UncommonGoods is an online marketplace connecting makers and their creations with individuals looking for truly special goods. The company is passionately focused on celebrating craftsmanship and supporting its community of artists, designers, and creative thinkers.
Jennifer Grim, Director of Customer Service at UncommonGoods, provides some valuable insights into how the company leverages Stella Connect.
When did you first begin working with Stella Connect?
We started using Stella Connect in October 2015 to get feedback about our phone calls. Since phone calls are 70% of our contacts and there was no automatic survey that was sent at the end of each call, we decided to use Stella Connect strictly for phone calls in 2015.
Can you describe how you measured call center service performance prior to Stella Connect?
Before Stella Connect, we relied solely on our QA (Quality Assurance) team to review phone calls, emails, and chats for each of our CSRs weekly. During the team members’ weekly QA session, we’d review their contacts and provide coaching. If we remembered, we’d also highlight customer compliments the CSR received in the past week, but relying on memory to call out something as important as a customer compliment isn’t the most reliable method.
Another flaw with relying on the QA process is that the contacts we randomly choose each week might be overwhelmingly positive but we missed those 2 calls that weren’t so great. Conversely, the QA team might randomly choose those 2 less-than-stellar calls and miss the fact that the rest of the calls were fantastic. The dashboard allows the CSR to see all of the customer feedback that came in and decide what to work on next.
Until Stella Connect, the majority of the customer feedback about our CSRs came via email and chat because we didn’t make it easy to give feedback about a phone call. Now, most of the feedback we receive comes from phone interactions via the Stella Connect survey. This makes much more sense for our department since 70% of our contacts are phone calls and now we can read how they think we’re doing.
What improvements have you seen in service performance?
We were really surprised at how quickly the team embraced Stella Connect. The CSRs keep an eye on their stats throughout the day and always look forward to reading what the customer thought about their phone interaction. We noticed right away that feedback coming directly from a customer is far more effective and immediate than feedback coming from a QA coach several days after the interaction with the customer. While most of the comments are positive, the constructive feedback that customers provide really hits home and the CSR receiving the criticism directly from the customer works incredibly hard to not make the same mistake again.
A bonus is that our QA team is able to spend more time coaching CSRs on their emails and chats since the customers do most of the phone call QA work for them.
Our CSRs love (and I don’t use that word lightly) reading what the customer thought of that last phone call. We’re about to roll Stella Connect out to our email channel and we can’t wait to see this feedback, too.
How has the Stella Connect program affected morale?
We send out a daily digest of some of the most recent customer comments from Stella Connect to the whole CS team which makes people feel a bit of pride in themselves and for their peers. In this daily digest we call out who’s close to earning that next coffee, lunch, or product. There’s a lot of excitement on the team when someone gets a particularly great comment or earns that next free lunch and the team is more unified in our goal of providing great customer service. To inspire everyone to use Stella Connect on a regular basis, we created an awards chart that hangs by the break room so everyone can see who’s earned coffee, lunch, or a product.
One challenge we face when hiring 200+ seasonal team members is continued engagement. Lack of engagement can be seen in a number of metrics, particularly with low QA scores and high attrition. Stella Connect has helped on both fronts: our QA scores were higher than ever and attrition was at an all-time low.
Are you able to use the insights from Stella Connect for training?
Definitely! Customers don’t only leave comments about the CSR they spoke with – they also sometimes use Stella Connect to tell us about something that went wrong during their shopping experience and we then have the chance to escalate these comments to the appropriate department to get a problem fixed. Some of the comments given in 2015 have highlighted areas in our training plans that we need to focus on in 2016.
Can you share three ways that using Stella Connect has changed the customer experience at UncommonGoods?
1. The CS team is trying harder than ever to make sure that every customer has a great experience.
2. We’ve made smart changes to our training plan to help our seasonal team understand customer expectations and how to “win” at giving great service.
3. Customers don’t have to work hard to tell us how they feel and we’ve learned that they want to tell us how we did. Several folks here at UncommonGoods expected customers to only share their thoughts about bad interactions, but we’re finding that they want to celebrate and reward the team far more often than any of us would have expected.