Episode 13: Magic Spoon, The magic of the post purchase experience

Podcast Episode 13 Magic Spoon 1

On this week’s episode of Retention Chronicles, we are joined by Chandler Dutton, Director of Retention at Magic Spoon, which is a fun, healthy, gluten free, high protein, low to no sugar cereal brand. They strive to bring you right back to eating cereal when you were a kid while not jeopardizing the taste and nutrition. We’re thrilled to have Chandler on the podcast as he is truly a retention expert and talks about both the technical and philosophical side of customer retention. Magic Spoon is also a super unique brand that is super successful in both their ad hoc purchases and subscription program. He talks about how their goal changes depending on the customer. He talks about how curating flavor profiles might play into the customer retention strategy because choice is a positive thing but can be a friction point for customers. Chandler advises people to look at data that is actionable. He stresses the importance of being able to take a step back and compress it down into a few take-a-ways to unlock your best customer retention strategy.

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Mariah Parsons, Chandler Dutton

Mariah Parsons 00:03

Welcome to Retention Chronicles, a podcast sponsored by Malomo. A shipment tracking platform that helps ecommerce brands turn order tracking from a cost center into a profitable marketing channel. On this week of Retention Chronicles, we are joined by Chandler Dutton, Director of Retention at Magic Spoon, which is a fun, healthy, gluten free, high protein and low to no sugar cereal DTC brand. They strive to really bring their consumers back to eating cereal when they were kid while not jeopardizing the taste in nutrition of their products. We are thrilled to have Chandler on the podcast. He is truly a retention expert and talks about both the technical and philosophical side of customer retention. Magic Spoon is also a brand that is super successful in both their ad hoc purchases and their subscription program. He talks about how their goal changes depending on who the customer is. He also talks about curating flavor profiles that might play into customer retention, and the strategy that they're rolling out because choice is a positive thing, but it can also be a friction point for customers. Chandler advises people to look at data that is actionable, he stresses the importance of being able to step back and compress it down into a few takeaways to truly unlock your best customer retention strategy. I really enjoyed this episode, and I hope you do as well. Welcome and today we are joined by Chandler at Magic Spoon. Welcome Chandler and thank you for joining us today.

Chandler Dutton 01:46

Hey, thank you for having me.

Mariah Parsons 01:48

So first, we like to start out with you know, what is Magic Spoon? Can you describe to us what you guys do and then follow up with your position there as well.

Chandler Dutton 01:57

For sure. So Magic Spoon is a healthy gluten free high protein, low to no sugar cereal, depending upon the flavor. Cereal that is reminiscent of the cereals from your youth. The Magic Spoon brand is really fun, it's really colorful, we've really embraced this idea of just because you're eating something that's a little better for you doesn't mean it should be devoid of fun. So we've tried to give a little bit of both.

Mariah Parsons 02:26

I love that and you know as soon as I saw the marketing that you guys have and just it took me right back to eating cereal like watching cartoons, all that joyful- all those joyful memories that you have as a kid and being able to enjoy indulge while also maintaining a healthy cereal is awesome. And then so what do you what's your position at Magic Spoon?

Chandler Dutton 02:51

Yeah, I am the Director of Retention over at Magic Spoon. So we are a mighty team of two. It's myself and a senior associate on the team managing everything from core channels, email, SMS, as well as our strong subscription program, and everything else that comes with generating strong lifetime revenue.

Mariah Parsons 03:16

So it's fair to say you know, you know, a fair amount of things about customer retention, which is amazing for our podcast here. And so I'm curious, in your opinion, why is customer retention so important when you're building out that customer experience?

