Trunk Club is an online styling service that connects users with their personalized apparel stylist. In 2016, I helped design a messaging experience that allowed users to immediately chat with a stylist via desktop and mobile messaging application. This experience was called "Active Response". 

What problem were we trying to solve?

After new users completed the onboarding flow, they would have to wait a maximum of a few days to be matched with a stylist. During this period, the user's interest in the service would wane, and she would drop off. 

What were our users saying?

Through user interviews, we understood pain points to be the following:

  • "The sign up process was tedious and then I had to wait even longer to get my clothes."
  • "I got matched with my stylist after a few days and she never reached out to me."
  • "I reached out to my stylist through the app and it took them forever to respond."
  • "It takes too long to see clothes. The stylist asks me even more questions after I answered a bunch of questions to sign up. And many of them were the same."

What pain points were we trying to solve?

Three pain points:

  • Long response time
  • Poor stylist conversation experience
  • Long time before being presented product

What did we design?

Through rapid prototyping and utilizing existing infrastructure, we created a chat experience where the stylist would immediately send a message to the user after sign-up. The user would then be able to chat with their stylist and be shown product within the chat experience.

How did we do it?

I designed a system to send an automated message to the user 10 seconds after they sign up. The message prompted users to respond ("Hi --- Let's get started! What are you looking for? Clothes for work, fun, or a special event?"). If a user chooses to answer the question, they would be connected to a stylist on shift to chat. If they don't respond, a stylist would not be notified to respond to the user.

Our product design team tested multiple chat scripts to see what would be the best converting conversation experience. We tested a few "first messages" to see what would prompt a response, and then a few subsequent conversation flows to see what would best lead to a sale. 

How did it turn out?

After training stylists to serve users, we noticed nearly double the response rate with our stylists. These stylists would also have a response time under a minute. If stylists followed the prescribed conversation flows, conversion would nearly double as well.