How Caldera + Lab Decreased Their Subscription Help Tickets by 50%
Caldera + Lab offers high-performance men’s skincare by combining pharmaceutical-grade science, nature’s purest and most potent ingredients, and sustainable business practices. Their flagship product, The Good, helps people with ongoing skin issues and maintenance, making eCommerce subscriptions a critical part of their business model.
Caldera + Lab launched their Shopify store in January 2019 using Recharge’s subscription app. Despite having one SKU, reporting in Recharge showed separate different product IDs for 30-day auto-renewed subscriptions versus 60-day subscriptions. Anytime they updated the subscription window, it would show as a separate product in their reporting.
At the time they also had a major issue with customers being able to checkout subscriptions on their Shopify store as guests. “As I purge my mind of terrors, we had 1,500 people with subscriptions but no Shopify accounts. They used an insecure link sent in emails by Recharge to manage subscriptions,” recalls Lars Callary, Chief eCommerce Officer at Caldera + Lab.
Customers would forget their password. Since they didn’t technically have an account within the Shopify platform, those subscribers wouldn’t receive a password reset email.
Additionally, Lars ran into issues with the customer portal as an admin. It wasn’t clear if updating the subscription frequency happened on the front or back end of Recharge without contacting Recharge’s support team.
“The UI was convoluted. I’m a developer by trade, but it was a very difficult interface to understand,” said Lars.
Caldera + Lab’s customers include Fortune 100 executives, professional athletes, doctors, and others who expect a high level of service. And where a brand’s shopping experience is straightforward. Since the customer portal wasn’t intuitive, their customers would contact Caldera + Lab to complete simple tasks like updating a shipping address or skipping a shipment, often expressing significant frustration over the experience while really loving the product.
“This became very resource intensive for our customer experience team,” said Lars.
Caldera + Lab identified they could provide a better customer experience by offering:
More self-service — Caldera + Lab needed to fix their issues with guest checkouts and provide subscribers a clear way to self-service manage their subscriptions.
Discounts without codes — Applying discounts for their subscribers also wasn’t seamless. Customers had to copy and paste codes to receive discounts. “Even if the codes were phonetic, that still wasn’t a good experience,” Lars says.
Caldera + Lab worked with their eCommerce agency to get all customers an account they could self-service.
“It was tough. We had to explain to smart people why they didn’t have accounts. After subscribers reached out we either had to manually send them a Shopify account creation email ensuring the email address used was the same as their subscription address or instruct them how to create an account,” said Lars. “Now we can rest assured every subscription customer has a Shopify account and if they forget their password, the password recovery feature native within Shopify works seamlessly — and we don’t have to be involved with a support ticket.”
Since moving from Recharge to Upscribe, Caldera + Lab has seen a 50% decrease in tickets from customers requesting help with their accounts.
“Safe to say without Upscribe, we would have bandwidth capacity issues and had to hire new support staff since we exponentially increased our shipping volume for Q4,” says Lars.
They also hear from their customers the new Upscribe portal is easier to use. Instead of select customers having subscriptions across multiple email addresses and not being able to see their accounts, customers’ ability to self-manage their accounts has dramatically improved.
“Our view is the more control we give our customers, the better the experience they have with our brand. We want to give our customers the ability to interact and shop for our products in whichever ways they want,” says Lars.
Caldera + Lab also enjoys what they consider pleasant surprises with using Upscribe. For example, their subscribers can see line items such as membership cost savings for subscribing on checkout. They’ve found “customers are used to seeing this breakdown on invoices. The transparency is only helpful.”
Moving forward, Upscribe will continue to be a key part of Caldera + Lab’s recurring revenue as they roll out new products.
“Upscribe products provide a clear-cut experience for the end-user that reminds me of Apple’s intuitive design philosophy. Everything’s well thought on Upscribe’s end with how they build their platform.”