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Episode #51: The Unexpected Devotion of Subaru Ambassadors

Grad Conn

January 8, 2021  •  13 min read

Two customer experiences for the price of one today. First, the thrilling conclusion of my Lovesac Sactional purchase. And second, a fascinating Twitter experiment that uncovers a brilliant, and surprising, Subaru social media marketing effort.

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PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Amazing. 2021, the year with so many expectations, the year with so much hope. Well, you know, it was a really solid first five days. Here’s to 2022. I actually saw a very funny meme got sent to me with the intertubes. And it was, it was little bit of a 2021 joke. And it says, I’d like to cancel my subscription to 2021, I’ve experienced the free seven day trial, and I’m not interested. It’s so funny, you know, everyone thought, well, 2021 can’t possibly be any worse than 2020… oh, nevermind.

All right, so, let’s talk about CXM. This is the CXM Experience. I’m Grad Conn CXO, chief experience officer at Sprinklr, and really glad to have you here today. I’ve got a lot of people listening, it’s been really cool to see the download meter creeping up. And we’ve been doing a show every day now for almost three months. So we’re in the 50 plus shows realm. We do it Monday through Friday, every week and only missed the first couple days of this year. just needed a little bit of a break and a refresher. And potentially, that’s why this year has gotten off to such a bad start. So I’ll take the blame for it.

So let’s do a couple of quick things. I’m going to do a little bit of a potpourri today. Think of this as a buffet table of experiences. And I want to follow up on something I talked about a month ago, which was this really cool new couch system that I bought called Sactionals from the Lovesac. And I went through the buying experience and the choosing experience which was very interesting. And I promised to follow up on the assembling experience, because it comes in pieces. And so I wanted to see what that felt like because often the IKEA assembly experiences is not particularly fantastic. And then I want to spend a minute talking about influencer marketing, and pretty interesting piece of work I saw from Subaru. And I just want to give them some kudos and show everyone how that’s working and let you try it yourself. So that’s our agenda for today. Let’s get rolling.

So the Lovesac Sactionals, quick recap, is the world’s most adaptable couch. Essentially it is a Lego set that you can reassemble and assemble in different ways. But it’s a couch. Uses some very interesting pieces to create a very stable couch, and a very comfortable couch. And so and they’ve been marketing it now for about a year. They’ve got some accessories, like you’ve got some drink holders that can go over the arm. And you have some things like the power outlet and a tray table. So there’s a few other things you can get with it.

And so now, we put the order in, made it on the end of the sale timing, which is fun. And lo and behold, it arrives. And it arrived roughly within the timeframe they said it was going to arrive in and it arrives in pieces in boxes. And the slip covers are actually separate from the boxes themselves. So you actually have to assemble it quite a bit. You have to bring the slip covers over the boxes. And then you have to then arrange the boxes on their stands, then you have to snap them together with these little metal clips, look like giant staples almost. Put everything together and put it all together. It took about two hours. Wasn’t nearly as bad as putting together an IKEA dresser. Was pretty easy. The instructions were easy to follow, but it was a lot of work. It was a lot of work.

And I would say that if I were to judge the experience index on the assembly part. It wasn’t like fantastic. However, it was pretty fantastic getting it so quickly. It was pretty fantastic being able to bring it inside so easily. Couches are always really hard to move. And as you look at it, you realize I’ll be able to disassemble and move this thing really easily without damaging the couch or any other part of the house. So that’s pretty cool. And the slipcovers are really the hard part. Once they were on the rest of it sort of snaps together fairly well. I think that if I were giving experience coaching to Lovesac, I would encourage them to put the slipcovers on. I think if that had been done, if that step had been done, and you’re just assembling the couch, I think it would have been fun. But the slipcovers made it a lot of work. So that would be an experience improvement. It was also interesting once you put it together to see it in the space, and you can see what other pieces that you wanted to get as well. And so we’re going to actually add to we are going to add to it, we’re going to buy more, so that’s all good.

It is crazy comfortable. Potentially too comfortable. You know, it’s hard to stay awake and watch a movie in it. But it is crazy comfortable, which is great. So the core function of the couch is delivered in spades. And that flexibility is highly appreciated. So there’s lots of good stuff going on there. So, bravo Lovesac, thank you very much, great work and keep it going. Maybe think about putting the slipcovers on before it arrives and might make it would speed the time up by easily an hour. Or maybe even more than that, maybe they would cut 75% of the time off. And given the price of the coach doesn’t seem like a crazy idea.

Alright, so now I want to talk a little bit about Subaru. So I am always doing things because of my job and customers that I’m working with etc. I am always trying things and testing things, etc. So on Twitter about a month ago, December the eighth, I just put out a tweet said I’m thinking about buying an SUV before the end of 2020. What would you recommend friends? And then to make it really easy, just to make sure that I got responses, I @ mentioned a number of different brands. 10 car brands to be exact. And you can take a look if you want on my Twitter feed, which is @GradConn to see who I mentioned. And just sat back to see what happened.

So immediately, some of my friends and followers gave me recommendations. So two or three people jumped in. And then the first car manufacturer jumped in, which was Hyundai. And they said Is this a trick question? Kind of a cheeky way of saying obviously they had the best. And so I said that’s a bit presumptive, don’t you think? What are the interesting things you have? And I told him a little bit about my… I got a dog and moving a lot of stuff. And then they recommended the Santa Fe. Great. Another friend of mine jumped in and gave me another recommendation. Then Toyota came. And they said, you know Toyota has entered the chat, which is great. They actually have their community managers sign their tweets. I love that because I know I’m talking to a person. So that was great. Mentioned that person’s name was the same as my sister. That was kind of cool. And so we had a little bit of chitty chat there. And I went back and forth with Toyota a little bit more. And they gave me a couple of recommendations and links to their website. And then finally, Nissan jumped in… love to have you on the road with us. But they think their lineups quite impressive. And I told them my situation. And then they gave me a recommendation as well.

