Interview with Chris Gadek Head of Growth & Marketing

Interview with Chris Gadek, Head of Growth & Marketing at Doorman

Doorman exploded onto the startup scene after they made an appearance on Shark Tank and signed a deal with Robert Herjavec. Since then, they have successfully carved out their place in the online delivery space. Their mission is clear: to put an end to missed deliveries and make Doorman an indispensable part of online shoppers’ lives – something they can’t live without. Aside from thousands of B2C customers in three of the largest e-commerce markets in the US, Doorman is ramping the B2B-side of their business and their current B2B customers include some of the fastest growing, customer-centric brands in retail: Casper and Nakedwines.

I had the pleasure of chatting with head of Marketing & Growth, Chris Gadek about the integral role that customer experience (CX) plays at Doorman.

“We are truly injecting customer experience into an industry vertical that traditionally hasn’t seen any since the advent of online shopping.” – Chris Gadek

Chris, what’s a typical week like for you at Doorman?

Well, surprisingly I don’t do that much “traditional” Marketing: things like writing blog posts or building a content based strategy. But not every business is the same in that aspect, especially if you’re in the logistics business – for us, CX trumps everything else, it’s hard coded into our DNA and it guides everything we do week in and week out. doorman-logoMost of our programs are retention focused, not acquisition focused.

There is no typical week, but we do have three weekly stand ups, where the entire company discusses our findings and progress on projects that pertain to the customer experience. We also discuss progress made on the new features or releases that will help to improve upon the customer experience. In short – we totally obsess over how things will impact our customer base. There is no ‘customer experience person’ at Doorman – everyone plays their part; from our lead IOS app developer, marketing and sales, to our operations folks – it’s one big holistic undertaking. There are so many moving parts in our business. Having these weekly meetings help us stay aligned and maintain focus in our efforts. The way we see it, we need to have a constant pulse on and iterate upon customer feedback – our industry vertical has neglected CX for so long and as a startup trying to make a big splash in the logistics space, we know that it’s our key differentiator.

What are some of the questions your customer experience data helps you answer?

As an example, we have various pricing tiers for the delivery of our packages, mostly due to size and the effort required to deliver them. We wanted to understand: What percentages of our customers have been impacted by oversized pricing and looked upon it unfavorable? What are some those sizes and dimensions and finally how could we find the happy medium so we don’t frustrate our current and future customers. To discover this we used text mining techniques to analyze customer sentiment from our various touch points like our in-app tickets, Zendesk tickets and social media channels. From this analysis, we discovered that many of our customers felt that the size of certain packages weren’t fairly priced. Given this feedback, we quickly adjusted our pricing accordingly to fall in line with their expectations . The way we see it, the more opportunities to we have to take a “salty taste” out of the customer’s mouth, the better. That was one of those moments.

What are your main customer experience KPI’s?

Data drives everything I do. I get my data from the touch points or channels that we interact with our customers on and have about 20 dashboards set up that will help me identify any outliers or anything outside of the norm in our customer’s experience. It allows me to quickly identify what warrants a deeper dive across the greater customer base.

We have two core metrics. First is our NPS score which everyone has visibility into – and if we discover anything less than a promoter we act on it immediately to understand the impact of that issue to the greater customer base . The second is an operational metric: our on-time delivery rate. Ideally we want to keep that above 98%. These two metrics help us identify instances where we may have dropped the ball or where we delivered an experience that went above and beyond expectations. If we see a dip or an increase, we go in and investigate what affected that change and modify the experience accordingly.

348sWe have mechanisms in place that our engineering team built out, that collects and aggregates that data on the operational side. For interactions that impact NPS, I have a very systematic process setup to analyze unstructured data and glean insights from it using R. Not all marketers have a background in data science, so if you can’t build your own process in R to evaluate customer sentiment – you should probably find a solution that can. We’re still relatively small, so my process works for us now. But I know that as the marketing function at Doorman grows in the future, I know that the feedback mechanism I’ve hacked together won’t scale.

Customer retention is huge for us. Our team is all about keeping our existing customers. We know that our business will grow organically if we keep our existing customers happy. News about great customer experiences travels fast.

Surveys are important too. As a marketer, I ask our customers the most important questions: “WHY”. Many businesses don’t ask why, what pain point caused you to join our service? Why did you choose us? How did you hear about us? Where are you active digitally? Knowing the answers to these questions makes growth a lot easier.

On the other hand, we are also equally concerned about churn: What drove customers to leave? We investigate these issues immediately and ultimately will dig deeper if we see enough of a trend or a pattern emerge. If the issue is prevalent across a large percentage of our customer base, it will get thrown into the project pipeline so we can tweak that certain experience to improve our core offering.

What’s missing from your CX process?

I think if I had a tool for segmentation, one that would allow me to classify customers by dimension in real-time: high engagement, low engagement, what we can expect from their usage based on social profiles, etc. Right now I have a bunch of clustering algorithms chilling on my laptop that need to get re-ran on a periodic basis – not a very efficient way of understanding the makeup of your customer base.

I can also recognize that what Keatext does is quite powerful. Text analytics definitely helps to fill a gap in any customer facing businesses, because it’s inherently difficult for most people to make sense of any data that aren’t numbers. 

What CX trends are you seeing emerge?

The complete unification of customer touch points. Right now as things stand we’ve done a great job of centralizing and having a unified view of every touchpoint that impacts the customer after they’ve signed up. The only thing we’re missing is how prospects interact on our website before they become customers and linking that to their customer record. Very early on in our company’s maturity, we’re getting more proactive about improving the experience for people who are still new to our offering – putting flags and triggers in place so we can offer help when needed. I have a saying: Don’t ever ask customers to repeat themselves — companies should already have that data and have it be digestible and accessible to everybody on the team. That way when the customer engages with you, you have the opportunity for deeper personalization and interaction. That’s the trend I’m seeing.

Describe the ultimate customer experience at Doorman.

I believe a significant part of building a customer-centric experience comes from the top. Our CTO still loves to answer help desk tickets, he allocates time out of his week to ‘stay human’ and remain in touch with the customers. For our executives it’s not just like “here’s a report sir,” they have a constant pulse on what the customers experience is and how our existing customers perceive our brand.

The best thing we can do is be consistent in our customer experience. It’s all about gleaning insights from every interaction we track, especially the unstructured text feedback, to build out features that customers didn’t know they needed or wanted. It’s something that I really love about my role and what we’re doing at Doorman.


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