What's in episode 26?
Keith catches up with Philippe Roireau, Head of BD and Partnerships at Gorgias. Gorgias is the highest-rated customer service and live chat helpdesk for Shopify and Shopify Plus stores.
Philippe highlights how Gorgias can convert general customer service queries into sales. Gorgias helps you manage all your customer support: chat, email, social media. Edit orders, issue refunds directly from support conversations in a single app.
Episode 26 Milk Bottle Shopify Podcast with Philippe Roireau
Philippe: [00:00:00] You need to talk to your customers on every platform where they are. So your customers will contact you through email, obviously, but also on Facebook comments, on Instagram, it will send you messenger comments, but potentially even SMS if you're doing any type of SMS marketing. So they're expecting your team to be available everywhere where they are reaching out from.
[00:00:26] It's even more true that they're expecting to be able to talk to someone. Company
[00:00:37] Intro: [00:00:37] Welcome to the Milk Bottle Shopify Ecommerce Podcast brought to you by Milk Bottle Labs, Ireland's top rated Shopify experts, Milk Bottle Labs, build, upgrade, migrate and market Shopify and Shopify Plus stores all over the world. Milk Bottle will migrate you onto Shopify with zero interruption guaranteed, or optimise your Shopify store and maximize store sales. This podcast is kindly supported by our favourite Shopify app and the only app we install in every store. Rewind.io is the leading backup solution for your Shopify store. We'll talk more about Rewind later now over to your host, founder of Milk Bottle Labs Keith Matthews.
[00:01:24] Keith: [00:01:24] Hey folks, welcome back to another episode of the Milk Bottle Shopify Ecommerce Podcast.
[00:01:29] Today I'm delighted to talk to Philippe Roireau. He is the head of partnerships at Gorgias.io. Gorgias is a wonderful customer service platform, which has been designed specifically for Shopify store owners. And today we discuss how Gorgias can help you turn customer service from a cost centre into a profit centre.
[00:01:49] So here it goes. Philippe from Gorgias. How are you?
[00:01:52] Philippe: [00:01:52] I'm good. Thanks so much Keith for having us.
[00:01:55] Keith: [00:01:55] Great to have you. It's been a while since we met and I've been watching your growth in the market. The product growth is accelerating and I can see that it's been adopted by a lot of Shopify merchants, so we'll talk about Gorgias in a few minutes, but first Philly, where are you calling from?
[00:02:08] Philippe: [00:02:08] I'm in Montreal right now, just enjoying the summer with family and friends, usually based in Toronto, but our company is pure SAS play from San Francisco. So this is, I spend a lot of time there as well.
[00:02:22] Keith: [00:02:22] So your head office is in San Francisco?
[00:02:24] Philippe: [00:02:24] That's correct, yeah.
[00:02:25] Keith: [00:02:25] Okay. So when I hear the French accent, then that's obviously French Montreal, is that right?
[00:02:30] Philippe: [00:02:30] Yeah. Was a French Canadian side of me that I can't get rid of.
[00:02:33] Keith: [00:02:33] Very good. And your, your history Philippe, you have an interesting history. You worked for Google at one point. Is that right?
[00:02:41] Philippe: [00:02:41] Yeah, that's, that's, that was one step of the way. When I graduated from university, I got recruited on Microsoft and, uh, sometime there in Montreal and then in Paris.
[00:02:51] And then for some reason, Google, asked me if I wanted to go in Poland. So I found myself in Poland with a bunch of French students. Uh, all young grads. We had a great, great time. And also, I. Through my time at Google, I, I ended up in Ireland at the time. So I was in Dublin and I had a chance to visit the country spent a few months in there.
[00:03:12] So yeah, it was great. And then I had the crazy, I knew started in beverage business, so yeah. Don't ask me why. It was a long story. Now I came back to Canada to start that business lasted a few years and. Then Shopify, like we started seeing a lot of movement. One of my friends was just starting like a small store and was just hitting his first strides in eCommerce and told me, Hey look, this platform seems like we can do something with it.
[00:03:41] So yeah, I became a merchant and fast, like fast enough, you know, we were selling millions of dollars and we were one of the fastest growing merchants in Canada. And we ended up having a lot of customer service issues. So we turned ourselves to the solution, the full solution Zendesk, but it still wasn't helping us and we couldn't scale and help our customers the right way.