So 10 car brands, only three replied to me. But there is more in a second. But only three replied to me in the string, which is sort of interesting. I thought that was shocking. You know, because like there are literally 1000s of people saying I’m about to buy a new car, what do people recommend? I’m obviously testing but most of those are legit, actually, I’m buying a car questions. And like literally, it’s like people calling you with an order and then just ignoring them. It’s amazing to me that you would ignore this. That’s the first thing. The second thing is that even in the replies I got, I’d say that, you know, just sending me a link to the website. It’s not terrible. But that’s it? And then what was interesting is I did very specifically say I need to buy it before the end of 2020. So I put a time limit in. No one came back to me and said Hey, how’s it going? No one gave me hey, here’s a way to book a test drive. And no one asked where I lived to connect me to a dealer. Nobody gave me an end of year clearance sale offer. There must have been some right? There usually are. Nobody did any kind of follow up.

And this is actually one of the biggest problems on modern channels today in these social platforms. People are treating the conversations as one and done. That’s not right. And you’ve got a connection to somebody you don’t just never talk to them again. But because there aren’t social automation tools available like there is an email people don’t have a way of getting back. Now the way that I get around this at Sprinklr in our customer experience center is we don’t actually use an engagement product, which has that one and done sort of mentality. We actually use our care product to do engagement. And in care, you can set up a case, and then you can set up the case for follow up. So we continue to follow up back and forth with people over time to maintain that relationship. And I think that’s really important. And that’s a good and not crazy kind of hack to do that.

But then what was really interesting with this feed, so I’ve kind of given you the so far so far, Nissan. And then I got someone named Lacey Shelton said Subaru. And then someone mentioned another Toyota product and then Nick goes, Ford. And then some what the L said Subaru, and Yasmin said Subaru, and then my mind is an ominous weapon said Subaru, and GG said, Tesla, and then Mismam said Subaru and then Chris Ferguson said Subaru, and then Trucks said I love my Outback Subaru, and then Lois said Subaru and then Jan Cabot said Subaru, and then Jackie said Subaru and Ms. Frog said Subaru and Dan Jensen said Subaru and DanielX3 said Subaru and Mike Sikora said Subaru and Jess said Subaru and Jeff Ong said Subaru and Clayton said Subaru and Jamaal said Subaru and Brad Paisley said Subaru.

Get it? I could keep going. But suddenly all these strangers — I don’t know any of these people — all started saying Subaru. And so if you look at this kind of question, the feed, you’re like, well, that was really nice that Hyundai, Nissan, and Toyota got back to me, good for them. And they’re helpful. You know, I would definitely look at all three of those vehicles. No question. But I’d be crazy not to try Subaru. Like everyone said Subaru.

So what’s going on here? Is it just so many people love their Subarus? I think if that’s really true, then Subaru should be the number one car in the world, right? So I go back up to my top and I noticed that I got two quote retweets. Click on that. And when I look at the quote retreats, Timothy Cronin, quote, retweeted me and said Subaru, but then Subaru’s handle, quote retweeted me with an offer. And what’s super interesting is the offer is if you buy before January 4, will donate to a charity of your choice. $250. Really interesting offer called share the love. But I thought well, that’s interesting.

So Subaru did reply to me. But as a quote, retweet. Why would they quote retweet me? Particularly because I actually had 10 brands in my @ mentions, and they were one of them. But there were nine other brands that were not them. Not many people quote retweet their competitors. So I sniffed around a little bit. Subaru has a program called Subaru Ambassadors. And Subaru ambassadors allows people to show their love for Subaru. And basically they follow Subaru and then when someone’s looking for a car, Subaru, quote retweets it, and their ambassadors go to work to jump in and say, Hey, you’d love a Subaru. Amazing, right? Great way of leveraging customers, great way of creating an influencer marketing motion, and a very powerful way of getting people to feel that it is a credible way, a credible message behind buying that car. Love it. Congratulations, Subaru. You won that round. And it was very, very, very impressive the way you did that. And whoever has set that program up for you, deserves a raise and a promotion. And I’d love to interview that person on the CXM Experience. So DM me on Twitter, and let’s chat a little bit because I thought it was very impressive, nice job.

So that’s the CXM Experience for today. Kind of a fun one, sort of a little bit longer than usual. But nice job by Lovesac. I’d say you know, overall, the experience of assembly was maybe a 6 out of 10. But the overall experience end to end was easily a 9 out of 10. And the experience of actually enjoying the couch is a 10 out of 10 for sure. So we’re in really good shape Lovesac, I’m loving everything. See what you can do about the fittings. And then when it comes to influencer marketing, not enough people are using this tool. So look up what people like Subaru are doing.

I would also say that, you know, I’m kind of going to the next level right now, because Subaru took us there. But the seven brands that didn’t… the six brands that didn’t reply at all, really? Come on, get on your game. Don’t ignore potential customers. That’s ridiculous. And you have plenty of time to get back to me. So that’s outrageous that people would actually say I’m buying a car with a specific date and @ mention you and you just ignore it. That’s shameful, quite frankly.

So with that note, we’re gonna end today’s show, the CXM Experience. We’ll come back tomorrow. And for the CXM Experience, I am Grad Conn, and I’ll see you next time.

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Grad Conn

Chief Experience Officer, Sprinklr

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