Since 2012, Drizly has worked to build the nation’s first and largest alcohol e-commerce marketplace and delivery platform. After a months-long period of record breaking growth, we wanted to share how the company was prepared for guiding and growing the customer experience team during this time of rapid change.

1. Hire smart, driven talent.

We believe that creating a team with diverse skills and backgrounds is crucial to the success of the CX team. The common competencies that we look for in CX representatives is a sense of curiosity and willingness to learn. We worked with our Talent Acquisition team to create a core set of competencies that is now built into the hiring process. Companies at this current stage of growth don’t always know what they will need three or four months from now, so if you hire employees who are driven by their sense of curiosity, they have a greater potential to offer the company something more in the future as it grows. We’ve hired sommeliers, cicerones, coffee baristas, recent grads, golf caddies, and even a university professor, all of whom have brought their unique energy and commitment to the customer to the team.

2. Create an environment that fits the culture and the job.

As you can imagine, alcohol sales are busiest on nights and weekends, so attracting top talent is more challenging given the working hours. We have made sure to allow the team to be 100% themselves at work, to know it’s a place where it’s okay to have fun, as long as they are getting the job done and helping out others on the team. We created dinner perks for those working later shifts and set up an Uber Business account to make sure they can get home after transportation systems shut down in Boston and Denver. Perks like this go a long way to ensure that the team feels appreciated for keeping the company running smoothly at night.

3.Track everything.

From the start of creating your contact center, make sure you track everything. You should know how many orders the CX team needs to intervene on, and work towards keeping that number at an acceptable level based on your business’ desired level of customer service. From there, break down the issues your team is seeing and present them back to the larger company to problem solve against them. For your representatives/agents, make sure they know how they are performing against broader team’s goals and expectations.

4.Use appropriate technology.

The second you build out your call center, you will be introduced to a variety of vendors and technology solutions in this space. Make sure you are choosing the right technologies that meet your actual needs and have a good ROI. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new technologies and be ready to pivot quickly if they don’t deliver on your expectations.

5. Be ready for the unexpected.

If you had told me prior to March 1 that we would see 500% growth over our baseline or what we would have expected to see at that point in time, I wouldn’t have believed it. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we have been fortunate to experience staggering growth and had to react quickly to it. By hiring a great team, building a culture driven by success, and instilling the company values of caring and solving, we were able to react quickly. While we experienced longer than usual response times, we were quickly able to respond to customers and resolve issues at similar levels to pre-COVID. By tracking everything, our development team was able to work with us to quickly create new processes to help the team with the uptick in volume without large sacrifices on the customer experience.

Finally, we set up a game plan to help us return to our expected levels of customer experience. We are now using all of those learnings to continue to scale the team.

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