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Happiness Experiments: Peer Reviewed Emails, Snippet-Free Days and More

Aug 4, 2016 5 min readReports
Photo of Åsa Nyström
Åsa Nyström

VP of Customer Advocacy @ Buffer

Happiness Report July 2016

Customer happiness continues to be a cornerstone of all we do at Buffer and we’re constantly evaluating how best to measure and push ourselves to better this experience.

Our Happiness team consists of 19 Buffer teammates serving in roles from Chief Happiness Officer, Customer Success, Twitter Heroes, Happiness Heroes and more!

Here are a few initiatives and metrics we’re excited to share from July:

Key July Metrics:

  • Responses within an hour: 49.18% (52.21% in June)
  • Customer Satisfaction Score: 93% (88% June)
  • Email conversations: 9,498 (9,530 June)
  • Twitter conversations: 9,132
  • Average Twitter response time: 4.1 hours:
  • Webinars hosted: 15 (12 business and onboarding; 3 social media)

Renewed focus on quality

After some restructuring across Happiness in May, the focus remained quite heavily on response times and getting the inboxes to zero. Since gaining more control and setting goals around response times, we feel excited about a strong focus on quality starting in Q3 and going forward.

Here are a few of many projects we’ve been tinkering on in July:

Launching our Internal Knowledge Base

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 8.13.10 PM

A few months ago the Twitter team started collecting internal “good-to-knows” in a Google sheet. This was the beginning of our Internal Knowledge Base that lives in HelpScout. Not only can the team search for helpful articles within the knowledge base, but also when typing up a customer response.

It’s important to mention that we’d like to use the information found as a resource or aid only, in order to be able to give our customers the most personalized response possible, rather than copying and pasting what is already accessible there. We’re incredibly grateful for the knowledge that lives within the team and are making sure we’re gathering that in one spot so we can continue to learn, grow and provide the best possible customer support.

Experiments: Peer email reviews and syncs

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 8.17.43 PM

In July we began reviewing each others’ emails. Sharing product knowledge, tone and other ways to make sure customers feel heard through email feels like one awesome channel.

What we’re looking for when we review emails:

  • Tone: Praise and give constructive feedback where you find appropriate. Maybe suggest edits or additions to the thread that could perhaps make the customer feel even more looked after.
  • Support: Did we provide the right answer? Was there anything we could have added or changed there?
  • Email: Any ideas around paragraphs, instructions, bullet points, links, gifs etc.
  • Process: If applicable, do you think there could have been another process followed for this customer, or praise for how the team member went about things, or even think through how the entire team can improve things.

So far this has been an incredible learning exercise! Based on these email explorations we have also started doing syncs in both the Inbox and Customer Success team focused on a deep dive into one email. In these syncs we chat through learnings together as a smaller team.

Surfacing signals through tagging

After a period of rather unstructured tagging, Juliet, Kelly, Colin, Super, Marcus and Åsa have spent some time thinking through how to make sure we make the most out of the amazing customer insights we gain in our emails.

With renewed intentional tagging we hope to:

  1. Improve customer experience
  2. Circle back to resolved bugs
  3. Resurface requested features (currently done via Marketing communication)
  4. Improve Happiness Team processes
    • Track trends and measure whether they’re pending/improved/resolved
    • Inform what to add in Knowledge Base & FAQ
    • Segment users for better workflow, eg. priority, lifecycle, language etc
    • Understand context, eg. from FAQ, from onboarding
    • Share knowledge, eg. looking to recent response to similar issue
    • Inform Product/Engineers/Researchers/Marketing about important signals
    • Get feedback on products
    • Uncover questions/pain points we can cover on Social Blog
    • Elevate feature requests
    • Seek specific examples for larger product ‘editing’ trends

Working closely with product managers, we’re confident that this process will contribute to a closer loop between all the teams/areas within Buffer and our customers.

Experiment: Snippet-free day

The last week of July we introduced the first ever Snippet-free day! Snippets—small, pre-written pieces of text we can use for common questions—allow us to take care of more customers, more quickly. As time has passed, we’ve started to feel that perhaps we’re leaning too heavily on snippets and losing a bit of the personal touch in our responses. We thought it would be cool to test having a day each week to ensure we are working on our tone and fully engaging with our customers.

We’re hoping to achieve:

  • A more personal communication style
  • Improved customer experience
  • 100% high quality responses
  • Time to reflect on processes and email composing
  • Getting to know our customers

This experiment has just begun, but we’re pumped to see the impact on the team and our customers’ experience!

Successful Instagram launch!

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 8.22.31 PM

On the 12th of July, Buffer for Instagram was launched.

It was great that all of Happiness got to be involved ahead of launch to set up team training, FAQ and a team launch guide. Instagram was slowly rolled out to our customers, and our larger customers also got the opportunity to jump on early. It feels like this launch taught us a lot for other big events coming up both within Happiness as well as working together with the beta community, the product team and the engineers.

Since the launch we have definitely noticed an increase in volume, and we’re grateful to be able to continue to work closely with the Instagram team to make sure things will run smoothly as soon as possible for everyone using Instagram.

Fun team happenings

happiness team

In July, Amy got married to her fiance, Dan, in Seattle ? ❤️

We have also started hanging out together twice a week in an All Hands Happiness for 20–30 min to chat about all the latest work- and non-work-related events.

Here are a few other highlights from our team:

Åsa – Best friend is getting married.
Juliet- Trying to get UK permanent residency.
Kelly – Trip to Peru!
Julia- Trip to Israel!
Daniel – Heading to London!
Karinna – Going to Europe with her sister
Dee – Exploring the move back home after 5 years of travel
Hannah – Becoming an aunt
Darcy – Husband starting police academy
Mick – Leann and Mick are getting their own place
David – Taking the entire family to see the Lion King on broadway
Danny – Looking forward to Manchester United dominating everything
Dave – Hosting Daniel Feeney in London.
Caro – Sister is having a baby!
Todd – Littlest son, Leo, is walking!
Adam – Travelling to Berlin and Prague with the family.
Ross – Going on a New England cruise.
Amy- Upcoming honeymoon to Italy and Portugal.
Paul – Camping trip with dad and brother.

Over to you!

Is there anything you’d love to learn more about? Anything we could share more of? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Check out more of our July 2016 monthly reports:
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