Chandler Dutton 03:33

For sure, customer retention is extremely important. I'll give a very practical reason and then a more philosophical reason. Very practical reason is it is harder than ever to acquire customers. Back in the early days of b2c direct consumer. If you want to do DMP be whatever your preferred acronym is, there was a big arbitrage opportunity just getting into Facebook ads. If you spent money on Facebook, suddenly, you were getting a profit on your first purchase you would bring in 1000s of customers it was easy to target people competition was low. We are not in that world anymore. Competition is steeper than ever. Thanks to tools like Shopify and Malomo- shout out Malomo-it is easier than ever to create a brand start selling it direct to consumer, which means increase competition. And marketing has gotten even harder in our post iOS 14.5 world and just a little mini tangent for anyone not familiar iOS 14.5 was the beginning of a big change in Apple's policy for how you could target consumers. And it has really made things like your Facebook ads, Pinterest ads, all your digital marketing a lot harder. So not only are things more competitive, it's harder than ever to be targeted with your marketing. So the cost to acquire customers has gone up a lot, which means you need to be making money from your customers after you've acquired them. Those first purchase profits aren't guaranteed, which means profit come from repeat purchases. That's where attention comes in. Now, philosophically, why it's important outside of all those hard numbers. Firstly, your ability to retain customers is a direct reflection of the staying power of your brand, a brand that only retains like 5% of the customers that acquires, it's not going to be around for a long time, both for practical reasons and for the fact that you're not going to build enough traction by means of word of mouth by means of your reputation as a strong product, you want your retention to be good, because your retention being good is a reflection of how strong your brand is in the eyes of consumers.

Mariah Parsons 05:54

Well, I love that I love both of those approaches, you know, from more of a technical side, and then the philosophical side as well. And I think you made a great point about where digital marketing started out with like Facebook, and that you were immediately you could make a profit off of those margins for acquiring a customer. But now because that is so common practice, the ability to acquire customers through that avenue has forever changed. And too you know, you said that it is a direct reflection of being able to maintain your customers long term. I think that's, that's very interesting. And I see you know why you're an expert in retention of being able to both look at the technical side and the trends that have changed, but then also the philosophical side, and what it says about a brand if they can keep customers coming back and make money off of repeat person purchases.

Chandler Dutton 06:51

Thanks. It's a very interesting world to me.

Mariah Parsons 06:53

Yeah, it's fascinating. So then, alongside that, can you tell us more about Magic Spoon's specific approach to customer retention?

Chandler Dutton 07:02

Yeah, so I will try to be as succinct as possible, but there are a lot of things to cover. So Magic Spoon has an interesting and I would say fairly unique business model setup, in that we allow for both ad hoc purchasing, and subscriptions. And while there are a number of businesses for which you can buy without having a subscription, a lot of the businesses that exist in the DTC space, that push subscription, make it really like the forefront, I won't name specific businesses, but there are a number that you'll go to where they will default you to subscription, or you'll try to find the non subscription product and can't find it. We don't do that we allow customers to naturally select what's right for them. Maybe that's a subscription. Maybe that's not, but because of that, we're managing two very distinct ways of buying. So on the ad hoc side, there are a couple things that we have available. One just by means of like flavor selection, last year, and this was late September of last year, made a big change where we unveiled custom bundle, which is the ability to get any four flavors of Magic Spoon in one case, versus having to either choose like a preset mix of flavors, or single flavor. There's a huge difference for us, especially if that means like customer flexibility was a big thing that people wanted. So that's a key part of it is just like how we've offered the product. The other thing that we do on the ad hoc purchasing side that I would say is really important to us, is our launches, we have limited edition flavor availability. Typically every four to six weeks, these will be seasonal flavors. For example, right now we've got gingerbread available.

Mariah Parsons 08:44

I did see that one.

Chandler Dutton 08:46

Yeah, it's delicious. The box also shout out to our design team is so cute. But we'll run things like that once every four to six weeks to keep things exciting for both our most loyal customers who are often people who really engage with those launches. But also to give something new to someone who might be fresh to the match experiment brand. Maybe you came on, he bought a variety pack. And while the other flavors we have available are interesting to you. Something that's really fresh, like a pumpkin Chai in the middle of October might be more appealing. So we're running that as a key part of our ad hoc side of repeat purchasing. But we also have our subscription program. Our subscription program is about half of our repeat order volume. And it's a very interesting thing because we work really hard to make those programs work together, right? Limitation flavors aren't just appealing to people who aren't on subscription. If you're a subscriber, you're probably a really loyal customer. You probably really want to engage with those limitation launches. So we have special incentives for them to buy ad hoc. When they're not getting their subscription renewals. We make their subscription management really easy, but It's really interesting because you have this dichotomy of like, if you're not on subscription, our goal is to develop a pattern for you, right? We want you to come back recurringly, like every month, whenever you run out, if you're on subscription, it's more of the opposite. You want them to keep a pattern that they've already built that they've already signed up for. So it's a really careful balancing act there.