[00:04:09] So we were all on Shopify plus at the moment, and I asked our Shopify NSM like, Hey, is there another solution or something that you know, can help us streamline our processes. When it comes to customer service, and he goes like, yeah, there's, there was this solution. They're Gorgias. It's just starting.
[00:04:30] It's really bearable, but you should check it out. So we tried it and. Overnight. So within a few months, we changed completely the structure of our customer service team going from 12 agents in the Philippines and two in Toronto to two agents in the Philippines and two in Toronto. So that's how big of an impact Gorgias did for our company three years ago.
[00:05:00] So that's how it all started and I met Romain Lapeyre my CEO
[00:05:04] Keith: [00:05:04] So you were actually, ironically, you were one of the first customers of Gorgias.
[00:05:08] Philippe: [00:05:08] Apparently at some point I was 25% of their annual record. I didn't know at the time I might have been more cautious.
[00:05:21] I was just a little funny story about how it all started, we were their largest client by quite a margin there. I was wondering why we were getting so much attention from the CEO.
[00:05:33] Keith: [00:05:33] Just before I pressed record there, you mentioned then that you were one of the first employees, so did you contact them at some point to say, listen to your hiring, or how did that come about?
[00:05:42] Philippe: [00:05:42] We were dropshipping. And when it comes to our ecommerce store I wanted to move towards brand building. But my partner was like let's keep this casual with dropshipping.
[00:05:56] I became quite acquainted with Rowan, our CEO, and we realized that at the same school, the same program and a few things just a few year apart, and I just loved the product. I was really a big fanboy for that product. Then were at that point like a year after we started using them as a company like it was clear that for just add a product market fit, they still had to figure out how to accelerate growth.
[00:06:23] So I was , like, let's see how we can work together. Let's try it in the company
[00:06:32] for like a month or two. See the results that we can generate. So we tried a few things. Like chat, like we discover that channel was going to work well for the company, and that's how I became involved full time. Just going in there and developing relationship with agencies such as Milk Bottle and also making sure that we're every everywhere when it comes to Shopify and e-commerce events, and it's been, it's been a great road for us. Yeah. But as you said, I joined the company. There was four employees just a little bit over a year ago, and now we just crossed thirty.
[00:07:12] Keith: [00:07:12] Yeah. I regularly talk to app developers who have, I suppose.
[00:07:15] You know, after a couple of years of growth that then began to describe themselves as a SAS company, because that's what they become. And it's great to see the growth in such a short space of time. It's fantastic. So well done on that. For a high performance Shopify store, if you're gathering hundreds or thousands of customers a week, you're delivering thousands of products a week.
[00:07:35] The potential for contact with your customer from a positive point of view and from a negative point of view in terms of the delivery questions, product quality, all of that kind of stuff. Customer service. It's a difficult thing to manage. And you mentioned earlier on used previous products in the, in your own e-commerce venture.
[00:07:53] Just explain to everybody what exactly Gorgias does and why it's different.
[00:07:57] Philippe: [00:07:57] Yeah. Well, first and foremost, as you just alluded to, you need to talk to your customers on every platform. So your customers will contact you through email, obviously, but also on Facebook comments on Instagram, it will send you messenger, potentially even SMS if you're doing any type of SMS marketing.
[00:08:19] So they're expecting your team to be available everywhere where they are reaching out from. It's even more true that they're expecting to be able to talk to someone from your company. On every marketing channel that you are using. If you're doing SMS marketing and you're not replying to your SMS. There was something wrong with your processes.
[00:08:44] If you're doing, like if you're available on messenger and you were even growing your messenger list and doing messenger bots or things like that. When somebody asks a genuine question, if you can be on top of that because there's too much noise from your bots that is created? I mean, that's not right for the customer and it's not the experience that they are expecting.
[00:09:07] So it might lead to frustration. Likewise, if they're asking questions on your Facebook or Instagram comments, the customer does ask the question might not come back. See if you replied to them. Although they will get in the station if you do, it's all the other customers that see that you're not replying to your customers.
