An e-commerce platform company specializing in furniture rental, embarked on a transformative journey to resurrect its customer experience (CX). This case study chronicles its pursuit of excellence in the face of burgeoning customer support challenges, plunging CSAT scores, and a precarious reputation in the market. With the backing of recent funding and a surge in marketing efforts, it experienced a dramatic spike in sales but an overwhelmed customer support team struggled to cope with the influx, leaving over 10,000 support tickets unresolved. This triggered a domino effect, impacting customer satisfaction, igniting a social media backlash, and pressuring the company from its investors to find a solution.
The customer support ecosystem faced multiple hurdles at the outset:
Lack of CX Expertise: Support managers lacked CX expertise and were reluctant to demand more from the team.
Lack of discipline: The team was used to the way of working where support agents may log in late, attend calls as per their comfort level, take their own sweet time to complete the work on a ticket, go on breaks whenever they wanted, and extend breaks way beyond allocated break time.
Disorganized Workflows: Support agents operated without a structured workflow, leading to tardy responses and unresolved issues.
Absence of KPIs: The team lacked clearly defined KPIs and lacked the means to track trends, hampering performance analysis.
Ticket Inconsistencies: Customer tickets were created inconsistently, with varying levels of customer information.
Burnout and Attrition Threat: Delays in responses led to frustrated customers, and the support team faced high-pressure situations.
Quality Neglect: There was no focus on resolution quality or coordination with other departments.
Managers' Involvement: All managers were engrossed in addressing customer tickets.
Social Media Backlash: Social media was flooded with complaints, receiving inadequate responses.
Broken Hiring Process: A broken hiring process stalled recruitment efforts.
Without process improvements, the furniture rental e-commerce platform organization risked being forced to double its support team size without an assurance of improved customer interactions or resolutions. Negative reviews on social media also impacted sales and possible impact on funding.
A series of strategic actions were taken presented as a case study to improve customer experience and customer support landscape:
Building Consensus: The support team rallied together to prioritize CX improvements, fostering transparency.
Managerial Coaching: Regular huddles with managers emphasized CX metrics and redefined their roles.
Backlog Closure: Old unresolved tickets were closed, and a focus shifted to recent cases.
Mandatory Ticketing: Ticket creation mandates ensure the capturing of customer contact details and issue resolutions.
Tiered Support: The team was divided into three tiers to address varying complexity levels.
Target-Driven Approach: Agents were set new ticket resolution targets, encouraging extended working hours.
Ownership and Resolution: The team shifted focus from updating tickets to owning and resolving customer issues.
KPI Definition: Key KPIs were defined with benchmark targets for achievement in three months.
Reporting and Dashboards: Real-time reports and dashboards aided in monitoring performance.
Interdepartmental Collaboration: Processes were streamlined with other departments for swift issue resolution.
Recognition and Feedback: Top performers were recognized and performance discussions were conducted.
Stakeholder Engagement: Key CX issues were discussed with stakeholders across the company.
Daily Huddles: Daily huddles facilitated updates and difficult conversation handling.
Social Media Team: A dedicated team monitored and responded to customer feedback on social platforms.
Hiring Process Fix: The hiring process was streamlined for quicker candidate recruitment.
Timeline and Results:
Within three months, the furniture rental e-commerce platform experienced remarkable improvements:
Approx. 25% enhancement in key support KPIs.
Headcount increased by only 20% against the initial projection of 100%.
Reduced burnout for the support team.
A shift in social media sentiment with a surge in positive customer testimonials.
Investors expressed satisfaction with the progress, signaling further investments.
The journey to restore customer experience was a testament to the power of strategic interventions and a dedicated team. The organization achieved remarkable results by recognizing the importance of CX, implementing process improvements, and fostering collaboration across departments, ensuring sustainable growth and customer satisfaction. This case study underscores the significance of prioritizing CX and taking proactive measures to enhance it, even in the face of daunting challenges.