Boosting CSAT scores and reducing first response times at Printify

Interview with Valeria Kast, Head of Merchant Support at Printify
Interview with Valeria Kast, Head of Merchant Support at Printify
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In today's episode of the Support Insights Podcast we talk to Valeria Kast, Head of Merchant Support at Printify about how she's increased CSAT to 94% (and kept it there!) and drastically reduced first response times in support.

Having joined Printify during the pandemic, Valeria has spent the last 2 years creating specialised support structures and hiring procedures that have sewn fantastic results.

Valeria talks us through how her approach of specialised support teams has enabled a massive reduction in first response times from 24 hours to under 1 minute on live chat, as well as response time reductions across the board on other channels.

Watch the episode to find out the steps you can take to improve CSAT and reduce response times in your business.

Scroll down for the highlights or to watch the full episode 👇🏻

AI for customer service ebook

For the last 12 months, your team have managed to retain an amazing CSAT score of 93 to 94%. What strategies have led to this?

There was a very large focus around improving our product knowledge, making sure that we are very well aware and well rounded as customer support professionals who speak to our merchants. We also don't do generalists. We segment support into specific specialised teams who focus on different topics, which enables us to look at problems at a more granular level.

Those specialists can then look at problems in a very precise and clear way. They outline the top contact drivers based on their specialisation, they can see what triggers it and they work closely with product teams and other support teams to work on developing solutions to decrease those ticket types.

The right specialist segments for a business depend on the industry you're in. For us, we split our specialisms based on order related inquiries, product and design, and account management. Obviously they are different subcategories within those three domains, but that's the broad level split.

What changes did you make to reduce first response times?

The restructure into specialised team was a big help. At that time we had split the teams even more granularly than we have now and had eight different specialised teams.

Different types of queries have different volumes and frequencies, so you might get, for example, three account management related questions to 10 order related questions. So to improve scheduling efficiency to support those volumes, I created a team that was specifically responsible for ensuring that we were scheduling as efficiently as possible based on the incoming volume and customer demand.

We also took hiring very seriously. We grew the team wherever it needed to grow, making sure that we were supporting meeting the customer demand in different areas.

I revamped the hiring process a bit and made sure the team members were part of the hiring process. We didn't leave it just to recruitment team, or one hiring manager, this meant the team members could do what you might call a "vibe check", as they would be the ones working with that hire every day.

The team did a tremendous job at at hiring the right people, we have a very good team. It's a large team, but it's a high quality, very empathetic group of professionals.

I joined right before holiday season, when we get the most incoming volume, so it was definitely chaotic and stressful but we managed to provide support within the 24 hour mark. Then moving forward, we decreased it continuously each day and within six months we started finally reaching to that one minute first response time for live chat and within hours response time on emails.

What advice would you give to businesses looking to improve their CSAT score?

Before I would give them any advice, I'd probably ask them four or five questions about what is being done to understand what's triggering CSAT.

If you look at CSAT, if you look at NPS, if you look at customer effort score, if you generally collect the voice of customer from several sources, then you will understand the drivers for the customer.

If you do customer interviews, if you have a researcher in your team who is consistently interacting with customers, use that to your advantage.

Understand what the customer wants and implement changes based on that rather than the other way around.

Of course, that doesn't mean that you will do everything that the customer says or wants, obviously not, you have to gather the data, you have to analyse it. You have to prioritise efficiently, if you don't do that then you have a problem

We work very closely with product and generally other external teams outside of support. We have several initiatives on the support team that are highlighting the most key problematic areas and we make sure we quantify them so that the other teams can understand not just how what they're building is potentially a cool or not cool feature, but making sure that they understand that it's either impacting our growth or not whether it's costing us or not.

When you do it that way it's easier to prioritise next steps in the strategy when you have a very clear understanding, not just of the sentiment of the customer, but the potential financial impact.

Music: Savour The Moment by Shane Ivers -

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