INDUSTRY

Retail

HEADQUARTERS

India

CHALLENGES
  • Sudden shift towards e-commerce due to the lockdown
  • Replicating meaningful human interactions through chat
  • Huge increase in volume of customer queries

SOLUTIONS

  • Integration with WhatsApp Business 
  • Simple order placement through WhatsApp 
  • Tagging queries to route them to respective teams
PRODUCTS USED
  • Freshdesk Messaging

Average CSAT score

4.5

Increase in online orders

230%

Conversion rate through chat

36%

About Iba Cosmetics

Iba Cosmetics is an India-based cosmetics company co-founded by sisters Mauli Teli and Grishma Teli. Launched in 2014, Iba is India’s first Halal-certified and vegan cosmetics brand. It offers a wide range of products that are cruelty-free, do not contain harsh chemicals, and are free of pig fat, alcohol, and other ingredients that aren’t considered halal. 

Iba was first started as a retail-first brand with a number of exclusive retail stores across India. This offline approach allowed the company to develop meaningful relationships with its customers and educate them about the products offered. In 2020, however, with the whole country going into lockdown, Iba had to radically alter its strategy. We spoke to Mauli Teli- Co-founder of Iba Cosmetics, to understand how the company used Freshdesk Messaging by Freshworks to adapt its offline model to the online market. 

 

Moving offline customer interactions online

When Iba first launched in 2014, it found that Indian customers still largely preferred buying cosmetics products offline. Offline retail stores also gave the company an opportunity to educate customers about its unique value proposition. Over time, however, the cosmetics market in India evolved and Iba had to evolve along with it. “We were starting to achieve higher sales online compared to our offline stores!” says Mauli. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit India and a nationwide lockdown was enforced, the e-commerce side of Iba became central to its business. 

While the benefits of having a strong online presence were obvious, the company still wanted to retain the human touch that offline customer interactions offered. “We did not want a robotic, transactional conversation with our customers. Our brand is known for having meaningful interactions with our customers and we wanted to continue this on our online interface,” says Mauli. Initially, Iba implemented a simple chat tool on the website and started a WhatsApp Business account. But as the number of online queries began to soar, it needed a smarter solution that could improve engagement efficiency without compromising  the quality of interactions. This led Mauli and her team to Freshdesk Messaging and the Freshworks Neo platform

 

Integrating live chat and WhatsApp with Freshdesk Messaging

Mauli had a clear set of criteria that she wanted the new messaging solution to fulfill:

  • It had to be able to seamlessly manage the high volumes of customer queries coming in
  • It had to streamline the support staff and efficiently allocate work
  • It had to enable the team to respond to customers very quickly, ideally within a few minutes from when the conversation was first initiated
iba image iba image

 

Freshdesk Messaging ticked all the boxes and the company soon decided to transition from their existing support setup to the solution. A key benefit that the support team saw from this transition was that live chat and WhatsApp Business were now integrated within a single interface. And, the backing of a modern enterprise-grade platform for Freshdesk allowed them to handle all incoming queries from a single solution, without having to toggle back and forth between the two chat windows. “WhatsApp is very frequently and pervasively used by customers in India. We get a tremendous flow of queries on WhatsApp around our products, shipping times, etc. Freshdesk Messaging’s ability to integrate with our WhatsApp Business account has significantly improved our efficacy on the platform.”

“Along with efficient team management, Freshchat helped us develop a stronger relationship with our customers and make the transition from an offline retail store to an online D2C brand much easier.”

mauli teli mauli teli
Mauli Teli

Co-founder

Iba Cosmetics

Simplifying the customer purchase journey

By utilizing the product and platform capabilities in Freshdesk Messaging Iba cosmetics has revamped its support operations. Right from answering customer questions to fulfilling orders, service agents can now support the entire customer journey through Freshdesk Messaging. Mauli points to five key benefits that the solution has provided:

  • Accurate tagging of incoming queries: The queries that Iba gets through website chat and WhatsApp can be broadly grouped into pre-order queries (eg. product recommendations) and post-order queries (eg. delivery tracking). Pre-order queries are handled by product specialists while post-order queries are handled by the logistics team. Using Freshdesk Messaging, support managers can now tag each incoming query to ensure that it gets assigned to the right team.
  • After-hours support through a chatbot: Previously, if a customer sent a chat query late at night or early in the morning when the support team wasn’t active, they wouldn’t be able to get an immediate response. With Freshdesk Messaging, a chatbot handles after-hours requests. Through a series of automated questions, it collects the customer’s query and contact information so that agents can respond to it as soon as they begin their shift. 
  • Order placement through WhatsApp: Many of Iba’s customers are unfamiliar with how to place an order online on the website. To make the checkout process as simple as possible, the company allows customers to place their orders via chat. The customer can simply tell a support agent what products they would like to purchase. The agent can then place the order on their behalf and send them the payment link through WhatsApp to complete the purchase. “We have seen a major spike in our business because Freshdesk Messaging and the WhatsApp integration (powered by the Freshworks Neo platform), has allowed us to easily take orders on chat,” says Mauli. 
  • Automated delivery updates: As soon as an order is placed, Freshdesk Messaging sends out automated updates to the customer via WhatsApp regarding their order status. Speaking about the benefit of this feature, Mauli explains, “It helps us have a conversation and continue to engage with our customers even after they place an order.” 
  • Performance insights: The automated messages also have another unexpected benefit: they allow the team to collect customer feedback very easily. When automated messages are sent out, many customers respond with feedback about the product and the delivery. In case they faced an issue, the support team can immediately jump in and resolve it so it doesn’t happen again. The Reporting and Analytics feature of Freshdesk Messaging has also helped track the team’s performance. Metrics like the average response time and CSAT scores provide an accurate barometer of the support team’s capabilities and areas for improvement.

Business benefits of implementing Freshchat

While the support team has undoubtedly seen improvements in the ease of their day-to-day tasks with Freshdesk Messaging, the real success of the solution lies in the numbers:

  • Higher revenue generated: The frictionless order placement process that Freshdesk Messaging has enabled has resulted in higher sales for Iba Cosmetics. And integrations with messaging channels such as WhatsApp resulted in 25% increase in sales and 230% increase in order quantities for the company. ​​
  • Better first response times: Freshdesk Messaging has allowed the sales closure from customer query to order placement much faster. Delayed response times often resulted in customers losing interest in the product or purchasing from a competitor instead. With Freshdesk Messaging, all customer interactions are streamlined into a single dashboard, so agents can respond very quickly. Faster responses have seen the overall conversion rate on chat increase from 18-20% to 35-36%. 
  • Improved CSAT scores: “Before we had the solution it took us a lot longer to get back to the customers because there was only one person who had to go through all the chats and we couldn’t assign them. Now that we can assign chats and respond quickly, we are seeing a huge improvement in our CSAT scores. Our customers give us at least a 4.5 out of 5 for every interaction with us. This helps us build brand loyalty and encourage repeat purchases,” mentions Mauli

Honest and personalized interactions have been at the heart of Iba’s customer service philosophy. With Freshdesk Messaging, the company has been able to effortlessly recreate genuine face-to-face customer conversations in the digital medium. 
 

“Having a human element to any conversation you have with your customers is key to building trust. We have seen higher receptivity on chat than non-human interactions such as emails or push notifications. We have also found that chat is as effective as face-to-face interactions when it comes to upselling and cross-selling our products.”

mauli teli mauli teli
Mauli Teli

Co-founder

Iba Cosmetics