Emma & Guru Case Study

Emma is an email marketing solution that helps marketing teams of all sizes hit their goals faster, and the company prides itself on having the best customer support team in the industry.

To continue meeting that high standard, Emma's support team needed a better way to find, access, and update their internal support knowledge. With knowledge stored in a variety of places including internal forums, Salesforce, Slack, and email, Support Training Lead Paul Zimmerman, hoped to revamp and add structure to how their team shared knowledge. With a team of 25 to support, Paul needed to find a knowledge sharing solution that would enable their agents to provide better support, with faster and more accurate responses.

The Challenge

Paul's role as Support Training Lead is ensuring the team is trained and consistent in their messaging of new features, product updates, and product issues. Yet, that information could live in a lot of different places: the Emma Community (a customer-facing forum), a customer-facing resource center, their own internal resource center, Salesforce cases, or Slack channels. Adriane Smith, a Customer Support agent at Emma expanded on the challenges: "It was hard to remember where a piece of information was and hard to update in real time things that were happening with releases, or ongoing research we might learn on the phone with customers."

To make sure everyone was on the same page, Paul was gathering important updates from these different sources, compiling them, and sending weekly email updates. However, it was hard to know whether or not everyone read them and they could easily be forgotten about in a few weeks.

Implementing Slack helped because the Emma support team could discuss in real time issues that were happening in the app, replicate test results, and ask questions to other support team members. But with the volume of conversation, things would get buried and questions might go unanswered. Even if it was answered previously, there was no guarantee an agent would be able to find it.

"Searching through slack was a matter of I know it's somewhere but the results would bring up anything from any channel, or you would find three conflicting reports from three different people."

- Paul Zimmerman, Support Training Lead

Once agents tried searching and couldn't find what they needed the default reaction was to ask in the #support Slack channel. Thus, lots of repetitive questions were being asked as agents were usually on the phone and needed answers in a hurry.

Additionally, the support team does a lot of app testing. But with those repetitive questions came repetitive testing of the same issues because the original answer was not documented. Sometimes fringe issues could take 20 minutes to test. If that issue comes up a couple times a year, repeat tests were costing their team valuable hours.

It was clear to Paul that he needed to find a dedicated solution for knowledge sharing that could be the single source of truth for their support knowledge. The ideal solution for their team would ensure accurate answers were readily available, reduce the amount of repeat questions and tests and save time for their whole support team to focus on supporting their customers quickly and confidently.

The Solution

Guru was very quickly adopted across the support team

As Paul was evaluating what knowledge to populate in Guru he wanted to ensure the content he was adding was up-to-date first. He was shocked to find many documents that had been out-of-date for awhile. Once in Guru, that is no longer an issue as the verification workflow is now proactively reminding him to update content so it's always kept up to date. After transferring all of their content into Guru, adoption across Emma's support team was very quick.

"I was creating cards whenever I felt that I could do it quickly. It was fun for me because once you did it one time you realize how easy it was. You almost can't get away with not doing it because it's so easy."

- Adriane Smith, Customer Support

In fact, Paul mentioned that Guru is the new "let me Google that for you." This was the moment he realized that Guru was going to be a great fit for his team. He said, "Someone asked me a very specific question and my first instinct was to open up documentation then communicate it to them in a succinct way. But I realized I already answered that question in Guru so I just looked it up and answered the question with 10 keystrokes and a mouse click thanks to Guru. It probably saved me 5 minutes at a minimum in that moment. I thought I can get used to having instant recall to everything I've answered before without having to do the searching myself."

With Guru fully embedded in his team's workflow, searching through Guru first is now the default behavior of the team. Now, if someone on the team doesn't search Guru first, they'll be sure to hear it from the rest of the team.

"It takes as much time to just add the correct information to Guru as it does to complain about the information not being anywhere."

- Paul Zimmerman, Support Training Lead

Guru's Slack bot is integral to improving their support process

The Emma team's go to use for Guru is in Slack, as that and their ticketing solution is where they live for most of the day. Having their knowledge base live in their workflow is crucial while on support calls with customers.

"A lot of our calls are training calls with new customers who are just getting started. Being able to quickly pull links or explain something that may be more complex is super valuable. Before, we might have put this person on hold and go dig for information."

- Adriane Smith, Customer Support

By not having to put someone on hold, Guru is contributing to a better experience for Emma customers. Especially since many of these calls are with new customers, an exceptional first experience with Emma's support team can make a difference in the long term loyalty of these customers.

Not only are the benefits contained to accessing content during customer interactions, but also to creating new content and updating existing content as well. Emma's support team can now easily capture knowledge that gets created in their #support channel as well as edit existing content on app or integration issues.

"The ability to quickly create a card, on the fly, and not have leave Slack is amazing. There's a piece of mind that comes from that because there is so much sharing of information in Slack."

- Adriane Smith, Customer Support at Emma

While in the past an answer to a question might have been buried amongst the chatter in Slack, now support team members can use the Guru Slack bot to easily capture knowledge in seconds. The result is less duplicate questions being asked in Slack which also contributes to a cleaner, more-focused support channel so when new questions do get asked, they have a higher probability of being seen!

Guru has improved internal processes that were once inefficient

Prior to implementing Guru, Emma had Slack channels dedicated to updates to their internal and external resource centers since they needed a way to document updates and out-of-date content. But that process had its own inefficiencies.

"The things we realized we didn't have resources for would get updated in another channel, to get updated later. But there was no proof to the team that it did get updated unless we got an email about it."

- Adriane Smith, Customer Support

With Guru now in place, they no longer need to go through this process. Instead, whenever Guru cards get updated, Paul can let the team know in Slack and the team can easily see the content and most importantly, when it was last updated. He expanded on the new process by saying, "One of the added perks of using Guru, is that it's a great way to disseminate information to the team. I'll send out an email, but in addition tell them the information is also in a Guru card. People might not remember when the email was sent or find it in their inbox, but they can easily find it in Guru and see the most updated changes to the content."

Additionally, Emma has a dedicated #Guru feed channel that shows whenever new cards get created. The support team can now monitor that channel for any updates, giving them increased confidence and visibility on bug fixes or changes to their product.

The Results

At the end of the day, Paul just wants to enable his support agents to succeed. He said, "There was a lot of grumbling about the old internal resource center. It was hard to search and hard to find information. Honestly, what I was trying to do was just make people happier."

By the feedback he's receiving from his support team, it worked. For front-line support agents like Adriane, she believes Guru has helped improve Emma's customer experience and time spent searching for information.

"It's impossible for us to know everything Emma related off hand. Having the ability to search for it and have a succinct up-to-date answer gives our team confidence and makes us sound smarter on the phone. I think Guru helps improve our customer's satisfaction and reduces our time spent on calls and emails."

- Adriane Smith, Customer Support

Instead of having to put a person on hold and searching for information, Emma's support team can now respond quickly and confidently to issues when they come up.

With the success of Guru in Emma's support team, Paul believes it's just a matter of time before the rest of their organization comes onboard.

"Using Guru for support has been a home run for us. Everybody around the company is now curious about it. I can see it being adopted for any team that has a changing knowledge base that they need to update quickly, is reliable, and easily accessible through Slack."

- Paul Zimmerman, Support Training Lead