Customer Service as a Startup’s Special USP

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We live in busy times. People rush from their workplace to their workout to their hobbies to their families or friends. Time is of the essence, and that’s why purchasing things via the Internet has become a popular way to take shortcuts in our daily routine. The same is true for ordering food online. Many a store now has its own delivery service that will bring your favorite products right to your doorstep. You can even choose the exact time! This market includes huge players like Amazon and Walmart, so there seems to be no way for startups to make it with competitors like these. Right?

Wrong!

Enter companies like Marley Spoon. The company with the face of American TV personality Martha Stewart is already operating worldwide and has an interesting business model, with a big focus on an excellent customer service. We spoke with Dana Coutant, Customer Care Lead US at Marley Spoon, New York, about what makes the startup a successful company.

Marley Spoon’s business model:

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Reinventing the Food Supply Chain

Busy as times may be, many people still love cooking. They just don’t want it to take up too much time, and they definitely don’t want to fight over spots in a grocery store’s waiting line. (During rush hour no less!) Marla Spoon’s mission is to relieve their customers from this fate.

“We want to not only excite their taste buds and help them feed their loved ones,” Dana says, “but save them time and money. Our processes allow us to make bulk orders in precise amounts and send ingredients pre-portioned to our customers.” Customers aren’t paying for excess food and save time they’d otherwise be spending choosing ingredients and making their way to the store. Because of this, the amount of food that goes to waste is just a tiny fraction of what would be wasted by going grocery shopping. “We are reinventing the food supply chain,” Dana tells us. “Not wasting food has huge environmental implications.”

Delicious Food with the Customer in the Spotlight

“We know that being in someone’s kitchen is very personal and we take this very seriously.” Because of this, Dana notes, Marley Spoon’s chefs are working constantly to bring new and exciting recipes to their customers. One of the main goals is to provide them with meals that are not only top-quality, but also easy and quick to make. The ingredients are all sourced by Marley Spoon themselves, so they know where the food is coming from.

Customer Care as a Company Value

“We are driven by a love of food and cooking, and a desire to uphold our company values and better serve our customers.” Dana has hired every agent on the US customer care team with this in mind, and all of them are Marley Spoon subscribers who use their recipes regularly themselves. “Customers like talking to our agents! Not only is each agent knowledgeable about all facets of our service, we respond to customers quickly and empathetically.”

Dana identifies three things that her company does particularly well.

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First, there is the level of engagement between the customer care team and the other departments within the company, such as Product and Logistics. The agents provide them with customer feedback via public Slack channels and customer care leaders regularly meet with the head of product and the product managers. Thus, they get clued in on valuable customer insights and can build exactly what their customers want.

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Second, Marley Spoon gives their customers many options to contact them. “These channels include phone, email, chat, social media, and submitting feedback on various pages of our website- even replying to automated emails sent by our system will get you a response from our team- none of these “do not reply to this” emails.” All of the options are kept in Zendesk, a customer service platform, to make sure every contact is thoroughly addressed and followed up with. “The goal here is to make sure that customers are very comfortable talking to us and removing any hurdles they have from getting help or giving feedback.”

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Third, Dana claims that her company is “obsessed” with customer feedback. “One of our company values is “no ego, let feedback flow” which applies not only to internal feedback from employees, but also to all feedback from customers. Our customer feedback Slack channel has 222 participants!” This way, Marley Spoon can ensure a quality use of the feedback at hand.

“In summary I’d say our customer care team is a source of valuable customer feedback for other teams, and a means to build a great relationship with our customers, who bring our product into their kitchens week after week.”

Meet Marley Spoon’s Dana Coutant at CCW 2017!

We are excited to meet Dana at our CCW 2017 Innovation Day, where she will give a talk about how Customer Service is possibly the USP of a successful startup company. For more information on this year’s speakers and key topics, feel free to download the program from our website.



Martina Große Bley

Ich bin beim CCW-Veranstalter Management Circle als Teamleiterin für das Content Marketing tätig und dabei immer auf der Suche nach den neuesten Trends und Erfahrungsberichten rund um den innovativen Kundendialog.

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