How BARK Matches the Passion of Pet Parents Through Radically Personal CX

Gladly Team

Read Time

4 minute read

Ecommerce brands that build passionate followings can struggle to maintain their connection with customers as they grow. To support ongoing growth, companies tend to prioritize speed over preserving personalization in customer experiences. But what if brands could have both?

An example of CX excellence personified is BARK — a pet brand whose customer interactions aim to replicate the passion of dog owners across conversations. The key to the company’s success in the CX space has been investing in solutions that make forging deep connections possible and simple. This is where solutions like Gladly have helped them continue on their pathway to growth.

Gladly CEO Joseph Ansanelli discussed this winning strategy with both BARK’s former CTO Nari Sitaraman and the “Servant of Pups and People” (a real title at their company!) Hernan Giraldo. Their conversation explores the most fascinating examples of their CX excellence and how technology like AI hasn’t removed an ounce of their personalization prowess.

BARK Applies Personalization to All Aspects of CX

To create excellent CX, brands need to take a holistic approach — from hiring the right staff and providing them with comprehensive training to demonstrating expert leadership and equipping agents with the best technology. BARK is constantly benchmarking the company’s performance, and these tactics have paid off with high customer satisfaction.

“We’ve tried to find throughout our journey these opportunities to connect with customers, understand where they’re at, but also where their dog is at. Our customer satisfaction scores on [our BarkBox] experience weekly hits 98-plus… We’re getting information from them and guiding them through what the ideal experience might be for them.”

Hernan Giraldo

Servant of the Pups & People, BARK

Members of the BARK “Happy Team,” as they call support staff, are encouraged and empowered to create the most optimal, personalized experience wherever possible.

BARK’s Happy Team facilitates this one-of-a-kind support by:

  • Providing the “Pup Companion Experience,” an open-ended grief support experience that provides specialty goods and needs for dog parents who’ve recently lost a pup
  • Creating portraits of dogs for loyal and long-term customers to amplify their passion for dog ownership
  • Facilitating the moving process with their dog moving concierge service, helping pup parents more seamlessly move homes with minimal stress to their pets

These are just a few small but powerful examples of providing a personal touch where it matters most to shoppers.

BARK Leverages AI for Personalization at Scale

The astounding, shareable CX stories BARK generates seemingly daily are emblematic of a small mom-and-pop-style brand. But BARK is a substantial company, and continuing to provide that level of personalization at scale is a tricky business to pull off. That’s where intelligent, radically personal tools come in handy for companies like BARK.

To apply this level of personalization, the first step was to find out which criteria could help them better understand pup parents. Next, BARK leveraged their internal IT team to translate that info into action, with help from AI.

“Let’s truly figure this out. How can we understand what the needs are of this pup? What are the needs of this dog parent? And what is that path? Be it a different assortment, a different style of play, or allergy restrictions, we’re going to do whatever we can to figure out and support the team in making sure that they have the right technologies for that.”

Hernan Giraldo

Servant of the Pups & People, BARK

BARK Uses People Match for Intelligent Personalization

Starting with automated tools like People Match from Gladly, brands can now infuse personalization into the flow of a CX operation. The People Match technology automatically routes customers to the ideal agent — or Happy Team member, in this case — who’s suited to handle each customer task, whether based on personal information, shopping history, or channel. Powered by AI, this tool can create profound connections when used right.

“A great example of leveraging technology, leveraging things like People Matching, is for Gladly to say: ‘Hey, these dog parents, we know they have a lab, so we’re going to understand who on our team has a lab and try to connect them together…’ It’s such a great example of actually how you do that at scale.”

Joseph Ansanelli

CEO, Gladly

BARK Amplifies Data Across Their Happy Team

More support center upgrades can further the power of AI to help deliver personalized service at scale. Gladly offers solutions like Hero AI to streamline CX at nearly every touchpoint. The right upgrades will ensure CX staff can access extensive information, no matter where they’re interacting with a customer. Support teams can maintain speed without losing context, thanks to intelligent tools that automatically generate quick response answers or rapidly summarize conversations to provide referenceable data for future conversations.

“AI or technology should help [our support] team do a more effective job and get to the root of what they’re trying to help the customer with…they shouldn’t be spending time going across multiple different solutions, trying to figure out what the data is — that should not be what they spend their time on. And that was the intent behind moving to Gladly as well.”

Nari Sitaraman

Former CTO, BARK

Further Reading: AI Innovations to Maximize Agent Efficiency

At Gladly Connect Live 2023, Nari led a session on the rapid expansion of AI in customer experience teams, including four key impacts that teams are seeing currently. Take a closer look at his insights in our recap, how AI innovations can maximize internal agent efficiency, and propel your CX team and business forward.

Gladly Connect Live 2024: Join Us Virtually or In Person

That’s right — Gladly Connect Live 2024 is right around the corner. This year, CX experts and thought leaders will gather on March 25 – 27 in Scottsdale, Arizona to discuss the trends shaping CX, the problems their teams are facing, and the solutions they’re exploring to improve customer experiences and strengthen loyalty. Attendance is free — register today to reserve your spot at Gladly Connect Live 2024.

BARK Uses Gladly to Achieve Deep Personalization at Scale

As BARK continues to grow, the company keeps CX central to its long-term goals. Tools infused with AI allow BARK to provide deep personalization at scale for all customers, which helps them preserve the outstanding reputation that has been instrumental in their growth.

Beyond benefiting the CX team, these intelligent and easy-to-use tools are a favorite of IT teams across the ecommerce landscape. The out-of-the-box technology is easy to implement, so IT teams get that same freedom as Support Heroes to focus on the more complex issues that truly matter.

BARK is not an outlier — customers who use Gladly provide CX excellence. These tools and interfaces are accessible and easily implementable for any ecommerce brand of any scale. To see how it can transform your operation, try a Gladly demo to see how our suite of products can make a world of difference for your support team.


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