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Cratejoy partners with Solvvy and Boldr to Transform Support and Power Productivity through outsourcing and automation

Cratejoy experienced extraordinary success after launching in 2014. This preeminent subscription box marketplace optimized its expansive catalog, garnered support from a distinguished group of investors, and enjoyed strong revenue growth and market momentum.

As 2019 approached, Cratejoy was ready to evolve its fundamental operating structure and position itself for the next 5 years. Things needed to be revisited, rethought, and redone.

“We were clear on one thing: we had to find a leaner and more intelligent way to support our growing customer base that didn’t require linearly growing our customer support team along the way.” Mario Barrett, GM Platform at Cratejoy

Getting Cratejoy Merchants and Customers to Good Support Answers, Quickly.

The mission was clear — get people to good and helpful customer support answers, quickly. The problem wasn’t the mission, it was the team’s ability to implement and execute while also running the business and maintaining high-levels of merchant and customer satisfaction along the way. Cratejoy knew what they had to do, the question was, how and where to get started?

“We realized the first step would be creating space for our team to shift from reactive, firefighting, repetitive, and sometimes even transactional work to higher-value work. After comparing a number of outsourcing partners we settled on Boldr, because of their unique mission-driven emphasis on outsourcing and their emphasis on getting to know our values, KPIs and business needs in depth before moving forward,” said Nick Philippi, Former Senior Manager Customer Support at Cratejoy.

“Talking to Boldr felt different — they focused hard on our problems, on collaborating with us to understand and document our processes, to bring analysts to the table in an effort to help us identify, prioritize and roadmap the most effective way to outsource our work. We weren’t disappointed.”

The Boldr Team was staffed, hired, onboarded and taking on work from our in-house team in less than 6 weeks. Cratejoy was able to take a step up and a step forward, focusing less on transactional support emails and more on building a bridge between support and product.

Related read: Content Moderation Case Study

Using Customer Support Data to Inform Product Development, Decrease Ticket Volume

Advancing a CX strategy starts with analytics. Some of Cratejoy’s most time-consuming tickets were repetitive tasks that required further help from a Support Engineer. Cratejoy realized the best way to address the response time and resolution time challenges associated with these tickets would be to eliminate these complex repetitive tasks altogether.

“One of the big challenges merchants were having was the ability to manage bulk shipments — whether that meant bulk uploading Tracking IDs, or bulk marking items as shipped. By identifying the burden of this task on our customers and the pain that our customers would share with our support team, we decided to invest in tools that pushed these capabilities to the front lines. We took some of our hardest, most time-consuming tickets that were often associated with low merchant and customer satisfaction and built tools that improved the product and eliminated those issues completely.” Chad Wegrecki, Senior Manager, Customer Support at Cratejoy

Cratejoy had found a way to create the space necessary for its team to focus on higher-value work; to shift away from responding to pains and addressing pains, and move toward eliminating those pain points and that friction. Period.

A Comprehensive Knowledge Base to Power a Robust and Automated Experience

Cratejoy’s productivity had skyrocketed, and was starting to plateau. It was time to take the next step which involved the team introducing more ways to leverage content on the front end to get merchants and customers to the right answers, faster.

“We hit a great rhythm with the Boldr Team. Perhaps our greatest endeavor was to build out a comprehensive and thorough knowledge base. We used data and analytics to build a knowledge base and prioritize questions and answers we were seeing most frequently. Months of investment in the knowledge base positioned us to take our next big step forward on the support and experience front: the implementation of a chatbot” said Mario Barrett, GM at Cratejoy

Most help desks come powered with their own chatbots. This can be an effective first step, and a proactive way to deflect incoming queries at a faster rate. But built-in chatbots do have their limits. Cratejoy’s processing volumes were high and the transactions across merchants and customers were diverse and complex. The team needed a best-in-class solution to truly take the next step. The answer? A robust solution built specifically for chat deflection and engagement.

Cratejoy turned to the team at Solvvy.

20% Support Inquiry Deflections Starting on Day 1

Solvvy claims that you’ll see 15-20% deflection from Day 1, and Cratejoy saw precisely that and more. With no optimizations implemented – just a straightforward JavaScript embed and launch — Solvvy met the 20% deflection number immediately. Solvvy was so effective, that it had paid for itself before Cratejoy had exited the upfront Trial! Not six months later, the self-service rate had grown to 30%.

In January 2019, Cratejoy had a vision: shift from reactive to proactive by: (1) scaling its overall approach to support; (2) radically improving the ROI of its support team and investments; and (3) creating a hybrid support stack that elevated its people on the front lines and positioned them to stand on the strength of timely data, relevant content, and powerful technology.

Per Barrett, Q4 2019 was Cratejoy’s best quarter ever from a revenue, sales, and growth standpoint. “As a Customer Experience Team, we knew we had successfully restructured Cratejoy’s operations when support was streamlined and optimized without adding any additional headcount.”

“Solvvy allows Cratejoy to not only deflect ticket volume, but also to identify areas for future growth. We have used Solvvy to identify over 20 helpdesk articles needing improvement or creation in the first quarter of the year. We expect this to be a continued driver in our future product growth and we can easily identify the areas that are not deflectable with the current toolset. This will continue our drive towards being proactive, not reactive,” adds Wegrecki.

Also read: Optimizing Seasonal Customer Support Teams to Ensure Excellent Customer Experience

Ongoing Product & Process Improvement in Partnership with Boldr and Solvvy

“Boldr and Solvvy have helped Cratejoy’s Customer Experience take a step forward and a step up. Boldr has been an invaluable partner. Taking on work that allows us to elevate our team and move closer to the customer while shifting from reactive to proactive work. Solvvy has helped us reach and support an entirely new scale in our marketplace while greatly accelerating our resolution time and helping us prioritize new issues to address going forward. We’re excited for what 2020 holds, and are overflowing with ideas on how to take the next step forward with our Customer Experience strategy with both partners by our side.” - Chad Wegrecki