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How Chewy Took a Chore and Turned It Into a Treat by Being Customer Centric

Dayana Aparicio
17 Apr, 2018

*Update 9/10/18: Chewy continues to wow customers with their customer experience. Today, Julia Alena, a customer experience and customer success executive, shared her experience with the online pet retailer. Their gesture exemplifies two tactics to remain memorable with customers: 

Worthix CX Chewy

I'm looking forward to hearing more about this stellar company that embodies the heart of larger retailers like Zappos, while having the effortlessness of Amazon.

Get The Guide To Measuring CX Beyond Satisfaction and Recommendation ›


As a loud and proud dog mom, I have a seemingly endless list of things I love about my spoiled lab mix, Sam.

 Dayana Aparicio and Sam

One thing NOT on that list? Buying his pet food. Sam has a sensitive stomach and is a big boy at 75 lbs. So not only does he need special dog food, he needs a lot of it!

Shopping for his food means visiting the pet store, hoping that his food is in stock and that I can get in and out quickly so I can still go to the gym, cook and prepare for work in the morning. In a day and age where we have self-driving cars, surely there is an easier way?

Pet supply company Chewy aims to simplify the life of busy pet lovers like myself and has an impressive reputation providing out-of-this-world customer centric engagement with their customers.

It’s not just Chewy’s customers naming them best in show. Chewy won the 2018 Stevie Award in Retail, an impressive award for a smaller online company, and one easy to believe they deserve after reading one of their submitted testimonials.

The testimonial featured a woman that was attempting to return two months worth of prescription cat food because her pet had passed away before it arrived. In response, Chewy did not hesitate in refunding her order as well as encouraging her to donate the food she no longer needed to an animal shelter.

Get Our 3 Step Guide: How to Implement CX Within Your Company ›

But they didn’t stop there. Chewy also sent her a note and bouquet of flowers to give their condolences for her loss.

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While Chewy definitely blasted the bar of expectations with their empathetic response, this customer centric approach to their customer service is just a part of their culture.

How do they do it? By making sure they act as a customer experience department first, and pet supply company second.

Forbes contributor Paula Rosenbloom highlights some of these methods:

  • Using an actual representative to answer customer service calls instead of using an automated voice machine.
  • Challenging themselves to answer every phone call within four seconds, or two rings.
  • Investing in their employees by training them for at least four weeks, as well as offering continued education afterwards.
  • Making sure all management has an open door policy, and fostering a friendly, comfortable work environment.

I can’t name a company that I know for sure does one of these things, let alone all four. By keeping the human in their customer relations, Chewy has managed to break the cold feeling of online shopping I used to think was unavoidable.

Even their competitors like what they do, as shown by Petsmart who bought Chewy in 2017 for $3.35 billion. Petsmart decided to take a hands off approach and allow operations to continue as usual.

“If it works, don’t fix it” goes the old saying, and Chewy’s customer service is already on its way to star status along with other customer centric giants like Zappos and Amazon. Petsmart is wise to let them continue being the superstars they are.

Simply put, Chewy has a lot going for it that brick and mortar stores could try to incorporate into their own culture.

As I write this, I’m placing an order for  my first bag of pet food off their site. So far, the experience has been easy, and I know that if any issue arises, I’ll be taken care of.

I honestly can’t wait to spend the time I’ve saved by hanging out with Sam.

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