Mariah Parsons 10:26

Yeah. So would you say with that approach because you mentioned something that you added on was that custom bundle that you were able to, you know, pick and choose the flavors that you wanted- how have you approached like changing your customer retention strategy? Like, because you had those custom bundles, and can now rope in like Limited Edition flavors? Has that changed any other aspects that fall under customer retention?

Chandler Dutton 10:57

Yeah, so the introduction of custom bundle, I wrote a couple of things that that did. So the first was, it became more important to think about curating flavor mixes that might be appealing. Choice is a really positive thing for consumers in a lot of ways. But it's also a friction point. If you have to think about what you're buying, you may hesitate to buy. So we've put more effort into highlighting different fun ways people can mix and match flavors, to get them started on thinking about what they want in a custom bundle. Obviously, we still have our normal flavor packs, you can get a single flavor, you can get a variety pack. But custom bundle is by far the most popular way people buy Magic Spoon. And as such, it's important for us to get people thinking about like, oh, what flavors do I want to try next, because you might want to stick with a couple you might want change a couple out, let's get you started on thinking about what those mixes look like. The other thing as a relates to subscription, that really changed with custom bundle, is that we needed to make our subscription program technically work with our custom bundle, a lot of brands don't have totally custom mixes, you can buy a single flavor. So that was a big hurdle for us, we actually saw a number of people canceling saying like, I want to buy a different mix of custom bundle flavors. But our subscription program at the time didn't support that. If you wanted to go from like to frosted to fruity, to, let's say, three frosted and one fruity, you had to straight up, cancel your subscription and start a new one. Once you cancel, even if you're dead set on buying Magic Spoon, you might hesitate to start a new one, that's just additional friction. So we made a number of backend changes. This was across q1 of this past year to support custom bundle. Within subscriptions, you could like change out the flavors, you'll stay subscribed to the custom bundle product. But you can choose any mix of flavors anytime. And that had a really marketed impact on our retention rates for subscription. We actually saw renewals on your like, first renewal after signing up, increased by five percentage points.

Mariah Parsons 13:11

Awesome. I was gonna ask that. So you- you took the words right out of my mouth of after you had those updates on the back end and the technical side of being able to have that custom ability in the subscription model. What you know, what did you see with customers coming back? Or were you reaching out to those customers who wanted that ability to custom to customize their cereal flavors of you know, communicating to them? Like look at this new feature that we're rolling out?

Chandler Dutton 13:40

Yeah, so when we launched that we actually did a campaign to all of our active subscribers who were on custom bundle saying, Hey, we know this has been a pain point. We've got that directly from our CX team. And from our churn reasons within ReCharge. We know this is a problem for you. We've solved it. And not just that, here's exactly how you can manage this moving forward. Because in the world of subscription, I think that there is a lot of focusing on how you can get people to not think about the fact that they have subscription. But the most beneficial thing for you long term is to make sure people know how to manage their subscriptions in a way that's right for them. If someone wants to cancel, they're gonna cancel. You can't just like hide the button away or make it so they don't even know that they have a subscription. The important thing is that the subscribers you have are informed and excited to stay on subscription, and you just reinforced the value props that you have to get them to want to stick around.

Mariah Parsons 14:37

Right? Isn't that so funny about subscription models? It is kind of this like hidden secret or, you know, like you said pain point of you're trying to or it's been the common trend that brands might not want people to think about their subscription but like you said, you want people who are subscribed to be very excited about your brand and know exactly what they need to do to get the most out of it and get what they want out of it. And so I always find it so interesting. And I'm curious to hear if you think, you know, subscription models are trending more towards that where a lot of brands are making sure that they're they have very clear, clear communication with their subscribers of what they need to do, how they need to do it, the new things that they're rolling out and benefiting from.

Chandler Dutton 15:24

Yeah, I would say things are moving that direction, I would say the reason that they're moving that direction, is at least partially legal. There is a lot more enforcement of auto roll ups for subscription. So going from like, you signed up, and we don't tell you that you have a renewal coming up, or we don't disclose the terms of subscription that is now legally saying you can't do within the state of California. And I think that is forcing a lot more brands to be like, Oh, we should actually notify people. Because the bigger you get, the more likely you are to run into that issue. So I think it's a really positive thing. I don't know if the reason why people are making that change is like purely altruistic.

