Solo Stove gets personal. Just as their sleek outdoor stoves create cherished memories with friends, family and nature, the Solo Stove social customer care team leads with personal human connection.

During the 2020 holiday season, Solo Stove (like many brands) struggled with supply chain delays that prevented many stoves from arriving to customers in time for Christmas. High email and call volumes overwhelmed the nine-person customer service team, so many customers turned to social media to vent their frustrations.

Amid the chaos, Solo Stove Community Manager Katelin Keeling saw a silver lining, “This was the perfect opportunity to expand our customer care strategy to social media.”

In 2021, Katelin went from a one-woman show to leading a team of three social customer care agents covering 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. Instagram became a primary network for Solo Stove, where they receive over 1,000 mentions per day. Thanks to Sprout Social’s Smart Inbox and Instagram DMs integration, Solo Stove’s customer care team never misses a message—or an opportunity to deliver personalized support to their audience on social.

Before using Sprout, my agents wouldn’t be able to find and address all incoming Instagram messages during their shifts, creating a backlog for the next person on duty. It’s amazing for our team to no longer spend hours searching for DMs.

Katelin Keeling

Community Manager, Solo Stove

Making efficiency elemental to strong customer service

Previously, Katelin’s team was swamped manually sorting through multiple native inboxes to identify and prioritize Instagram DMs to respond to. Solo Stove turned to Sprout’s Smart Inbox to help manage their influx of social media messages and make their Instagram workflow more efficient.

Using Sprout’s Inbox Views and Automated Rules, Katelin built out a clear structure to prioritize incoming messages in Sprout. The team organizes messages into three main views:

  • A “troll” queue that automatically routes messages based on common troll keywords
  • A customer support queue that automatically routes messages based on common terms like email, order status, shipping, etc.
  • All remaining non-urgent messages, typically around positive engagement or feedback

“Before using Sprout, my agents wouldn’t be able to find and address all incoming Instagram messages during their shifts, creating a backlog for the next person on duty,” Katelin shared.

“[Our old process] took so much time that could be spent helping a customer. It’s amazing for our team to no longer spend hours searching for DMs.”

Igniting “fire” brand reviews

Since overall brand health and customer relationship building are key goals for Katelin’s team, they track sentiment levels on incoming messages. In the four months following Solo Stove’s Instagram DMs integration in Sprout, social messages tagged with a positive sentiment rose 24% across networks compared to the prior four-month period.

Katelin is confident that managing Instagram DMs in Sprout—and delivering quicker customer care as a result—has helped with retention. “So many people write reviews that they were helped on social media, and their experience was so positive it turned them into a true believer of Solo Stove.”

A mission to create good

With Sprout Social, Solo Stove’s social customer care team works more efficiently to deliver first class, personalized service to their audience. Considering that word of mouth fuels 60% of Solo Stove’s sales, social has the power to grow and maintain customer relationships. Recognizing this power, Katelin and team ensure that their customers have the best possible experience with the brand company from the get-go.

While the stress of the 2020 holiday season is hard to forget, a growing team and new customer care strategy means Solo Stove will be ready for anything.

Learn how your business can benefit from Sprout Social’s customer care and messaging capabilities. Request a free hands-on demo today.

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