With more than 75 million monthly users, Microsoft Outlook’s in-app customer support efficiently addresses user issues at scale. Outlook benefits immensely from Helpshift’s effective self-service options and automatically-collected user and device data. With the support platform’s modern messaging and sophisticated routing, the Outlook team is able to respond to most issues within two hours, maintain a 4+ CSAT rating, and keep the cost of each chat under $1.

Microsoft Outlook’s mobile and desktop applications have been engineered with user preferences in mind since day one. The email app provides a simple and seamless user experience that links email accounts, calendars, and contacts for both personal and business uses.

In 2014, Microsoft’s Partner Director of Engineering Kevin Henrikson began optimizing Outlook for the mobile world. “I’ve been doing mobile for a long time,” said Henrikson. “At Outlook we’re 100 percent focused on mobile. Helpshift has been a core piece of what we’re doing from the beginning.”

New Product Launch Calls for All Hands on Deck

One value that’s been consistently integral to the Outlook team has been prioritizing and effectively responding to user issues and feedback. At first, this wasn’t easy.

“Once we actually launched and went live in the app store, obviously the scope of customer issues increased radically,” said Henrikson. But the Helpshift dashboard allowed his support team to be able to efficiently tackle incoming tickets, largely thanks to the platform’s ability to escalate and segment tickets by user and category type.

“As users enjoy the app, we can sort of bucket them based on things like how long they’ve been using it,” said Henrikson. “We also know, based on breadcrumbs, where a user is coming from. We can see what’s going on and respond intelligently even if they don’t provide all the context. That’s far better than instead having to say ‘Hey, what phone and OS are you using?’ or other basic information questions.”

Smart Customer Service Means Scalability for Less

This allows support agents to get straight to the heart of the issue, significantly speeding up the process of responding to and resolving tickets. With more than 75 million monthly users, every second saved per conversation counts, both to customers and the company as a whole. Microsoft spends less than $1 per customer on chat (drastically less than the industry standard).

With that kind of volume, it’s hard to imagine getting a quick reply from a support representative— but the Outlook team is able to respond in less than two hours, on average. This incredibly high level of efficiency also contributes to their consistently high CSAT rating (4+).

User Feedback has Tangible Impact on Product Development

“A power user will also be making feature suggestions, and we can add more weight to that. Both because they have a more informed opinion and also because it’s a priority to make our loyal customers happy as well,” said Henrikson.

Being able to automatically segment and prioritize issues isn’t just a huge time saver for support agents, but also allows for new means of improving and iterating upon the product as a whole.

Users are invited to provide feedback right within the app (as opposed to having to resort to an external, potentially negative, app store review), and this way the support team can get ahead of issues. Henrikson’s team uses this information to help produce weekly app updates in order to maintain a high app store rating, and therefore increase adoption rates.

“Helpshift—from an engineering point of view—is great! We analyze the incoming feedback to see the hotspots of things we should look at in the build. Helpshift gives us the ‘Top five things we should be looking at this week.’ We address the biggest concerns of our user base for both existing users and new users,” said Henrikson.

The Numbers Don’t Lie: Users Really Like Being Heard

Today, the Outlook app for mobile has more than 54,000 ratings in the iTunes app store, and boasts 4.6 stars. This is in stark contrast to the average productivity app’s sub 3.5 rating. Henrikson credits Outlook’s modern messaging feel, powered largely by Helpshift, for its app store success:

“In Mobile, everyone is used to the ‘three dots’ when communicating. That iMessage or WhatsApp kind of experience. You know the person is typing and there’s life behind the screen. Helpshift provides that real-time connected environment people have gotten so used to. Now when users are using our app, we provide you instant feedback and real-time chat. All of our users feel they get a live chat experience.”

Outlook’s excellent mobile support experience has now been implemented within Outlook’s respective desktop application as well. The Helpshift dashboard allows for all issues to be consolidated, prioritized, and assigned from one unified dashboard, which makes multichannel support exceptionally streamlined, and simple.