Agent Motivation

How the Harry’s Customer Service Team Puts Its Best Face Forward

After decades of punishing workflows and stress, contact center leaders can finally breathe easy. No more running a bare-bones, high-churn operation to save money. No more scrambling to (barely) manage fast-growing, remote, and outsourced customer service teams.

Those days are over.

Nowadays, with the simplest of tools, you can give your front-line teams the insight, flexibility, and support they need to consistently delight customers, stay engaged, and remain loyal to the brand. And you can do it all while scaling and streamlining your contact center operation.

Just ask Nick Martin, head of customer experience at Harry’s. Founded in 2013 as the world’s only vertically integrated shaving company, Harry’s made the leap from ecommerce to brick and mortar in partnership with Target (2017) and Walmart (earlier this year). Despite its rapid growth, the company has never strayed from its customer service focus.

Harry’s not only recognizes the unprecedented demands contact centers face, but fully embraces them. And the brand’s customer service team, CX, and bottom line continue to benefit.

So how has Harry’s successfully navigated change on the front line?

Robust customer data and feedback are key. Harry’s relies on a tech stack featuring best-in-class platforms such as Zendesk (ticketing support) and Stella Connect (agent-level customer surveys),. Harry’s uses these tools to gather vital intel and extract its value for the good of the brand’s stakeholders and its future.

“A lot of our five-year evolution is on the back of our customer insights and feedback from our customer experience team, and the tools we actually use.”
Nick Martin
Customer Experience, Harry’s

Here are just a few of the ways Harry’s uses data streams and automated processes to reap big gains.

Grooming Agents to Become Happy, Loyal Brand Assets

The positive, empowering culture Harry’s agents enjoy is reflected in their stellar job performance, high retention rates, and unusual expressions of brand pride. The brand’s hold song, for example, was written and performed by three former Harry’s associates (and reached #36 on the Spotify Viral 50 chart). The contact center tech stack has made cultivating and sustaining this culture easy.  

Boosting Morale

Through their individual Stella Connect dashboards, Harry’s agents receive kudos straight from the customer within minutes of a positive interaction. It’s a timely reminder of the importance, meaning, and impact of their work. Team leaders amplify the effect by using Slack to share rave reviews and celebrate individual successes across the entire organization.

Feeding the Desire to Improve

There’s no room for complacency on the Harry’s front line. Hoping to maintain a winning streak of positive reviews, agents bring their A game to every interaction. They also take lessons from negative feedback to self-correct, even before coaching happens. It’s a virtuous cycle that continues around the clock.

Strengthening Team Cohesion

Remote agents feel like a valued part of the team thanks to customer ratings and comments as well as contact center leaderboards, where they appear alongside teammates in other locations. Leaderboards have the added benefit of encouraging friendly competition—one of the biggest team builders there is.

“As a supervisor, I’ll never have enough hours in the day to express all my gratitude and positive reinforcement that I’d like to. Tools like Stella Connect really help with that.”

Making Performance Management Less Hairy

Harry’s uses its tech stack to avoid all the usual performance management pitfalls along with their associated costs.

More Precise Feedback

Thanks to a high volume of real-time customer feedback—and alerts based on low star ratings, customer effort scores (CES), and certain types of inquiries—managers and QA leaders have the actionable specifics they need to deliver relevant, effective micro-coaching sessions and 1:1 meetings. When team leaders need additional context for an interaction, they can easily access the original ticket through the Zendesk platform.

Cost-Shaving Benefits

Team leaders’ insights and flexibility allow them to do more with less. They can be proactive and more responsive to agents’ varying needs, helping agents accelerate their skill development and advance their career prospects. As a result, the Harry’s customer service organization remains lean and nimble and sees minimal churn.

“In a hyper-growth startup, trying to scale a customer service operation and seeing around the corner is very hard. Having the right tech solutions and systems can make the process for managing different types of teams more manageable.

With Stella Connect and Zendesk, we can pinpoint exactly what works best—when we need more resources, different training, more coaching. We can measure performance on a more granular level.”

Smoothing the Customer Journey

Zendesk helps the Harry’s customer service team better understand and better communicate with customers. Stella Connect not only gives customers a voice, but also serves as a rewarding touchpoint in their journey—one that builds brand equity by humanizing agents and making the process fun.

The high-volume data these two platforms deliver “paint a very large bullseye” on problems that work against the brand’s goal of a frictionless, effortless experience.

Recently, Stella Connect feedback revealed a problem with the company’s password reset process. After the Harry’s web team engineered a fix, the contact center saw a decrease of 500 contacts per month (with contacts declining steadily ever since). At the same time, the company’s CES rose from 5 to a 6 on a 7-point scale.

“This is a win-win: it’s a deflected contact, it saves money, it’s a better customer experience, it’s a better associate experience. A wicked win through and through.”

New Growth Rooted in Customer Data

The Harry’s customer service team’s ability to track and report on customer insights via Zendesk has also led to major product improvements and entirely new offerings. In fact, many of the company’s most popular products—its razor stand, travel blade cover, grip-enabled handle, and more—were inspired by data from the front line.

Recently, Harry’s heard from Bill, who wrote that he’d become a customer if the company offered a trimmer blade. The customer service team and product development team worked together to develop one. Afterward, Harry’s announced the product launch on Instagram with a caption that read, “Your move, Bill.”

Harry’s also uses Stella Connect’s social sharing feature to amplify great customer experiences as well as drive cross-selling and attract new customers with promotions and special offers. This customer-driven approach has produced a 6% conversion rate for the company’s new body wash and bar soap.

“It’s all about connecting our work, and how well we do our work, to the bottom line. These tools bring us closer to recognizing the hard work our associates do every day.”

Learn More About Harry’s Customer Service and Brand Wins

The Harry’s success story is one worth studying. There are important lessons here for brands looking to build a call center culture that improves agent performance and customer happiness and drives brand growth all by itself.

Nick had a lot more to say about his team’s successes during our recent webinar with Harry’s and Zendesk. It’s a must listen! Click here to begin.