Bonobos Case Study
Scalability and remote capabilities gave ShoreTel Sky-hosted VoIP the leg up when this online men’s clothier evaluated competitors
Clothier needs better-fitting phone system
Bonobos was using basic, analog, cordless phones with several phone numbers to handle all of its telecommunication needs. The limited functionality wasn’t able to keep up with the company’s growth.
Growing online retailer needed a phone system with more sophisticated options
Bonobos was founded in 2008 with a simple mission: make better-fitting men’s pants, sell them direct via the Internet, and offer a superior service experience. The success of the pant line brought customer requests for additional clothing, so in 2010, Bonobos expanded its product offering to include a wide variety of men’s clothing. With free shipping, unlimited returns, and its creative use of technology, the 65-person online retailer has established a loyal customer base and increases revenue year over year.
Although business is mostly Internet driven, Bonobos is unique in that it places its phone number front and center on its website. Unlike many online retailers, Bonobos actually likes talking to its customers and wants to be accessible to them. Customer service representatives, remote and traveling staff, and executives rely on the phones to conduct business with customers, suppliers, vendors, trade shows, etc.
“We were using basic, analog, cordless phones with several phone numbers to handle all of our telecommunication needs,” explains John Rote, vice president of Customer Experience at Bonobos. “The phones worked, but couldn’t scale with us, give us mobility options, or enable us to provide the superior customer service we promise. Our call volumes aren’t static, and if we wanted to maintain a great experience, we needed to track how many calls we were getting each day, how many were missed, and hold times. There was no way to get this decision-critical information from an analog phone.”
Customization capabilities enable ShoreTel to make application alterations for Bonobos
Bonobos researched VoIP phone providers because of the remote work ability. Among other reasons, it chose ShoreTel Sky because it offers real-time access to call data and features that make running day-to-day business much easier, even for the remote staff. “Reporting tools are typically hard to use, but the ShoreTel Sky Portal has simple default reports that we can tweak to give us exactly what we need,” says Rote. “The data helps us make better decisions about how we need to operate.”
“GOING TO SHORETEL SKY WAS AN ENORMOUS STEP FORWARD FOR US. WE COULDN’T HAVE GROWN THIS FAST WITHOUT THEIR SUPPORT.”
John Rote, Vice President of
The ShoreTel Sky phones offer a wide variety of features that can be customized as well. Bonobos employees can choose the features they want to use, such as Find Me Follow Me to have calls route to multiple phone numbers like mobile phones after a set number of rings; voicemail-to-email; and call recording, where audio files can be saved to customer history records. “We regularly use the queue system to waterfall various employees during peak times. If our customer service team is swamped, we can pull employees from other departments into the queue after a certain number of rings, even assigning ringtones to decipher which department the incoming calls are intended for. This was especially helpful during Cyber Monday, when our website crashed on our busiest sales day of the year. Our phone system was flooded with 15 times the normal call volume. We were able to quickly pull additional staff into the queue to handle the overflow. Even when our organizational capacity was maxed out, the ShoreTel Sky phone system wasn’t.”
Because the phones use cloud-based technology, Bonobos has a built-in disaster recovery solution. In one instance, when electricity was cut to its building, Rote was able to send his customer service team to a local coffee shop, get on its WiFi network, plug in their headsets, and work as if nothing had happened. Remote and traveling staff can do the same, conducting business virtually anywhere.
“I LIKE THAT WE CAN CONFIGURE AND ADMINISTER OUR PHONE SYSTEM TO FIT OUR CHANGING NEEDS. WE CAN MORE EFFECTIVELY UTILIZE EXISTING RESOURCES TO MAXIMIZE PRODUCTIVITY AND MINIMIZE STAFFING COSTS. MOST IMPORTANTLY, WE CAN DO THIS WHILE PROTECTING THE LEVEL OF CUSTOMER SERVICE”
Expanded functionality fuels Bonobos growth
Rote says the ShoreTel Sky call analytics enable him to be more strategic with his resources, and the flexibility of the phones ensures they will scale with the growing company. “I like that we can configure and administer our phone system to fit our changing needs,” he says. “We can more effectively utilize existing resources to maximize productivity and minimize staffing costs. Most importantly, we can do this while protecting the level of customer service.”
Just as service is a core value of Bonobos, support is a priority of ShoreTel. “Going to ShoreTel Sky was an enormous step forward for us,” Rote says. “It’s a modern, complex system in that it’s infinitely customizable so we appreciate that ShoreTel has knowledgeable people who take the time to understand us and how we need things to work. We couldn’t have grown this fast without their support.”
“IT’S A MODERN, COMPLEX SYSTEM IN THAT IT’S INFINITELY CUSTOMIZABLE SO WE APPRECIATE THAT SHORETEL HAS KNOWLEDGEABLE PEOPLE WHO TAKE THE TIME TO UNDERSTAND US AND HOW WE NEED THINGS TO WORK.”
- The analog phones at Bonobos worked, but couldn’t scale during high call volumes, had no mobility options, or the features that would enable the online retailer to provide superior customer service.
- Cloud-based ShoreTel Sky VoIP was chosen because it offers real-time access to call data and features that make running day-to-day business much easier, even for the remote staff.
- Rich reporting tools
- Built-in disaster recovery
- Customizable features