The Community Company
How a global community building company scaled its customer service
“With Peak Support, we know our customers are in good hands and get the attention and support they need. Our Peak team truly cares and does their best work behind the scenes.”
Ryan Paugh, Co-Founder and COO, The Community Company
The Community Company is a business services company that builds professional communities and content contributor networks for world recognized brands and media companies. The company also developed their own online platform that enables members to connect with each other, share their ideas, create new opportunities, and further their success.
The Community Company was at an inflection point. The company was growing rapidly and had a strong in-house support team. But they recognized that there was a lot more to do. The more repetitive FAQ-type requests were growing, and the higher-level support was suffering. In addition, the HR burden of hiring in-house staff was time-consuming and expensive. Co-Founder and COO Ryan Paugh wanted to find a more scalable solution.
“We considered continuing to build our team in-house, but that would have had extra HR resources and expensive costs associated with it. It didn’t feel like the right way to scale. We needed something more plug and play that we could have in our utility belt, without having to worry about the HR side of things. That’s a win when I can take little problems off of my plate. We also looked at other solutions but none of them were aligned with what we were building,” Paugh said.
Paugh received a recommendation for Peak Support from a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), one of the communities run by The Community Company. Paugh met with Peak Support’s CEO, Jonathan Steiman and quickly made the decision to move forward with Peak Support.
Peak Support’s culture was one of the critical factors in Paugh’s decision.
“We wanted to find a partner that would love The Community Company, the way we love it. I could tell that was the type of company that Jon was building. I’ve been burned by other virtual support and outsourcing companies in the past because they don’t set up the right processes for teams to succeed. An immediate red flag for me is when a company culture doesn’t have a strong connectivity with the staff and the leadership. Without camaraderie, people burn out and don’t do their best work.”
Today, The Community Company has a Peak Support team which manages customer support along with several back office tasks. This allows The Community Company’s in-house customer retention team to focus on the more strategic work. Their customer satisfaction scores continue to soar way above the industry average, typically topping 95%.
Paving the way for customer success
When the partnership started in 2017, The Community Company wanted to be more intentional about customer service metrics and standards. Peak Support reviewed its processes, volumes, and support needs and proposed goals and metrics needed to measure the success of their team.
Peak Support defined the following KPIs: ticket volume, first reply time, full resolution time, chats served, and average chat wait time. The same KPI’s are still being monitored today, with the addition of CSAT scores.
In 2018, Peak Support recommended that The Community Company switch to Zendesk, which enabled them to obtain more accurate data and track CSAT.
Within one year, The Community Company’s monthly ticket volume almost doubled in size (from about 2,000 in 2018 to 4,000 in 2019) but the company only had to take on one additional Peak Support agent.
|# of Brands||23|
|# of Support Agents||10|
|Avg. Tickets per Month||4,062|
|Avg. CSAT Score||97%|
|Avg. First Response Time||8 hours|
The company went from not tracking CSAT scores to consistently seeing an astounding 97% score, which is significantly higher than the business services industry standard of 90%.
Since the partnership started in 2017, The Community Company has grown from around 40 in-house employees to 100.
“We had lots to learn in the world of customer support. Our internal team did a great job because they had heart and cared. But we hadn’t clearly defined KPIs. We didn’t have all the answers and Peak didn’t expect us to come up with them. The team defined the KPIs we should be going after and made recommendations on the software to use in order to get better measurable data so they could start measuring things like CSAT. Peak helped every step of the way. They evaluated several options and continue to help with the infrastructure of all the technology. It’s scary having to try and figure that out all on our own. I felt like I was in good hands to help me choose and decide. We wouldn’t have what’s right for our business without Peak’s immense expertise.”
Handing over critical, but repetitive requests
The Peak Support team aligns their working hours with the times The Community Company has the highest volume of customer inquiries. The team also includes agents that cover off-business hours.
To start, Peak Support took over concierge support for The Community Company’s members. Today Peak Support manages all aspects of live chat and email support for new and existing member inquiries.
The team has also taken on several back office tasks, such as member profile management. The Community Company’s online platform has thousands of member profiles, and oftentimes, members don’t complete their profiles. The Peak Support team helps to track down these profiles and get them completed, which helps members improve their personal brand and be more searchable within the platform.
“There are many options out there for outsourcers that don’t have as much interaction with their clients, and you work with an account manager instead of actually getting to know the people who roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. With Peak Support, we work directly with our team members, and celebrate together, and correct mistakes together. They are truly considered part of our team.”
Weaving into the ethos
The Community Company was looking for a team that was truly an extension of their own. But it wasn’t just about friendly customer service, they needed agents with strong problem-solving skills, so that if things went wrong, the team would come up with a solution.
Since The Community Company has doubled in size since its partnership with Peak Support began, Paugh is a bit removed from the day-to-day management of the customer service team. The Peak Support team now works directly with the Director of Retention Operations, Cassandra Sousa and VP of Membership, Miranda Barrett. Paugh shares that the retention team enjoys working with Peak Support even more than he does: “There is so much love there.”
“I’ve worked with a lot of outsourcing companies, but very few are like Peak Support. They have a pulse and a heart, and they truly invest in the companies that they work with and they really just weave themselves into the fabric of what your companies are about. They bring all their institutional knowledge and robust and reliable team into the mix to do great work. Sometimes when you outsource, it feels like you’re giving away part of your soul, but with Peak Support we’re getting so much more. A great addition, not subtraction, just adding more goodness to what we can do to support our customers.”
CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you’re ready to request a quote or you’re interested in hearing more about our services, fill out this form and we’ll get back to you within two business days.