- Challenge: How can a luxury bedding company automate their customer consultations, to help people choose the pillow of their dreams?
- Solution: Decades of research into the properties of down and feather pillows distilled into a match-making typeform.
- Result: A fun, informative customer flow! And a run of delighted reviews from people who used it to identify a wonderful pillow for them.
For a third of our time on the planet, we're sleeping. That could be thirty years or more! Given how enormous that chunk of time is, investing in gear to improve the experience must be worthwhile. At least, that's the central premise of Down & Feather, a small family business from Texas. They make the Rolls Royce of pillows. They only work with the finest textiles — Egyptian cotton spun on German looms—and responsibly sourced feathers from white Hungarian geese. Each piece is bespoke to a client's individual requirements. You, personally, might never become passionate about your pillow, or any other type of bedding. But imagine what a delicious night's sleep you’ll have if you pay someone else to be.
The pillow education you must’ve slept through
If you drop hundreds of dollars on a pillow, you can expect it to feel dramatically different than the one you bought at IKEA. Down & Feather agree—if you don’t love your pillow after 30 days, returns are free.
However, the perfect pillow, like the perfect one of most things, does not exist. An exceptional pillow is in the eye (the sleepy head?) of the beholder. The right match depends on your height, the position you lie in, and your personal tastes.
High quality pillows come in many varieties, and many customers don't know how to select the best one for them. In fact, Down & Feather noticed this was becoming a problem. More customers than expected were choosing an unsuitable pillow for their needs, and returning it. What's a team to do?
CEO David Smith is one of the world's few pillow experts. In the early days of Down & Feather, he would advise every client himself, working with them to identify a great match. Eventually, he taught Mindy to do the same, so she could tend to customers when he was working on other areas of the business. Mindy realized that David's customer recommendations followed a formula of six questions. She realized that this initial conversation could be automated.
Hard sums and soft furnishings
The solution was a typeform for finding your ideal pillow. Six multiple choice questions, six factors which affect what kind of pillow you should buy.
For instance: do you want to sleep "in" or "on" your pillow? If you want your head perched high like a precious jewel, you’re looking at a feather one. If you like to sink into something soft, you'll prefer a pillow made from down instead.
Mindy used scoring to take each customer to the pillow that corresponds with their answers. For instance, if customers answer that they like to sleep on their sides, 10 points are added to their score. At the end of the typeform, each score band matches up with one of eight types of pillows.
However, Mindy was more ambitious than just sorting customers into eight pillow types. She wanted to pass every test taker a score that reflects their whole combination of answers, so that she and David could instantly recognise all of the factors playing into their recommended choice. This was when it became complicated. There are 143 different possible combinations of answers available. Mindy created a key using an excel spreadsheet detailing all the different answer combinations. She assigned numbers to each question, testing different numbers in every question, so that there was no possibility of two different answer combinations receiving the same sum at the end. It was like an enormous Sudoku. And it worked!
On the ending screen of the typeform, your answers are repeated back to you, and there’s a link to your ideal pillow. There’s also a number that corresponds to your answer combination. All you need to do is mention your number to the Down & Feather team, and they will be able to read off a key and understand your individual needs. Try it out for yourself here:
Bringing the matchmaking quiz to the shop window
Mindy used the "Which pillow is perfect for you?" typeform in Facebook ads. It was an instant hit with soon-to-be customers.
If you are seeing an advert for Down & Feather, the chances are you're considering investing in a great pillow, but that investment can be intimidating. How ridiculous would you feel if you spent a lot of money on a luxury pillow that you didn't like?
The typeform was a great way for customers to feel confident in their luxury purchase, while teaching what to look out for in a great pillow. And, even more importantly, it was fun enough to tempt traffic through the virtual door.
The Typeform proved so effective on adverts that Mindy decided to embed it on Down & Feather’s website, too. Today, it’s the first thing you see when you enter the site.
Effectively, this has extended Down & Feather's prime business hours. Before, in order to make a sensible luxury pillow investment, you had to wait till 9am for David or Mindy's advice. Now, if you are feeling lumpy and sleepless at 3am, you can still purchase immediately, with confidence.
What’s more, putting this quiz on Down & Feather's virtual storefront has dramatically reduced the number of returns, because even impulse buyers are now choosing pillows which suit them the first time around.
Pillow talk that’s personalized for you
At the end of the perfect pillow typeform, there’s an email capture question. When someone fills out the typeform, their answers are automatically sent to Down & Feather’s email marketing tool, Klaviyo, via a direct integration. This allows Mindy to send customers different emails depending on their individual pillow recommendations.
Mailing list segmentation is one of the oldest tricks in the book to increase conversion rates, because you’re able to speak to your customers' needs in a targeted way. Specifically, Mindy sends out a series of emails about why the customer received the pillow choice that they did. This means they can understand what benefits this pillow might bring to their sleep and wellbeing. After this pillow education, many are ready to go from dreaming, to buying (to dreaming again, hopefully).
Keeping it light as a feather
Down & Feather aren’t building a pillow empire. They are artisans, passionate about selling an excellent product in small editions. David makes the products himself in a nearby workshop.
With such a small and devoted team, every hour of labor is personal. If there's one great thing about the pillow match-making typeform, it’s that it reduces David and Mindy's repetitive customer service tasks.
Free from the need to ask formulaic questions and log the answers, Mindy and David can focus on more creative aspects of the business. It's part of their strategy for keeping it fun.
After all, you can spend decades perfecting the craft of pillow making while remaining aware that there’s something surreal in finding a vocation in luxury bedding.