Standardizing the calibration process to provide better insights to team leads and agents
Agents felt frustrated due to inconsistent ticket grading and unreliable feedback
A scalable calibration and communication workflow that considers each team member’s perspective
Higher impact calibrations, transparent insights shared via a weekly newsletter, and improved buy-in from agents on QA best practices
Stitch Fix is an online personal style service that is changing how people shop for clothing. Stitch Fix’s expert stylists curate items that align with each customer’s style preferences and budget—with zero subscription fees. Free shipping, free returns, and free exchanges simplify the shopping experience for Stitch Fix’s 3.1 million active users.
Each week, Stitch Fix’s CX team handles more than 65,000 tickets across email, phone, chat, and social channels.
Helping clients develop and realize their personal style goals is a rewarding, yet nuanced process for Stitch Fix’s team of 200+ support agents.
“We’re able to help people feel really good about what they wear,” said Emily McKee, CX Global QA Program Supervisor at Stitch Fix. “This introduces a lot of complexity, however, which can make for some gray situations that are tricky for agents.”
Stitch Fix believes in empowering agents to make their own judgment calls and take actions that provide each customer with a tailored solution.
“At Stitch Fix, we want to style customers throughout their entire lives,” said Jenni Bacich, CX Global Programs Manager at Stitch Fix. “So, the only way we’re going to keep them in a relationship is by treating them as unique individuals with unique problems when our service isn’t working the way that it should.”
Unfortunately, not every customer request is reasonable or in alignment with Stitch Fix’s company values. Agents found themselves balancing customer inquiries with the potential of being graded harshly by seemingly subjective QA rubrics. To make matters worse, calibration sessions lacked consistency and failed to surface the types of insights that were necessary to elevate agent performance.
“Team leads and agents were calibrating in a silo,” Bacich said. “This caused agents to feel like their performance was not fairly evaluated because interpretation varied from one team lead to another.”
Seeking a standardized, department-wide calibration workflow that could surface meaningful insights to both agents and team leads, Stitch Fix implemented a “ticket of the week” program.
“The goal is to serve up a newsletter that shares best practices and gives everyone—from top to bottom of the department—a chance to weigh in and form their own perspectives,” Bacich said.
Coordinating the ticket of the week program is no small task and involves thorough planning by Stitch Fix’s quality team.
“Our quality team kicks things off by strategically selecting a relevant ticket that aligns with recent process updates or trends that we’re seeing in quality audits,” McKee said. “The ticket is then shared with and graded by each member of the CX department.”
Meanwhile, Stitch Fix’s quality council—a cross-functional team that includes representatives from quality, operations, loss prevention, and other departments—calibrates on the ticket and develops an answer key. Using MaestroQA to grade the ticket accelerates calibration sessions and keeps meetings to 30 minutes or less.
The quality team then analyzes and tabulates all feedback provided by the CX department and compares it to the quality council’s answer key. Data is aggregated into charts and graphs, a summary recap is written, and the newsletter is distributed to the entire department. The team shares an example of the finished product in this webinar recording:
Stitch Fix’s ticket of the week provides additional context to help agents confidently solve each customer’s needs in a way that aligns with brand values and processes.
“Regularly looking at tickets as a department makes it easier for agents to build the muscle for dealing with difficult situations,” Bacich said. “We’ve normalized the expectation that we’re driving toward commitment, not consensus.”
Moments that lack consensus are, in fact, some of the greatest opportunities for elevating agent performance. Case in point, one ticket of the week spotlighted a customer who had requested a replacement scarf after it was accidentally destroyed. Stitch Fix’s quality team determined that the ticket was not handled correctly based on three criteria (critical thinking, art of conversation, and subject matter expertise). Yet, more than 90% of the CX team felt that the situation was properly managed.
“That ticket was pivotal for our department,” McKee said. “Agents learned to avoid applying blanket solutions without critically thinking about the impact on client LTV.”
Agents aren’t the only stakeholders who benefit from Stitch Fix’s calibration and communication workflow. Team leads, too, leverage insights from the ticket of the week to refine their coaching.
“In the past, team leads coached agents to mirror their language to the customer, which everyone did too literally,” Bacich said. “This ticket was particularly helpful for correcting these types of practices.”
Looking for a more scalable calibration workflow that surfaces meaningful insights to your agents and team leads?
MaestroQA streamlines every aspect of your quality process—from ticket grading to team calibrations—so you can focus on empowering agents and elevating customer satisfaction.
Request a demo of MaestroQA.