Running a world-class CX organization is challenging enough under normal circumstances. Throw in a global pandemic where everyone works from home, and things get even more complicated.
That was exactly the situation for the CX team at Brooklinen, a luxury retailer of simple, beautiful, high-quality home essentials. Customers had grown accustomed to receiving personalized support from Brooklinen’s team of agents—as evidenced by the company’s healthy CSAT score and 80,000+ online reviews. However, continuing to deliver on customers’ high expectations, onboarding and training agents, and keeping team members engaged seemed like a daunting task in a completely remote setting.
Realizing the need for swift and decisive action, Brooklinen’s training and QA leaders collaborated to launch an innovative program—a CX University 🎓
This article recaps the positive results that Brooklinen has experienced by launching their own CX University, as discussed in our recent webinar—which you can watch below.
As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted business operations for organizations of all types—including eCommerce, Brooklinen’s CX leaders met to align on a continuity strategy.
“When the pandemic hit, we really didn’t know what the future was going to look like,” said Casey Brewer, Senior Associate, CX Quality Assurance at Brooklinen. “We realized that we just had to adapt to the situation and come up with a strategy.”
Developing a way to keep agents informed and engaged was a major consideration.
“The overarching concern was how to train, onboard, and support new and senior agents while being remote until further notice,” Brewer said. “We didn’t know how long this was going to last, so we weren’t sure if we needed a long-term or short-term solution.”
With in-person meetings temporarily on hold, Brooklinen’s online support resources became a focal point. Although agents actively used the company’s knowledge base, the QA team was not regularly evaluating support tickets, which made it difficult to measure the content’s usefulness.
“We wanted to make sure that our core resources in our knowledge base were actually giving our agents what they needed,” Brewer said.
After further discussion, the team identified the need for an online learning and training program that leans heavily on QA and supports a variety of learning styles.
“We realized that we had to tailor our training and knowledge base for every agent,” said Caroline Svenson, Senior Associate, CX Training & Knowledge at Brooklinen.
Refusing to settle for the status quo, Brooklinen’s CX team completely reimagined its agent training and learning systems into an online university.
A CX University, that is.
Similar to a traditional college or university setting, CX University relies on three foundational pillars to ensure agents are learning and retaining the material:
Unlike your Biology 101 course, there aren’t any hour-long borefests about chlorophyll and mitosis. Instead, Brooklinen uses Lessonly—an online learning management system—to create bite-sized, video-based training modules and provide helpful information in an interactive format that suits each agent’s learning style.
Brooklinen’s “textbook” is hosted on Guru, a company wiki that makes it easy to find and share helpful information, such as policies, procedures, knowledge base articles, and other random snippets of information.
Grading support tickets with MaestroQA creates a continuous feedback loop that helps agents know what to work on. Agents can easily ask for clarification or appeal their grades, which encourages healthier communication at every level of the CX team. Aggregated QA data is useful for surfacing content gaps in Brooklinen’s lectures and textbooks.
Integrating MaestroQA with Lessonly and Guru makes it easier for graders to assign follow-up training lessons and knowledge base cards. “When we realized that the tools could be synced together, that feedback loop made everything else feel so much more powerful,” Brewer said.
Pandemic or no pandemic, the CX University is here to stay at Brooklinen. Since launching the program just a year ago, the team already enjoys a number of tangible benefits, such as:
Efficient Onboarding of Agents: Centralizing and continuously enhancing Brooklinen’s training and documentation accelerates onboarding and sets agents up for success. “It’s helped our onboarding process be incredibly efficient,” Brewer said.
Richer Knowledge Base Content: Ongoing collaboration between Brooklinen’s QA and training teams eliminates content gaps and enables a consistent learning experience for agents. “Across the board, we’re maintaining our best-in-class standard as a company and as a team,” Svenson said.
Enhanced Communication: Sharing graded support tickets with agents and managers opens the door to more productive and meaningful conversations—despite the prolonged remote work environment. “Our QA process enables conversations that help people grow, and it feels much more cooperative and collaborative,” Brewer said.
Better CSAT & AHT: CX University keeps agents informed and engaged—not just during onboarding, but throughout each agent’s tenure at Brooklinen. Well-trained agents deliver higher impact experiences for customers, which leads to measurable improvements in the company’s support metrics. “Giving specific and ongoing feedback has had a great impact on increasing our CSAT scores as well as our Average Handle Time,” Brewer said.
QA Productivity: Agents aren’t the only people who have upped their game. Connecting the dots between training, documentation, and quality has made a positive impact on Brooklinen’s QA team. “From a grader perspective, it helps our QA team be really efficient in giving that feedback,” Brewer said.
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