We sat down with the SVP of Customer Experience at FIGS, Michael Bair, to find out how the direct-to-consumer healthcare apparel and lifestyle brand uses NPS to elevate CX for the world’s “Awesome Humans” – the growing global community of medical professionals who work so hard in service of others.
Tell us about FIGS’ mission and how you differentiate yourself from competitors.
FIGS is a founder-led, direct-to-consumer healthcare apparel and lifestyle brand that seeks to celebrate, empower and serve current and future generations of healthcare professionals. We are committed to helping this growing, global community, whom we refer to as “Awesome Humans,” look, feel and perform at their best—24/7, 365 days a year.
We branded a previously unbranded industry and de-commoditized a previously commoditized product—elevating scrubs and creating premium products for healthcare professionals at an affordable price. Most importantly, we built a community and lifestyle around a profession. As a result, we have become the industry’s category-defining healthcare apparel and lifestyle brand, revolutionizing the healthcare apparel market.
Innovation is in everything we do.
What are some examples of that innovation?
A lot of the medical apparel industry is commoditized and mass-produced, with no personalization. But at FIGS, we really try to think about what the healthcare professional actually needs.
For example, our proprietary FIONx fabric technology is made from what we believe to be the best combination of materials, is core-spun for maximum durability, and offers technical features such as four-way stretch, anti-odor, anti-wrinkle, and moisture-wicking properties. This combination of form and function results in a range of products that deliver maximum comfort, function, and style.
In addition to our innovative products, our business is powered by a digitally native direct-to-consumer strategy. Unlike most industry incumbents, which sell through legacy distribution channels and do not have direct touchpoints with the end customer, we directly engage with medical professionals through our digital platform, allowing them to have a personalized and seamless experience.
FIGS is also the first digitally native lifestyle brand outfitting healthcare professionals. Many of our customers form a deep emotional connection with us because we are the first brand in the industry to seek to understand their unique needs.
You’ve mentioned before that FIGS creates a unique brand loyalty experience. How does feedback come into play with that idea?
If you look at a lot of our competitors, they don’t measure customer feedback, because their distribution strategies don’t require any relationship with the end customer. A lot of scrub makers sell to a set of fragmented brick and mortar retail stores, which healthcare professionals would have to physically visit (sometimes in out-of-the-way locations and at inconvenient times), in order to try to find scrubs by combing through racks of typically commoditized options.
By going direct-to-consumer, we are able to have a direct relationship with our customers and then use their feedback to improve every aspect of our business – from our products to the way we market them and so much more. So, their loyalty to FIGS and their feedback has always been supremely important to our success.
Can you tell us about your role?
I’m Michael Bair, our SVP of Customer Experience. As a digitally native direct-to-consumer company, we don’t have retail locations, so I manage our biggest customer-facing team at FIGS. I view my role as being the voice of the customer throughout the organization.
Our team takes care of “Awesome Humans” through phone, email, text message, and live chat. Our customers are not only the best of what our society has to offer, but they’re also passionate about FIGS. So, working so closely with them makes my job easy. We hear from tens of thousands of customers every single month.
What was the impetus for starting your CX program?
Customer experience has been a priority at FIGS since day one. Our two co-founders, Heather and Trina, started FIGS, not merely to improve the scrubs market, but to really transform the healthcare experience – by putting as much thought into the workwear of medical professionals, as medical professionals put into their patients. Trina personally answered customer emails for the first couple of years of the business and still, both she and Heather, talk to customers almost every single day.
FIGS is unique in that, we simultaneously have two founders who are both product and customer founders. We are lucky to have senior leaders who understand the customer lens.
Our customer experience program has always been front and center, especially because we knew that as a digitally native direct-to-consumer whose mission is to celebrate, empower and serve those who serve others, our customers would always be most important to us.
“We always knew NPS was the best measurement for customer loyalty and customer passion.”
What made you guys decide to use Delighted?
Having worked with Delighted and the Customer Concierge team at a previous company, I was lucky enough to walk into FIGS with a Delighted program already set up.
We always knew Net Promoter Score (NPS) was the best measurement for customer loyalty and customer passion, so the Delighted platform and partnership was an easy decision.
How is your Delighted program set up currently?
Delighted is a key part of our Voice of the Customer program. We use Trends and Smart Trends to identify aspects of the products that customers love and parts of the product that need improving. We also use Delighted integrations to feed detractor responses directly to our CX team so that they can reach out and solve customer issues in real-time.
Lastly, we report on NPS weekly and monthly, and hold ourselves to the standards we have in place because of NPS feedback. The ease and clarity that Delighted gives us makes doing that so easy.
How do you use Delighted’s integrations to share and close the loop on feedback?
We use a ton of Delighted integrations including Webhook, Zendesk, Shopify, Slack, and Stitch.
With the Delighted + Shopify integration, we randomly survey 12% of all orders, unless they’ve ordered in the last three months. The NPS email surveys are sent out 10 days after a customer has ordered with FIGS (we have a pretty quick shipping time, so we’re confident the customer will have their order by then), and that allows us to hear feedback in a swift turnaround time.
