Kickstarter is an online crowdfunding platform for creative projects — everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Through crowdfunding projects, they make it possible for creative people to bring their ideas into reality.
Hoping to optimize their customer support experience, Kickstarter partnered with Solvvy in October 2018. In that time, Solvvy has enabled them to:
“Solvvy helped put things in perspective and gave us a high-level overview of where we were at.”
Raúl, Senior Support Specialist at Kickstarter
Since Kickstarter’s launch on April 28, 2009, 17 million people have backed a project, $4.8 billion has been pledged, and 177,636 projects have been successfully funded. Although their customer support strategy has evolved as the company grew, their goal has always been to provide the best support experience possible.
Kickstarter’s customer support team started with a home-grown help center, but found they needed an out of the box solution that was flexible and full service. They started with Zendesk’s help center solution, combined with ModSquad, a company that can handle the simpler tier one and two tickets.
Kickstarter has several unique customer service challenges. Crowdfunding tends to produce nuanced issues, which requires back and forth between customers and the support team. Email is their sole support channel, because it is easier for tracking longer, multiple touch conversations. The challenge with email is that it can be time-consuming for questions that require simple answers, leading to longer response times. If they could get the simpler issues solved quickly, it would let the internal support team tackle the more complex customer problems.
When Kickstarter projects begin or end, there are often spikes in support tickets. This is especially true during fulfillment—the time when a project completes and is about to ship items. Fulfillment can be quite complicated and require extra support. Kickstarter’s support team needs a solution for supporting their creative customers during this time, to reduce spikes in tickets and keep KPIs in check.
Lastly, when the team added Zendesk, they received a lot of data about what their customers were asking questions about and creating tickets for, but they didn’t have a clear path for what to do with all of that information. With their goal of optimizing their help center, the Kickstarter team knew they were going to need more help improving their knowledge base content and creating the best support structure possible.
“When you are constantly worrying about volume and responding to the tickets it’s hard to take a step back and take a moment to improve the way things are arranged or organized; the quality of the content, or even just to keep things up to date.”
Raúl, Senior Support Specialist at Kickstarter
Kickstarter ran a trial of Solvvy, hoping for an improvement in self-service rates and ticket deflections. Solvvy promotes self-service as a first step. Users ask questions and self-service with precise, accurate answers within a matter of seconds. Solvvy’s combination of machine learning algorithms and natural language processing technologies makes it possible to understand what customers need to know and extract the relevant information from Kickstarter’s knowledge base.
The ticket deflection was impressive, but the team was equally blown away by Solvvy’s ability to identify information gaps in their knowledge base. Solvvy gave them a high-level overview of their help center. Raúl says, Solvvy “opened up more time for us to take a step back and look at these trends and then choose how we were actually addressing them.”
With time now available, Kickstarter’s team has been able to form an extensive list of information gaps in their knowledge base. This included missing help articles, or articles that weren’t as helpful as they originally thought.
Since adding Solvvy, Kickstarter’s online crowdfunding platform has been able to drop its in-house SLA in half and the customer support team size has stayed steady.
By far the biggest “wow” for Kickstarter was how Solvvy gave them insight into the gaps in their knowledge base. Solvvy’s AI helped the team streamline and restructure their knowledge base documentation by identifying commonly asked questions and the corresponding gaps in their KB content and answers. With Solvvy taking on some of the workload, the customer support team has had the insights from data and the bandwidth from time freed up, to add or update over 90 help articles to their knowledge base.
Going forward, Kickstarter’s customer support strategy will continue to evolve alongside Solvvy. The next year will be a big one for their help center, thanks to the actionable insights and ticket deflection provided by Solvvy. As a leader in crowdfunding creative projects, Kickstarter is still looking to optimize their customer support experience. With Solvvy as a partner, they can deliver the best support experience possible so their creative customers can continue bringing their ideas into reality.