Growing up, Carolina Cadório thought she’d become a biologist. She has a degree in Biology and a master’s degree in Animal Behavior. However, when she was out of university, she took a break from studying and soon realized she didn’t want to build a career centered in the academic world.
She got her first customer-facing role in a hostel, before moving on to the startup ecosystem and taking on a position as a Bookings Agent at Uniplaces. After about a year she became a Team Lead, managing a small team of support agents, and later, following an operational restructuring, she had the opportunity to manage both the customer and landlord success teams.
At the end of last year, Carolina joined EatTasty as a Customer Support Manager. We talked to her about taking on this new challenge and building the customer support operations from scratch, and how she’s measuring her team’s performance and overall customer service efficiency at EatTasty.
Taking control of support operations
At EatTasty, Carolina went back to using Zendesk, which changed a lot since the last time she worked with it (as a Team Lead at Uniplaces she was using Salesforce.) However, the type of customer support offered at EatTasty made it easier for her to ease into her new role.
When you think about buying a product or service and having to contact customer support, you send an email and wait for a reply. At EatTasty, support needs to be reactive and instant.
EatTasty is a food delivery service. That means that peak support hours are always around lunch and dinner times, but also that most customers’ problems get solved on the spot. As a result, Carolina’s team doesn’t have a huge backlog of tickets during the day (at the time of our conversation, their backlog was 13 tickets.) In addition to these fixed peak hours, the issues tend to revolve around the same topics: delivery delays, wrong order items, or orders not being delivered.
Both these factors allowed Carolina to build support operations around well-structured processes. “If the decision making is procedural, and not done on a case-by-case basis, the agents’ work is much easier and gets done in a flash.” For this reason, her team’s resolution rate is very fast.
In addition to establishing processes and guidelines, Carolina has another project for EatTasty’s customer service team: she wants them to handle customer reviews. Her reasoning is that, often, customers use reviews to also complain about the service, for example, “the food was too salty.” It is an opinion, but it is also a situation that can be rectified. It already gets handled on the supply side, but the customer simply gets an email thanking them for their review.
Carolina believes that isn’t enough, and that customer service should have a more proactive approach to reviews. As a company, EatTasty aims to deliver top-notch service, and when that fails, whatever the reason may be, the customer deserves compensation. “It’s about focusing on the customer, letting them know their complaint didn’t fall on deaf ears and is being taken care of.”
Metrics: more than CSAT
When it comes to monitoring her team’s performance, Carolina currently uses two Zendesk dashboards that weren’t built by her and that she can’t edit. Although they do offer insight on the main metrics for customer service agents’ performance — tickets solved, resolution rate, backlog — they’re not enough, and she’s currently working on building a metrics measurement system that is a better fit for EatTasty’s support.
Looking at your team’s metrics is a fundamental part of any management position. When it comes to customer service, one often hears CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score) is the main indicator of a team’s performance and service quality. However, CSAT only shows that from the customer’s side. From an internal perspective, there are other indicators, like the ones mentioned above, that managers can keep track of to know how their team is performing.
Carolina recalls her time as a Team Lead at Uniplaces, where every day she would upload data extracted from Zendesk into a sheet to check on her team’s efficiency. This allowed her to understand if any team members were struggling and give them the necessary guidance to perform better. Sometimes, it was simply a matter of being faced with too big a backlog and not knowing which issues to tackle first. As the team motto went:
Control the backlog, don’t let the backlog control you.
Having all her team’s incoming tickets categorized is something Carolina wants to implement at EatTasty with Cleverly’s help. This way, she’ll have a better understanding of which issues come up more often — delivery issues, order cancellations, billing, etc. — and handle them, or even prevent them, accordingly.
Additionally, she wants to use triggers to add tags to tickets. Let’s say a customer is trying to make a payment with a credit card, but it isn’t working. Carolina wants tags that are more granular than the categories, which, in this case, would signal the ticket as a “bug credit card” instead of just “payment issue.” This will give agents more information about the issue upfront, but it can also help pass along information to other teams — a frequent payment bug could be an indicator for the Tech team to make improvements to the website.
Another important metric to look into is the number of tickets per language. Even though the majority of EatTasty’s support tickets are in Portuguese, there are some coming in Spanish that are being handled by a member of the Sales team in Spain. This is precious help, but it isn’t the ideal situation. “To know the real volume of support tickets, I need everything to be centralized on Zendesk, otherwise I won’t be able to know if I need to hire more agents or if they need to speak languages other than Portuguese.” Going forward, Carolina wants her team to be the one handling all customer requests, independently of what language they’re are, even if that means having to grow the team.
Monitoring metrics is essential for Carolina as a Customer Support Manager. With Cleverly’s help, she’ll be able to build dashboards that work best for her and her team, and will allow her to constantly monitor data, results, and performance, to keep steering her agents in the right direction and maintaining EatTasty’s customer service efficiency.