Stacy Justino Director of Customer Happiness at Wistia

Stacy Justino, Director of Customer Happiness at Wistia joins us in this episode of Support Ops Simplified to discuss customer happiness operations.

You will learn:

  • The BEST method to find good support tech
  • How Stacy (and Wistia!) aims to make business more human
  • About Wistia’s support algorithm that auto searches for potential churn risk

Connect with Stacy and Wistia here:



Interviewer: Welcome to another episode of support operations simplified. We have with us today Stacy Justino. Hi Stacy.

Stacy: Hi.

Interviewer: Stacy comes from a wealth of support experience and a background in support for more than 10 years now. Stacy, do you want to give us a quick introduction?

Stacy: Sure. Currently, I’m the Director of Customer Happiness at Wistia. I’ve been here almost two years. Before that, I worked at Big Fish Games, a casual gaming company that mostly did mobile games. Started in P.C. games. I was as the company through a transition across platforms and different kinds of game types. When I started at Big Fish in 2008 I was a customer support rep, became a team lead, took over emerging businesses. Building up support for new platforms. When we first went on iPhones and casual games for iPhones I built up that support. We went into social casino space and eventually ended up taking over quality assurance within customer support and then managing the entire team of 70 people.

Interviewer: Wow. Cool. What does Wistia do?

Stacy: Wistia. That’s a great question. We help marketers use video. If you think about it at the simplest level some people use us for video hosting and video analytics. “I’m a business. I want to put up a video on my website to show people how my product works.” I could embed a youtube link but then you get all the noise or suggested videos and there’s not a ton of good analytics. Instead, I upload the video to Wistia. I click a button and get an embed link which I can easily put on my home page and then I can make customizations in Wistia and those will automatically update in the player as it shows on my website. Then I can go into Wistia, look at some analytics, do some cool integrations with marketing application platforms. It just makes it more robust and you get more out of your videos you’re making than just slapping it on your web page. We’re moving into more features to help marketers make shows to build brand affinity.

Interviewer: Very good. This is like YouTube without the shenanigans and on your terms?

Interviewer: Yes.

Interviewer: Fair enough. That’s really cool. Your title at Wistia is very interesting and I want to know the thought process behind it. It’s the Director of Customer Happiness operations. I think this rings true for a lot of support people, but would you walk us through what led to that title? What’s the story behind it?

Stacy: I can give a little bit of context. The team was called Customer Happiness operations since beginning because Wistia one of the core tenets or– I’m going to start that part all over again.

Interviewer: Okay, just take a break and then we can go again.

Stacy: The team has been called Customer Happiness since the very beginning of Wistia building a support team. One of Wistia’s mottos is make business more human. One way you make business more human is to be a real person, not a robot. Those things feed into this concept of customer happiness. We’re not here just to provide an answer. We want people to connect with us as people, with our brand and what we’re doing and I think that phrasing exemplifies that.

Interviewer: Interesting. How do you go about measuring customer happiness or the customer experience given your current operations?

Stacy: That’s a great question. Currently, we primarily just look at customer satisfaction and we also send out NPS surveys but I really would like to in key one to implement customer effort score but that’s in the future. Currently, CSAT. We did also introduce peer reviews this year. We’re looking at some quality benchmarks to make sure that not only is somebody filling out a customer satisfaction survey. They have a good experience but we can look at what we’re actually saying to customers and how they’re actually responding to our emails.

Interviewer: Cool. One of the things that if you’ve listened to the podcast before, there are number of people who come in and talk about CSAT surveys. It’s very interesting because that survey can give you a lot of insight into a customer’s experience instead of an NPS which might just tell you hey it was good or it was bad but you still don’t know why. How many customers or what percentage of your customers are coming back to you with CSAT surveys to give you that insight?

Stacy: I think the last I checked it’s about 15%.

Interviewer: Are you getting some real good nuggets out of that or how do you work with that, with the CSAT information?

Stacy: We’re aiming for 94% each month as a department. We look at that on a monthly level at a macro level and at the individual champ level, our customers’ floor manager read through all the negative survey responses each month and gives feedback to each champ on either things they could have done better in that interaction or acknowledging, “This is about the product not you. I think you did everything you could up here.” Using it as a learning opportunity not just as a strict number for individual champ performance but using it as a benchmark in terms of department performance.

Interviewer: It’s more of a coaching opportunity than anything else. Just to clarify, when you say champ you mean a customer support agent in industry terms?

Stacy: Yes.

