ManoMano: How to Put Human Connection at the Core of Digital CX
5min read - iAdvize
Leading European DIY, home, & gardening marketplace, ManoMano has been using iAdvize’s conversational platform since 2016. It pioneered the use of an online community of experts to support its CX strategy, focused on human support and advice.
This approach has proven to be effective for the brand, as it obtains post-chat conversion rates well above industry averages. During our virtual event Conversation®, Amandine Durr, Product Director at ManoMano, detailed how ManoMano is offering a unique digital CX to generate growth and support its European expansion.
Experience: Beyond the Product Offer
In addition to offering a rich and diverse catalogue of quality DIY products, ManoMano's primary goal is to deliver a unique experience to its clients. The emphasis is placed on offering permanent and ubiquitous support and advice throughout the customer journey, on every page of the website.
Whichever page the users are on, whatever the problem they face, we want them to be able to contact someone and receive help and advice. It's a very strong and strategic choice made by ManoMano.
Creating a relationship based on trust, both in pre-sales and after-sales, is critical for a 100% digital marketplace such as ManoMano. Selling technical products online requires both advice and reassurance. In order to convert and satisfy its customers, the brand must address their many concerns and insecurities when undertaking renovation projects, big or small.
We want to inject a notion of trust into our customer experience, throughout the entire customer journey.
To ensure this, the company’s strategy relies on two pillars: UX and customer relationship. Its first objective is to provide an optimal browsing experience throughout the platform, its first touchpoint. “Our users spend a lot of time comparing and trying to identify the right product for their needs” explains Amandine Durr. Empowering its visitors to pick and receive the right product at the right time is the true essence of the marketplace. It is therefore crucial for ManoMano’s teams to polish the web navigation offered to the customers, while providing all the relevant information.
The concept of trust is another priority in the company’s strategy. “We want to tell our visitors that everything will be alright, that we know how stressful it is to buy a tool, being unsure that it’s the right one or that it will be delivered on time” explains Amandine Durr. This strong support is provided by its online community of 200 “Manodvisors”, independent DIY enthusiasts whose goal is to answer, reassure, and give advice to customers at any moment of their visit on the website, via messaging.
For ManoMano's Product Director, messaging helps provide a smooth UX by making it easy to get in touch with an advisor at the time of their choice: “The very principle of designing customer centric experiences is to hide all the complexity there can be. Browsing the website should be extremely simple for the user. And the fact that our live chat is part of our website’s UX is fantastic from a customer relationship point of view, as it can be used anywhere and at any time, on mobile as well as desktop”.
Online conversation enables the company to be more responsive and to create a seamless customer experience, while offering expertise. “Live chat also allows us to test things quickly, see what works and iterate. This is fundamental to the experience we want to deliver. For example, we can use a chatbot to qualify customers’ queries and help them in a very effective way” adds Amandine Durr.
The chat window, available on every webpage, has become ManoMano's omnichannel customer engagement focal point. This is the most used channel by visitors to get advice on a product. 85% of contacts are made through chat, compared to 13% by phone and only 2% by e-mail. “Most of our online sessions happen on cell phones, and chat is very well suited for mobile browsing” says Amandine Durr.
This strategy proves successful in terms of sales and customer satisfaction. With 20% CVR and 83.7% post-chat CSAT, there is no doubt that messaging converts and satisfies ManoMano’s customers.
Messaging in Time of Crisis
Due to the pandemic, social distancing and the increasing popularity of digital solutions, users' interest in messaging significantly accelerated.
We stand out from the big physical brands with our 100% digitalization, which is our strength. And it has had a huge impact, especially this year.
Social distancing created growing interest in DIY projects, which led to:
- An increase in the number of visitors on ManoMano websites, especially from customers who usually wouldn’t use digital technology
- An explosion of contacts. Since March 2020, 1.5 million conversations with Manodvisors have taken place on ManoMano’s websites
- Logistical challenges to meet all orders
Thanks to messaging, ManoMano managed to achieve impressive performances during the first pandemic wave:
- In April 2020, twice as many online conversations occurred on ManoMano’s websites, compared to a typical month
- Sales increased by 4x
- The marketplace was able to launch “AlloMano”, a new page dedicated to troubleshooting and repairs, in only 10 days
While many physical stores suffered from store closures, lack of an omnichannel approach and inability to quickly transfer their sales online, ManoMano's resilience, flexibility as well as its conversational strategy, enabled the company to immediately test new and innovative services. “Thanks to iAdvize, we were able to quickly launch our AlloMano service, which allowed our customers to get free online troubleshooting support from our experts, for a leaky faucet or a shutter that wouldn't close, for example” explains Amandine Durr.
The brand seized the opportunity to test a new approach of support, no longer focused solely on product choice, but on the "how to" dimension.
We were able to prove to more people, and fast, how comfortable and often even better it was to buy DIY products online than in-store, including in terms of shopping advice.
Human Support as a Catalyst for Innovation and Growth
ManoMano is looking at extending expert advice to the concept of “project-sales” and entering the services market, beyond the sale of products. The goal is to assist customers with their projects from A to Z by helping them choose appropriate products, their compatibility, and advising them on how to achieve their goals.
“We want to meet the needs of our two types of customers: the hard-core DIYers, who are very loyal and who make DIY purchases every week; and the customers who needs to be assisted in a particular context of life: new house, home renovation, arrival of a baby... which require huge needs in DIY, in a given timeframe” explains Amandine Durr.
In both situations, online advice through messaging is a key tool to support customers in the realization of their project. The first “project-sales” tests already demonstrate their business potential, with an AOV that doubles in value and number of items.
In 2019, the ManoMano Pro platform - designed for construction entrepreneurs - was rolled out. It’s a market with very high potential in terms of recurring purchases,“craftsmen[having] permanent needs, with very specific problems”; but above all, a B2B target often composed of very small businesses requiring a personalized customer experience, and different needs.
“When we think of B2C customers, the advice is all about expertise, helping in the choice of a product and the understanding of its technical specs”, says Amandine Durr. For busy professionals, the need for online assistance is primarily about saving time.“Professional clients contact our experts to get the solution they need as fast as possible. They don't have time to search by themselves, and giving them the opportunity to chat with online experts is a real advantage” adds Amandine Durr, for whom the objective is for B2B to reach 30% of the marketplace's revenue by 2024.
Offering human connection to both B2B and B2C customers is key to ManoMano customer experience strategy.
The human aspect is essential in our approach, it's even our signature. This is what will make the difference in the digital adoption in the long run. The human touch bridges the gap between the physical and the digital customer experience.
This shows in the company's CX as well as values. For example, it is essential for the marketplace that the "Manodvisors" experts can introduce themselves on the website, describe their expertise and the projects they have carried out, in order to humanize the support provided to visitors. “It's a decision that really matches the company's strategy, it's not just cosmetic. From start to finish, the human touch is important. That's what will make the digital experience better than the physical one, it's this human touch that will make all the difference. That's why we rely on expert communities” concluded Amandine Durr.