Under Lucky Stars is a retail company that creates unique star maps showcasing constellations that are of specific dates and places. WOW24-7 helps the company to handle its customer support and cover inquiries across multiple channels. In this interview, the head of the company’s customer service department Fiona King tells us how WOW24-7 helps Under Lucky Stars to care for its customers.
Q: Tell us about your business and what it does.
A: Our company makes star maps which show stars and constellations that are at a particular place and time. For example, if you put the date and place that you were born into our algorithm, we can show you stars that were above at the time and we put those onto a post for you. And we ship all over the world.
Q: What software do you use to create your maps?
A: It’s software that was created by our CEO. He designed and wrote the algorithms using Yale University’s Bright Star Catalog. When you put the information into our website that algorithm converts into a star map with a design you choose (we have a varied selection of designs). After that, your order is automatically sent to a print lab. There are different print labs depending on where the map is ordered. Our labs are located in Europe, UK, the US and Australia.
Q: How did the pandemic affect your business?
A: It was an unusual impact. We expected sales to drop but the fact that people can order our product online from anywhere in the world and that they couldn’t go out shopping meant that sales actually increased. I think it happened with most of the online retailers.
Q: For what purpose did you hire WOW24-7?
A: We hired them to provide 24/7 customer service support for our products. We wanted to have around-the-clock support so our customers could contact us anytime either by live chat or by email and there would always be somebody to help them. When we were choosing a customer support provider WOW24-7 seemed to offer a very good price compared with other similar companies. So we decided to go with them.
Q: Can you give us an overview of your project with WOW24-7?
A: First of all, we introduced WOW24-7 agents to our customer support by using our tickets. We showed them how the star maps work as well as the kinds of emails and comments we get from customers. We also showed them the standard answers that we have and encouraged them to modify them according to the customer’s specific queries, comments or complaints. And once they were competent with that we started putting them on live chats where we get very similar messages to the ones we receive by email.
Also, we added them to Instagram to reply to our customers’ direct messages. And then more recently they have become involved in checking orders. They make an effort to check in a few times a day as to what’s coming through to make sure that there are no spelling errors on the star map. Because a lot of people are placing orders from their telephones, so there is a lot of possibility for error. Agents also communicate directly with our print labs. So if somebody’s star map arrived damaged then they would reach out to the print lab explaining the problem and arranging for a replacement to be sent.
Q: Did you have any difficulties in communicating with our agents?
A: Not at all. The workflow between our teams has always been very good. We usually communicate through channels on Slack. And once a month I have a video call with agents, one at a time. I think we have been very lucky with the agents. They are all very serious in terms of being committed to the work and providing a good service for our company and for the customers that we have.
Q: In what ways did WOW24-7 help to improve your business?
A: Before we contracted with WOW24-7 we were not able to offer 24/7 service. We had a very limited customer service response. We were committed to responding to emails within 24 hours of receiving them but were able to turn on the chat facility only when we were not overloaded with emails, and at that point, we had a much smaller team. So we certainly were not able to cater to the U.S. market in the way we do now, using WOW24-7, because since we are based in Barcelona, our timetable is quite different from the U.S. market, which is our principal market.
Q: How well did WOW24-7 meet your company’s needs?
A: They have supplied the 24/7 service that we wanted to provide for our customers. In that way, it meant, for example, that I’m not dedicated to replying to tickets and emails anymore. I’m able to provide an overview and plug in to some of the more challenging issues related to customer service. Sometimes it can be very time-consuming to try and resolve specific difficulties and issues that clients have so having a reliable customer support team helps a lot.
Q: What do you like the most about working with WOW24-7?
A: The agents are very professional and competent, but they also have personalities. We don’t want to appear like robots or an uncaring company. We want to show that we are real people and that we understand them when for example they are frustrated because of shipping delays or something like that. And I think the team has done that very well in being empathetic and using human touch in their interactions with customers. They have managed to balance being professional and competent with also allowing their own personalities to come through in their correspondence with our clients.
Q: Are there any areas for improvement?
A: The agents have grown with the company. If we ask them to do something extra, over and above something we’ve originally imagined they would do, they happily agree. So I don’t think I can ask them to improve in any way because whenever we ask them to do something extra or different they are able to do that. We are very satisfied with the agents that we have and we should carry on with our collaboration.