Mariah Parsons 16:08

Yeah, no, that's a good distinction. Yeah. Yeah. Cuz I hadn't thought about it in that term, in that in that way. So I think that's a very valid point of maybe it's happening necessity, now. And that that's why a lot of people are jumping on that bandwagon. That's a great point.

Chandler Dutton 16:24

But it's a great thing. And this is why we have consumer protections.

Mariah Parsons 16:30

Yeah, yeah, exactly. So then with that, where did you start to, you know, when you were thinking about building out that customer retention strategy, like having both of those branches have ad hoc purchases, and then subscription, it's, it's easier to we can break it down if you kind of had like, different starting points for those those strategies.

Chandler Dutton 16:50

Yeah. So I'll say both of those things are native to Magic Spoon. So I've been a Magic Spoon about a year and two or three months now, I'm actually Magic Spoons been around for about two and a half years. And both of those things were native how Magic's been started. Now, what is changed there, and we'll talk about like, where we start with what our current retention strategy is, is the balance of those things. I think for a long time, we approach subscription as sort of an afterthought, or, like, if you really want to be on subscription, you would join it. But we weren't as clear about what the value props were, frankly, the way that we had originally set up subscription, the pricing model, which was 10% off plus free shipping was set up in a way that was like sort of the default, I think in the DTC world. We, as of the second half of this past year, I decided to make a pretty big change to our subscription programs, we move from that 10% off, plus free shipping to 25% Off with no free shipping, but still a greater discount, actually an overall savings of nearly $1 per subscription for our subscribers. That one skyrocketed the signup rate, we had done AV testing that pointing to it being a really big lever that people even though it's like the difference of $1, that just saying like 25% off, it really resonated with people. As soon as we set it live, we saw signup rates skyrocket for our subscription program. And that I would say, has changed how we think about managing the program, how we think about what our repeat data is going to look like, based upon our subscription signups. That wasn't the question that you asked. So we're going to what our current retention strategy is and how we've arrived here, I would say, it's a couple of different things. I think the starting point, and this is my recommendation for anyone who's new to a brand or starting a brand is to go through the buying experience as a customer, and see how you would feel just totally divorced from your own investment and the brand, right to identify what the gaps are. So to go through each stage and saying, if I sign up for the email list, here's the sort of information I do who do not get do I feel like I'd be convinced to buy after I buy, do I feel like I have adequate information about my purchase? When is it coming again, shoutout to Malomo for making that really clear and easy to get. But a lot of brands aren't as clear about like, here's where your order is at this point in time. And that's a make or break thing for customer trust. So going through the process as a buyer instead of as someone who's part of the brand, the thing is the first starting point. Once you identify some of those gaps, it's important to either look at customer survey data that you may have any customer research data of what pain points may exist. That comes down to also working with your customer experience team. That is the starting for a lot of the modifications that will make to our post purchase journey, especially by means of like early in the customer lifecycle is understanding where our tickets coming from topic wise are people reaching out, because they don't know where their order is, are people reaching out because they don't know how to manage their subscription. All of those things inform what we do really like post purchase, post subscription, signup, to make sure that there's absolute information clarity, and then supplementing that with additional survey data. Like, I think a really under-appreciated thing I think I think I even taken a while to come around to is, if you're doing testing, and you're like, oh, people seem to resonate with this, people click for this reason, or people sign up for this reason. I think it's the marketers and saying, just be like, oh, that's just what the data says, we'll follow the data. But to take the next step, and just straight up, reach out to people and say, why did you do this? We reached out to people, for example, on our email list, saying, why did you sign up for our list? Just like straight up, tell us like, why are you on the list? And like, if you're still around on the list, what made you stick around, it was really interesting to hear. We went in, I think, assuming that it was to get a discount, or because you can get a free box of cereal or free case of cereal through a contest we run. And the biggest answer why people signed up is because they were genuinely interested in more information about the brand. They wanted more info on our nutritional info more info about what makes us different. And then we also asked them, Why did you stick around after you got that? And then they were like, the biggest discount, please?

