Last time we found out how the guys at Olark support 10,000 customers in an interview with Ryan. We’re honoured to bring you the next one with Nykki Yeager, Customer Service Manager and Alana Lucas, Customer Service Supervisor from ipsy. Nykki and Alana gave us interesting thoughts towards importance of empathy in customer care. Read more about how it is to run a customer service team which handles thousands of cases every day.
What does good customer service mean to you?
Nykki: Good service means resolving issues efficiently and thoughtfully, listening empathetically to feedback and using it to make improvements, and speaking with our customers in an authentic way to facilitate positive interactions and connections with our brand.
Alana: I think good customer service is about having empathy and creating a personal connection to make sure that you really get to the core of the issue. It’s important to take what you learn from the customer experience to improve it in the future.
What was the difference between supporting your customers in early days of ipsy and how it’s today?
Nykki: We’ve always been extremely customer-focused, with high standards for our team and a keen interest in serving our community. In the past year, our team has evolved quickly in size and structure to meet the needs of our rapidly growing membership. In addition to scaling, we continue to develop higher standards for ourselves to ensure that we’re providing the best experience to our customers.
Alana: When I started at ipsy our team had 4 full-time agents, including myself. That number has grown exponentially and now there are a lot of team members to turn to if you get stuck on a tricky email. A lot of tools and processes have also been put in place to give each member the best possible experience. A really good example of this is that agents are encouraged to follow up on their Nicereply scores if they think one is needed or just want to give an extra “thanks!”
(Most of your customers are women, I guess) Do you think that there is any difference or specifics in supporting mainly female audience?
Nykki: There are couple of service fundamentals that apply to working with any audience. But our customers as a group are very creative and social, and ipsy as a business aims to encourage self-expression. So we put a heavy emphasis treating each customer as a unique individual; responding to any personal details they mention, tailoring our responses to match their unique situation, and, when appropriate, engaging them in conversation to share beauty ideas and inspiration.
^^I could not frame that any better
Do you have any training program for new customer support members?
Nykki: Our training focuses equally on product knowledge and technical skill, as well as our overall customer service philosophy and focus on quality.
Alana: Every new team member is paired with a mentor who helps him/her learn the ropes. The first few weeks have a pretty steep learning curve with several different areas of focus. The goal is to provide great service which comes by providing personalized communication to everyone who writes in. Training involves not only product education and learning about ipsyCare tone, but becoming familiar with all of the tools that our team uses as well.
What KPI are you using to measure your customer service performance?
Nykki: We’re primarily looking at our time to first response, customer satisfaction, measured via Nicereply (of course), and quality score.
Do you set any weekly/monthly goals that you trying to achieve with your team?
Nykki: We have group objectives. Specifically, we set ourselves an aggressive Nicereply score that we aim to achieve as a group on a weekly basis. We also have performance goals for each agent that are focused on their ticket resolves, individual Nicereply score, and quality score.
Do you have a funny story from your customer service that you would like to share with us?
Alana: On our Twitter I was helping a member and mentioned that she’s from the same town I visit every summer to see my family. We bonded over our favorite grocery store and she invited me sailing next time I’m in town!
Thank you girls for such an interesting point toward customer service! Stay tuned for next Nicereply customers stories.