations. Use emojis (when appropriate), humor, and sincerity. Basically, be human. And customers will adore it.
5. Interact with your customers where they are.
The gTEAM doesn't just limit its interaction with customers to emails and phone calls. Editors speak to customers on all social channels, from Facebook to Instagram to Twitter. And, they actually respond to customers' questions, comments, and concerns, as shown in this Instagram exchange in reference to Glossier's Invisible Shield daily sunscreen.
Direct messages on social media are the most common form of communication between editors and customers. Sometimes, the gTEAM even uses FaceTime.
The difference between the gTEAM and many other customer service teams is that they strive towards increasing conversations with customers, rather than having the mindset of dreading calls and shutting down customers. They want to speak to their customers, so they go where their customers are spending most of their time online.
The bottom line: It's not cool to ignore customer comments and complaints. Customers expect you to respond to them -- immediately. You're way more likely to interact with customers on social channels than via email these days, especially if your target market is millennial or Generation Z. Show them you really care by making it easy for them to speak to you, right on their favorite social channels. And, by having a more positive attitude to customer conversations, you may also have better conversations and feedback, too.
6. Treat your customers like your friends.
There is an amazing story of Glossier going above and beyond for a single customer. A bride-to-be was panicked because Glossier was sold out of the Haloscope highlighter, which she wanted to use on her wedding day. After writing to the gTEAM, an editor messaged the entire office, hoping an employee might have an unopened Haloscope to spare. They finally tracked one down and mailed it to the ecstatic bride-to-be.
Glossier treats its customers as it would any friend, family member, or coworker. And why shouldn't they? That extra step Glossier takes to make customers, like this one, happy shows the relationship of mutual respect and loyalty that has been built.
At the start of the company, Weiss even personally handled some deliveries. Still today, she responds to every direct message she receives and is compassionate and humble when speaking with customers.
The bottom line: It often costs little to nothing to go that extra mile for a customer, with results that are worth the trouble. Your customers are doing you a huge favor by purchasing your products or services; the least you can do is do them a favor in return, once in a while. After all, how can you expect them to care about you and your brand if you don't reciprocate?
7. Take advantage of your company's growth.
When Glossier's gTEAM was first born, the company sold one product. Now, having grown to sell 23 products, the gTEAM only seems to be benefiting from this growth.
As Glossier grew as a business, it also meant it was growing in the size of its employees. More people representing the gTEAM meant more opportunities for conversations with customers. The team divides editors so that each one focuses on customer interaction via a different channel.
The bottom line: Your company's growth means more opportunities for you to make a difference for your customers. A larger customer service team shouldn't mean the responsibilities are thinned out across the team. Instead, each team member should still be working equally as hard, producing a greater impact. And, as your company develops more products, that means more products for you to recommend to your customers.
8. Care about your work (because it rocks!).
In the gTEAM job description, Glossier highlights that they are looking for employees who are enthusiastic, compassionate, thoughtful, and passionate about building strong customer relationships. Also, instead of requiring a cover letter, Glossier has interested applicants submit a statement in under 400 words on why they want to work in customer service.
It's obvious that every editor on the gTEAM genuinely cares about Glossier, its customers, and the work that they are doing. They want to be working there, and that reflects on the conversations they have with customers and the efforts they put into customer experiences.
The bottom line: If you're passionate about your company, that'll be clear to your customers. Sometimes, it takes researching and understanding your brand's mission, values, and products or services to gain that level of dedication to what the company stands for. Taking that knowledge, approach each conversation with the desire to improve a customer's experience. Relish in the excitement that you get to be the one to help a customer navigate your brand and purchase a new product or service.
Whether you're working for a skincare brand or a SaaS company, these lessons can be absorbed by any professional in customer service.
Glossier's gTEAM exemplifies the same qualities valued by the brand: fun, thoughtfulness, authenticity, naturalness, and simplicity. By sticking true to your brand's values, you can also achieve exceptional customer service.
For more tips on improving and educating your team, read about effective customer service training ideas.
Featured Image Source: Glossier
Originally published Jun 25, 2018 8:00:00 AM, updated July 12 2019