Mariah Parsons 21:45

Yeah, yeah. So at least, you got some clarity on that aspect. I was going to ask what they had said, as well. So that is interesting to hear, though, you know, sometimes with asking for like surveys, or reviews or things, asking the opinion of your customers, it does lead to maybe a different way that you approach your customer retention strategy, or a different way that you optimize. And I think that's, like we were talking about earlier with the privacy updates, that's going to be a shift in understanding the post purchase side of things and using that data to then optimize for your strategy going forward. And so it's very interesting, like you said, to not just take it like data wise, but then also get some qualitative aspects of that, and some narratives from your customers.

Chandler Dutton 22:40

Yeah, and I think that is a really critical thing. In this new world, where I think first party data becomes increasingly important is the most valuable source of information you're going to have is your customer base. And if you can build a relationship, where they feel like if they give you feedback that you listen to it, and then you can routinely ask for feedback that's really valuable to you, that creates just an extremely powerful flywheel, of being able to optimize your behavior in a way that's best for your customers, your customers like you more for so they buy more from you, you acquire more customers via word of mouth, and then you ask them for feedback, too, and it just continues to spin.

Mariah Parsons 23:21

Right? And I have to ask to you earlier had said that you recommend people or brands go through their customer experience and see what different pain points are and the communication that you're getting, you know, after you place an order. So I have to ask, Is that how you approached, you know, your strategy with Magic Spoon of like going through and seeing where the gaps were in the customer experience?

Chandler Dutton 23:48

Yeah, that's where I started on my day one is going through an experience before I'd been really not indoctrinated into the, you know, you join a company and you're like, I love the people, like, I'm going to look for the best like starting fresh and saying, like, as a customer, how would I feel going through this experience? And then once you've crafted your opinion, talk to the CX team, look at the research that you already have, do more surveying, and then look at what other brands are doing too. But I think it's important for you to have that perspective, from like, really fresh mind of like, how do I feel before I'm really like, pro my company? Yeah, yeah. If I would genuinely be happy with this experience, or if I'd be frustrated.

Mariah Parsons 24:35

I think that's great advice. And is that when you started to orient towards like post purchase and looking more into that, because from you know, Malomo our side of things, I think a lot of the aspect that we're doing with brands is kind of educating on what the post purchase experience is, because I think it is a newer, a newer avenue for brands to pursue So I'm curious, you know, when did you start to kind of get queued into the importance of customer retention? But then, you know, more specifically the post purchase experience and how it aids in that retention?

Chandler Dutton 25:12

Yeah, I would say the experience that I got around the importance of the post purchase journey came from I a couple rolls back was client facing working with a variety of retail brands, everyone from more omni channel like Vince, the like fat, the fashion company, they've got stores, they have outlet that online all the way to more DTC, like bonobos where, you know, they have the guide shops, but they're mainly online presence, you can actually only buy online, you know, if it's through the guide shops. And seeing that, when you look at how customers buy primarily by looking at the standard inter purchase time to time between a first order and a second order, or a second order, and third order, there is this big discrepancy by how customers buy versus how some brands are not those brands in particular, but just how brands would talk to their customers mainly, in that you have someone make a first purchase, and then immediately get hit with how would you like to buy more product right now? Right? You just bought jeans? Do you want to buy another pair of jeans tomorrow? And it was missing any context around why that was a good purchase, frankly, like wasn't as informative about like, where is my order? How do I know how to track it, all of those things. And when you actually look at like, why a customer who goes from making a first purchase to making a repeat purchase does come back. A lot of that hinges upon things that aren't related to that initial buying experience ratings of the product, right? The marketing comes back to the product and how great the brand is, but the things that people care about are, did you deliver the product on a time that I expected to get it, if I had an issue, did your CX team helped me thoroughly thoughtfully and kindly with it, those are the maker breakpoints earlier in the customer journey. And that's where the customer post purchase journey becomes so important. Because if you sever trust by not giving enough information on where the product is, by not updating, if there are delays, by not having your CX team default to being as helpful as possible, as thorough as they can be, that trust cannot be one back with an effective marketing email. So it's really important early in the customer journey to start with trust. And trust comes from the post purchase experience, it's making sure that they feel good about the order that they made, that they feel confident they're gonna receive it. And if they have problems, you're gonna take care of them.