Interviewer: Cool. On the numbers side, what are some of the metrics that you’re tracking that speak to the customer experience or go hand in hand with the CSAT that you just mentioned?

Stacy: Our research team conducts regular benchmarking surveys. We’ve recently been diving into that at a company level and how that impacts customer service and how we could maybe improve the customer experience based on the benchmarking surveys and we collect product feedback. That’s another touchpoint we have in addition to CSAT. Then like I mentioned part of the benefit of our peer review process helps us have a better read on the customer experience.

Interviewer: What about some of the more traditional KPIs in terms of response times and resolution times? Are you tracking those? Are you seeing any correlation between those and the overall experience?

Stacy: Yes. We track average first reply time overall and by a ticket priority. Also one of the key things we usually look at is the SLA met percentage. That’s something we track as part of our [unintelligible 00:07:20]. We used to do it on a monthly level aiming for 70% of tickets we met the SLA, but we found that in that case, it was a little demotivating because at a certain point you probably know whether you’re going to hit it or not. If you don’t hit it then that’s a downer and you don’t have an opportunity to make that up if you’re at 60% and you’re three weeks out of four weeks into the month, it’s going to be really hard to make up 10% in one week. We changed it to look at it weekly. Each week we’re aiming for 70% of tickets for the week prior that we’ve met SLA for and then we review that every week in our team meeting and we compare it to the week before and we compare it to incidents created for the week too. We can look back and be like, “That all has really impacted our ability to meet our SLA goal. How could we do better the next time we have an all-hands meeting to look at that?”

Interviewer: Interesting. I find shorter cycles are better in terms of motivating people when it comes to KPIs because the counter reset’s enough that you have a fighting opportunity to work your way back, right?

Stacy: Exactly.

Interviewer: How big is the team right now with your operations?

Stacy: Total size of our customer happiness team is 15 people. We have 11 customer champions or agents, two senior champs. They take care of escalations. One of those senior champs does the training on boarding the other champ focuses on honing our help center. Then one manager and myself.

Interviewer: That’s a decent-sized team. Are they all co-located in one place or is it distributed?

Stacy: Co-located but one senior Champ works in Rhode Island [unintelligible 00:09:10].

Interviewer: Cool. What tools and tech stack are you using for your operations?

Stacy: We use [unintelligible 00:09:18] for our ticketing platform. Currently, we only do e-mail support. We do make outbound phone calls if customers requested and it makes sense. We use class for our conversation of use for a peer review program. We use a tool called [unintelligible 00:09:31] for some automation and data insights, Klaus app for screenshots and short pre-recordings for stories to see what people have been doing in their accounts to get a better sense of what their problem is. Quip is what we use internally for internal documentation. Of course Slack. We use Mode for reporting, GitHub for tracking issues and cello.

Interviewer: That’s the whole gamut, right? The couple of interesting ones that you mentioned over there were Klaus and the one after that, and I didn’t catch that name quite right. It was for the peer review and monitoring the calls. Can you walk us through that? You mentioned peer review a couple of times over here, but I think it means different things to different people. What exactly are you guys looking when you’re doing a peer review?

Stacy: Oh, great question. See [unintelligible 00:10:24] class, it was formerly called [unintelligible 00:10:26], but they changed it to Klaus because it’s easier to say and remember. In August, we rolled out our peer review program, since our team is pretty small, and we’ve not really had a formalized peer review or quality review process. I wanted to do something that wasn’t top down, like some of the other metrics we have like productivity and I wanted people to really have ownership over this. I thought that would be more impactful. I [unintelligible 00:10:57] three and say champ A refuse champ– Five tickets for champ B and then champ C acts as a facilitator during that segment.

Then you repeat that two more times. We use Klaus to randomly select the tickets, and we put our rating categories in there, we have four rating categories. Completeness, correctness, not a robot and presentation simplicity.

Interviewer: Okay, so not a robot, and that– Tell us a little bit more about that. Is that more around the answers people are giving or their tone? What exactly are you looking for?

Stacy: Sure. It goes back to this whole make– This is more human. One way to phrase that is, don’t be a robot. That includes personally greeting the customer and setting up the email, matching the customers’ tone, acknowledging the customer’s feelings, providing additional information to the customer to address their next question or issue based upon their original reason for writing in and linking to the specific page in the customer’s account when relevant. Some of those more personal specific details that aren’t just sending a short response.

