Hugo

Fostering Self-Love: How Hugo Helped Topicals Redefine Skincare

Author: Andrea Okonkwo

Topicals, a trailblazer in skincare, presents clinically-tested, cruelty-free products that resonate deeply with the ethos of self-love, especially among black women. Their unique brand philosophy intertwines skin health with mental well-being, striking a chord with the socially conscious Gen Z demographic, who are vocal advocates for mental health and racial inclusivity.

Legacy skincare brands have long perpetuated unrealistic beauty standards that diminish self-worth. Topicals set out to revolutionize the space with a brand centered on mental health, inclusion, and empowerment.

At Topicals, clinical efficacy meets emotional healing; products blend scientifically proven solutions with lighthearted, judgment-free messaging to make skincare joyful. Beyond the product, bringing this uplifting brand ethos to life required exceptional customer service and flawless digital operations.

“We knew we needed help delivering a kick-ass customer experience and streamlining our back-end operations,” says Aisha Thomas, Topicals COO. “But, from our first interaction with Hugo, it was clear that we had found a team that deeply understood who we were. It felt like we were gaining a partner, not just a vendor.”

Empowering Customer Connections

Delivering empathetic customer service starts with the right people. Hugo assembled a team of “native consumers” – agents passionate about skincare and Topicals’ brand mission. These representatives were screened for emotional intelligence and active listening aptitude.

Through rigorous training, agents were immersed in Topicals’ product offerings, brand voice guidelines, and service philosophy. This ensured agents could engage customers with knowledge and compassion.

Hugo managed communications across channels – email, social, messaging, and voice – with a unified system. This omnichannel approach meant customers enjoyed consistent service no matter where they engaged with the brand.

Hugo supplemented this technology with efficient workflows. By building an extensive knowledge base to handle common requests and implementing automated ticketing to route issues to the right agents, Hugo equipped its dedicated team with the proper context to resolve customer needs.

This powerful combination of integrated platforms, streamlined processes, and compassionate experts enabled Hugo to sustain exceptional support across channels. Metrics showed:

  • A 4.9/5 CSAT score, reflecting a level of care and attentiveness that resonated with customers.
  • Swift resolution of over 4,000 intricate customer issues
  • 50% increase in first contact resolution through knowledge base expansion
  • 15% higher satisfaction from at-risk customers via proactive outreach

“The care and dedication Hugo’s agents show our customers reinforces that our products are about more than just skincare – they’re about self-love.”

Driving Scale Through Operational Excellence

Aisha commended Hugo’s performance:

Hugo’s performance on our customer service mandate was truly exceptional, so we decided to expand our partnership to include optimizing our back-office operations as well

A key focus was optimizing Topicals’ micro-influencer Ambassador Program. Hugo assumed leadership of the entire lifecycle – from application review to onboarding and ongoing management.

The team swiftly streamlined the application process, implementing automated screening based on audience demographics and content analysis. This allowed much faster reviewer throughput while still identifying brand advocates. Once accepted, new ambassadors received a tailored onboarding plan including product sampling, guidance on showcasing their authentic experiences, and relationship-building with Topicals’ team. Ongoing nurturing initiatives like contests, exclusive content access, and community-building further enhanced engagement.

These initiatives catalyzed program growth:

  • 31,000+ applications reviewed in 11 months, a 300% increase
  • 6,900+ new ambassadors onboarded, up from just 715
  • 12% to 31% conversion rate improvement

These metrics exemplify Hugo’s capacity to scale operations effectively while enhancing engagement quality, showcasing Hugo’s prowess in executing large-scale, impactful outreach campaigns that align closely with Topicals’ mission.

Hugo also achieved tremendous expansion of Topicals’ Esthetician Expert Program, increasing acceptance rates by 425%. The team onboarded estheticians after targeted outreach showcasing alignment between the professional’s expertise and Topicals’ mission. Tailored coaching enabled estheticians to become true brand advocates. Ongoing nurturing fostered an engaged community of skincare professionals who provide authoritative guidance to customers while embodying Topicals’ values.

These initiatives exemplified Hugo’s ability to execute impactful, large-scale campaigns that align closely with Topicals’ mission of promoting self-love. By combining operational excellence with genuine empathy, Hugo became a valued partner in bringing the brand’s identity to the forefront.

The Hugo Advantage: A Partnership for Empowerment

The collaboration between Topicals and Hugo demonstrates the power of a strategic partnership elevating all aspects of the consumer experience. “With Hugo’s help, we’ve built an uplifting community and delivered support that makes our customers feel truly seen.”

On the service front, Hugo resolved thousands of intricate customer inquiries with empathy. Operationally, Hugo improved processes to unlock the potential of Topicals’ influencer programs.

This rare blend of heart and optimization means Hugo delivers the best of both worlds – customer relationships strengthened through care while communities scale efficiently. For Topicals, it has enabled them to live their ethos while growing strategically.

According to Aisha, “Hugo goes beyond metrics to help us transform our customers’ lives and expand our reach the right way – with devotion and diligence.”

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