The world of customer service has an awards program of its own and it’s called the Stevies. Part of the program is a worldwide public vote and this year’s customer choice award for retail went to Chewy, the pet supply purveyor.
We walked through the Chewy.com customer experience to see what makes it special.
For starters, the Dania Beach, Fla.-based company says it has 24/7 customer support with real people available 365 days a year. But something seemed a little bit fishy to me — at least when I played with the live chat to determine if it was a human being or a bot.
I posed a question to the “live chat” operator who was identified as Toni S. when asked: “How can I help you and your furry friend today?
“I have a fish,” I said. “Do you sell fish food?”
“Absolutely,” Toni responded quickly.
“My fish has no fur,” I typed.
“Click here for fish food,” was the answer I got. Okay. It was efficient to be driven to the right page, but I was hoping for some kind of quip back from Toni S.
Easy to Shop
The Chewy shopping experience (both on the web and on the smartphone) is easy to navigate, organized and helpful. The first time you enroll in the “autoship" program, there’s a 20% discount on the price of your order. Shipping is free on orders above $49 and a flat $4.95 up to $49. Delivery is promised in 1 - 2 days.
Autoship is set up to allow cancellation at anytime, skipped shipments, customized schedule and the ability to remove items easily. In addition, there’s a 5 - 10% discount on every autoship order for select brands.
While I didn’t try out all of these features, I’m trusting there is some reason the company earned that customer choice award.
With all retailers competing with the giant A (Amazon), differentiation and delight are not optional. Chewy promises a 100% unconditional satisfaction guaranteed policy for up to a year. There’s also personality, conveyed in the copy: “We want you to be delighted, enchanted, blown away, jubilant, thrilled, ecstatic, tickled pink, euphoric, overjoyed, pleasantly surprised, elated, flying high, excited, and definitely over the moon about your experience with us.”
Liberal Return Policy
“Our policy is simple. If you're not 100% totally, completely, and unconditionally satisfied for any reason whatsoever, return it! We'll happily accept packages within 365 days of the sale date and we'll give you a complete refund. Oh ya, we'll also pay for the return shipping. All we ask is that the product is not used or expired, is in the same condition you received it and is in the original box and/or packaging.”
On the content service side is a series of humorous yet informative videos on such topics as:
“How do I keep my puppy from getting bored with their food? Is there an easy way to feed my dog a raw diet? How can I manage my dog’s weight?”
Scroll through the job listings on Chewy and you’ll find things like the $10-per-hour “Entry Level In-Office Card Writer.” This position requires excellent grammar and spelling and beautiful handwriting — either print or cursive. Applicants must submit a photo of their handwritten version of this sample: “Michael looks forward to delivering your incredible furry friend’s food and goodies.”
“At Chewy, we're changing the way people shop for their pets. We do this by offering our customers the easiest way to get the premium products they want for their beloved pets and back it with unparalleled customer service,” the job listings promise.
The final whimsical note are the “Chewtopians,” people who are passionate about pets and the “bond between you and your pets.”
When checked, the @ChewyHelp Twitter account was active and responsive. In all, a winning approach.