Hi, my name is Jaclyn and I’m a Hugger.
<queue chorus of Hi Jaclyn>
Hugging, for those unfamiliar with this FullStory parlance, is an interesting mashup of many different roles, all of which involve managing the customer experience. Our average day includes collating product feedback, researching best practices, onboarding our fantastic new subscribers and ensuring the support channels are running smoothly. But purposefully absent from this list is respond to all support tickets.
Which begs the question: if Huggers aren’t support reps, who answers your questions when you contact FullStory? If you’ve read our jobs page, you may have noticed we don’t actually have any support agents, yet when you’ve written into firstname.lastname@example.org, tweeted at us, or contacted support through the in-app widget, you’ve always (we hope) managed to get a response.
The answer: every single employee at FullStory takes a turn handling the front lines of customer communication. This method, our version of a system called All Hands Support, is just one ingredient in our secret recipe for great customer satisfaction. The recipe is a work in progress — I’m always tweaking little ingredients here and there, trying new spices — but the foundation includes All Hands Support and (unsurprisingly, I imagine) a generous serving of FullStory.
Combine the FullStory team in a large mixing bowl.
Sometimes it feels like having a non-traditional setup like this exposes us to a bit of risk. If support isn’t your main job, how responsive will you be? How likely are you to have the solution to every ticket? What do you say when a customer is mean to you?!
As the FullStory family grew, we had to anticipate the downsides All Hands Support might bring to our customer’s experience. We wanted to make sure the quality of the responses didn’t slip, our teammates’ primary responsibilities didn’t get in the way of updating support conversations (and vice versa), and that, ultimately, our customers would get an even better experience than they would have if we hired a team of dedicated support agents.
After weighing the pros and cons, we still thought the benefit of All Hands Support was worth the risk, and we’ve been running with this experiment for a little over two years. How have we been doing? Take a look-see for yourself:
- We have recorded only 3 ‘bad’ satisfaction ratings in the past 8 months, keeping us at 99% overall satisfaction.
- We answer 50% of our tickets within 1 hour, with most of the remaining 50% getting answered same day (usually just outside the 1 hour mark). This sets our average first reply time at better than 85% of our industry.
- Our one-touch resolution (solving a customer’s issue with only one answer) hovers around 55% for all tickets.
But the benefits far surpass great numbers alone. Because our entire team is involved with talking to customers, our product reaps the benefits: engineers are able to see how their efforts directly affect customers, and designers can see firsthand where their UI decisions become confusing or unwieldy for customers. And having the rest of the organization intimately familiar with FullStory means they’re better equipped to sell, market or operate the company. We’ve all become stronger individuals of the team thanks to our experiences on support.
Gently fold in context and empathy.
Although we’re tempted to pat ourselves on the back (because surely our excellent track record is due to our winning personalities) we have to give thanks where it’s due — FullStory! Watching our customers’ sessions before responding to support inquiries has unlocked two very important ingredients in the secret recipe: context and empathy.
A sprinkle of context
Zendesk tells us that we’re better than 90% of our peers in the SaaS industry when it comes to one-touch resolution. To understand why, consider this recent ticket we received with a cryptic subject line and a one-word statement:
Tickets like this can make you want to pull your hair out. Your immediate reaction is visceral, alternating outbursts of rage and despair. “What could they possibly mean? Why have they done this to me?!”
Wait, what’s that at the bottom of the ticket? It’s a plane… it’s a bird… it’s a… FullStory session link! Clicking into a session and riding along with our customer as they have an issue makes us look like Supermen with x-ray vision (and Superwomen… Superpeople? Let’s just say “earthbound Kryptonians”). We know exactly how the customer is struggling; no need to ask clarifying questions on even the most perfunctory of tickets.
Working with @fullstory customer service is basically like dealing with an omnipotent force that knows all your issues and how to fix them.— Brian Krall ? (@bkrall) June 3, 2015
But not only does FullStory help us pinpoint what went wrong, we can also see what the customer has already done in an attempt to resolve their own problem. Have they logged out and back in already? Did they read the help document we were just about to recommend? Suggesting something the customer has already tried is a surefire way to exacerbate the perception that every support desk is a black hole of mediocrity, but the context we gain from FullStory means we’re always in the loop.
A pinch of empathy.
It’s amazing how easily you can get stuck in a support rut, assuming the worst of people and firing off answers that you’re sure will suffice. Everyone who’s worked in support has felt those nasty feelings bubbling up after the 50th “cant get this to work :(” message. But if you put on your empathy hat for a minute, do you really think someone who isn’t in genuine need of help wants to waste their time sending you an e-mail?
Most likely your customer feels their problem is both unique and urgent. Otherwise they wouldn’t be asking. Even though you may have received the same question fifty times (in which case, shouldn’t that issue really have been addressed in the product by now?), this is the first time your customer has experienced it, and for you to give the ticket anything less than your full attention and empathy is unacceptable.
We have to admit that we sometimes fall into this same trap. But our saving grace is always FullStory. Experiencing exactly what a customer did before writing into support jumpstarts that empathetic reaction, and makes responding to every case with understanding and patience so much easier. Our secret support recipe also means that we’re even more motivated to fix the problem at the root, rather than watching customer after customer experience the same issue.
Huggers: our head support chefs.
As a Hugger, my job might not be strictly limited to working the support desk, but it certainly involves perfecting the secret recipe. Whether it’s developing trainings for new FullStory team members entering the support rotation, tweaking who works with whom, or redesigning the idea-submission system for logging and ranking customer feedback, I constantly have my hands in the mix, adding a dash of this or that and kneading the dough until it takes shape.
To be a Hugger at FullStory is to try and make our product a happier place for our customers every day. We’ve found the ingredients of All Hands Support and daily FullStory use have made a huge impact on customer satisfaction, both in support and in the product. If you’re using FullStory at your company and you haven’t yet implemented it in your support workflow, you’re missing out on some of the greatest benefits FullStory has to offer. Try cooking up your own delicious support recipe!