Building easy, effortless, and personalized digital customer experiences with The RealReal
The RealReal is the world’s largest and most trusted resource for authenticated luxury resale. So when it came to choosing a technology partner to deliver customer experiences as reliable and luxurious as the brand itself, LivePerson was the ideal solution. With the goal of creating seamless digital experiences that fit the lives of their customers, The RealReal set out to build a conversational journey that was “easy, effortless, and personalized” for all.
The digital customer journey in numbers
wait time on voice
shift to messaging in 6 months
increase in CSAT
drop in agent attrition after initial launch
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The RealReal story
Founded in 2011, The RealReal has over 32 million consignor and buyer members. With a rigorous authentication process overseen by experts, The RealReal provides a safe and reliable platform for consumers to buy and sell their luxury items.
Like many businesses, COVID-19 put their commitment to delivering luxury service to the test. Despite growing 30 – 40% month over month, the team was having a hard time keeping up with headcount and customer expectations. With long call wait times, a growing backlog of support tickets, and an overwhelmed team, The RealReal team was in need of a solution that could help them to better understand, connect, assist, and automate their customer conversations.
“I knew I needed to do more with less while still improving client experiences and really I was looking for a unicorn. I fell in love with the technology at a LivePerson event.”~ Holly Carroll, VP of Client Services at The RealReal
Going conversational with LivePerson: A digital customer experience strategy that paid off
When Holly Carroll, VP of Client Services, first joined The RealReal, there was an urgent need to lower agent attrition, get ahead of their backlog, reduce call wait times, and improve the overall member experience. Having worked with LivePerson previously at David’s Bridal, Holly knew LivePerson was the right partner to help quickly resolve her new team’s biggest challenges.
Challenge #1 – Improving the consigner experience
With a growing contact center backlog, The RealReal needed to get to the bottom of their biggest customer pain points and solve their problems at the source. Holly and her team set out to understand two things:
- Where in the buying or consigning journey were they seeing the most contact?
- Were there certain personas or journey stages that were seeing more friction than others?
By asking these questions, the team could identify ways to improve the membership experience throughout the entire customer journey and reduce agent load.
Solution: Conversational Intelligence
LivePerson’s suite of AI-empowered conversational intelligence tools helped Holly and her team analyze all of their conversation data to find answers to their questions. Within minutes, The RealReal team was able to find new insight into the consignor journey:
- Most of the customer contact happened after the drop-off stage.
- With such high-value items, customers wanted reassurance that their pieces were being handled properly.
This insight allowed the team to make adjustments to their consignor communications. They took steps to reassure consignors they were in great hands — setting up automated messages. As items arrive, get authenticated, and listed on the website, sellers are kept in the loop throughout the entire process. Those extra digital touchpoints helped eliminate friction in the process and increase transparency in the consignor process — building trust with their members.
“We are able to analyze real-time, verbatim feedback, which is something I personally do every single morning to understand our customers’ wants and pain points.”~ Holly Carroll, VP of Client Services at The RealReal
Results & Outcomes
With LivePerson’s Conversational Intelligence suite, The RealReal found insights that helped them improve business operations from prioritizing bot automation flows to making supply chain improvements.
- Daily insight into customer wants and needs
- Data-driven decision-making and prioritization
Challenge #2 – Building luxury-level digital customer experiences
In 2020, The RealReal found itself growing 30% – 40% month over month. Unfortunately, hiring was a real challenge at this time. Fearing their luxury-level customer experience might start to slip if volume kept increasing without increasing headcount, they needed more support and fast. The RealReal needed to:
- Reduce agent load (and turnover) as much as possible by automating repeatable processes.
- Find ways to make contacting their team a seamless digital experience — they needed more efficient ways to connect with and engage customers.
Solution: Leveraging LP 360 and new digital channels
Due to staffing restraints, LivePerson’s LP 360 enterprise managed services program helped speed up the timeline by helping with the build and adding more agents to the team. This helped them get ahead of their backlog and improve support reliability.
The RealReal worked with LivePerson conversation architects to expand their support and digital cx on new channels. In addition to their traditional contact center IVR, The RealReal added an option for customers to move the conversation to a messaging channel of their choice. With so many users contacting The RealReal through iOS devices, setting up Apple Messages for Business was a must — with rich messaging capabilities, AI-powered automation, and an intuitive digital customer experience, it’s now their top channel. Shifting conversations from voice to messaging was pivotal in reducing wait times.
Results & Outcomes
The impact of LivePerson’s Conversational Cloud platform was felt right away: customer satisfaction improved by 10%. The RealReal got ahead of hiring challenges by supplementing their team with LP 360 agents and shifted most of their call volume to messaging channels. The adoption of agent-facing conversational AI helped lower agent attrition to less than 3% voluntary attrition each month — an all-time low.
shift to messaging in 6 months
voice response time
messaging response time
Challenge #3 – Automating high-touch service with AI
Unlike traditional retailers, The RealReal is a membership program — requiring all members to sign in. This sparked opportunity to create a white-glove experience for their most valued customers. Setting up AI and automated bot flows was a must. But to provide a luxury-level experience, they needed AI that felt warm and personal — practically human.
Solution: AI & Automation
The first step to creating a personalized experience was integrating The RealReal’s CRM and other systems with LivePerson’s Conversational Cloud platform. Integrating customer data with their bots made it easier and faster for members to get information on commonly asked topics.
- Receipt of an item
- Proactively message consignment updates
- Price review of consignor items
- Interested sellers
LivePerson’s drag-and-drop Conversation Builder made building automation intuitive. With features like context switching, disambiguation, error-handling, and minimal coding, setting up conversation flows was quick and easy to deploy.
The RealReal took their automation even further by identifying and intelligently routing VIPs to their Consignment Concierge team or VIP success team. This helped create a personalized and efficient digital customer experience every time.
Results & Outcomes
Automation at The RealReal makes customers feel cared for and self-service tools save time in their day. This improvement has Holly and her team looking into more generative AI tools for the future. Things like expanding automated intents, providing more self-service capabilities, and proactively answering customer questions on multiple channels are just a few of the future plans for AI.
“I think the world is our oyster in terms of agent assistance and self-service with generative AI. We’ve just started turning generative AI on so that we can really understand and prioritize how we’re gonna tackle this.”~ Holly Carroll, VP of Client Services at The RealReal
A growing partnership
To create the luxury-level digital customer experiences The RealReal customers deserved, Holly knew LivePerson was the partner to make it happen. The RealReal and LivePerson worked together to onboard the Conversational Cloud platform and LP 360 services in just 6 weeks.
Today, The RealReal team has one of the lowest agent attrition rates in the industry, a CSAT score of 95% on messaging, and a wait time of less than a minute on voice channels. Their partnership with LivePerson continues to grow as they look to build out more AI functionality and automation in the future — aiming to always deliver easy, effortless, and personalized experiences for all customers.