Freshpet Sells Food with a Side of CRM Street Fight

Freshpet Sells Food with a Side of CRM

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Anyone who has cared for a pet knows that dogs and cats relate differently to their humans. For instance, a dog might greet a familiar human at the door like an excited paparazzo about to snap a picture.  A cat, on the other hand, barely acknowledges humans. Yet, human caretakers of cats and dogs are all the same. They are devoted to their pets’ nutritional health, and that is where Freshpet comes in. The consumer packaged-goods company sells pet food products via e-commerce and at retail with the website promise: “Our nutrient-packed recipes are meticulously crafted by our board-certified veterinary nutritionists.”

Lisa Diehl, Director of Consumer Care at Freshpet, works with Emplifi, a technology platform that helps brands market across digital channels, including social media. Diehl talked to StreetFight about the partnership.

How has Emplifi helped Freshpet in its hyperlocal, multi-location marketing?

One of my favorite things about the Freshpet website is our chatbot, “Scout,” a consumer-care tool that fetches and retrieves answers to consumer inquiries from our Emplifi-powered knowledge base.

Many of our pet parents are Millennials or Gen Z. They don’t want to make a phone call to get answers. They want an easy way to submit their questions, and they want a quick response. Scout is the perfect solution. It addresses inquiries in real time. If it can’t answer a question, the inquiry is immediately elevated to a consumer-care agent.

Scout had an immediate effect on our team’s productivity. Because it was able to address commonly asked questions, our team was able to focus on more complex inquiries. Every day I am reviewing Scout’s analytics and looking through the questions it was unable to answer. Often, we can take these unanswered questions and build out the information in our knowledge base to make sure Scout has an answer if the same question is asked again. It’s very similar to training a puppy.

Do different parts of the country have different expectations based on product preferences and service?

Where you live has a major impact on your pet’s life, from the food they eat to their daily activities. With the help of Emplifi’s Service Cloud, I was able to open up multiple communication channels and see where our pet parents are and their demographics. We are able to track inquiries by location and can run reports to identify geographic trends, including product preferences and common customer inquiries. And while we don’t measure customer expectations based on where our pet parents are located, we are able to take into consideration geographic factors when responding to a customer question.

What differentiates Freshpet as a brand compared to competitors in the pet-care space?

Freshpet’s mission is doing what’s right for pets, people, and planet. We only use the highest quality proteins and farm-fresh fruits and vegetables in all of our recipes. It is created in a kitchen designed to meet the highest quality and food-safety standards, all under the oversight of our on-staff veterinary nutritionists.

How important is customer service from brands and its impact on CRM?

Customer service is crucial to a B2C brand’s marketing and commerce goals and to building long-lasting customer relationships. We are a company of pet lovers, focused on providing exceptional customer experiences for people who love their pets. Being able to provide thoughtful answers in a timely fashion doesn’t just improve our customer experience, it gives our brand a competitive edge.

If someone is trying to determine which pet food is going to be the healthiest choice for their dog or cat, they want to rely on a brand that can answer their toughest questions and offer guidance even if they’re not looking to make a purchase.

What is the most common customer request in terms of service?

We receive many different inquiries from our pet parents on a daily basis.  Our most common inquiries center around nutrition (ingredients), how to feed fresh (serving size based on pet’s breed, age, and activity level), ability to freeze our products, and where they can buy the products.

What’s a heartwarming customer interaction Freshpet has had to handle?

One of our pet parents was throwing a birthday party for her dog, who happened to be a huge fan of Freshpet. He was an older dog, and our food made him feel like a puppy again. The pet parent asked if we had anything we could send to her that was Freshpet branded for his party. We sent her a goody bag, including a copy of our children’s book, The Dog Dilemma!, that was signed by both Freshpet’s CEO and Freshpet’s President/Co Founder. This gift meant the world to them.  We received a lovely thank you note in return, along with a picture of the pup wearing the swag we sent, while sitting with the book next to him.

Please tell us why Emplifi is the most suitable partner for Freshpet and its business goals. 

With Emplifi’s help, we are performing at an accelerated rate. We’ve reduced customer call volumes by nearly 40%, decreased wait times to speak with one of our consumer-care agents by 29%, and delivered a 97% match rate for inquiries answered by Emplifi’s AI-powered chatbot technology. Pet lovers trust us, and that trust is evident across our customer experience reports and revenue gains.

Kathleen Sampey