Family Matters: The Chatbooks Strategy to Personalizing Support at Scale

By Tracy Oppenheimer

Modern photobook publisher Chatbooks has prioritized having exceptional customer service since day one, and has since grown its support strategy with automated features like chatbots and automatic ticket routing to be able to provide highly-personalized omnichannel support to over a million customers. The Chatbooks team has been able to do so by advancing both the customer and agent experience through Helpshift, responding to issues 75 percent faster and resolving 33 percent more of them— all while maintaining an incredibly high CSAT rating of 4.75 or above.

Meet Chatbooks, the “Subscription to Your Life”

Based in Provo, UT, Chatbooks is a mobile app that allows customers to effortlessly convert their digital and social media pictures into physical photo books. Today, Chatbooks has well over one million customers, 170 employees—with nearly half of them working on the customer service team.

Even in the early days back in 2014, co-founders Nate and Vanessa Quigley have always made customer service priority zero.

“They were the first support team— so when the Chatbooks app launched, they were fielding the customer support questions in bed at night, and staying up till 3am in the morning trying to help these customers out,” said Chatbooks Chief Operating Officer Dan Jimenez. “And we grew that team up to 70 customer support reps and that whole time it’s been a focus on high-touch, high-value relationships, where we want it to feel very one-to-one and very personal.”

Chatbooks mirrors its company values after its customers, with ‘family’ being massively important. The office has space dedicated to daycare for on-site teams, while the majority of the customer support team works remotely. So Chatbooks needed a customer service solution that could provide the team with flexible, streamlined support to meet the lifestyle demands of customers and employees alike.

Why Scaling This Remote Team Required a New Set of Tools

After previously using only gmail, Director of Support Angel Brockbank realized that she needed to meet her customers on their channel of choice, whether that be within the mobile phone app or on the web. Meanwhile, her agents needed to be able to have extreme flexibility too. “All of my team works from home and they have very different schedules, they’re very busy moms,” said Angel.

Especially during times like the holidays when her team received 4x the amount of support tickets as usual, Brockbank needed a unified, scalable solution. She required one console for her agents to work seamlessly and simultaneously out of for email, live chat, and in-app tickets.

“During the holidays, we were crazy,” said Angel. “Helpshift has been great because we can access it from wherever we are. It really offers my agents the flexibility to be able to go in and out of issues, to be able to go pick up their child from school, go make dinner, or change the laundry, and then come right back to where they were.”

Automation Empowers Team to Continue High-Touch Support

Since incorporating Helpshift, the Chatbooks team has incorporated automated routing and ticket assignment, deployed chatbots, and continued to personally respond to customers through chat, email, and the mobile app. Agents can work out of that single dashboard and respond to those different channels quicker than ever before.

“Having everything in one dashboard is super helpful for my team, especially as they’re working remotely. It really helps their productivity,” said Angel. “Customer satisfaction scores have gone up considerably because of live chat, not only because it’s very, very quick but because they don’t have to wait for a back-and-forth and they can get their order done right then,” said Angel. “That equates to a higher conversion rate too.”

The customers do appreciate the rapid response, but the agents also benefit from live chat. Just like customers don’t have to wait around for agents, agents don’t have to wait around for customers to respond either. And in the event that agents cannot get the issue resolved immediately, they can leave notes within the ticket so that the next agent or supervisor can pick up right where the other agent left off.

Angel’s team also utilizes a chatbot to collect user and issue information before the agent gets involved in the conversation.

“I love having the chatbot because it really arms our agents with the information they need before they go into the chat, and just in case they get disconnected, they have all the information they need to follow up with the customer,” said Angel.  

Quicker Response Times Equate to Happier Customers

Since adding these Helpshift features like live chat, chatbots, and automated routing, agents have been able to resolve over 30 percent more tickets each hour, and have decreased their average time to response by more than 75 percent.  They have also been able to maintain a 4.8 CSAT, despite a quickly growing consumer base.

These numbers are indicative of a robust and well-implemented customer service strategy, but it’s really the company mindset that makes it possible.

“Support has been an amazing part of Chatbooks and it always will be, and that’s really what sets us apart from other companies,” said Angel.