Calm provides meditation and mindfulness products that users access through the mobile app, which is available from the iTunes app store or Google Play. In 2017, Calm also started offering a free trial for the first time. Following the announcement of the 2017 “App of the Year” award, Calm saw a huge influx in their number of users—and also in the number of support tickets. The company’s small in-house support team was overwhelmed. They first turned to Zendesk’s AnswerBot to help deflect tickets, but were disappointed with the results. Calm needed a better solution to provide users with instant answers to common subscription questions, enabling them to self-serve so the customer support team could meet the rising demand without inflating costs. Calm enlisted Solvvy to transform its customer support experience:
“Before bringing Solvvy on, we were completely overwhelmed by the volume of tickets—it was all we could focus on. Right from the get-go, Solvvy helped us go from about 10% self-service to around 50%.”
Head of Customer Experience
As an app-based company, about half of Calm’s customer support questions center around subscription management – from new users with questions about the free trial to existing users looking to switch to a new device or cancel their subscription. As their user base skyrocketed, so did the number of subscription questions they received. Layna Smith, Calm’s Head of Customer Experience, explains, “We had enlisted AnswerBot to help our customers selfserve. It was helping, but not as much as we’d hoped.” AnswerBot doesn’t provide users with an answer until after they’ve submitted a ticket. “We were at about 10-12% self-service rate, which was more than the 6% AnswerBot had estimated. But we were still struggling to keep up with the volume of tickets.”
Smith, who was the only full-time customer support agent at the time, had a team of six part-time contractors to manage the rising number of monthly tickets – which went from 12,000 in January 2018 to 14,000 in February. “We were worried what March would bring,” Smith says. Calm’s goal was to have a first response time under 24 hours, but their actual response time was averaging over 100 hours. “We didn’t feel good about that,” says Smith. That’s when Solvvy came on Calm’s radar.
After Calm enlisted Solvvy to run a two-week trial to see how they compared to AnswerBot, the company chose Solvvy to implement a more robust self-service solution on its Help Center webpage that would make information readily available to its users, especially when it came to managing their subscriptions. “Solvvy blew AnswerBot out of the water right from the get-go,” says Smith. Within a matter of days, Solvvy’s impact could be seen immediately. “The first thing I noticed was that Solvvy was more proactive,” says Smith. “It gets in front of the user and gives them an answer so they don’t have to submit a ticket.” That made Solvvy four or five times more efficient at helping users self-serve, and helped Calm quickly jump from a 10-12% self-service rate to an average rate of 47%.
Solvvy sits on the Calm Help Center page, enabling users to ask questions in their own words and get fast, accurate answers without having to read the FAQ section. Solvvy also separates and prioritizes subscription questions, because users don’t want to wait when it comes to managing their money. Calm is one of the first clients to adopt Solvvy’s new product, Assist, which takes self-service support a step further. When users ask a question related to canceling their subscription, Assist walks them through the process step by step, enabling them to make changes on their own and eliminating the need to contact an agent.
“Solvvy blew AnswerBot out of the water right from the get-go. The first thing I noticed was that Solvvy was more proactive. It gets in front of the user and gives them an answer so they don’t have to submit a ticket.”
Head of Customer Experience
Since implementing Solvvy in March of 2018, Calm has achieved a 47% self-service rate, including 42% self-service for subscription questions. This adds up to about 30% overall monthly ticket reduction. The company has cut their response time from over 100 hours down to 15 hours, and they’ve also seen a drop in the number of incoming support emails. Adding Solvvy to the Help Center has empowered Calm users by helping them become more informed, which allows them to get more out of the app. “It’s always been a priority to get as much information in front of our users as possible, because we want them to feel reassured and calm,” says Smith. “Solvvy aligned with that goal perfectly.”
In addition to measurable results, Smith says working with Solvvy has helped Calm make their Help Center the best it’s ever been. They regularly incorporate Solvvy’s feedback about which articles are the most popular and where there’s content missing. And for the support team, not having to spend their time on repetitive questions has relieved pressure while also freeing them up to focus on more valuable issues, such as looking at high-level metrics and implementing a formal quality assurance process.
Looking forward, Calm plans to focus on localization, expanding their reach and translating the Help Center into multiple languages based on international growth. The company is also considering automating new workflows using Assist to continue to increase self-service capabilities. “I see Solvvy being with us for the long run,” says Smith.