How Kent and Lime runs a personal styling business entirely online

About Kent and Lime

Kent and Lime is a leading online personal styling service for men based in Sydney, Australia. When a customer opens a Kent and Lime account, they’re assigned a personal stylist who helps them build a style profile, manages their orders, handles returns and exchanges, and fine-tunes their clothing choices over time. Shoppers receive their clothing kits in the mail and can try everything on, pick what they want to keep, and return the rest.

We spoke with Lead Developer, James Andrew-Smith, to learn how Kent and Lime has used Front to build the ultimate inbox for their stylists.

What were your team’s biggest challenges before using Front?

Our business revolves around getting to know customers deeply in order to pick the styles they’ll like. ’Who is the customer? What can I do for them?’ are the questions that ground us every day. Men can connect with us on the phone, live chat, email, Facebook message, or SMS text. Having many communication channels made it simple for customers to contact us however they wanted — but we saw there was a challenge piecing together a holistic view of each customer. To solve that, we knew we wanted a solution to handle communications in one place.

With Front, we have a single source of truth for all our customer information. - James Andrew-Smith, Lead Developer, Kent and Lime

How do you work together in Front?

With Front, we have a single source of truth for all our customer information. We’re spending 2 to 3 hours a day in the app, because it’s got everything we need. Account information, styling preferences and more is right there in our inboxes, so we don’t have to hunt around to get customers answers. Using Front has allowed us to bring real-time communication to online retail.

How does Front increase your productivity?

We’ve been able to handle 10,000 inbound messages in the last six weeks with Front. Instead of emailing each other to collaborate, we use comments and @mentions — internal chat messages with teammates that live directly in our email threads.

The Kent and Lime team uses @mentions on email threads to collaborate internally, instead of forwarding emails.

We also send canned responses to guide customers through the styling process. These are emails we can draft and save to use again later, and using rules, we can send these canned responses automatically based on triggers. We’ve got a response for certain times of the day, for when new customers sign up through the app, for order updates, and more.

Tell us about how you access customer data in your inbox with your Front plugin.

We built our Front plugin to connect our proprietary platform that holds customer information, with our inboxes. It matches customers with their profiles by their unique id, regardless of how they write in — email, SMS text, or chat. Our stylists can automatically see a customer’s profile (with styling information like hair color and size), kit status, and history. We can also help customers exchange or purchase items in real time during each conversation.

How does your team keep their messages organized?

We set up an auto-tagging rule in Front so stylists can see a list of every customer online at any given moment. When a customer writes in through the mobile app, they automatically tag the user as “online,” and when they go offline, the tag is removed.

Using tags in Front, the Kent and Lime team can see which customers are online and offline at-a-glance. When a customer comes online, their folder appears in the team's inboxes, so they always know which messages need attention first.

Tell us about how you used the Front API to build inbox automations for your team.

Using the Front API, we created a bot that comments on customer conversations with related order and delivery updates. When a stylist pulls up a conversation, everything they need to chat with the customer is all in one place: their contact information across every channel, order updates, and style preferences.

What will you accomplish together next?

Our plans for the rest of this year are mostly customer-facing enhancements. We really want to continue finding ways to enrich their experience. We plan to try to expand to Facebook chat, and take some of the elements of our existing customizations and embed it there. And we’ll continue exploring ways we can build on top of Front to give customers a more tailored experience overall.