Meow-lcome back to Fireside Chats with Klaus and Valentina! This video series brings insightful CX stories from the industry leaders we all look up to right into your home (office). This time, we’ll discuss how businesses that grew during the global lockdown scaled their customer service.
Education Perfect (EP) was already creating delightful learning experiences for more than 1 million students before COVID-19 reshaped the way we work and study. As schools switched to distance learning during the lockdown, the EP platform was suddenly needed more than ever - meaning that the support volume hit all-time highs.
Emma McAllister (Head of Operations), Tobin Doidge (Enrolment Manager), and Reanne de Ruiter (Inbound Support Manager) from Education Perfect share insight into how they handled customer service during these unprecedented times.
Enjoy the full Fireside chat and check out the key takeaways below
- Hire temporary staff to handle increased workloads. EP has been using 4-6 week fixed-term contracts at the beginning of every school year to enroll students onto the platform. As they experienced a sudden increase in support volumes when the world went into lockdown, they decided to use the same strategy and hired 15 new temp employees to handle the load.
- Fixed-term contracts often convert into permanent team members. EP often hires students as temporary staff to help out during the busiest periods. Many of them have switched to permanent roles when they’ve finished their studies. That’s an encouraging insight into hiring temporary support staff, isn’t it?
- There’s a constant battle between investing time in hiring and training versus doing everything on one’s own. Finding the right time to hand responsibilities over to another person is a balancing act: onboarding new team members requires a big initial investment in time but it’s sure to pay off when the newcomers are ready to start tackling tasks on their own.
- 98% of the team said they already had the tools to work from home effectively. As an online company, EP didn’t have a hard time switching to remote work. Most of the tools they’d already been using allowed the team to work from anywhere. So, the technology wasn’t a challenge - it was the social aspect (or the lack of it) that had them worried.
- Leadership pushed managers to check in on their team in 1-on-1 meetings. Even when the support volumes were insanely high, managers were encouraged to take the time to check in on how their agents were doing to make sure they felt supported.
- 5-10 min recaps of the day bring the team onto the same page. Managers introduced these short daily meetings to foster communication. This gives everybody a chance to share what they’re working on, which urgent commitments they have for the day ahead, and how they’re doing in general.
- Encourage having video on for real face-to-face interaction. Talking to people and seeing them in real-time helps to feel close to them while still being physically distanced. In times when people miss the social side of human communication, it’s a good idea to remind everybody to keep their video on during the team calls.
- Gaming and video platforms for game nights and social events enable people to come together online. EP’s team found creative ways to compensate for the lack of social time with their colleagues and friends.
- Klaus saves a lot of time on doing support QA. EP had already been conducting regular conversation reviews with their team before they switched to remote work. Klaus’s quality assessment and feedback workflows, combined with automatic Slack notifications, allowed the team to continue with their quality assurance activities without any hiccups.
- Always accompany ticket review ratings with comments. Tobin always tries to add free-form feedback to the quality scores he gives to help agents understand the reasoning behind the numbers and provide ideas for improvements.
- Give personal feedback in a safe environment on Klaus. Emma explains that pointing out agents’ areas of improvement in the middle of an email thread or in the help desk amid a massive backlog is not going to help. However, providing personal and constructive feedback in a safe environment with nobody else seeing those comments adds more value, not stress.
- Discuss the gaps and spread the knowledge around the team. 1-on-1 meetings and team discussions are an important part of the feedback process where everybody can learn from each other. Share the key findings of your support QA without pointing any agents out in a negative way.
These 12 takeaways provide just a sneak peek into the full story. Tune in to the entire episode of the Fireside Chat with Klaus and Valentina to learn more about how Education Perfect made the purrfect switch to remote while handling the highest support volumes they’ve ever seen.
Also, if you haven’t seen the previous episodes, here’s your chance to catch up:
Who else would you like to see in the show? Head over to our CX quality community Quality Tribe and let us know!