Mariah Parsons 27:55

Right. So it kind of everything stems from building that trust and having that proper communication so that, like you said, you can make sure that customers know before they're getting a marketing email, of buying a new pair of jeans, before they even, you know, got the first pair anyways, I think that's a great point. And it helps. Just to understand, I think, like you said, walking through the customer journey of where you're getting those pain points and understanding the gaps in the information. And so with that, and communicating through Magic Spoon, what are you know, those specific points that you think like we're asking the customers, or sending them an email, of course, with Malomo, like the order tracking and everything up until their package is delivered to them. But what other you know, like communications surveys or something like that, are you guys having to make sure that you're building out and asking the right questions?

Chandler Dutton 28:57

Yeah, in terms of both asking the right questions and giving the right information I'll talk about a little bit by means of where you're at in your lifecycle and the event that took place. So for your first purchase. Now, obviously, this is true of any order. We want to have that order confirmation and shipping. If you have delays, we'll have a delay notification, and delivery notification. And we have shipping and delivery actually both an email and an SMS. Because SMS is a place where people want to get that really high priority content, right? You don't want to spam people with an SMS every day about like, do you want to buy again, do you want to buy again, but people want to know where their stuff is. So that's a place where you can really leverage that 100% open rate viewability channel, but outside of that in the first purchase journey. You also want to think about how you reinforce the purpose of the brand to the customer and make them feel good about the order. Now oftentimes if someone makes a more expensive order, and well, Magic Spoon isn't crazy expensive as like a standalone ecommerce order for food, it can feel like quite an investment, it's $39 for a four pack if you're not on subscription, or it's 29.25, if you sign up for a subscription, and that's a lot, especially to people if they think about it in terms of cereal, so it's important for us to reinforce why that was a good decision. So telling about the brand story, reinforcing the health value. Some of our like, founder story as well with like, why this product exists, and then supplementing that with also customer reviews, really reminding people if you have that post purchase regret, which is a very common thing across like, all ecommerce unless you spent like $5 most people be like, Oh, should I have spent that money? Right? Yeah, in those initial touch points outside of the really critical informational things, also reinforcing like, yes, this was a good decision. This product is quality is made for you. Here's what other people have to say is really critical. And then immediately after we think they've received the product, then asking for their feedback, because we want to know what their opinions are, well, when it's fresh. So we actually send out our review request, I believe day 12 can confirm that, but at 12. And people typically get their product three to four days after ordering. So it gives them a week to actually try the cereal, and develop some sort of opinion. And we want to know that while it's still fresh in your mind, while you've got a real critical lens on so we can continue to improve. That's the first purchase journey. The other thing I think is really important is our subscription, signup journey. Through that you're not just ordering a product, you are registering for a new means of buying. And that being a recurring basis. So on top of the normal emails you'd get for your post purchase journey, that is all of the order shipping delivery confirmation and some of the brand reinforcement, we also send specific and we've got three of them subscription specific emails to reinforce one here, the savings you're going to get, because let's make you feel good about it, you're saving nearly $10. So there shouldn't be a lot of regret. But to here's how you're going to manage things moving forward, because you're going to want to change your subscription. So we give direct guidance on, here's how you access your customer portal, here's how you can change the frequency of delivery, here's where you can go to change the product that you're going to receive on a recurring basis, reinforce that over the first three emails that are tied to subscription to make sure not only are you educated about what you're getting in the subscription program, but when it comes time to make a change, because most people are going to want to change some flavor or their timing, or maybe they skip something while they're out for Christmas, you know, you'll be able to do that without reaching out to our CX team. Because the minute that you have to reach out and you feel like your order is being held captive by someone else. That creates frustration that doesn't need to be there. And our CX team is amazing and often gets really positive responses that people leave much happier than before they even reach out. But ideally, we make it so you don't have to reach out. So we do a lot of subscription onboarding that's a lot more informational to make that a really comfortable journey.

Mariah Parsons 33:31

I think that's awesome that you guys do that onboarding, like you called it for subscription models, because I don't think that's very common practice. But even as you're speaking to as like, that is extremely helpful from, you know, the consumer side of having that information, probably before you even know that you need it. And that goes back to putting yourself you know, as the as you're building out your customer retention strategy of trying to put yourself in their shoes and seeing what are they going to need, you know, what can we predict? What information can we predict will be helpful for our customers in the future?

