I have been a BarkBox subscriber for 4 years and have previously found them to be mildly inefficient but the billing is accurate, the toys are cute and the packaging is tidy. However, I recently placed a gift order to BarkBox and things have gone badly. I got a delivery eta of a week out. Package not received 2 weeks later, multiple (5) follow-up emails entirely ignored by BarkBox. Response that finally came cited “mass email” to all subscribers (never received, although I continue to receive lots of sales emails from BarkBox) and “ongoing warehouse inventory”, and hopes that the box will ship in the next week or so. There is no mechanism for expediting support requests, and the front line folks appear to working from scripts intended to appease and retain customers, regardless of whether or not the problem can be addressed.
I subscribed to Barkbox last Dec and continued it for 3 months. I have a chihuahua who loves treats, but I don’t feed her treats in such large quantities. My boxes always included some sort of sausage bar which she loved, about 2-3 large bags of treats and 1-2 toys. The treats were too much; in fact, we still have a few bags despite cancelling a few months ago. The “squeaky” toys were ok, but they were pretty cheap and didn’t last. For the monthly cost of the box, “we” were better off saving the $$$ and applying it to better toys and treats in smaller quantities. I can see this box being better for consumers with larger pets since they eat much more than a chihuahua. Every 5 lbs a dog gains is equivalent to a human gaining 20!! If we fed our beloved pet “all” the treats they were sending, she’d turn into a chunky monkey and it would be very unhealthy for her. So, the box, in my humble opinion, is better for larger dogs who can eat more treats with less repercussions.

I love coming home and seeing the BarkBox on my porch. My dog, Duke, also loves it when he sees me bring it inside. It's the highlight of the month for Duke. He'll stare at it, because he knows what it is, even though he can't open it. He loves all the toys, and all the treats that he receives. I have not received a treat bag yet that he wouldn't eat. And the customer service is the best on the planet. I'm very happy with being a BarkBox customer!


I pay approximately $18 a month for the box. It is worth it to see how excited my dog gets when the box arrives. Her nose is right in there when I open it. She has never received a treat she didn't like. One time, we received cleaning cloths to wipe off muddy feet. She didn't like them so much . . . . the treats and toys are way more popular around here.

BarkBox—the world’s largest subscription service for pets and their people—is changing all that with its monthly box of themed goodies, treats, and toys. With more than 50 million items shipped worldwide, they’ve taken a serious bite out of the pet supply market—and these self-described “crazy dog people” show no signs of easing up. Their passion for pups and the folks that care for them shines through at every brand interaction, from their #BarkBoxDay Insta hashtag to their email ‘pup-dates’, and the loyal community they’ve built reflects that customer-centric M.O.
But the data also shows a wide range. The lower bound is under $15, while the upper bound is over $35. This means there is scope for BarkBox to “complicate” their pricing. Consumer products try and keep pricing simple to reduce the friction in the sign-up. This often leads to them leaving money on the table. Here, BarkBox has options at both the premium level and the lower priced level:
Jessica lives and breathes everything Dachshund, hiking and camping with dogs, and blogging. She's the Chief editor of the award-winning blog You Did What With Your Wiener?, has been hiking with her dogs for over 15 years, and runs an 800-member Dachshund Club in Seattle. She also helps other pet bloggers leverage their blog into a business at PetBlogBiz.com and helps pet-related businesses develop a strategy to drive traffic to their blogs at PetTalkMedia.com.
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1.5 weeks later I get a plastic puzzle toy in the mail. I'm confused, I thought I was supposed to be getting a plush replacement (my pup LOVES plushes) I feel bad for asking a fourth time, but honestly I pay $25.00 a month for this box. So I ask about the replacement plush, as nicely as possible and am told they don't send out the same types of toys if my dog is just going to destroy them quickly, but they'll send me out a plush anyway, even though they don't usually do that."

Beyond streamlining outgoing communications to customers, Narvar also simplifies incoming feedback so the BarkBox team can better understand how their customers really feel about their experiences. “It feels great when you see the good, and it breaks your heart when you see the bad,” Snowden says. “But most importantly, we’re seeing it at all. We analyze the Narvar survey feedback every single month, which gives us the opportunity to improve our customer experience in a way we couldn’t before.”

For example, let’s suppose that simple “how to” customer queries account for a large portion of your support interactions. These features allow you to handle these “high-touch low-value” queries efficiently by leveraging on automation (i.e. bots) to create predictable workflows. Through Zendesk Message, you can then define key scenarios when a query becomes too complex for a bot to handle, to trigger a “hand off” to a trained human agent to resolve. This automation and bot-to-human handover system frees your agents to solve the toughest customer problems and offer actionable support.
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