[00:09:26] Like if they say a question has been asked like two, three days ago on your Facebook ads and no one from the company went there to monitor or provided any type of. I mean the other people that see that. Yeah. It reduces the credibility of your company. Yeah. It looks bad. I mean, it looks bad for everybody and pain for your ass to be in front. So the first thing that Gorgias does is it aggregates all of your communication channel in one place so that your customer service agents don't need to show a whole different platform. They don't need to go through the Facebook backend or the SMS backend. Or an email provider all in one place.
[00:10:08] The second thing that it does is that it maps all those conversations thematically to a Shopify profile. So if somebody purchased and are contacting you on messenger, we will map every time that messenger conversation to a Shopify customer profile along with all the orders. And then since you have this oldest data available, you can use the those data points to be inserted somatically in your canned responses and also build rules and workflows out of those data points.
[00:10:46] So somebody's asking a very standard questions, such as, where's my order? Well, you can reply in one click with all of their data independent on the channel.
[00:11:00] Keith: [00:11:00] From a Shopify point of view, when you log into your dashboard, obviously you've got full details of the customer. When you click into an order or you click into a customer, what are you saying that you can basically to design a system where you can place different styles of customers or values of customers into buckets.
[00:11:14] And they, it collates all of their contact details outside of the actual Shopify order, for example, social, and then allows you then to contact that customer whichever way you want. Is that the way it works?
[00:11:24] Philippe: [00:11:24] Yeah, that's right. It allows you to connect the customer profile on any channel where they're contacting you from Shopify to their data.
[00:11:36] So if they're contacting you on Instagram you can know that this person also contacted you on chat, on email, and that he purchased, you know, or of jeans two weeks ago. And he didn't receive this order yet. So you can aggregate and use all of those app points in order and create a very unique experience and consistent experience.
[00:12:00] Keith: [00:12:00] One of the biggest challenges that I see with, with your particular product on this, we've seen this happen with a number of Plus merchants where they scale at a very fast pace over two or three years.
[00:12:10] And then after two or three years, they realize that they've actually had two or three different developers on 10 or 15 staff in the store, and it's not out of control, but it certainly isn't the way it should be. One of the benefits of using Gorgias is the fact that you can add staff members, but they don't actually touch the store.
[00:12:25] So could you just explain exactly how that works?
[00:12:28] Philippe: [00:12:28] It's especially important if you're hiring a third party company to manage your support. Let's say you're scaling fast. You don't want to hire a support agents inhouse. You were finding like a chat centre to manage your conversations. Like, do you want, do you want everybody to have access to your data and email list and so on?
[00:12:50] No. You just want them to see what's relevant to them. So. When you're working with Gorgias, unlike any other platform, you don't need to get a store access to most of your customer service agents because all of the actions that they would usually need to go in the store for can be realized from that main dashboard.
[00:13:10] So if you need to process a refund, cancelling an order anything it should be address and so on, all of this can be done directly from the. Customer's profile or dashboard and all the actions that you were taking there will be reflected in Shopify. So, yeah, you're right. If you're outsourcing to the Philippines, you don’t want to give everybody, your Shopify store data, so this is a great way to avoid potential security risk as well.
[00:13:41] Keith: [00:13:41] It certainly is. Another app that we love is that actually the team that Rewind who are supporting the podcast is the rewind app for it. Actually. It's basically an insurance policy for your store where it's somebody like an agent goes in with with very little experience and unfortunately makes a mistake in the store, Rewind will rewind store back to its original state.
[00:13:59] Ultimately, I think where most serious businesses want to get to is to actually keep people out of the store and of course your applications is perfect for that
[00:14:08] Philippe: [00:14:08] I've used Rewind on my stores as well. It's for the Customer service. Also like for peopleto get back all your data.
[00:14:26] Keith: [00:14:26] I wouldn't criticize the platform very often, but it's certainly very easy to delete content.
[00:14:31] Philippe: [00:14:31] You can screw up.
[00:14:33] Keith: [00:14:33] Exactly. One of the areas that I'm really interested in is the, is the return on investment on the commercial, I suppose the investments required and then the commercial return in any app on one of the areas that I find surprising when we're talking to customers is that the first thing that a customer will ask is what costs an app is if it's over $20 and $30 they seem to fail to understand that the actual value of the app versus the return in monetary value.
