As the name suggests, Organic Basics makes everyday essentials in certified organic cotton, TENCEL, and recycled materials. Founded in Denmark in 2015, the direct-to-consumer brand quickly found success online with its soft-as-a-cloud basics and its commitment to sustainable fashion, something that resonated with consumers in a big way.
But its devotion to sustainability and its soft t-shirts (seriously, they’re so soft) aren’t the only things attracting—and keeping—customers. Organic Basics has prioritized its customer experience since day one, with its Customer Love team leading a kindness-in-customer-service revolution, repeatedly receiving glowing customer reviews that seem to be equally split between the quality of the garments and the customer service.
After operating entirely online for six years, the brand recently celebrated the opening of its very first IRL store in the cozy walking streets of Copenhagen. Though still somewhat novel, this is becoming a familiar move for direct-to-consumer brands, and from a customer experience perspective, it opens up a whole new world.
We recently sat down with Cornelia Konstantyner, Organic Basics’ Head of CX, to discuss what this has meant from a CX perspective as well as her tips for how to build and maintain a community of loyal customers in-store and online.
Hi, Cornelia! Can you tell us a little bit about Organic Basics’ CX mission and your approach to customer service?
“We believe in honest, transparent, straightforward, generous, and kind customer service. One of our core values at OB is being a true friend – to our colleagues, our partners, our planet, and our customers. We take pride in treating customers like we would treat a good friend: we listen, help, and work on building long-lasting relationships. Essentially, in the end, we just want our customers to be happy. It sounds really cheesy, but it’s true. That’s also why we call it Customer Love rather than customer service. We can see that good customer experiences pay off in loyalty and retention.
We also try to spread our customer love approach around the office to other departments and have previously invited all our team members to spend a day in CX, as well as to spend a day in our newly opened store. We get to promote knowledge-sharing across departments and learn from colleagues we may normally not get to work with on a day-to-day basis.”
Can you share why Organic Basics decided to open a physical shop and what it feels like to walk into this space and see your customers face-to-face after operating entirely online for so long?
“First and foremost, we really wanted to get closer to our customers. We wanted to be able to meet them in person and to better understand how they feel, what they like or dislike about Organic Basics, and be able to further improve our products and service.
We also wanted to give customers the chance to try on our products IRL — especially our bras, which can be tricky to shop for online. We wanted to provide the opportunity for people to come in and to try on different sizes and styles while getting very personalized service and help from our staff. We offer customers the opportunity to have their exact measurements taken while trying on products, so we can advise them on the best sizes and styles for them.
And finally, we also wanted a space to connect and engage with our local community in a meaningful way, where we can educate each other on climate activism and causes we care about.”
Your customer experience is so core to the Organic Basics’ brand. Can you share ways that you’ve prioritized community-building online and how this looks different from building community in your physical store?
“Social media is great for connecting with our community online and around the world. But with our physical store, we have the opportunity to connect with our local community in person, especially now that the pandemic has sort of come to an end and restrictions have been lifted in Copenhagen. In-store, we focus on small micro-interactions, like sharing a bottle of locally produced Kombucha and helping customers find the right size, but also hosting events like yoga classes, Friday beers, or environmental panel discussions.”
You started at Organic Basics as a Customer Love Representative before being promoted to Head of CX. How do you think having this hands-on experience at the agent level has helped you shape your vision for your team as well as the overall customer experience?
“It’s had a massive impact! Personally, I think it’s really helpful for both myself and the team to have a shared understanding of the day-to-day workload of our colleagues, especially when planning projects. Also, I’m a firm believer in customer support as a team sport! You can’t win it alone – plus, it’s way more fun to be able to share our experiences with each other.”
Your brand has a famously good reputation when it comes to customer service. Can you share your strategy for making sure every customer receives the care and attention they need?
“That’s so nice to hear! From the very start, we’ve had the goal of making our customer service a really central part of building our brand. Often it’s so little you need to give, and it makes such a difference to the customer.
Hiring a team that genuinely cares about the brand, about people, and about the planet – and gets personal satisfaction from helping others, has also always been really important to me. You can always train for skill, but you can’t train for passion.
One thing we also do is that we always react to the feedback we receive, say through NPS reviews or product reviews, and make sure to right any wrongs. It’s definitely something we can see resonates with our customers, and some of them even get quite surprised that someone actually reads their review, let alone replies to it.”
What do you think is the most important ingredient when it comes to building customer loyalty online and in-store?
“We believe in a consistent open-door policy to customer service and being available to our customers with the attitude that no question is too small to answer. We also focus on personal connection.
Online, we use Dixa to connect with our customers across channels. Dixa really helps us to keep all relevant customer information at the fingertips of our Customer Love team, which allows conversations with large numbers of customers to flow naturally and efficiently.
In the store, we continue this approach to forging genuine connections, the same approach we had prioritized online since our founding. It’s so nice to fall into a conversation with a customer that may easily go beyond their initial purpose of shopping for comfortable underwear, and involve local restaurant recommendations, yoga, or our favorite bra styles!”
Do you have any advice for your peers that might be working at companies that are just now starting to prioritize the customer experience? Where should they start?
“I’d say, start by defining your internal policies and processes for the most commonly asked questions you get from your customers, and be generous with how you react to them. Aligning your processes and making sure everyone on your team feels empowered to handle these cases in a generous manner will enable them to do a great job.
Give your teammates the freedom to decide what they believe is best for each specific customer in each specific situation. It’s motivating for them and provides the best experience for the customer. How your team interacts with each other and how motivated and empowered they feel to do their job well will undoubtedly carry over to the experience the customer receives, and you want to make sure that it is a great one! Also, start tracking and measuring your efforts, so you know what’s working, and what kind of effect any changes in your processes have.”
Lastly, do you have exciting news or initiatives that you’d like to share with us?
“Size expansions! I’m personally really excited about this, as it’s something our customers have requested, and it’s just so exciting when that feedback can come to life in our offering. We just added five new bra sizes to our Classic Bra and will continue to add additional sizes across our collection throughout this year.
We’re also working towards opening additional physical locations in Europe during 2022 and 2023. Our Copenhagen store has had a really successful start and we’re excited to replicate this in other cities!”
That’s a Wrap…
But it doesn’t have to end here! If you want to learn more about Organic Basics’ approach to shaping a personalized and positive customer experience for every customer, check out this case study and learn how Cornelia and her team use Dixa to spread the (customer) love every day.