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Getting The Most Out of Customer Insights with Harry’s | EP. #120

January 24, 2024 | Author: Andrew Maff





How do you convert customer feedback into better products and services? On this 120th episode of the E-Comm Show, Andrew Maff interviews Darren Major, Voice of Customer at Harry’s. Leveraging years of experience in customer service, Darren puts a wide variety of customer-sourced insights and data points into action at Harry’s. 


In this episode, Darren will discuss how each and every customer interaction — the good, the bad, and the ugly — provides invaluable insight, how his team organizes those insights, and how transparency is crucial for building brand loyalty. If you’re interested in how a seasoned veteran makes the most out of customer data, this is an episode you shouldn’t miss!

Watch the full episode below, or visit TheEcommShow.com for more.


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 Getting The Most Out of Customer Insights with Harry’s 






Andrew Maff and Darren Major

CONNECT WITH OUR HOST: AndrewMaff.com  |  Twitter: @AndrewMaff | LinkedIn: @AndrewMaff 



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Darren Major


Darren J. Major (he/they) is a seasoned Customer Experience professional with over two decades of expertise, hailing from Georgia before finding his niche in the bustling heart of NYC. Described as an "awesome mix of grits and mimosas," Darren has dedicated his career to shaping exceptional customer interactions, from his early days as an Associate to his current role as a respected leader in Management. Darren currently serves as the Voice of Customer at Harry’s, where his passion for transforming raw customer data into tangible product and service improvements contributes to enhancing the overall customer journey.

In addition, Darren serves as the co-chair of Harry’s DEI Council. In this capacity, he spearheads initiatives to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion within the organization. He also serves as a co-lead for both the African American and LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). With a wealth of experience and a commitment to positive change, Darren Major continues to inspire and lead, shaping a future where inclusivity and excellence go hand in hand. Darren is a passionate advocate for social progress, dedicating his time and energy to making meaningful contributions to his community as a player with the NY Gay Football League.


So I think it's wildly important that organizations really see customer service isn't just a function it actually is should be like the foundation of your org



Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of The E-Comm Show. I'm your host, as usual Andrew map and today I am joined by the amazing Darren major who is the voice of customer over at Harry's Darren, how you doing? You're ready for a good show?. Yeah, Andrew, thanks, looking forward to it. Busy day, but all the time to talk to brilliant people. So let's go. Oh, appreciate that. So stereotypical way to approach every podcast and I apologize, but let's do the normal thing. And let's pretend that no one knows who you are and anybody's background or anything about Harry's and let's start off from there. Okay. Sure.



name is Darren Major, as you said pronouns he and they have been in customer experience, I would have to say pretty much most of my working life from college, I needed a job to pay the bills and customer service was a great foray into me not being on the streets. And through there, I found the great opportunity for me to connect with people troubleshoot. And so it took me from the corporate office of Georgia Power and Georgia to help during deregulation, to various other corporations. And then I jumped into the startup world. And that's when my energy really kicked up, I got a chance to be fully Darren, yet no day was the same like you and I shared before this, there's always an emergency, but not an emergency that pops up for them to address. And then I found a way to Harry's actually, tomorrow, we met three year anniversary here. I came as a supervisor for the CX team for Flamingo, our women's care brand. And then we decided to merge our CX or it's about a year and a half ago. And so now I get a chance to be a co lead with my amazing partner zoomy. And lead up customer experience here. But my larger role is voice of the customer. So I get a chance to I love storytelling, I love talking. So I get a chance to take data in customer anecdotes and marry that and come up with product and product insights, service updates, anything about our customer story that I can use and add a number to it, it helps our research team or marketing team or brand team all see exactly where our customers are. And I get a chance to play a pivotal role in that. So I can't imagine myself doing much else because it just kind of checks all the boxes for me. Yeah,



that's awesome. So a lot of the different people that we have that listen to the podcast, right, there could be ecommerce sellers that are kind of just starting off, they could be all the way up to you know, nine figure brands. Voice of Customer is not a especially for let's say sub eight figure brand. Not that common of a role to have in however, an extremely important role that I think is always kind of overstepped, and no one pays attention to overall customer experience is like really all we've got. So for you to be kind of the gatekeeper of it is awesome. Explain to me like your, I don't want to necessarily, say day to day cuz I know it's very different. But like, what are you overseeing? How are you evaluating data for a customer? How are you kind of adjusting the overall experience to make sure that it's just consistently being improved?



