HelpSocial enables agents and systems to get the whole story when it comes to customer service. Achieving this relies on many tools and features that together form a powerful platform for contact centers and customer service teams of many shapes and sizes.
Behind each of HelpSocial’s platform capabilities is a story. This post is the first in a series about how the tools in our platform were created out of needs to solve real problems while we were employees at Rackspace. We hope you enjoy this case study and find it helpful.
Automated Tagging is a feature that helps us understand message intent. The service tags a comment with the category of the issue being described. This technology allows teams to track and monitor specific “tags” surrounding a topic of interest. This is extremely helpful for:
- Product rollouts
- Marketing campaigns
- Customer service
- Churn prevention
- Process automation
Using Auto-Tags To Reveal A Problem
Rackspace was one of the first hosting providers to enter the cloud market with their Cloud Sites product, then known as Mosso, back in 2006. As this product became a massively popular PaaS (platform as a service) solution, we found ourselves constantly battling fraud and bots during the new account creation process.
To help combat the fraud problem, a phone verification process was implemented to authenticate new users – verify they were real people. This responsibility fell to the Cloud Sites support team, who were so overrun with accelerating growth and providing customer support, that responding to verification requests would sometimes take hours or even days.
Prospective customers became frustrated and turned to social media to vent about this massive roadblock that prevented them from getting started. It became so bad that any search of Rackspace on Twitter would turn up countless tweets, painting the picture of a company that was anything but fanatical about its service.
At that time, the technology that eventually became HelpSocial was still in its infancy. Our team saw the complaints on Twitter and brought the issue to the support team leadership. The verification process was an huge blind spot—it hadn’t been brought up in any surveys or support tickets (because it was mostly happening to users who were not yet customers) so it wasn’t recognized that we really even had an issue. The leadership team was completely caught off guard about this negative sentiment. But even more troubling, they weren’t convinced it was widespread enough for them to prioritize action on yet, because there was no tangible data showing we really had a problem. Remember, this is early in the days of corporate social media use – almost no corporate leaders anywhere used social for business, especially outside of marketing.
In response, our team built an automated tagging service to help quantify how widespread this issue was. We had the system study the intent of every social media comment about Rackspace in real-time. Within that very same week, we were able to compile comprehensive data illustrating just how prevalent the problem was, showing the number of posts from would-be customers who were disappointed by Rackspace’s response times.
After receiving this data, leadership went into action. They immediately removed the responsibility from the customer support technicians and created a new, dedicated team to handle all verifications of new customers. At the same time, resources were approved for automating the fraud verification process to cut onboarding time down further.
This did two things:
- Allowed all new customers to quickly receive a phone call from a Rackspace employee, which allowed them to get started with their own projects faster.
- Relieved support technicians from doing a task that did not take full advantage of their technical skills and refocused them on the system administration work that they did best.
The social media sentiment flipped almost overnight—the tone of posts mentioning Rackspace went from being overwhelmingly negative to massively positive. In fact, the verification call that was the #1 reason for not hosting at Rackspace, became the #1 example of how great our support was! “A person even called to welcome me when I created my account. Who does that?!”
Context Is Key
Identifying message intent is just one capability of the HelpSocial platform, but it’s a powerful piece of our software. The origins of this tool highlight just how vital it is for companies to have context and quantitative data from across all channels. No matter how big or small a company, listening to users and gathering relevant information can shine a light on problems you didn’t even know you had. If you have questions about how this can be used to pull real-time insights from digital channels at your company, contact us. We’d love to help.
Throughout this series we will be highlighting the different features of our platform by showcasing the problems we ran into as a support team. Stay tuned for more!