“Our team was able to teach themselves Help Scout in a day. It's like using a shared email inbox — just way more robust and better looking.” – Brianne Henderlong, Threadless
“Make Great Together.” That’s the mission driving Threadless, an online community of artists and an e-commerce website founded in 2000.
When the company opened its doors in Chicago 17 years ago, they wanted to give creatives the room to make great art. While the team started printing on t-shirts, they soon realized that tons of products — from leggings and apparel to home items and accessories — make great canvases, and they extended their product line.
Now with over 2 million registered users, it’s clear that consumers want to support great art, too.
From the artists to the canvases to the respective pieces of art, each item is unique. That’s the vision that Threadless strives for — and whether you’re a visitor looking to make a purchase or an artist looking to open a store, that same unique experience is what Threadless wants to keep consistent in its customer interactions as well.
“Because there are different audiences and different paths users can take on our site, one of the greatest things about Help Scout is that everything is super customizable: We can organize the queue in different ways, we can add manual and automatic routing, and we can set up mailboxes according to teams.”
The Threadless team has 13 users on Help Scout across five mailboxes: Artist Relations, Artist Shops Support, Newsletter, Help Team, and VIP Shops.
Having mailboxes organized by the needs of the respective teams ensures that each person is getting the exact right messages, there isn’t a question about if an assignment is correct, and there’s still a quick way to get an overview of how many messages are coming in in a daily basis.
“So much of how we can use and customize Help Scout aligns with our values at Threadless — like the idea of ownership,” says Brianne. “Using automated workflows, for example, lets us set up simple “if/then” commands and makes sure that the exact right person is receiving the right message, at the right time. There’s no question of who should be following up, or whether the message is sitting in someone’s inbox. As soon as a question comes in, our automatic workflow will kick off and we can take care of all actions in one swoop.”
“We use workflows a lot, especially in our basic help mailbox, because we get a ton of repetitive inquiries — like newsletter subscription requests, order adjustments, and questions around shipping,” says Brianne. “If we were doing a single subscription response on a one-off basis — it would take a lot of time. Now we can process a dozen at the same time.”
“We tag everything, so we have 2,500 tags in total. It really points towards the broad range of issues we encounter across all our teams and mailboxes. We actively use the top five to 10 percent and just a few of those for workflows, but we have a wealth of data for anything that comes up,” says Brianne.
Threadless’ favorite features
- Multiple mailboxes: Manage email for multiple departments all in one place.
- Tags: Categorize conversations, monitor trends and trigger Workflows.
- Workflows: Filter emails, create custom folders, and automate actions.
- Notes: Collaborate privately on customer conversations behind-the-scenes.