Yeah, thanks. So my first step is always I tell my team, that they're my boss. So my CX A's give me my marching orders, what the customers have told them, that is important to them that we might be missing. And so the first step of that was helping them understand that they're not just having interactions and emails, they're gaining insights to create relationships with our customers. And if you hear the same thing three times, my assumption is is another 10 customers just hadn't reached out. So teaching them how to gain those insights and be able to attach those two trends, we'll be seeing the same customers from this state with the same kind of issue. And so it's wildly important, first of all, to empower the CX team to feel like they're not just always say, just just shoveling poop, like you are literally there to be the voice of the customer yourself. And I get the opportunity to tell them say give me what you know. And I'll be able to take what I know and blend it with some things my insights team. So I think it's wildly important that organizations really see customer service isn't just a function it actually is should be the foundation of your org while you want your brand And in marketing to be able to say this or our customer is, through this, your customers are the ones that are actually reaching out and engaging with you. So that's the ones that I think that we need to have most interaction with. So it's important to make that like a certain point of any business being six figure or, you know, five figure. Yeah,



yeah, I mean, I completely agree when you talk to like, in fact, it's something that I find ecommerce sellers always very guilty of, right? Like you're so in depth in the business, and you're so entrenched in everything going on, that you kind of forget what it's like to be a normal, just consumer, even shopping, you don't think through like how normal people would do this in normal, loosely. But like, if you're going through the shopping process, and you know, you start asking customers like, Hey, what is it you liked about, you know, what do you like about this business, it's always I love the product, or, and or, it was great customer experience situation that I was in, whether it was negative or positive, it always worked out well, in the end kind of thing. It's rarely like, Oh, I loved their ads. The ads are just there to like, remind you of stuff. And the customer experience, and the product is what keeps them coming back. So it's, you know, it's, it's awesome to hear, like, you know, kind of that direction that you kind of keep the team maintain and in the direction of when you're getting that feedback. So you then basically reallocate that, that concept to your marketing team, or, you know, some kind of like DevOps team like, what's, what's that approach? Like? Yeah, so



what the approach was, like, weird, the goal was for like, an efficient Customer Experience team. It's more proactive. So what has happened is we've pivoted from the brand team, or marketing or packaging, doing anything without customer experience being part of the conversation, you need somebody from cx to say, alright, this packaging might not work well. And here's some examples of customers who've reached out and said, they weren't able to get in the package easily. We've all gotten a package from Amazon, when they say, shipping it out the box, and it comes in that plastic death trap, where you have to use a pair of scissors and a hacksaw to get into it. That's it. To me, that's an experience with no one has reached out to the customer experience. It even said, what are customers saying about our packaging? So I think it is like getting CX involved further up in the funnel, like it shouldn't be so reactive, but hearing those conversations, and so my product team, they don't do anything, as far as news sense or new emotions, until they come to CX and say, What have customers have said about our current thing, our brand team, we do an initiative beat around pride or new product launch, they come to see us and say what happened with the class launch? And what kind of insights can you get? So I think it is like, getting getting that team involved earlier in the process. So it feels like it's more organic, able to be able to pivot and make those changes along the way. So also, when you do launch it, your CX team is prepared to answer to talk to talk about it as if they're experts on it. So there's an authenticity that comes through because they've been involved in the full process, not like I'm just regurgitating what is from a one from one sheet. Like no I was there from the beginning, I can now give you these insights into what I've seen how this product invests usually the best use for you.



