Harry's scaled their customer service and saved time using Zendesk Support
Learn how Harry's scaled their customer service with Zendesk Support, leveraging the Zendesk API to integrate with a proprietary AI tool for massive gains in efficiency.
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There’s a fine art to a close shave, and it helps to have the right tools—a precision trimmer, and a steady supply of sharp steel blades.
These are a few things that Harry’s knows a lot about. The New York-based men’s grooming company believes in manufacturing high quality products at a fair price. They custom-engineer their own blades and design their products in-house, making it easier for men to get ready for their day.
It took about a dozen people to launch Harry’s back in March 2013. Katie Rogers, now Senior Director of Customer Experience, was part of that initial team. Since then, she’s seen the brand grow to employ upwards of 170 people. In just four short years, the company purchased the factory in Germany where their blades are made, opened a barbershop, Harry’s Corner Shop, in New York City, and partnered with Target stores, beginning in 2016, to bring their razors to the mass market. As great as an online subscription is, so is being able to pick up your shaving supplies at the same time you replenish other household goods.
Scaling a business, production, and customer base all at the same time is a big job for any company. Fortunately, Rogers cut her teeth in customer service at another successful online retailer, where she was first introduced to Zendesk Support. After using the tool for several years, she felt confident it was a good choice for Harry’s.
“When I moved over to Harry’s, I already had a relationship with Zendesk,” Rogers explained. “Staying with the same tool seemed like a no brainer. We just had these really great relationships with the folks at Zendesk, and that made things a lot easier and set us up for success.”
It was a people-first decision and yet the tool also needed to meet Harry’s needs as a fledgling brand. “What I like most about Support,” she said, “is that if you just need an out-of-the-box tool, you can set it up quickly, but it is also as customizable as you need it to be.”
Rogers’ team is split between Harry’s headquarters in New York and their Florida office. The team offers phone, email, live chat, and social media support, and is constantly exploring how best to segment their channel mix to meet customer needs. “Our customers are at the core of everything we do—from our product to our service to our delivery to our site—so that we can create the best experience for them,” she said.
One way Harry’s has improved their customer service was by adding another key team to their Zendesk Support instance. Rogers’ team shares the same instance with Harry’s Trust & Safety team, responsible for handling potential cases of fraud, so that they can easily and quickly move tickets between teams. “It’s been great to have them as part of the same system,” Rogers said. Additionally, using a separate instance of Zendesk Support, Harry’s accounts payable and finance teams, handle all vendor billing issues.
Another way the team has kept on top of the customer experience, while managing to scale, is by using the tool to create efficiencies and save time. Every ticket, regardless of channel, is tagged with a root cause. The reason a customer contacts Harry’s is paramount to the team and to the company at large. Way ahead of the curve, Harry’s analytics team built an AI tool that pulls information from Harry’s database via the Zendesk API, and reads a customizable field to help auto-tag, route, and prioritize tickets based on root cause. On top of that, the team has created time-saving macros and business rules to further help triage tickets.
“We want to focus on our customer and make sure we’re addressing all their questions, and not have to worry about whether a ticket was assigned to the right person,” Rogers explained. “We look at what we can do in 3 clicks instead of 10 or 12. We love being able to customize Support so much, so that we can be efficient in a more automated way, without sacrificing the quality of the experience.”
The ability to customize is a key factor in why Harry’s loves Zendesk, but it’s also due to Support’s ability to integrate with other apps and systems. Rogers’ team uses the Zendesk API to send order information back into their data warehouse and integrates with MaestroQA for quality assurance. (They’re also not-so-secret fans of the Chuck Norris app.)
Gains in productivity over time have allowed the team to double down on their phone support. Voice support comprises 50 percent of the team’s volume and Harry’s adopted Zendesk Talk in order to keep their two highest volume channels in the same system. Within the past year, the team has reduced their abandonment rate by over 50% and are answering 80 percent of all calls in 60 seconds or less—meeting their SLA times. As Rogers said, “We’re really making sure we have people in the right place at the right time, and that our customers are reaching a person as quickly as possible to get their questions answered.”
“I’ve been really happy with how receptive Zendesk is to our feedback. It’s lovely to be able to have open conversations about our experience and to discuss the way forward. Zendesk is a great business partner because I always have a great sense of what’s coming down the pipeline.”
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