Article | 4 min read

For FabFitFun, subscriber growth means scaling up customer service

By Erin Hurley

Last updated June 1, 2017

Your new go-to eyeliner. Headphones to revolutionize your workout. A miniature herb garden to dress up your kitchen. FabFitFun boxes bring subscribers the latest and greatest in home, fashion, beauty, fitness, and wellness products each quarter. Founded in 2010, FabFitFun aims to inspire a sense of empowerment in women and help them discover new favorites.

Today, with hundreds of thousands of members and over 100 employees, FabFitFun’s email, phone, live chat, and social channels have to keep up with the company’s rapid growth. To ensure this, FabFitFun built a multi-channel engagement model using Zendesk Support back in 2013, and added Zendesk Chat soon after. Initially they used Nextiva for phone support, but in early 2016 switched to Zendesk Talk. Director of Customer Experience Caitlin Logan said they needed more options for reporting and tracking phone calls, and for staying on top of the agents taking calls.

“Zendesk was a huge upgrade. You can’t lead or manage a team without knowing what your team is doing,” Logan said.

Instant answers from engaged agents

With phone support using Zendesk Talk, Logan gets the data she needs to streamline her team’s performance. She monitors agent satisfaction ratings and uses them to help agents improve, especially her offsite team in the Philippines. FabFitFun sets the bar high, with a goal of maintaining a CSAT score above 90 percent, which they’ve recently exceeded; some weeks, the team’s CSAT reaches as high as 94 percent.

Logan’s team especially loves Talk’s Call Monitoring feature. “It’s an amazing, amazing, amazing tool for us, to be able to hear in real-time what our customers are calling us about,” Logan said. The ability to “barge” in on agent calls using Call Monitoring is helpful because agents can listen in when she takes over and can learn from her technique, and then apply what they learn to their own calls, increasing customer satisfaction.

Phone support isn’t the only way FabFitFun connects with their members. After trialing live chat, the channel surged in popularity to become the customer preferred contact method over email. In the course of a year, the chat support team scaled to 25 agents and began offering extended support hours (5 a.m. to 12 a.m. PST).

With Zendesk Chat, Logan’s team easily answers customer questions in real time. And they’re doing something right, because members who use FabFitFun’s live chat are more satisfied than members who send emails.

Zendesk Chat also keeps FabFitFun’s support agents more engaged than other channels. “Their day goes by really fast, because they’re taking three chats at a time and helping members,” Logan explained. “They’re focused and can’t really stray from their productivity, because it’s real time.”

Answering tomorrow’s tickets today

Zendesk Guide lets FabFitFun go one step beyond answering questions live—it lets them get ahead of problems before members even ask. Members can browse common issues on FabFitFun’s help center, or go on to start a live chat or submit a request if they have additional questions. What’s more, by embedding the Zendesk web widget in their live chat widget, members have a chance to find the answers they need before beginning a chat, without having to visit the help center. Logan said this helps deflect some of the 3,000-odd tickets FabFitFun receives on its busiest days of the quarter. Additionally, Logan can mine the search data to see what articles need to be added, or to discover where an existing FAQ page could use some updates.

FabFitFun help center

Email customization without frustration

While Zendesk Support’s macro feature lets agents handling email to easily and quickly send pre-written responses, Logan believes in the importance of personalizing the customer experience. “Connecting with a member on a personal level is really important and helps build trust,” Logan said. That’s why she appreciates the balance that Zendesk Support helps her to strike with the team.

“We want our agents’ real personalities to shine through. Obviously, they should be professional, but genuine,” Logan said. “I actually tell my team to talk to members like they’re your friends.”

To further help with personalization, the team uses the Zendesk MailChimp Campaign integration, which helps identify which emails members have recently viewed and gives agents more context about each member’s unique situation. Time-wise, to allow for personalized responses, the team set an SLA of 24 hours during billing seasons, but benchmark themselves at 8 hours during non-peak periods. In May they saw FRT dip as low as 6 hours.

Logan admitted she isn’t a Zendesk master just yet, and doesn’t come from a developer background. But it’s been easy for her to learn and customize the Zendesk products for her team—particularly the Support analytics and reporting. “I love how much someone without coding experience can do with the reporting, and how I can teach myself as I go,” she said.

By experimenting with conditional fields and a time tracking app, Logan has been able to build reports that show the time spent on each contact reason. “This will help us optimize for other teams and explain why it might be helpful to make some site changes to our website,” she explained. “I’m super excited about how this will help us quantify the time that we spend.”