How are you kind of like compiling that data, there are certain platforms you use, you kind of got a different way to do it as like a word cloud thing. Like what's what's that we



live in breathe over here by looker. Being data mined, that is something that I adopted me about within last 10 ish years, I was like, Oh, I just I can tell stories and pull basic things from our CRM gladly. But then no digging into Looker, being able to get the raw data and being able to chop it up and move it in a way we can pull out the actionable things. So look are the big friend of mine, give me an Excel spreadsheet. And I am happy to create pivot tables and all that stuff. So it is getting those platforms in place. But also have a dope BI team, who I can pretty much ask them any question in through those liquor, liquor, tendrils and anything they need, they'll be able to pull the data that I need the other tourist story that I need to be able to share. So it is like partnering with the different business teams, my accounting team, I want to know how many refunds we had in the past 15 days for this product. And what credit cards we put those refunds to how our Pay Pal transactions happening. So it is like a partnership and a lot of ways. But I think for me personally, I get regular look at reports, I get updates from our CRM of what what are the refund spikes, like looking at what type of applications? My team we every interaction comes through the assigned tags or topics to it. So we know what the interaction was about what I haven't read the whole email. So you know, pull those schedule reports. It gets a report, I can see exactly where I need to focus my attention for that day.



That's awesome. So when you take that kind of feedback, how there's this genuine curiosity. Yeah, when you go to provide that feedback, which obviously sounds like in many cases can be negative feedback from the customers on something we need to fix. How do you go about relaying that information to the required teams to tell them like hey, like They're not loving it. Yeah,



you notice, I definitely, some things are precious. But obviously with people that love people, they're one of our or our mascot used to be mammoth. So one of the phrases of use in the office is there are no sacred commandments, there's nothing we can do that it's truly our it belongs to the larger good. So obviously, again, with like, what went well, what are the great things customers are saying, and I don't say negative, I usually, here's our opportunities to do a better do it better the next time. And here's some ways I want to partner with you to make sure that we avoid some of these missteps next time, and then just be able to get them like that real time feedback. So it's like celebrating the wins, recognize where we could have been better, and then look at the obstacles or challenges as wisely in place. So next time, we know that this packaging or this color, or this, this, this conversation, could have gone different with these kinds of insights. But one of the biggest things is, I like talking to the customer. So if you enter it or reach out to my dean and say, This was horrible, and the survey comes through like that, I want to get on the phone with you. Because I want to one let you know that I heard you. And two, I want to get into the details. When you say horrible, what is horrible define that for you give me some specific details. And then of course, you know, I want to reward you for your insights because you didn't have to do it. And I appreciate you being honest with your feedback and also honest with your insights me then some Harris products to help you regain trust that we hear you see, you want to make sure that you know that we got dough products for everyone. Yeah,



it's really interesting. Even from like just a strictly marketing perspective, I find post purchase to be the biggest mistake a lot of ecommerce sellers make they spend so much time Yeah, and to get someone to convert, and then they once they actually convert, they just like it's like a one night stand. Just let them go. And that's it. So post purchase. From a marketing perspective, obviously, there's a ton of stuff you can do to get them to come back. But from a CX perspective, are you like, What's that process? Like, as far as like surveys you have in place? Are you like waiting X amount of time and requesting reviews? Or like what's what's that like? Yeah, so



you get two reviews from if you purchase from Harry's, we send out a survey, about three days after your purchase, to let you know, to get your insights on how it happened. He reached out to our customer spheres customer service team, within 24 hours, you get an email, because we want to get that real time feedback, because we all know that we want to meet one of meet you where you are. Because word of mouth is the sweetest gift that a customer could ever give you. And it all has to be hatching to your good works. And so when they reach you when you're having the friction or the tension, because it couldn't be a simple misunderstanding, it could have just been USPS just did not deliver on the promises they gave to us want to find out what are your What are your friction points real time before you go to your Twitter followers or to you go to your your, your community group and say, Listen, I bought these Harry's razors, and blah, blah, blah, blah, I want to avoid the noise before it becomes too loud. I'd much rather somebody say I got this package, they send a survey. And you know what some guy named Darren called and asked me some questions that are specific to my needs. So I feel like it's the brand that care so that like do you point that post purchase conversation at post purchase interaction? It truly is that that's how you build loyalty there. There are companies that I'm in deer to forever, because they took care of me over the small things I'll I'll shout out like Zappos bought a pair of shoes. So I got the right size didn't work out, reach out to customer service team. And they were like, well, let me send you up to sizes one up one down. And whatever doesn't work, just return the other ones. without me having to do anything. I was like, that's insane. Because it was a discounted purchase. It could have been error easily he has his $20 Go away. But the fact that he cared enough to make sure that I had the right fit. I tell anybody that if I need shoes, that's the first base I check because I know that if there's something not great, they're gonna put themselves in a position to help me get it right.