[00:15:00] Now I know that's Gorgias. Effectively turns customer support into a profit centre rather than a cost centre. And I've heard you on occasions, you know, describe Gorgias that way. Do you have any, any examples of stores where customer experience has been changed so much? There has actually been a massive measurable return as a result of a proper CRM, like Gorgias.
[00:15:22] Philippe: [00:15:22] Yeah, absolutely. So and Gorgias. Right now we power over 1800 Shopify stores from anywhere, from like a solo preneur that just needs to save an hour a day, do more value added tasks all the way up to stores, driving multiple hundreds of millions in sales and having a support team over a hundred so always the common denominator there is that they all are on Shopify.
[00:15:49] Gorgias. Like our main mission, as you said, is to transform customer support from a cost centre into a profit generator. And there are many ways that we do that. Actually, there's a three step process that we will work with companies such as movement or or feel towards achieving.
[00:16:09] And the first step of this process is to optimise. The recurring questions and workflows are happening in customer service. So really optimise and automate as much as possible. So for example, you have often people asking how to apply a discount in your store, you'll want to create a workflow in Gorgias that will reply automatically to people asking how to apply this discount if they have not purchased yet.
[00:16:40] If they have purchased, great, we'll take it. That will be looked at by the customer support and a reply to see if they are eligible for refund. So in this case, a lot of the requests are being answered thematically just when it's relevant to answer, how to apply a discount thematically so that the customer doesn't wait for your service things get back to them and reply.
[00:17:03] So optimising workflows. That's really the first step. Optimising things such as where is my order and returning exchange, and this just this part alone, we'll have an impact, usually about 30% efficiency gain of the support team. So if you're just doing this with Gorgias from your current processes and you're going through this, it's going to take maybe a month or two and you have, let's say a team of 10 agents today.
[00:17:31] Like in two months, you will most probably only need a team of seven agents to do the same thing. So really like helping reduce the overhead cost, but that's also true. If you're on one and you're spending 100% of your time down 70% of your time, Then the second step. Is two, make sure that you're available on all communication channel.
[00:17:55] So we've talked a lot about Facebook comments and Instagram. SMS is huge this year, so you want to make sure that your support team is monitoring what is going on on every channel and for example, on SMS, if you're using SMS as a store owner, just go out there right now and try SMS for yourself, like implement a quick abandoned cart, SMS, a sequence or win-back sequence.
[00:18:24] There was a handful of tool integrate really well, which I would find is I'm going to plug in there. Postscript, SMSbump, emotive retention rocket.
[00:18:37] Keith: Let's take a short break and I'll share the one app we installed on every Shopify build. The team at Rewind.io have developed the leading backup solution for Shopify. Did you know there is no way of recovering lost data from the Shopify store? Rewind.io automatically backs up your store data in the event of a data loss, usually due to human error. Rewind enables you to rewind your store back to its previous state. It's so simple, and it's used by some of the world's leading Shopify agencies, such as Kurt Elster of Ethercycle and Kelly Vaughn at the Taproom. If your store is gaining traction, you may have multiple users making changes. Often store owners allow theme or app developers enter a store to add code. Sometimes mistakes happen and data gets deleted. You can reduce your business risk today and prevent a costly catastrophe by installing the Rewind.io app on your Shopify store. Get your first month of rewind for free by simply responding to any of the welcome messages or emails you receive after you begin your seven day trial and mentioned this podcast. Now back to the interview.
[00:19:40] Keith: We'll put those references in the, in the show notes at the end. Just to explain to the listeners, like as I look at your integrations page, basically for the Shopify customer, you can integrate social channels. Email a recharge billing. If you're using recharge and there's a host of integrations, so you can basically just use Gorgias as your daily control panel.
[00:20:01] For the SMS that you've just mentioned, are you suggesting that customers should implement an SMS facility. Is that just for order confirmation or is it for refunds confirmation, or is it for every interaction similar to an email?
