An excellent customer experience is just as important for you and your clients as it is for us and ours.
This is why I joined Kustomer as the Director of Global Support a little over a year ago: to help transform our team and improve the experience we deliver to our clients.
I’m excited to share that Kustomer now offers 24/5 global support, from Sundays at 6pm ET through Fridays at 9pm ET. This is a major milestone and one of the many significant changes we’ve introduced to deliver fast, efficient support to our customers around the world.
I’ll walk you through the recent improvements we’ve made to our customer support, in addition to what is on the roadmap.
Growing Pains Lead to New Opportunities
Around the time I joined, we were going through some growing pains as a CX organization. We had recently doubled our client base and had the will, but without the right foundations and structure in place to help us succeed.
I started our transformational journey by getting to know my team and our clients. Some of the questions I asked were:
- How is everyone feeling about their role and responsibilities?
- Do they have enough knowledge to do their jobs well?
- What kind of feedback are we getting from our clients on our performance?
- What specific things do our clients need from us to help them make the most of Kustomer?
I discovered that our team was very stressed and lacking confidence in their abilities. They were taking longer on some issues because they weren’t given the proper training and tools to help them do their roles well. They also didn’t understand how important they were to our overall mission here at Kustomer. So I set out to change all of that and help them succeed.
Over the next 12 months we went through a whirlwind of change:
We re-evaluated our job descriptions to ensure we had the right hiring profile for our team, and started recruiting for Technical Support Engineers to ensure we had the right blend of technical and customer facing skills. For the first time, we added Sr. Technical Support Engineers and made sure we had a mix of junior and senior team members to help round out our knowledge. Additionally, we expanded our coverage to 24/5. We now have team members covering the EU, East Coast, Midwest, West Coast and APAC regions.
And we didn’t stop there. We made sure to improve our new hire onboarding to ensure training consistency and reduce the onboarding timeline of our new hires from six months down to one, achieving an 83% decrease in ramp up time! We introduced Business Impact on our forms and chat channels which allows clients to set their own priority on each issue so we can help resolve problems in the timeline that works best for our clients. We also introduced formal critical coverage outside of our normal business hours via the “critical” business impact selection to allow us to provide after-hours help on urgent issues.
On top of everything, we added holiday coverage to provide better support during our clients’ busiest times, and shifted from transactional to consultative support. We ensure that we understand our client’s configuration and needs before tailoring a solution to their unique environment. Lastly, we added Kustomer Live! monthly training webinars and ad-hoc training, as requested, and introduced a pilot Premiere Support Program to offer short term dedicated support for clients who may need a little extra help from time to time.
Stepping Into Our Customers’ Shoes
We also made significant improvements to our own instance of Kustomer (Alpha) so that we could use all of the amazing features that our customers have been using so successfully, for our own client support.
- First we set up custom reporting and rolled out team metrics. Here are some of the improvements we’ve seen:
- We have been consistently hitting or beating our targets for the last six months.
- First Response Time goal is under one hour, and is currently at 28 minutes
- Average Duration goal is under two business days, and is currently at 1.9 business days
- CSAT goal is 4.5 or higher, and we are currently at 4.7
Additionally, we integrated Kustomer and Jira and added automations to help us keep issues moving forward, and we brought client information in from our sales tool so we have a better understanding of who our clients are, as we’re supporting them. We can also more easily see when clients are running into repeated issues and address them at the core.
We continued to optimize by introducing Queues and Routing, which reduced our First Response Times by 50%.We also increased visibility through various searches and reporting to help us see problematic trends and react more quickly to larger issues.
Finally, we introduced automation to help our team members better manage their daily workloads, and we implemented chat to set better expectations on First Response Times and allow us to handle critical issues.
We may have accomplished a lot, but we are just getting started! The changes that we’ve made have had a profound impact on our team and on our clients. When I talk to the team now they tell me they feel more empowered to do their jobs and are excited to be a part of our bigger mission here at Kustomer — to deliver an exceptional client experience.
Feedback from our clients has been phenomenal. We get five star rating after five star rating for speed of turnaround, quality of response and level of product knowledge.
This year we’re continuing to focus on improvements to our onboarding so we can scale our training as we grow. We’re adding more advanced training to help us reduce turnaround time and will be introducing a formal quality assurance program for our agents to ensure we’re delivering high-quality service consistently. We’re also planning some changes to our chat channel to allow for more real-time responses to high priority issues.
We love to hear feedback as we continue to make changes. Please feel free to reach out to me and share your experiences so we can continue to focus in the right places to improve your experience.
About the Author
Gordana Warga is a B2B technical support leader with extensive experience transforming teams across various tech stacks and industries. She finds proactive ways to quickly improve the client experience through automation, enhanced training, and process improvements. Her teams are empowered to consistently exceed their goals and partner with clients to help them better utilize SaaS products.