So great example because now I've got a question that that teed me up, and I appreciate you doing. So the big thing that I you know, I speak to a lot of E commerce sellers that are usually in like the seven figure annually range, right? So we're watching every single penny that's going out the door and they want to know why etc. So in a Zappos situation, very large company, they can afford to do aspects like that. But it's also one of those things that it's very difficult to tie in ROI to that and make it justifiable however, it clearly improves the customer experience allowing people to come back which improves your returning customer rate. So there's kind of two different ways to look at it. How do you when you're going through those larger steps that you're going to take for customers like in your example for what Zappos did for you. How are you evaluating? How, you know profitable that may be what the ROI around it might be? Or is it really around more like we are very very clear that, you know, the customer experience needs to just consistently be improved for us to have longevity. And so we're just going to do what it takes like, is there any kind of financial backing to it? There is. So



we actually going back to like using data to support the conversation, we look at customers first order. And if they did contact customer experience, what was it what a behavior after that, and we've seen consistently, customers had reached out to my amazing customer experience team tend to return as customers because of that brand of loyalty. And so we're okay with telling the customer experience team like we used to have a really hard set metrics. If the order is this refund this, if the order says do that, and we we imploded that I'm like, That's rigid, that's not really authentic, organic. So now it is like we the team has taught, go into customer's account, see how they've ordered see what they've ordered, see what their conduct history is like, it is literally every every interaction is building a relationship. And the ROI will come the force, you know, there are customers that will abuse, get that I think that's a loss of the thing. But I think by and large, when you meet customers and eautiful ways to address the problems, they're always going to come back. It is like the products that we sell the things that the majority people need, we need to leave the shower, some folks need to shave, hairstyle, things like that. And so making sure that we know that products are something that is widely usable, but also want to make sure that customers know that you have you have an issue, we want to make sure that you'll know that you have a team that's ready to respond to you. And also, we haven't seen that we pulled the numbers, we see that our average refund amount gets reduced, but our average number of replacement has increased. So we look at those kinds of numbers, like people who are not looking for money, who actually want the product. And we I tell the team lead with that if you got a body wash, and because I didn't care for the fragrance, you know, sorry, you had that experience, I'm gonna send you out a variety pack. So you can spill all the different fragrances. And then also reach out back to me if you have any questions. And we see those customers time over time, get the variety pack and then come back and order a different fragrance of the body wash, same thing with lotions, send them something that you have different to help say, well, it's not the product you don't like, but it's this thing. Here's here's a way to fix it. So I think the ROI always comes in further down the line. But it's not like an immediate fix. You started just noticing the same names coming through the same order amounts coming through.



How do you control that through like other channels? Right? Like if they're coming directly through your website, they're going through your own platforms, you're controlling all that data, that kind of stuff? How do you control that same concept, if you're selling on, you know, let's say like an Amazon like you referenced before?



Yeah. So like with Amazon, Amazon handles all of our customer experience themselves. And they follow our same guidelines, but like we sell also been targeting a lot of retail stores. And so you can purchase and retail. And you know, the average response would be like, go back to target, that's they they took your money, you figure it out with them were more like well, target might not have the options that we have on the website. So we treat every customer if you have a product, we don't care where you got it from. We don't care how you came about if you got if you got it from your uncle's brothers next door neighbor, and you didn't care for the blades. You tried it, we will make sure that we know that you have good stuff. So we will make sure you get the good thing your hands up. We meet every customer as if they are Harry's customer regardless of where the coins went. Because it is really about just creating that loyalty makes it we notice our retail team has mentioned that they've seen the stores that mentioned some demographics with customers have migrated over to DTC because they know why to product selection, ready access to customer experience team secure transactions, all of those bits and pieces, sometimes discounts for the retailer might not have. So we kind of go hand in parcel. If we don't have it, we'll find a target in your area that does have it at Target doesn't have it, we're happy to get that replacement to you or get their product since you can't afford it having to process at a discount. We want to get the thing in your hands. Because you're asking for it. If you go to the trouble call 800 Number. You're somebody who's looking to get use of the product. You're not looking for money. I want I want to shave, I want to smell good. I want some deodorant. Yeah, who am I to say? No. I mean, within reason my accounting team is always like, hey, Darren.



