Earlier this year, we were honored to have our Support team recognized with a Silver Stevie® Award for Customer Service Department of the Year in the 13th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. We sat down with Front’s Head of Support, Kenji Hayward to learn more about the award-winning support his team delivers to our customers.
Tell me about Front’s customer support team and how it’s grown in the last couple of years.
Kenji: In July 2017, Front had just two people on the Support team supporting 2,500 customers. They did an incredible job serving our customers, but the company was rapidly growing. We knew we needed to invest in building our Support team, and we saw an opportunity to make the customer experience even better along the way.
Today, we have grown the support team to 8 people supporting more than 4,500 businesses across the US and EU. As the team quadrupled in size, we’ve been able to resolve five times the number of cases. Perhaps most importantly, our customer satisfaction score has gone up too — from 82% to 96%.
Wow, that’s an impressive CSAT score. How do you do it?
K: First and foremost, we use Front to support customers (and to handle all our work email). We empathize with our customers because we are the customer too. Front is a new kind of email client that is designed for working as part of a team. Front makes email collaborative, so we can easily consult with internal experts on appropriate responses to customer support inquiries.
Front also aggregates all our support channels — email, live in-app chat, Twitter — into the inbox so we have one place to focus. And, Front integrates with Salesforce and our customer database so we can easily view and edit status, past cases, opportunities, etc. As a result of using Front for Support at Front, our customers are not ticket numbers. We create a personal experience with every interaction through “conversations” with customers. I believe this gives us a tremendous advantage when it comes to giving excellent customer service.
How is the Support team structured at Front?
K: As we grew our Support team, we merged Tooling Engineers with Customer Support to create a better customer experience. We use a tier structure to organize requests. Support Agents in Tier 1 are content creation specialists and those in Tier 2 are engineers who answer technical questions and develop plug-ins to improve support and the customer experience.
We also now have two support agents based out of our Paris office, so we can better serve our global customers without risking burn-out of our US-based employees. Now, we’re able to serve customers 19 hours per business day.
How do you create a culture of support throughout the rest of the organization at Front?
K: This goes back to our use of Front the product as a strategic advantage. The Support inbox is fully accessible by everyone at Front. Anyone can pop in to see what customers are saying or to help us out when the queue is particularly long.
In partnership with our Product and Marketing teams, we recently relaunched our Help Center to create a better self-serve support experience for our customers. The Help Center also allows our non-Support staff answer customer questions.
We have standing customer care workshops in which we encourage everyone in the company to hop into the Support queue with us to help answer questions. This practice not only helps us get through backlogs, but it also encourages customer empathy throughout the organization.
Written by Heather MacKinnon
Originally Published: 17 April 2020