Chandler Dutton 34:09

Yeah, and that comes back to working with our CX team and looking at those reasons why people turn and finding ways to resolve them and a lot of it comes down to just getting the right information to customers and obviously not everyone sticks around subscription and not everyone becomes a repeat customer but for the people that's right for it we want them to feel really confident.

Mariah Parsons 34:32

For sure and to I wanted to get your take on this because I think you had mentioned it a little bit earlier about the you know the health benefits and making customers feel really good about their purchase and making sure that they don't have you know that regret after they purchase and so I think that speaks to the commitment that Magic Spoon makes other customers have, you know, we're we have a healthy cereal but it's also really really tasty and making sure that you're caring for your customer outside of, you know, making sure that everything tied to the product and buying and shipping and the information that you need is given to the customer, but then just reassuring and saying to that commitment that, you know, their health and their well being is at the forefront, and that's tied into, you know why Magic Spoon has been founded as a brand in the first place.

Chandler Dutton 35:28

For sure, I mean, Magic Spoon has what we call our 100% Happiness Guarantee, right is you place an order with Magic Spoon, and it does not make you happy will give you a full refund, no questions asked. The goal that we have is to give you something that isn't just healthy for you, but inspires joy, we want to bring you back to childhood, Saturday morning cartoons eating a bowl of cereal, but also, you're an adult, so maybe we don't have the sugar crash that comes with it. Right. And then along the way, we're gonna inspire you with little moments of joy. But that's an email featuring our favorite pups of Magic Spoon, whether that's some really inspired box art and games on the back. But our promise to our customers is 100% of Happiness Guarantee, and we try to make sure that comes through in everything we do.

Mariah Parsons 36:24

I love that so much. And I'm curious if you have anything on the spot, like how have customers responded to that, like happiness guarantee.

Chandler Dutton 36:34

I mean, we have so much brand love, I honestly struggled to believe it. Sometimes. When we look at the responses, we get to both when people reach out with CX tickets, but also will have emails that will have come out from Gabby, one of our co founders, or Sarah, who's on our community team, and people will respond so passionately, just like I love you so much. This is everything to me, I want to wear it, and I'm gonna blown away, because I would say I'm a little more of a cynic. I'm like, we sell cereal on the internet. And it's really great. And it's good for you. But the sort of love that we get from customers blows me away.

Mariah Parsons 37:19

I mean, their philosophical side, like we started out from that, you know? That's, yeah, that's, I mean, that's awesome. And I think it says a lot if you know, a customer can trust a brand, from multiple avenues of just, you know, like the technical side of things. But that, like we're saying the philosophical side of things of just like loving a brand and having that be something that does bring joy into, you know, your your daily life. And one thing I wanted to ask you about as well is I know, we've been talking about putting yourself in the customers shoes and making sure that you're getting that data like data from your customers. But what have you found, and you might not have thought about this before, but to be the most effective way of listening to your customers?

Chandler Dutton 38:08

Oh, the really good question. I think I'll give a couple answers here. Because I think you listen to your customers in a number of ways. And you know, so it's a little more direct, I think it's really powerful to survey your customers and ask them directly, like, how did you feel about this? Or why did you do this in a way that doesn't guide them in a particular way, listening to what CX shares in our weekly all hands meeting, we have our highlights from our CX teams about what people are talking about what the biggest issues are, and what the biggest positives are, I think that's really important. But I also think that you can listen to your customers really well, through your data, people, I think, can do a lot to focus on where our customers and how our customers buying if you look in your GA data, and you're talking about what your conversion rate is, if your brand says we have a pretty low conversion rate, I don't understand why we're not up there with the Magic Spoons of the world and a six 7% conversion rate, you can look and break that data down to see where are people dropping off in your purchase flow? Are people adding to cart are people getting to that initial checkout page? If people aren't buying from you? Are they all doing that in the same way? Is there some heterogeneity and how people do or do not come back? I think going back to some experience I've had working with retail brands, you can see, if you look at their overall repeat rates, you might be like, Oh, this is average. You look at the repeat rate for someone who comes in on a particular product, and it's really low compared to the others. And the default there is to say, Oh, I think it's tied to those being lower quality customers, it could very well be that you have a lower quality product in your catalog. So to be able to look at that data, and take it seriously not as an indictment of the customers who are buying, but maybe on what your strategy is with that product, or with that channel, and then reach out to those people, blending your customer data with real like social listening, of reaching out surveying, hearing what they're saying, I think it's extremely important. So I know that's a sort of roundabout answer. But I do think it's a combination of things. And while serving is really important, and listening to CX team is really important. Getting really familiar with your data in a way that is actionable and can guide some of those questions that you ask your customers I think, is also extremely powerful. And I think underappreciated a world where there's so much data that people often don't know what to do with it.

