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Empowering the Global Freelancer Workforce with Quick Support

How Upwork Delivers Brilliant Self-Service to Millions of Businesses and Freelancers

Businesses Using Upwork
Work Done by Freelancers
Self-Service Rate
Seconds Average Resolution Time with Solvvy

Executive Summary

Upwork is the largest online freelancing site. It is a two-sided marketplace that connects businesses with great talent from over 180 countries. Freelancers earn more than $1 billion annually on Upwork. com and market more than 5,000 skills in knowledge-related fields such as web, mobile and software development, design and creative, writing and translation.

With millions of jobs posted each year, Upwork helps businesses get more done by making it quick, easy, and cost-effective to find the best talent — regardless of location.

“On our platform, time is money–freelancers and clients are finding each other and collaborating on our site, meaning any delay is a potential financial loss. With Solvvy, they’re able to see the answer immediately and continue working with minimal or no delays.”

Joe Wang, Director of Customer Experience

Businesses and freelancers collaborate in the Upwork platform and when they have questions, they need answers fast. After all, time is money, especially in the freelance world. Despite the team’s extensive effort to create extensive articles providing answers to common questions, many freelancers and clients using Upwork were still turning to the customer service agents even for simple questions. With agent response times averaging around four hours, Upwork turned to Solvvy to implement speedy, accurate self-service so freelancers and clients can immediately find the information they need and keep working.

With Solvvy, Upwork saw these benefits:

• 13% self-service resolution rate for customer service inquiries

• Solvvy answered most policy and how-to questions

• Reduced costs and freed up agents to handle complex cases

Increasing discoverability of help content, globally

With a global footprint and supporting businesses and freelancers who required quick access to information, Upwork posted in-depth articles in its help center so freelancers and clients could find answers to frequently asked questions no matter what time zone they were in.

But with many freelancers and clients choosing to submit customer service inquiries instead of looking for information themselves, Upwork’s agents were spending too much time answering the same, simple questions over and over again. This slowed down overall response times, impacting customer satisfaction and drove up customer service costs.

Boosting efficiency and satisfaction with self-service

After evaluating different options, Upwork chose Solvvy to implement a self-service experience that could quickly and accurately address customer issues, improving efficiency and satisfaction and freeing up agents to deal with complex issues. Not only does this make better use of the agents’ time, it’s also more fulfilling for the agents, leading to higher job satisfaction.

Solvvy sits on the Upwork help center interface and enables freelancers and clients to ask questions in their own words and self-serves tickets by providing precise, accurate answers instantly. Solvvy combines machine learning algorithms and natural language processing technologies to understand what customers are asking and extract relevant information from the Upwork knowledge base. Previously, customers would have to comb through articles themselves to find what they were looking for, but now the help center has functionality for understanding questions submitted in everyday language and responds with speedy self-service answers at scale.

Reducing costs and increasing agent productivity

By significantly reducing tickets for common questions, Solvvy has reduced customer service costs for Upwork and changed the landscape of their customer service experience. With simple issues being resolved in the self-service help center, agents can now concentrate more of their time on more complex issues, which improves their skills and in a virtuous cycle, and focus on the customer experience.

Joe shared that, “Since launching Solvvy, we’re seeing a 13% self-service rate for customer service inquiries. Our agents are handling  more difficult cases now, not just copying and pasting information–so they’re improving too.”

While CSAT scores initially went down after the implementation, the team soon realized it was because Solvvy took the easy questions out of the customer service equation. As agents have become more skilled at doing the heavy lifting required with complex questions, CSAT scores have been climbing back up, with handling times going down. And most importantly, agents are enjoying the deeper challenge and the opportunity to hone their skills with more complex questions.

In the same way Upwork has changed how freelancers and companies work together, Solvvy is transforming the world of self-service. And Upwork is excited. Wang sees the potential and shared, “Solvvy has us thinking about all the ways we can use artificial intelligence and natural language processing (NLP) capabilities to dramatically change the help and contact center experience.” With an ambitious company such as Upwork, it’s just a matter of time.

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