One of the most exciting things about Volusion is that “Out of this World Support” is an ever-evolving concept, driven primarily by feedback from our customers. What is considered “out of this world” today will be considered basic requirements tomorrow.
Since 1999, Volusion has helped raise the bar for customer service in our industry. We were one of the first to offer support via multiple channels (chat, phone, and ticket). Nowadays, all of our competitors do. When we first started offering support 24x7x365, analysts thought we were throwing money away. Today, merchants won’t even consider doing business with a provider that doesn’t answer the phone on Sundays. Even more recently, we introduced the concept of the Onboarding Coach to help new customers get oriented faster.
We’re proud of these innovations, but we’re not satisfied with them. In fact, the next major phase in our service evolution is already underway.
In a previous blog post, I wrote about Volusion’s Net Promoter surveys. One of the questions we ask in our survey pertains to our customers’ satisfaction with our technical support. This is an area where we have historically scored very well. However, last year we started noticing an interesting trend: even though customers continued to give us very high marks for support, they provided comments indicating we were rushing through their issues to get to the next call or chat. In other words, quality was suffering in the name of quantity.
This feedback concerned us, so we began looking at our processes, training procedures, and tools and quickly confirmed what our customers were telling us. We had been unwittingly impeding our team from delivering Out of this World Support by asking them to focus too heavily on contact efficiency. It became clear that we needed to change our priorities and focus on quality first.
As of January we have already begun shifting our focus away from Call Times and onto First Contact Resolution. New team members are hired for both exceptional customer service skills and strong technical acumen, and must undergo an intensive training program that stresses customer service alongside technical skills. Tenured employees are receiving training to help facilitate this new objective.
These changes have not been without consequence. Since starting them in January, our average call time has increased to a point that at times has brought support wait times to an unacceptable level. Rather than compromise on quality, we have decided to increase the size of our technical support staff by 26% by end of Q1. This will allow us to continue providing higher quality support while bringing down wait times to previous levels. We are also making significant investments in new tools for our support team, in additional self-help resources for our customers, and in making our software even easier to use.
On a personal note, I appreciate the patience that our customers have shown throughout the initial phase of this transition. I’ve spoken with many of you personally, and almost all of the feedback I have received has reinforced that these changes although inconvenient in the short term—will significantly benefit our customers in the months and years to come.
– David Mitzenmacher, Chief Customer Officer