Case Studies

How Candid Uses Stella Connect to Power Agent Coaching with Context

Candid launched only a few years ago, and it’s already a disruptor in the aligner industry with thousands of patients throughout the United States and more than 300 employees contributing to a feel-good mission.

In an effort to make orthodontic treatment accessible to all, Candid reimagines the journey of achieving straighter teeth by putting health, not its bottom line, first. Candid designs a treatment plan for each and every patient using a diagnostic process developed by experienced orthodontists. If a patient doesn’t meet the criteria for treatment, Candid does the right thing and recommends treatment elsewhere — patients appreciate this standard of care in their pursuit of a more confident self, all while keeping aligners much more affordable than the competition.

Candid, as expected, needs to communicate with patients regularly. Treatment ranges from a few months to over a year, and patients get in touch with the customer service team along the way. If a patient ever feels uncertain, Candid provides a clear, easy-to-understand explanation. With an ongoing commitment to coach agents with masterful skills, the customer service team at Candid delivers outstanding CX.

As a brand that prides itself on transparency with patients, Candid uses Stella Connect to maintain open communication within the customer service team. In 2019, Candid chose Stella Connect to shift away from disorganized spreadsheets and streamline coaching in a single platform.

Stella Connect energized the coaching program at Candid right away. Candid uses 1:1 meetings to coach with context. Now, it’s able to train and coach agents more efficiently than ever as the business continues growing rapidly in the aligner industry. From team leaders to agents, the entire customer service team at Candid receives the coaching they need to improve.

Ditching Spreadsheets, Embracing Organization

Candid initially used spreadsheets for just about everything. In the early stages of a startup, spreadsheets satisfy nearly every need. But, as Candid expanded, spreadsheets couldn’t keep up.

It assigned a separate spreadsheet to every team, and employees would enter notes without an actual process in place. Soon enough, the spreadsheets lost structure and Candid couldn’t track information closely to use for coaching. Information handoffs weren’t anywhere as smooth as Candid desired, either. Information started getting lost across all the spreadsheets, making it far too challenging to effectively monitor performance and use data in 1:1 meetings.

‘Out with the old, in with the new’ rang true the moment Candid ditched spreadsheets. Stella Connect displays all information and notes in a single, organized location.

Both supervisors and agents at Candid review notes to understand what they’ve worked on and what they’ve reviewed so far — there’s no ‘guessing game’ to track information.

“You’re not writing things down everywhere and not having information where you need it. Everything is in Stella Connect, it’s all right there.”
Amanda Riley
Training & Development Manager at Candid

Candid’s supervisors run efficient 1:1 meetings with agents now. Twice per month, 1:1 meetings bring together a supervisor with an agent. It’s a standard discussion where the supervisor documents all details in Stella Connect. Additionally, there’s a monthly ‘Prove It’ session for supervisors to request agents share moments in their interactions with patients that prove they’re practicing what was recently covered in skill-building 1:1 meetings.

Mastering Skills & Building ‘Growth Roadmaps’

Coaching is what you do today to prepare agents for tomorrow, and Candid takes an approach that focuses on mastering existing skills before moving on to teaching any new skills. It allows every agent an opportunity to grow at their own pace while gathering a level of knowledge to serve patients effectively.

Under this approach, Candid leverages Stella Connect to outline a ‘growth roadmap’ for agents. Candid couldn’t do this with spreadsheets in the past. Instead, it needed an appropriate solution for identifying a skill to track over time with a robust action plan for each agent.

In 1:1 meetings using Stella Connect, a supervisor sits down with an agent and discusses their progress with a particular skill in addition to general performance results. Overall, this creates accountability between everyone. While the agent understands where they’re at in terms of mastering or learning a skill, the supervisor knows which skill the agent is developing as well as their progress to actively coach.

Candid extends this type of approach to new hires, too. Stella Connect assigns each new hire a mentor that provides assessments, and all assessments are monitored within the platform. If a new hire falls behind, the mentor is right there to offer feedback that keeps them encouraged.

The Power of 1:1 Meetings

Candid discovered significant benefits from 1:1 meetings using Stella Connect, all of which save time by streamlining the experience for supervisors and agents. Supervisors get to use a template of frequently asked questions in 1:1 meetings, and documentation lives in a dedicated spot for each agent rather than mixed in a spreadsheet alongside other agents’ sessions.

In the past, 1:1 meetings with new hires required around 45 minutes of preparation. Candid, however, manages to trim this down to 15 minutes with Stella Connect. Candid recently had more than a dozen new hires onboarding simultaneously, and the ability to replicate the structure of each 1:1 meeting reduced the amount of time needed to prepare by 66%. Once in the 1:1 meeting, it’s a breeze for Candid’s supervisors to enter notes.

“As long as you’re using Stella Connect, there are no surprises for anyone on the customer service team — agents, managers, and supervisors — because you’re documenting 1:1 meetings so easily.”
Amanda Riley
Training & Development Manager at Candid

Stella Connect also ensures consistency. As a supervisor or agent transitions between groups within the customer service team at Candid, 1:1 meetings are carried out in identical fashion. Candid never worries about misplacing data or retraining employees just because they’re focused on a different part of the customer service team. As a result, Candid’s customer service team feels confident in their opportunity to succeed in developing skills and career paths.

Candid recommends Stella Connect to any business aiming to provide a consistent, flawless experience to staff as it does for customers — from management to the front-line, Candid leverages the platform to streamline coaching under a stronger, more structured customer service team.

Interested in learning more about using our platform for 1:1 meetings? Schedule a demo today to meet with a Stella Connect expert.