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Pup-people with questions about BarkBox can now choose to privately and playfully interact with a dog (in lieu of a human) via direct messages on Twitter, and get information via a series of awesomely punny puppy questions that BarkBox built using Reply.ai. BarkBox’s chatbot (or dog bot) is as quirky as you’d imagine. It answers frequently asked questions and helps customers find the right BarkBox for their dogs by guiding them through some tail-waggingly fun questions. If the dog bot can’t fetch an answer, Zendesk Message detects this and hands the question off to a trained BarkBox support agent to resolve.

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.
The food-dispensing OurPets IQ Treat ball has been a favorite in our home for years and keeps our dog Pinky (pit mix, 60 pounds, 9 years) mentally and physically active as well as entertained for a half hour or more at a time. To get kibble or treats out, she has to roll the ball or pick it up in her mouth and throw it. We can easily adjust the opening of the interior compartment to dispense less readily if she’s up for the challenge (or go in the other direction if she’s not). She loves this toy so much, she prefers eating her meals from it rather than from her bowl. This ball is also one of the longest-lasting dog toys we’ve owned; it gets a beating but has stood up to more than four years of near-daily use.
My pittie (Snoop, 55 pounds, 4 years) loves to destroy his toys, and the Chompster Mash toys from BarkShop are made with the intention of being destroyed. Even so, they tend to last much longer than the other plush creatures I buy Snoop—some for weeks! The three-eyed, squeaker-filled Goosie Goon is a good place to start. While they’re not cheap—especially considering that they meet the trash can before too long—they are the only toys that can keep Snoop occupied for hours. Bonus: BarkShop has a loyalty program called the Destroyers Club, where you can earn credits on future purchases if you share photos of your pup destroying these toys. Who doesn’t love sharing photos of their pup?
Reviews from Top Dog Tips and Gizmodo named this toy one of the top dog toys on the market. In our own tests, the StarMark Bob-A-Lot came in a close second to the Wobble Wag Giggle Ball. The Bob-A-Lot has the benefit of dispensing treats and dogs loves its wobbling action, but the Wobble Wag Giggle Ball doesn't need to be refilled in order to keep your dog's attention.
It is nice to have the bark box come each month, both for the dog and its owners as I feel like we all sit around to read the theme and analyze the toys and treats. Sometimes the toys are a little redundant and the treats may not always be ones you approve of, but overall the experience is pretty solid. I do wish they had an option where you wouldn't receive toys that squeek. His favorite toy to date is the Bison!
Claire dislikes: So Ruggie loves the Hippo, Trek Treats and the Banana Safari Snacks but tbh, I didn't even give her the lion toy because even though she would love it, toys with that kind of long hairy stuff make her gag. And maybe I'm being paranoid (new dog mom over here!), but that butcher's bone seemed kinda gross. I mean, it had a "no carpet" warning on it because it would leave stains, and if I can't have something on a carpet, why would I want the bone gunk all over her fur, which then would get all over her bed? Idk, maybe I'll give it to her as a puppy kindergarten graduation present and have her eat it in the kitchen.
Within the next few years, 3.6 billion people will use messaging apps—that’s about about half of humanity. It’s hardly a surprise that brands are scrambling to gain a toehold on these popular channels. Both Facebook and Twitter have seen the demand and they’ve recently created tools to help businesses interact with their customers more effectively over their respective apps.
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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:
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."
Earlier this year, Bark & Co (the company behind BarkBox and BarkShop started using Zendesk Message to manage their conversations from Facebook Messenger. BarkBox’s average response times decreased dramatically—from 60 minutes to 4 minutes—even as the number of conversations doubled. Today, the company is extending their support offering to Twitter Direct Messages to reach an even bigger audience with a unique and compelling experience.
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