23 July, 2024
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How HexClad & Flip Built Together To Scale Automation To 80% Of All Calls

Every once in a while a customer comes along who pushes a vendor forward. For Flip, HexClad has been one such customer.

Founded in 2016, HexClad is used to being a disrupter. The company brought Michelin chef-approved cookware to home kitchens and boasts celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay as a brand ambassador.

Amid the pandemic, HexClad knew it needed to shift its business model to direct to consumer – a shift that brought the company huge growth, but also exposed a phone support issue.

“We realized that we needed a more robust phone setup,” Michael Ludwig, HexClad’s Head of Customer Service, told Flip’s Kristina Keene in a recent interview. “So we moved over from an antiquated system that was just taking voicemails, to Aircall – a partnership that allowed us to level-up our game a little bit. But as a leader in customer experience, I always knew that phone was our most expensive channel of communication and I wanted to try to fix that. And so, we found Flip.”

But it wasn’t a done deal right off the bat. HexClad had tried automating text-based channels and hadn’t gotten the results they were looking for, leaving Ludwig skeptical of what Flip promised despite being a believer in AI. For reassurance, Flip offered a free trial and to go on-site for implementation – two gives that convinced Ludwig to test it out.

Flip changed the game from the jump – immediately enabling HexClad’s customers to self-serve when they called while reducing costs at the same time. In the first six months alone of using Flip, HexClad saw 3,601 calls automated – equivalent to over 16,204 agent hours, or between $95,000 to $100,000 in savings.

“I’m a firm believer in creating frictionless contact channels,” Ludwig said. “And Flip allowed us to do that when a caller called in. Now they’re greeted with a personalized greeting and a system that shows them that we know who they are, and can help them quickly solve their problem.”

A system that showed HexClad’s callers that the company knew who they were when they called and offered some self-serve support options was just scratching the surface. From the instant HexClad signed on with Flip, the feature requests started – including a configuration built specifically for Michael that sent certain callers directly to his line when they mentioned him. All in the name of doing anything to support customers – a philosophy HexClad and Flip share.

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“HexClad is my favorite kind of customer because you challenge us to do better,” Keene said to Ludwig, referring to the many new features and intent handlings Flip has built out in partnership with HexClad.

“The thing that I love most about Flip is the philosophy behind it. That philosophy really is to allow callers to self-service their own issues and their own problems in a very natural way,” Ludwig responded. “This philosophy resonates with the way that HexClad delivers its experience to its customers. With that mindset that we both have, we’re able to say, okay, here’s how the product is operating today, and here’s how we wish it would be based off of that principle of allowing the customer to self-service.”

“A good example of this is when a customer calls in and we’re unable to do an account match,” Ludwig continued. “Previously, the system would tell them ‘we’re unable to locate your order.’ But now it’s telling them, ‘hey, I tried to look up your order based off of the phone number you’re calling from, but wasn’t able to find it. Can you please provide me with an order number?’ So those little nuances that inform the customer that, hey, this isn’t just a stupid chatbot behind the phone. It’s giving the customer proof that there’s a lot of work happening behind the scenes to try and address their concern.”

Stupid chatbot, Flip is not. The Voice AI is currently automating nearly 80% of HexClad’s calls – only forwarding callers to agents who are calling to make a purchase. Everything else—from ‘Where is my order’ or WISMO calls, to delivery missing, to returns, to even warranty calls and save opportunities—is self-serve, with tickets feeding into HexClad’s Kustomer helpdesk for more complex issues.

“We love the integration that Flip has with Kustomer because we’re able to identify intents and we’re able to auto-tag those intents in an organized fashion,” Ludwig said. “Whatever needs to come over to our helpdesk will assist our agents – and our agents are no longer having to listen to an entire call, but are presented with a summary of the call and of the voicemail from Flip. It allows agents to respond to customers just that much faster.”

What all of this amounts to is a phone channel that no longer keeps Ludwig up at night.

“Flip allows me to not have to worry about phones. I know what intents are being deflected. I know that if a call isn’t being deflected, it’s getting matched up with an account and my agents then handle it,” Ludwig said. “It’s the one product that I really don’t have to worry about. Flip allows me to scale on my own terms, and allows me to focus on what’s going to really drive change for both the customer and the business.”

So what’s next for HexClad and Flip?

“What do you think about getting Gordon Ramsay to voice Flip for HexClad?” Keene asked.

“I don’t think it’s out of this world,” Ludwig replied. “We’ll get a couple recordings of him and then you know work the AI magic, but you bring up a good point. What you just said there speaks to the flexibility of Flip. Flip is so customizable that you guys are eager to build things that your customers will actually use and I love that about Flip. I truly love that I have a vendor that I have this relationship with, this vendor that feels like someone on my own team. It’s amazing.”

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