[00:20:17] Philippe: [00:20:17] Yeah. I implemented for marketing purposes, so you can send SMS for people that have abandoned carts and input their phone number in the checkout page. So people reaching out, reaching the checkout, but there are also other cool tools, but that's the easiest one. So people reaching checkout with an item and their cards and not converting. You can send them an SMS. Obviously they need to opt-in, like the opt-in rate is good enough and you can send them SMS and reengage with them, reminding them what the item in their cart was over like a period of 24 hours.
[00:20:56] But that would happen. On the SMS channel, unlike any other channels such as email, is that people will reply to those SMS because it's such an intimate channel and they will tell you exactly why they didn't purchase the item from you in the first place. It can be anything from like, you didn't have the right colour, or then find the item that we're looking for or even they didn't get their paycheck this week or something like that.
[00:21:22] So, and then you were a customer service. Needs to be able to monitor those replies because you're sending a very intimate message on their phone so they're replying. So you want to make sure that you're monitoring what's going on there. And it's such a great opportunity to know what's good and what's wrong with your website, cause people will tell you exactly why they didn't purchase and then you can try to convert again through customer service and engaging through the SMS platform.
[00:21:50] So that's one way that really. Monitoring all communication channels. will be driving revenue for your business. But also if you're doing Facebook ads, and I know like most Shopify merchants spend a ton of money on Facebook ads, you know, go see what's happening on your ads right now. Are people engaging?
[00:22:11] Well, as I do lay on your ad saying like tagging their friends and saying things such as, you know, I need this, I want this in my life, Oh, I really liked this item. Yes. Like it's happening hundreds of times every day on people like spending about a grand a day. So you want to make sure that you're monitoring what's going on on those ads.
[00:22:31] They're very, very efficient and that you're even potentially isolating those positive comments, and replying at scale. So everybody that has a positive intent because every time you're replying, it's notifying them. So it's like free remarketing. And customer service basically re-engages people that already have a positive intent and incentivize them to visit the website.
[00:22:54] That's another way to leverage customer support and streamlined processes in order to boost traffic and sales.
[00:23:03] Keith: [00:23:03] So you've mentioned two really important points. You just answered the question in terms of turning the cost center into a profit centre. So what you're saying is, is that it provided that you're responding to all interactions and giving, given your potential customers as many channels as possible to contact you, even though it's customer support, there's always going to be an opportunity to upsell because as you say, but they're interacting with you more and you're finding out more.
[00:23:26] Philippe: [00:23:26] That's right. So you want to create, another way to do that is through chat and chat campaign. So a lot of people have a chat widget on their website. That's fine. But you can really go further and engage with your clients.
[00:23:43] You know, depending on the content that they're seeing and creating messages that are like small kind of proactive chat messages on your website that will display only when the client is seeing something relevant. So for example, if somebody is walking or just entering your website on the home page, you can be like, Hey, welcome to our store I'm the yoga professional, let me know if you need help finding something just very general, non-salesy, just welcoming them. Just like you would welcome them if you had a retail location and then let's say they're looking at yoga pants or a pair of shoes or a shoe collection, then you can have a message that's a little bit more on point.
[00:24:29] Hey, you know, we have a special offer for shoes use the shoe, five for 5% off. Do you have any questions about sizing? You know, you usually woman go half a size up. If you selling shoes, you can, you're doing many things with those chat messages that are proactive and made. First, you're giving an incentive purchase.
[00:24:49] Then you're acknowledging what they're seeing. And finally, you're putting in place from the statement of the objection, like your, you're busting and objection basically by a statement. In this case, what's the biggest objection for buying shoes online? It's the size. So having a statement like, Hey, do you have questions about size? Usually, women go half the size up. You're telling them like you're, you're just removing the fear out of their thing and is they really, well, they'll pop that chat open and they'll start engaging a real customer service agent. And then the real, the customer service agent can close the deal. So the last way that we really transform, or one of the other way we transformed it into a profit centre is that now we have a dashboard that is able to measure how much your customer service agents are transforming presale inquiries, coming to a chat or other channels into actual sales.
[00:25:44] Since we map all those conversations to Shopify then. So you can even incentivize your agents to just close more deals, rather than always like answering questions like where is my order? You want them to really have meaningful conversations with your clients that will really help build your brand. And do more sales.
