Fabelio is a design-centric e-commerce retailer operating in Indonesia, with plans of expanding to all of Southeast Asia soon. The furniture industry in Indonesia is largely traditional— and the unique designs were reserved only for the high-end customers. There was no system to deal with small workshops and SMEs that worked in the home furnishing sector. Fabelio was conceived as an answer to develop original designs and work closely with designers and factories to manufacture quality furniture for all sections of people.
We spoke to Shirish Subramanian, Head- Sourcing & Operations, about Fabelio’s experience of using Exotel.
How did your association with Exotel come into being?
Some of our founders are BITSians, just like Exotel’s. It was a matter of time before the meeting of the minds happened.
How is Indonesia unique when it comes to their online buying habits?
Indonesia is still warming up to buying furniture online. It is also one of the unique markets where a bank transfer to a designated account is a significant mode of payment for transactions. Cash on delivery is not as popular as it is in a market like India. Showrooms and experience centers play a significant role in influencing online purchases.
What is the biggest problem you face with respect to scheduling deliveries?
Furniture is not like any other e-commerce commodity where logistics and delivery are concerned. They’re heavy, and there’s a real challenge involved in shipping, loading and unloading them. Not to mention, the cost of transporting furniture is much higher than other items.
The losses involved are also high when the customer is not available to receive the delivery.
Cost of transporting, weight of the furniture, effort involved in handling returned deliveries, cost of labour.
How did you try to solve these problems?
To curb these issues, our team called the customers manually to check on their availability. In case a customer didn’t answer the call, they had to note that number down and make another call again. This could happen to multiple orders at a time. They were calling close to 200 people in a day. This manual process was not only tedious, but also gave a lot of room for error.
Manually calling close to 200 people a day was tedious and causing manual errors.
How was Exotel able to help you here?
Exotel offered us the opportunity to automate these confirmation calls to customers.
An automated call blast is triggered to all the customers whose orders are ready to be shipped out, the evening before the delivery. On the automated IVR call, we ask the customer to confirm their availability to receive the order. Based on their schedule, they can enter their preference via the IVR input. The data is stored real-time in a simple Google sheet.
In case the customer doesn’t answer the call, 3 retries are attempted in 30-minute intervals. If the customer is still unavailable, an SMS is sent with the same message and, asking them to call us back at the call center to confirm their availability.
In cases where the customer orders more than one item, we also use Exotel to understand the customer’s preference in terms of the delivery. Some of them prefer partial deliveries while others would prefer to get their entire shipment at one go. An automated call helps us do this as well.
What is the most interesting aspect of Exotel, according to you?
The ability to clearly automate reaching out to customers and recording responses in a lucid, transactionally adaptable format is the most interesting aspect. Also, the user interface is easy enough for our resources in the field to adopt, which is great.
How easy has it been to scale with Exotel?
We’ve faced no problems so far, and I hope it stays exactly that way.
Exotel is enabling us so that we are our only constraint, if that, which is great. Great product, great team, and we’d love to see you scale crazy heights.