Well, actually, so that was exactly what my next question was, like, how do you approach people that are trying to game the system? I think, you know, like I mentioned a lot of sellers will talk to are typically like, you know, sub eight figures. So a lot of it they're watching every penny and then they get one customer that like just wants to fight to fight and it just you know, it is what it is. How do you approach that type of customer where it's clearly just not appropriate for them, handling it?



Those are ones where we're where we have lovely candid conversations, where it's, I think it's okay, it's okay for businesses and brands able to say, You know what, Andrew, I don't think you're our customer. We appreciate your business. It looks as if what you need from us were able to deliver and be providing some other options of how they can service that business because one of my CX team, every contact recontact turns into it's already across for content I found like 11 $12. So we're already losing that money on the front, someone who's just calling in for content replacements or refunds, we know that someone who's like YouTube, gaming the system, so we actually within our order management tool, customers are flagged, if it is someone that is a habitual refund or replacement user, we know those persons are and they go to a specialized team of people who have high EQ, people who are skilled at navigating treacherous, treacherous situations, to be able to say, we're happy to send it to you one last time, but you know, we're going into a different address. So it is like not straight out, calling them a user or abusing the system. But saying, Oh, you have an issue with delivery, you have a different address, we're happy to send it to you, it has to be a different address. So not complete, disregard them, because it could very well just be you. If you live, I live in New York City, by post my postal worker, I think sometimes it's a vendetta against me, because I can just come and go as they see fit. I think it is like being honest in meeting where they are like, see, you see what you're doing. But we don't want to call you anything other than a customer who's uncertain. So how do we meet you where you are, and she would do a different address if you can't see needing replacement for this thing. So maybe this isn't the best product for you. Happy to submit to you one more time, but unfortunately, won't be on process a refund for that. So being upfront and honest, creates like a level of integrity, that I think the customer who might be abusing the system will be aware, alright. Harry's been having a customer who is actually having issues with the mail carrier, because like, Oh, I didn't think about having to sit to my job. Thank you all. That makes sense. I have a sense of my next door neighbor ever said to my mom's house. I'm like that. So just putting all the options out there, but also just having a high amount of EQ to be able to say, Yeah, this feels off.



That's awesome. Darren, thank you so much for being on the show. I don't want to take up too much of your time. I know you've got tons of fires to put out. Obviously, really appreciate you being here. I'd love to give you opportunity. Let everyone know where they can find out more about you and of course more about Harry's,



I'm sure well, I'm on LinkedIn, Darren J Major on LinkedIn harrys.com shopflamingo.com. We also have a couple different brands Lumi, the deodorant company, and also cat person. So get lots of brands that are incubated under Harry's Inc. And wherever we are retail online Amazon if you have any questions you can always reach out to help@harrys.com Ask for Darren I'm here probably more days than I should be but happy to have a conversation. You can also reach out to me email to darren.major@harrys.com



Perfect Darren appreciate your time obviously everyone that tuned in thank you as well as per usual make sure you do the everything I always ask rate review, subscribe, all that fun stuff on whichever platform you have all of them on whichever podcast platform you prefer or head over to the comm show.com to check out all of our previous episodes but as usual, thank you all for joining us and we will see you all next time.



Thank you for tuning in to The E-Comm Show head over to theecommshow.com to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform or on the BlueTuskr YouTube channel. The E-Comm Show is brought to you by BlueTusker, a full service digital marketing company specifically for e-commerce sellers looking to accelerate their growth. Go to bluetuskr.com Now for more information. Make sure to tune in next week for another amazing episode of The E-Comm Show.




































































































































































































































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