BibliU is a UK-based edtech company with a passion for education. With the vision of CEO and Founder, Dave Sherwood, the BibliU team set about to create a learning enablement platform that would be dedicated to making higher learning more equitable, effective, and efficient for students worldwide. Think Spotify for textbooks.
This ambitious ideal is achieved by streamlining textbook and courseware workflows through automation processes. Not only does it improve the overall student experience, but it makes it more affordable, while stimulating social mobility regardless of where students live. A focus on sustainability further drives BibliU to create a service and a product that reduces the carbon footprint that might be associated with higher education institutions and academia as a whole.
A partnership based on similar values
BibliU’s values closely aligned with Boldr’s aspirations of creating opportunities, uplifting communities, and providing ethical outsourcing solutions for like-minded businesses, which is why we were elated when BibliU engaged us for support services.
BibliU is a B2B company that does not sell directly to students, but rather to universities and bookstores. Seasonality depends on when the semesters start. Their busiest time is from late August to early October, with another peak in January. During these seasonal peaks, the CX demands can range from basic troubleshooting issues to more complex concerns that self-help customer care will not resolve.
In September 2020, Nikka Cossette Sia-Luna was one of Boldr’s first team members to be onboarded for their customer care support. Along with a small pool of flexi and contingency team members, Cossette enabled BibliU to focus on the things that made their service offering so unique.
During the two and a half years that followed, there were numerous opportunities where Boldr could augment BibliU’s growth. Not only are we providing support to their student customers, but we also offer support to their higher learning institution customers. This includes engaging with universities, their librarians, faculty members, and even bookstore partners.
Beyond our support services, we also aid with the implementation and fulfillment services. This process entails onboarding new clients and institutions, such as universities, that sign up with BibliU. It also means ensuring their e-textbooks are uploaded or implemented in a timely manner.
BibliU have entrusted us with their quality assurance workstream, which meant utilizing team members from our flex pool to ensure that the textbooks that were about to go live were correct. Our team checked that the titles, editions, authors, publishers, and general formatting of the book, were in sync with the university requirements. This quality assurance component has since developed a lot more, enabling us to take on a dedicated QA team member. We’ve even gone as far as to initiate a specialized incident management process for when they receive incidents, which was later reviewed and incorporated into the company’s permanent processes.
“I feel very proud of all my team members in Boldr, as well as BibliU. We have achieved so much for our client and they’ve been very happy with our efforts. BibliU has grown tremendously and I’m just very happy and lucky that I’ve witnessed that growth,” says Cossette.
“What I genuinely love about working in this position for BibliU, is the fact that they’ve entrusted me to make improvements to certain processes. I’m happy that I can see the real pains of the customers, the real pains in the process, and the real pains of the internal teams. This gives me an opportunity to improve on those pain points by, for instance, creating dedicated templates for how we must respond to these customer concerns. We have even gone as far as to initiate a specialized incident management process for when BibliU received incidents, which they later reviewed and incorporated into the company’s permanent processes.”
Over the years, we have become partial to understanding the needs of each client and to see where we can augment their systems and processes. With BibliU, our ability to assist on additional work streams was not only testament to our versatility, but also to our devotion to their vision and their goals. Cossette explains:
“One of the things I’ve been trying to work on since late last year is creating more help articles. This might sound like we’re going against what would be best for Boldr, because it would mean less people working on the account. But we always look at how we can benefit our client. Dedicated help articles could help BibliU scale during busy times. By helping them with their ticket reduction efforts, we’re genuinely helping our client. Consequently, we’re also helping their customers, because they no longer have to write to us. They can search for the issue and easily find the answer. This is putting our client’s needs first.”
In January 2022, Cossette and John Paul Menjares, Fulfillment Associate at Boldr, were both invited to join the BibliU retreat in the UK. The trip was delayed numerous times due to the Omicron variant and the stringent travel regulations. Usually these gatherings are intended for their direct employees and not for contractors, but BibliU made an exception. Not only did they invite Cosette and John Paul to join the retreat, but they also helped with their visa applications, as well as travel and accommodation arrangements. Needless to say, they valued the experience and will hold on to the memory for the rest of their life.
“All I wanted was to make a significant contribution, to do something that mattered. It was so wonderful to be included. I truly felt part of the team. I am so excited to wake up every day and to start my work because it feels like the company is genuinely interested in me. They have given me so much confidence, considering that I lost most of my confidence during the pandemic.”
Prior to working at Boldr, Cossette used to have a small travel agency business. Like most people operating in the travel industry, she lost everything during the pandemic. So, when she started at Boldr, she was glad for the opportunity. Never in her wildest dreams, did she ever imagine that she would later be whisked off to England on a company retreat.
“There are no words to properly describe the experience of meeting people you’ve been working with since 2020. Many friendships have been developed during those two and a half years. Meeting in person is so much different than meeting online in calls. It was a brilliant experience.”
James Fouche is the Content Manager at Boldr, as well as an author and a columnist. He is passionate about sharing his love of reading and writing with others.