Caswell-Massey is America’s original purveyor of luxury personal care products and accessories. Since its founding in 1752 in Newport, Rhode Island, Caswell-Massey has served a distinguished clientele including the Founding Fathers, the pioneers of Wall Street, and legends of art and film. It is one of the oldest continuously operating companies in the United States and the world. Its main product categories are soaps, fragrances, lotions, shaving products and tools, other apothecary-style personal care accessories, and bath- and fragrance-related products for the home. Caswell-Massey currently has three retail stores in the United States, and sells products through its website and mail-order catalog, as well as through department stores and specialty shops.
Before engaging Global Response, Caswell-Massey was using another outsourced call center but wasn’t happy with the quality of customer service it provided. So after the holiday season, Caswell-Massey conducted a search for a new call center that would be a better fit and selected Global Response for several reasons. “We were impressed with their client list, which includes leading retailers like FAO Schwartz and Lord&Taylor,” said Tony N, COO and vice president of Caswell-Massey. “We’re that same kind of high-quality retailer, so we felt confident that Global Response would know how to represent our brand and connect with our customers. We also met with Global Response owners, who were very friendly and available. We felt we could have a partnership with them and not simply a client/vendor relationship.”
To familiarize themselves with the company’s products, Global Response Brand Care Specialists traveled to Caswell-Massey headquarters in Edison, New Jersey, where they got firsthand experience with the products, heard from Caswell-Massey product developers about product features and benefits, and absorbed the company culture. After returning home, the agents continued to immerse themselves in the brand by taking advantage of discounts to buy the products, use them, and give them as gifts. “Their enthusiasm for our products has a big payoff for us,” says Tony. “When we monitor calls, we hear customers ask about a product and the Global Response agent will say ‘I use it myself and it smells like this, or it lathers like that.’ That type of endorsement based on personal experience is very believable and compelling for customers.”
The payoff Tony is referring to is both an intangible one – happier, more-loyal customers – and a tangible one – improved performance metrics. Evidence that Caswell-Massey’s customers are happier comes directly from the customers themselves. “We went from getting several complaints a week about customer service with the previous call center to getting compliments and thank-you letters from customers,” says Tony. “That’s almost unheard of – for someone to write in and say they had an excellent experience with a phone representative.”
As for improved metrics, the most impressive one is AOV: Global Response helped raise Caswell-Massey’s AOV from $64.14 to $71.09. “That’s huge,” says Tony. “Every two-dollar jump in AOV is a lot of money.” He says the Global Response agents are particularly adept at finding ways to boost AOV that benefit both the customer and the company. “For instance, we have free shipping for orders of $100 or more. If a customer is at $80, the Global Response agent will find complementary items to suggest that boost the order over the $100 level so the customer gets free shipping.” Nichtawitz says he attributes the AOV increase in large part to the cross-selling and upselling ability of the Global Response agents and the overall better level of customer service they provide.
In addition, Global Response helped raise the conversion rate for Caswell-Massey from 54.9 percent to 57.9 percent. “When you have better people on the phone engaging your customers, you get better conversion rates,” says Tony. “It’s as simple as that.”
One of Tony’s frustrations with the previous call center was that he always had to be the source of new ideas and suggestions for improvement. Not so with Global Response. “They’re always on the leading edge and they proactively bring ideas to us that could benefit our business,” he says. “A perfect example is live chat. We’re not doing that now, but it would be a perfect fit for us. Global Response is already doing live chat for other clients and they talked with us about best practices and how we might integrate chat into our website customer service strategy.”
Summing up his company’s experience, Tony says, “The individual Global Response agents have high energy, they use and love our products, and they deliver great service. The company management is extremely responsive, cares about our business, and is a pleasure to work with. Overall, the relationship couldn’t be any better. I’m super happy.”