Case Studies

How Resident is Building a QA Program of the Future with Stella Connect

Resident established a glowing reputation with bedding products prior to the global pandemic, but in 2020 the company saw an unexpected surge in growth as consumers sought the feeling of ease and comfort while spending more time at home than ever before.

As a result, the customer service team at Resident shifted its focus away from only productivity measurements, such as hold time, and toward ‘customer love’ for the quality of service interactions. It needed to do this at scale, though. Resident isn’t a one-brand company like others in the home goods industry.

What started as just one brand has grown into a portfolio of several direct-to-consumer brands offering products that deliver comfort, and continues to innovate with a global workforce of more than 200 employees around the world.

Nectar, DreamCloud, and Awara are just a few of the names that fall under Resident’s house of brands. Each brand is unique in what it sells to satisfy home furnishing needs for different types of consumers, and yet they all remain consistent with the same mission: to make inspiring products so people love coming home.

Across every brand in the portfolio, Resident provides what it considers unparalleled quality and value. Customers agree and, according to Resident, over 2 million of them are ‘happier sleepers’ enjoying its products. From mattresses and bed frames to pillows and sheets, Resident’s entire range of products sold by each brand center around comfort.

Resident expects to continue expanding rapidly as it builds lifetime customer value, which makes the interactions between the brands and anyone in the customer journey critical to success. The better the interaction, the more likely it is for a customer to choose and, over time, stay with Resident for everything they need to feel cozy and comfortable at home.

Finding the Right QA Software

Resident couldn’t run a full-fledged QA program in the past. Although the customer service team was eager to dive into performance, Resident lacked the right QA software to help them really streamline the process and gain visibility into what interactions needed to be reviewed.

When it came to QA, it felt like they were only scratching the surface — interactions were cherry-picked at random, and a team of three assigned to review interactions couldn’t efficiently give feedback to agents.

Resident also tried an AI-based tool to flag interactions based on keywords and auto-QA interactions, which still fell short of expectations. The tool was missing consistent QA scorecards and the ability to add feedback for coaching based on specific moments within the interaction.

Overall, the QA program didn’t provide in-depth, actionable feedback that would drive the customer service team to improve service quality based on the timely completion of scorecards. Long, inconsistent timelines for half-baked reviews weighed down coaching effectiveness.

Efrat Partouche, Executive Vice President of Customer Success, and Roxy Phothirath-Burke, Director of Customer Success, chose to redefine the QA program with Resident’s five core values in mind — Excellence, Customer Love, Big Thinking, Inclusivity, and Forward Momentum.

While considering a variety of platforms to build a robust QA program, Efrat and Roxy only found one that met its full list of criteria: Stella Connect by Medallia.

Stella Connect rose to the occasion for Resident and its customer service team, setting them up for success with the right QA software to consistently review and score interactions. Beyond that, the customer service team is finally able to deploy agents for outreach and service recovery the moment negative feedback surfaces.

Restructuring the Customer Service Team for Efficiency

Building a QA Scorecard

QA scorecards are used to grade service interactions between agents and customers, so it’s no surprise that one of the first things the coaching and QA team did was set up a QA scorecard in Stella Connect. After all, among the biggest challenges faced was an inefficient QA program that addressed hard skills only. As Resident grew and needed to scale, they wanted to take on soft skills and coaching as well.

Resident assembled a QA scorecard that, in addition to identifying whether or not an agent adhered to policy-based rules and guidelines, grades an interaction for an agent’s alignment with the company’s five core values. The coaching and QA team found that coaching to also address soft skills to match Resident’s brand voice has made a significant impact on the customer service team’s performance.

Hard skills still appear in the QA scorecard, but they’re now alongside soft skills that matter just as much.

Made and managed in Stella Connect, the new QA scorecard resolves the fundamental challenges experienced by Resident in the past. Resident’s front-line team is finally equipped to run a robust QA program that’s beneficial for both the organization and its customers.

Deciding What to Review (and How Often)

Resident achieves a level of efficiency with Stella Connect that allows the customer service team to do QA in a timely, organized manner. Before, it could only cherry-pick negative feedback at random due to several limitations. Now, that’s a thing of the past.

Stella Connect automatically pulls ratings with 1-3 stars for comprehensive QA. Coaches fill out QA scorecards for such interactions, and agents are able to really pinpoint where they may have missed the mark and how they can improve. Ratings with 4-5 stars, meanwhile, are used in coaching sessions to provide positive guidance and remind agents of what they’re doing right. Resident also celebrates positive ratings in a Slack channel for the entire customer service team to rally around.

Since everything is based on real-time customer feedback, coaches are able to perform QA within 24 hours — while the interaction is still fresh in an agent’s mind. In turn, this allows coaching to be more effective because the agent recalls how a particular interaction went.

Being Proactive, Not Reactive

Data collected by Stella Connect also led Resident to restructure its customer service team as part of an effort to analyze real-time customer feedback and address issues proactively.

Resident created an outreach team to communicate with customers who submitted 1-3 stars in their ratings and convert them into 5-star customers. Both pre-delivery and post-delivery, this group takes on negative feedback to understand why a customer may feel dissatisfied and reach a resolution that earns their trust back.

As of September 2021, the outreach team’s average star rating increased to 4.8 stars. Efrat and Roxy credit this to the personalized communication they’re able to offer when engaging in service recovery.

Now it’s never too late for Resident to retain a customer if they didn’t enjoy a product or felt disappointed by an interaction with an agent.

Embracing Key Metrics to Become Best-in-Class

Resident focuses on overall customer experience (CX) with Stella Connect, tracking KPIs that indicate overall performance.

Efrat and Roxy split goals with a focus on both metric and business leanings. Metric-focused goals for Resident include NPS, CSAT, and FCR. Business-focused goals include reducing customer friction and decreasing ticket count. Notice that both sets of goals are correlated — for example, as FCR drops, Resident would experience a decrease in ticket count and CSAT would rise.

Becoming best-in-class is a top priority for Efrat, Roxy, and the entire coaching and QA team. Resident wants to get ahead of its competitors in terms of service quality, not just metrics, and make a name for itself in the home goods industry with a leading customer service team.

With the introduction of Stella Connect, the customer service team at Resident believes it is building a QA program of the future. Everything it needs to collect feedback, complete QA scorecards, and coach agents is combined in a single tool.

Interested in learning more about how you can run a robust QA program? Schedule a demo today to meet with a Stella Connect expert.