A successful e-commerce business born out of a bad experience

A successful e-commerce business born out of a bad experience

Ever since Skullsplitter Dice founder Ted Cory had a bad experience with a Dungeons & Dragons product he bought online, building a business for role-playing gamers that focused on customer satisfaction has been something that he’s always wanted to do.

“I’ve been gaming since the ‘90s, so that’s a 30-year customer that the company that treated me badly lost,” Ted says. “Long-term value rather than a quick-buck attitude is what I feel keeps customers coming back.”

Tired of seeing a lack of high-quality gaming products online, Ted decided it was time to create a brand with an attitude that stood out from what he describes as a “bland” market.

“If you look at the other people in our space, they sell steak, not sizzle,” he says. “Our products are made according to unique specifications and, as a team of die-hard gamers, we thoroughly test every product before it goes on the market.”

The challenge of multi-channel selling

How an e-commerce business was born out of a bad customer experience

Ted Cory, Skullsplitter Dice founder

At first, customer communication through one shared inbox was enough, as the Skullsplitter team focused on building the brand’s reputation and creating a social media presence in the gaming community.

But when the success of Skullsplitter’s Shopify-built e-commerce site sparked the decision to launch on other marketplaces, including Amazon, it became increasingly difficult to maintain a transparent view of customer service performance.

In addition, the team found it hard to solve support queries quickly with little or no customer context. In order to respond, they would have to log into Shopify or the marketplace separately to make sure the orders matched and then look through previous messages for the right information.

“We were doing everything via email and directly through marketplaces, but it just wasn’t working. It got to a point where the coordination was just so overwhelming,” Ted recalls. “As the business grew, I couldn’t get the metrics I needed to know if we were giving customers the right experience—I knew it was time to invest in software.”

Despite significant growth, Ted’s goals remained the same: provide next-level customer service with a focus on the small details that make their brand unique.

“We know how important word-of-mouth is,” Ted says. “Each of our customers play with six or seven other people every week, so the power of our reputation has been a huge driver for us. With the language we use in every communication, we put our customers in the world that they’re looking for when they buy our products, which is the kind of experience a lot of our competitors miss.”

Looking for the right solution

Having designed and implemented cloud-based help desk software for more than six years, Ted knew how valuable the right system would be in providing a high standard of customer service.

“I’ve implemented hundreds of customer service help desks, from Fortune 500 companies to 5000s, so I understand how to provide outstanding customer service—it’s something I’m pretty passionate about,” Ted says.

Familiar with the main help desk players, however, he didn’t feel any of them catered to his specific needs as an online retailer. That being said, xSellco’s API integration with Shopify and other marketplaces gave Ted the peace of mind that no message would ever be missed—something he didn’t feel confident could be achieved by other help desks on the market.


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With one secure system that allows the team to see all customer information, order details and previous communication from all sales channels in one place, they can now collaborate as a team and provide faster resolutions without losing the human touch.

“I saw how hard xSellco was working to expand its e-commerce-specific features and integrations, giving online retailers of all sizes a one-of-a-kind solution—that was a big seller for me,” Ted reveals. “Our team get bonuses based on response times, so xSellco’s time-saving features like Snippets and personalized templates, as well as a full view of every customer, really helps to drive down that first response resolution time.”

Achieving a first response time of under 20 minutes is easy with xSellco’s prioritized inbox and granular filters that allow the Skullsplitter team to sift through urgent queries such as cancellations in seconds.

As Ted puts it, “With xSellco, the ability to provide a more consistent customer experience and to figure out which of our opportunities to improve has been invaluable. Every week we sit down and look at the kind of questions that were not answered by templates or Snippets, for example, and see how we can fill those gaps further upstream.”

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Lorna Franklin

With a background in eCommerce, Lorna joined xSellco to fulfill her passion for helping online sellers to reach their full potential. In her spare time, you'll find her practicing headstands at yoga class.