Company Responds to Explosive Growth by Increasing Support Capacity 3X with Global Customer Reps [Case Study]

CUSTOMER AT A GLANCE

Tophatter company stats

THE CHALLENGE: COMPETITIVE LOCAL TALENT MARKET MAKES HIRING DIFFICULT DURING A MAJOR EXPANSION

Tophatter, an online auction site for shoppers worldwide, was preparing to expand and needed dozens more multilingual customer support specialists. But they faced two challenges: Finding enough qualified talent and finding talent within budget in the highly competitive Bay Area. The company decided to test using remote contractors, but they had concerns about whether they could maintain work quality and data security, and increase productivity.

THE SOLUTION: USE UPWORK TO SOURCE AND COLLABORATE WITH GLOBAL TALENT

To access a large number of qualified talent, the company sourced specialists through Upwork, the largest global freelancing website. The platform simplified administrative tasks by enabling customer support manager Aimee Valle to track all contracts on a single dashboard, communicate with talent located in any country, and pay them with just a couple of clicks.

“I can find talent within budget and so quickly that I’ve had projects start within 24 hours after I posted a job,” says Valle.

To find the ideal talent, Valle shortlisted qualified proposals, then gave each person a small project. Those with the best results were offered a larger 3-month project.

THE RESULT: 30% HIGHER CSAT WITH SUPPORT SPECIALISTS WORLDWIDE

Tophatter engaged nearly 80 customer support specialists across 28 countries in 13 time zones. Valle believes that proper training, access to information, and providing freedom are core to customer agents success. “It’s important they get access to critical documents because they’re not just turning out responses, they’re helping customers,” says Valle. “Of course you have security measures in place, but if you trust team members will use the information to grow the team, they’ll help you.”

From 2016 to 2018, remote customer support specialists:

  • Resolved about 90% of tickets within the first response
  • Increased support capacity by 312%
  • Lowered average time to respond by 93%
  • Raised CSAT score up 30%
  • Answered up to 33K tickets/week

The team’s success eased companywide fears about remote contractors. Freelancers are now a go-to resource for other departments including trust and safety, QA, marketing, finance, and account management.

Tophatter Aimee Valle quote

 

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