Moosejaw Brings Fun, In-Store Experience to Digital

Posted by
Patrick Spencer
LivePerson Contributor
Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 16:03

When two brothers, Robert and Jeffrey Wolfe, opened Moosejaw’s first brick-and-mortar store in 1992, the outdoor recreation apparel and gear company did so with the intent of creating a unique customer experience. They formulated a nonsensical marketing approach, dubbed “Moosejaw Madness” right out of the gate—and it stuck.

“Had you visited our first retail store in Keego Harbor, Michigan, you likely would have had a Frisbee flying at your head as soon as you entered the door,” notes Chad Caudill, director of customer service and warehouse operations.

The Moosejaw Madness culture continues today. A prime example: each Moosejaw store has a ping pong table. This is valuable retail space other companies aren’t willing to allocate for non-merchandise. But, for Moosejaw, it’s part of how the business engages with customers—mutual fun, that ultimately, influences purchases.


Live Chat: Humanized and Fast

Moosejaw proved to be an early adopter. “We were blogging before there was blogging,” said Caudill. In 1999, the management team elected to add an ecommerce component to the corporate website, and soon customers could find more products online than in retail stores. “We called it our sell-all model,” Caudill says. “Customers asked for a certain product, whether online or in one of our stores, and we would try to get it for them, even if we didn’t stock it.”

With solid ecommerce in place, Moosejaw began looking for a way to replicate its unique in-store experience online. That’s when Caudill discovered LivePerson’s live chat solution.

“With customer engagement as an important priority, we had an objective of responding to each customer email as it came in,” he remembers. “Click to Chat gives us the ability to humanize online interactions while creating capability to respond in real time.”

Moosejaw customers quickly embraced the new channel, welcoming the opportunity for real-time, live engagement. “Customers liked this additional way of connecting with us,” Caudill says.

Over time customers increasingly embraced live chat as their preferred engagement mode, with 40% last year turning to live chat over email and phone.


Beyond Chat: From Chat to Live Digital Engagement

After seeing such success with live chat, Moosejaw decided to become more strategic in how it used the LivePerson platform. Up until that time, live chat was a static invitation that a website visitor had to seek out. “We wanted to evolve beyond chat to digital engagement,” says Jerry Hoopfer, manager of customer service.

What Moosejaw learned was how to target high-value customers—those that need assistance to complete a purchase or simply need sales or service-related information.  Caudill adds: “We don’t want to push live chat unless a customer really wants it.”

Moosejaw also configured its proactive chat rules so that accepted chats go to the agent with the most knowledge about the product of interest. Plus, leadership looked for opportunities to embed the Moosejaw culture within the agent-customer interaction.

“We sought to extend the corporate brand experience into our digital engagement channels,” Caudill relates. Each Moosejaw agent also selects a personalized avatar, typically named after a doctor in a television show or movie.

The Moosejaw chat team also answers each live chat just as phone agents start a customer conversation with an extended “Moosejaw” holler. “It is one of the first things we teach our live chat agents,” Hoopfer notes. All of these practices combine to form a highly personalized, unique engagement between Moosejaw’s agents and customers, connecting the company’s in-store brand experience with its digital channels.

Proven Results & ROI

Intelligent targeting made a tangible impact for the Moosejaw business.

“The percentage of our transactions that involve a live chat conversation continues to go up year over year,” Hoopfer says. “Last year, as an example, we saw about 18% of orders resulting from live chat. This year, that number rose to 21%.”

Moosejaw notes two extrapolations here:

1.  Live chat is a much less expensive engagement model than voice. Without live chat, Moosejaw would need to hire another four or five full-time employees to man the call center.

2.  Moosejaw is seeing sales that likely would not have occurred without the assistance of live chat.

Both lend to savings that justify and validate the ROI of the LivePerson solution.


Joining the Mobile Movement

Always looking for new ways to engage with customers, Moosejaw decided to implement LivePerson’s Click-to-Chat mobile live solution in early 2013.

“We always had live chat on mobile devices, but it was a very clunky experience,” Caudill notes. “Now, we’re seeing an annual growth rate of 60% for mobile. About 15% of our total traffic today is from mobile devices.”

This cascades to how and when customers are electing to engage with Moosejaw. Approximately 10% of all live chat sessions are mobile, an adoption trend the Moosejaw team expects to see continue.

Read more about Moosejaw’s success with LivePerson’s digital engagement solutions here.

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