Then, customer survey feedback feeds directly into a Zendesk queue that our CX team monitors closely. We reach out to all detractors and passives with comments through the Delighted + Zendesk integration. We always want to learn more about a detractor or passive’s score reasoning and make it right however we can.
You mentioned reporting on feedback. Can you expand on that?
Delighted survey responses feed into our weekly and monthly executive reporting and we look at what customers are saying through Email, SMS, and other channels. That data is then filtered down throughout the organization, so everyone understands what our most loyal and passionate customers love about FIGS.
That was probably one of the first questions I asked when I joined the company and learned about their Delighted setup. I asked: “Does the feedback go anywhere? And do we do anything with it?”
I can confidently say, 100% of the time, we’re always listening and acting on customer feedback.
How have you been able to share feedback data in a way that motivates so much change?
Data always tells a story. For example, when we present our NPS data, I always try to pull a specific customer. I might grab their Shopify order history and say, “This is Jane Smith from Des Moines, Iowa, she’s an RN, she’s been practicing for five years, she’s bought 14 times a month, and she gives us a 9 NPS.”
That type of imagery really drives it home with people, because everyone can connect to stories. When presenting data to senior leaders, you’re trying to get everyone laser-focused on learning who the customers are that make this company so successful. Delighted helps you tell those stories and make an impact.
“You try to get everyone laser-focused on who the customers are that make this company so successful. Delighted helps you tell those stories.”
Can you share some examples of how feedback has helped you better serve your customers?
Definitely. As an apparel maker, we’re always looking for feedback on sizing and fit and we use Delighted Trends to monitor that specific NPS feedback. As we make changes to the product and as new products launch, we use customer feedback to see if we’ve moved the needle in the right direction.
We also watch for feedback on individual products, including scrub tops, scrub bottoms, socks, masks, jackets – everything. Delighted really helps us monitor verbatim feedback on sizing and fit, but also the cumulative trends that it feeds.
How do you measure the success of your CX program?
I really think the success of our CX program is defined by our customers. Everything is dictated by customer feedback including our staffing, shipping timelines, and communication channels. So, CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score) and NPS, are our top priorities.
We’re lucky enough to serve a really special group of customers – healthcare professionals. Our customers work incredibly hard, so we really try to return that favor by providing the best possible experience for them with the help of Delighted.
You mentioned using CSAT as well as NPS. Can you expand on that?
Those are our two North Star metrics. They go hand in hand and are very complimentary of one another. I think CSAT is a bit more transactional in that we send CSAT surveys after a customer contacts us directly. So, it’s a smaller subset of reviewers, but both NPS and CSAT are super important. We believe both of those are crucial to us continuing to have an extremely high retention of customers, loyalty, and passion.
Have you seen any fluctuations in NPS over time?
Yeah, for sure. A good example is when COVID hit about a year ago. Obviously, no one could have predicted that and anyone who was in the healthcare industry in any way, certainly felt the impact dramatically.
Consequently, our volume went through the roof, customer feedback went through the roof, the need for our product went through the roof. It also gave us a really unique opportunity to think about FIGS’ role beyond just a “scrub maker.”
Through donations and some of our community events, we’ve been able to see both an increase in customer loyalty and customer passion. Yes, it shows in the numbers, but also in overall sentiment from the customers, and that’s been really rewarding.
It’s been a very challenging year for our customers, so we’re constantly having a conversation around, “What more can we do for healthcare professionals?” because we want to do everything we can for them.
“Delighted makes NPS so easy to set up, so easy to understand, and most importantly, so easy to act on.”
What’s next for your CX program?
One program we’re really excited about is our FIGSLove/Surprise and Delight program that we launched in Q1 of this year. We take the special conversations we have over the phone, email, text messages, chat, etc, and find unique ways to follow up with a gift.
For example, if a customer lets us know (or we happen to find out) that they’ve started a new practice, we’ll send them a bottle of champagne or cider as a surprise. Or, if they have an anniversary coming up, then we’ll send them flowers. Even if they’re having a rough day, we’ll send them a spa package. It’s by far the most fun thing we get to do on the CX team.
Our customers are such wonderful people and they do so much for their patients. The FIGSLove program is an opportunity for us to thank them for all that they do, for all humans.
What advice would you give someone who’s starting an experience management program?
I always say “steal like an artist.” I would advise them to take a look at what great customer experience companies of the world are doing and take it. Zappos, Nordstrom, Nike, Lululemon, and Backcountry, have all been inspirations for us. We’re hoping someday, we’ll get mentioned in that group as well. We’re really proud of our 81+ NPS in 2021 and think it can be even higher.
Would you recommend Delighted and why?
I would! Delighted makes NPS so easy to set up, so easy to understand, and most importantly, so easy to act on. The dashboarding is by far my favorite part about it. It’s so clean, it’s so fast, and it’s so intuitive. There are also just so many integrations that make it really easy to share customer feedback and integrate with existing CX platforms.
Delighted really helps you focus on NPS and make using and acting on the score, a breeze.
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