Interviewer: That is a really cool concept. How does that go over with your customers? Are you getting a lot of feedback from your customers specific to the way you’re working with them or around the fact that there is a more human touch to Wistia?

Stacy: That’s always been a cornerstone of our support. One thing we encourage our agents to do is send videos to customers.

Interviewer: Okay.

Stacy: It could be for a myriad of reasons something– Sometimes something technical is much easier to explain and do a screen share than I just write four paragraphs on with some screenshots, or if maybe the customer is having a hard time, you want to just conduct to them person to person. Sending a quick video saying, “Hey, this is Stacy, I’m really sorry that you hear you’re having a hard time with Blink and just connecting with them.”

Interviewer: It’s really cool. You have a lot of interesting things in place. The not a robot piece, the peer review piece. It looks like you guys are moving the needle on customer experience and happiness in the right direction, all of these things. You can give an example of one thing that you did, or an example of a customer interaction that you think was significantly enhanced because of the cornerstones you just mentioned?

Stacy: That’s a good question. Let me think on that one for one minute. I want to go back to what that not a robot stuff is and what we’ve been working on.

Interviewer: Yes, there’s a story or a recent interaction that you guys had, that encapsulates the whole thing? That will be good.

Stacy: Sure. There’s a lot. I’m trying to think of something that really stands out. Oh, I think that one thing that might stand out, I’ll pause so that you can take a break. One situation that comes up every once in a while that really sticks out to me is we have some pretty cool Wistia t shirts and we sent them out to a customer who was really wanting our t shirt that looks like the Metallica logo. We refer to it as our [unintelligible 00:14:41] T shirt. We sent that along with a video of many of our employees playing air guitar and head banging with this Metallica t shirt on it. It really spoke to the customer. They wrote about it on LinkedIn, and it seems like that they [unintelligible 00:15:03] stick with us. We’ve heard people say, I kept the shirt for so long, I really don’t want it to wear out. I think it’s those sorts of things that really stand out to me.

Interviewer: Yes, that is really cool. It’s funny how a simple thing like a t shirt can sometimes turn things around, right? I remember we had a customer where we sent out a T shirt once as a thank you note, because they were writing a lot of articles on our Help Center. Cut to six months later, one of our employees was at a conference and lo and behold, this guy was wearing the t shirt at the conference and talking to people about us. It just goes to show how many times a customer can take you on in such a way right?

Stacy: That’s awesome. Yes, that’s a perfect example. I think that’s like a good way to use slag right? I’m not trying to just let you know about my brand. You already have a connection with us.

Interviewer: Exactly.

Stacy: This is just strengthening that connection and it just feels really natural and authentic.

Interviewer: That’s really cool. What do you have on the horizon? What are some of the things that you guys are looking in the mid to long term to improve your operations?

Stacy: One of the big areas where we want to focus is improving our self help experience. We have really great articles, we have a lot of good self help. The majority of our tickets that we get into our inbox are things that customers need our help with, right? We are already doing a pretty good job and we have really great help content with the search functionality and information architecture need improvement so users can more easily and effortlessly find the answers that are in our Help Center. That’s a big focus for us.

On the opposite end, internal documentation, particularly making it easy to find and use will be a key initiative for us as well.

Interviewer: Right. No, that’s a really key focus for a number of organizations now as people are looking to share the knowledge both internally and externally in a way that’s easily accessible. Stacy, one thing I wanted to ask you was, you’re very involved with the support community in general, to support driven and other channels. You do a lot of mentoring to help people build up their support operations and just share knowledge in general. Who has been the most influential person or a group who you’ve learned from in the past?

Stacy: That is a really good question. I’ve gotten so much good insight from multiple people in the support driven slack community. Kenji, who’d heads up support up front [unintelligible 00:17:46] has always been great and Help Scout in general has a lot of great content and Matt who runs the help you said there is always an incredible resource. Those are the ones that come off the top of my head, not within support driven community, but some of the most, I think impactful operations updates or changes that I’ve ended up making and in organizations I’ve been a part of are based on suggestions or feedback from agents.

Interviewer: Okay, that is really cool. I think that leaves us with a number of groups to look into and connect with other support people who I think would have a lot to share. On that note, Stacy, I want to thank you for your time and for sharing your knowledge and helping us out share that message with the rest of the community.

Stacy: Well, thank you so much for having me Sid. I really like talking about this kind of stuff and sharing what I’ve learned with others and learning from others.

Interviewer: Perfect. Thank you very much.

[00:18:55] [END OF AUDIO]


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