Under The Hood: Eli from Jones Road

Under The Hood: Eli from Jones Road

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Eli Weiss is a master in customer retention and experience. He chats with 1-800 D2C and explains the power behind customer surveys, doing things that don't scale, and more!

​​Eli leads the CX & Retention at Jones Road, a beauty brand founded by makeup artist Bobbi Brown. He also writes a great newsletter on all-things retention and cx. Make sure to check it out…after reading this interview of course 😉


Thanks for chatting with us Eli!  What’s it like leading the CX & retention team?  

You need to be the voice of the customer across the organization and be able to make a strong, data-backed case. Maybe your company is using DHL to ship product because it’s very cheap, but X percent of customers are saying their package isn’t arriving. You need to have processes in place to gather that customer information and then present it to your ops team.  

I’d say, personally, the hardest part about jumping into a leadership CX role is the data piece and getting good at making a case for a customer. And sometimes it’s a pretty significant case! For example, I may say we need to make a lighter shade of a certain product because X percent of customers are saying the lightest shade isn’t light enough. I need to have that hard data to back up my argument especially when I’m telling this to Bobbi.


What are the major factors contributing to Jones Road growth?

I think there are a few factors that play into Jones Road growth.

1)We have some really differentiated hero products like our Miracle Balm

2)Bobbi Brown is our founder, and she’s absolutely incredible

3)As a company Jones Road is super dedicated to providing an incredible experience at every single touchpoint so make sure customers come back

As a result, we have an incredibly strong LTV and AOV, and we’ve been able to scale in a profitable way. While most startups are just break even on order number one, we’re profitable on the first order. We did eight figures year one, and we’ll probably double that year two.


Jones Road is strictly DTC. How do you combat Amazon listing?

The reality is when you have a product that's selling really well people will try to sell it on all platforms. We have the brand registry trademark on Amazon, which we did from a purely tactical perspective.

But there’s no “official” way to combat Jones Road Amazon listings. It’s really a big game of whack-a-mole. We'll knock down 20 listings, and you'll find another 65 the next week.

We try to take some precautionary measures and flag bulk orders on our DTC site. If we see somebody buying purchasing 12 Miracle Balms, we have a strong feeling it’s going to end up on Amazon so we’ll set up some broad filters to cancel those orders.

Got it! So what are some of your biggest wins so far?

No.1 our Gorgias CSAT score. More than 40% of folks who get the survey fill it out, and the industry standard is about 8%. The fact that so many people are willing to fill out this survey shows that our customers are excited about their experience. We have a 4.95/5 CSAT score.


No.2 I’ve always had a very strong conviction around personalized service and doing things that don't scale. For Jones Road it's shade matching. We have multiple touch points in the journey where we prompt people to send in a selfie if they need help finding their perfect makeup shade, and our responses are super personalized and very in-depth recommendations. We’ve seen a 111% increase in LTV over six months from those customers that get shade matched. It's one of those things that pays off in dividends.


What types of questions do you ask in your surveys?

 We run many different surveys, so the questions depend on the survey!

Our CSAT is a very straightforward satisfaction survey.

Customer effort score, which is in the signature of the email. In the signature it says, “Eli made it easy to get my issue resolved today.” You can click strongly disagree to strongly agree with three other choices in the middle, and then we ask a secondary question. That’s scored from zero to 100. We’re in the 90s for that.

NPS. Many people complain about the NPS and say it's inconclusive. If you’re just asking questions like “Rank the service you received on a scale of 1-10”, then the NPS score isn’t going to help. You need to ask follow-up questions that are open-ended in order to make the NPS score actionable and useful. At Jones Road we ask questions like “Based on what did you choose your score?” Is it customer service? Is it shipping and delivery? Is it our website? Is it our product? We have tens of thousands of those survey results and we can slice and dice it using this tool called Retently.  


What’s your tech stack?

Gorgias for email, Junip for reviews, Klaviyo and Attentive, Wonderment for all post purchase communication, Peel for analytics, Retently for surveys, Motion and Frame on growth side.One tool that we don't use yet, but I'd love to use is Stay AI for subscritpions.

Any final words of wisdom?

There's going to be a squeeze over the next 12 months, regardless of a full-fledged recession, people will have less money to spend on consumer goods. Customer experience and retention are going to be a tremendous factor in the next 12 months. Brands that are focusing on growth, growth, growth and not retention are going to struggle. As 2022 comes to an end, I think all the easy “growth-hacks” are going to go away and the creepy, weird email hacks. The brands that are going to stay are the ones that make people feel things.

And check out my newsletter!


That’s it for now! Thanks for reading.