Moosejaw: How the support team uses playback sessions to “engagingly engage” with customers

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About Moosejaw is an online + brick and mortar retailer specializing in outdoor recreation apparel and gear. has been named a Top 50 retailer by Internet Retailer and Bizrate, Best of the Web by Forbes magazine, and recognized as a leader in online marketing by the New York Times, Outside magazine and Chain Store Age magazine.

The Challenge

Being “engagingly engaged” with customers is a core value of the Moosejaw brand – and from off-the-wall marketing campaigns to answering each support call with a “Moosejaw” holler, that devotion to quirky engagement has grown the Michigan-based retailer into a national culture and movement.

But providing “engaging” engagement proved difficult for Moosejaw’s support team when customers reported website issues.

“When we’d get customer complaints about something on the website, we’d try to recreate them as best we could,” said Jerry Hoopfer, previously a customer service manager at Moosejaw, and now an e-commerce project manager. “But it was a really ad hoc process of testing and trying to break things.”

And the more time the support team spent searching for and troubleshooting technical problems, “the less time we could spend actually helping customers,” he said. “When you have to sleuth out and actually find where the problem is, that’s a distraction from providing service.”

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The Solution

Searching for a window into their e-commerce customers’ experience, the Moosejaw team implemented FullStory. “We immediately saw the benefit,” said Jerry.

Previously, when a customer reported an issue, both the support and QA teams would receive notification. If support couldn’t locate the cause, they’d escalate the issue to QA.

“We had no real steps in place for figuring out what had caused it,” said Jerry, “so we’d have to reach out to the customer saying, ‘Hey, thanks for the feedback, can you answer ten questions about what happened?’”

With FullStory in place, both support and QA are still notified when a customer reports an issue – but now, the session’s FullStory URL comes along with it, giving both teams a pixel-perfect view of what the customer saw.

“Before, we had no idea how long it might take to locate an issue,” said Jerry. “Now, we know it will only take as long as the customer’s session took. So instead of having to bug them with ten more questions, we can say ‘Hey, thanks for the feedback. We’ve found the issue and we’re working on it.’”

Since then, Moosejaw has expanded their use of FullStory beyond reactive bug-fixing, and into proactive detection.

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Moosejaw grows their fan base by being "engagingly engaged"

“Just because customers aren’t reporting a defect doesn’t mean we didn’t introduce one,” said Jerry. “So now, part of our deployment process is verifying with FullStory that the customer experience is great.

“We really rely on Rage Click to make sure customers aren’t getting stuck on any new elements,” he said, “and that all the existing elements are still working properly.”

Team usage has also expanded beyond bug detection, and is now an instrumental part of the fraud detection process.

“We can be very proactive in screening for fraud,” said Jerry. “We can see the speed of a customer’s transactions, see whether payment information was pasted into the field versus typed, whether there are multiple IP addresses for one customer, or whether their shipping address changes. And being proactive in catching fishy behavior helps us provide that high level of service, which we pride ourselves on.”

The Result

With FullStory in place, Moosejaw reaps value across many departments – both internally as new releases roll out, and externally via customer engagement.

“With new releases,” said Jerry, “Success is defined by three things: are they defect free, do they deliver on time, and at what cost?” By enabling QA to proactively find and quickly fix defects, FullStory ensures the product team delivers more successful releases, more frequently.

Externally, the support team can “engagingly engage” with more customers, resulting in a higher percentage of successful purchases and reduced abandonment.