[00:26:05] Keith: [00:26:05] So you're starting your customer service team into effectively a sales team and through Gorgias you can actually measure that benefit in a dashboard. Sales that are linked to conversations through Gorgias are basically measured in the Gorgias dashboards. And then, so that's how you're measuring the return on investment. Is that right?
[00:26:24] Philippe: [00:26:24] That's right. And then you can really incentivize your team on closing more deals.
[00:26:28] And as you said, you're transforming your team not in to like an online customer support team anymore. It's more like your an effective sales team and sees your support agents as retail store associates. Once you're getting that mindset, you're like, yeah, that's the Bible value that we need to deliver. Just like if we had a real physical location, we want those conversations to be, and that and that same type, then it's really powerful for like leading brands that have real, real products.
[00:27:03] It can really change because what we see is like once a customer engages in a conversation prior to purchasing, the conversion rate is you will be around 20% so how powerful is that? I don't know who has a 20% conversion rate on their website. Yeah, but like I know certainly my sources didn't have that. So having those conversations...
[00:27:30] you can expect a 20% conversion rate from pre-sale into actual sales.
[00:27:39] Keith: [00:27:39] It's kind of like a warm lead. The customer has contacted you or commented on one of your channels, so the chances are it could result in a sale because they, I suppose they've made an investment in time or made some sort of emotional investments with that people just to be on your site or on one of your social channels.
[00:27:55] So it makes what you said makes perfect sense. You mentioned something earlier on there that workflows on a setup with most pieces of software provided the customer spends some time. To actually set it up correctly, that the longterm benefit is, is that they will save time because their automation will take a lot of, a lot of the workloads and will, as you say, automatically respond to.
[00:28:16] Or if the customer has 10 frequently asked questions, you can just say Gorgias open to having those 10 workflows to automatically respond an answer to the answer to the customer, depending on what channel they're on. Is there much setup required. You know, for, I wouldn't say for an average store, but a successful Shopify store.
[00:28:34] In your experience, does it take much time and skill to actually set Gorgias up to take full advantage of all of its capabilities.
[00:28:42] Philippe: [00:28:42] The good news here is that we've set thousands of store now. So we have a process that we go through with store owners, and it literally takes like half an hour of discovery and then half an hour training for all team.
[00:28:54] And we take care of all the setup for likes or for a fair amount of our customers. So, but then it's just about having the store have a continuous improvement mindset. So let's say you have a team of three support agents. You want to have one of these always improve the system day by day, just a little bit.
[00:29:21] So instead of replying, to tickets only, they should set an hour aside in order to find a path to optimise workflows. Every day that gets put today, we'll have compounding over time and it will exponentially improve the efficiency of your team. So changing the mindset a little bit into like, okay. One of our agents is going to be a little bit more engaged and a champion and we'll like provide them a little bit of time to be more pointed with the possibilities is it's going to be exponentially worth it over time, but to get set up to get started, that's starting to show the impact.
[00:30:05] It literally takes a couple of hours and you're up and running.
[00:30:09] Keith: [00:30:09] So once the customer sets that Gorgias up if they scale and not different areas of the business or different social media channels, or they add any new channel of communication, they can be just bolted on as the company scales that right?
[00:30:23] Philippe: [00:30:23] A few clicks away.
[00:30:24] That simple.
[00:30:25] Keith: [00:30:25] Fantastic. I have to say I've really enjoyed this one. Thank you very, very much for sharing your insights. We will put all of the links to Gorgias in the show notes and listen the best of luck in the future.
[00:30:35] Philippe: [00:30:35] Yeah, thank you so much. Anybody that wants to reach out, put my email in the notes and don't hesitate.
[00:30:40] Keith: [00:30:40] Perfect. I'll talk to you soon.
[00:30:41] Philippe: [00:30:41] Have a great day. Bye. Bye.
[00:30:44] Outro: [00:30:44] Thanks for listening to the Milk Bottles Shopify Ecommerce Podcast. All of our episodes are available on Spotify and iTunes. We really appreciate the support of our sponsor. Rewind.io, the leading backup solution for your Shopify store. Get your first month of Rewind for free. Just to respond to any of the welcome messages or emails after you begin your seven day free trial and mention our podcast until the next time. Take care.