Mariah Parsons 41:00

I think that's a great response. And having, you know, it doesn't even like you said, not roundabout at all, because we hadn't spoken about the importance of data. And you made a great point of focusing in or trying to see if there's common trends of where customers drop off in their customer journey, like you said, if they're adding to the cart, but then never making the purchase, you can then take that back and work with your team of saying, you know, why is this a pain point for customers? What is the difference of, you know, they can easily add it to their cart, and we're seeing that a lot, but then they don't actually make the purchase or whatever, you know, whatever trends are for your specific brands? So I think I think that's a phenomenal answer.

Chandler Dutton 41:01

Thank you.

Mariah Parsons 41:03

And to hit you again, with a bigger question, one of the things that we like to end on is, you know, a resource that you would recommend to someone just starting out in this space, or something that you wish you had known when you just began. So overall advice, what would be you know, one or two things that you would say, you bring into your daily life as a Director of Retention.

Chandler Dutton 42:10

Oh, things are important. All first, talk to the more junior people. And I think this is important for senior people will start they're getting really good with getting to data that is actionable. And data, not just for data sake, I think is an extremely important skill to develop early on, I think, especially in the world of direct to consumer, where you have so much data at your fingertips, it can become really easy to go build a 30 slide deck, where every slide you think is like make or break like this is important. That's important, this important. And I can guarantee you not everything in a 30 slide deck is important. If you spend 20 hours on analysis, chances are, you actually have like two things that are very important. And to be able to look at that giant blue sky of data. And then compress all of that down into the most important one, two or three takeaways. Aim is extremely important. I think people can get a little lost in trying to do a little bit of everything. But for unlocks and retention, it often comes down to a couple of things, whether that's price, that's product quality, it's understanding of your value props, but getting down to this core insights. Thing is really important. I think on the more like, high level there. I think it's really important if you're a more senior person working retention, frankly, this is a skill that I'm trying to develop here to be able to have conversations with other folks in the space, whether that is through direct outreach, or if you're VC funded, going through your investors to get in touch with other people to really understand what is incremental to the business, I think it can be really easy to look at the playbook that the quote unquote best in class are running and say, Alright, we have to copy that playbook. Glossier is doing this or Aways is doing that, or Everlane is doing this. So we're just gonna run that because it works for us. But oftentimes, those companies are still taking risks, right, and those things may not be guaranteed to be working for them. And those things also may not translate to your brand. It was a big thing for me, going from my first marketing roles were at Hulu, and then was working with retailers and now selling cereals like not everything translates. So to be able to have honest conversations with folks doing this other companies, other categories and saying like, what do you think is actually really moving the needle for your business, I think is really important.

Mariah Parsons 45:06

Yeah. Well, those are phenomenal tips. And I like that you took the approach of both, you know, a junior level and a higher up level, because I think that's very helpful for people in the space to take away and to really think about and apply to their own strategy. So thank you for that. And overall, this has been just fantastic. And what a great note to end on. So thank you, Chandler, for taking the time to spend with us and share all your delightful insights.

Chandler Dutton 45:32

Thank you, Mariah, I've had a really good time.

Mariah Parsons 45:37

That is it for this week's episode, I truly hope you enjoyed. There weren't a ton of facts that I had to fact check. One thing that I did want to include was Chandler references, the difference between acquisition and retention. And I thought this would be a fun stat to add in here. So the probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60 and 70%, while selling to a new customer is only between five and 20%. Even more so existing customers are 31% more likely to spend more on that average order value with your business. So I thought that really played into the argument that Chandler was making and that was really it. Chandler was a great addition to our podcast guests and can't wait to keep growing that list and I hope you all will join for the journey. Until next time, thanks for listening