For our first-ever partner spotlight we are talking to Hillary Raigner, CX and Operations Manager at Good Eggs. Good Eggs an online grocery delivery company based in the Bay Area that delivers absurdly fresh, local, sustainable foods to thousands of customers each week.
Hillary joined Good Eggs over five ago as a front-line agent when the team was just four-strong, all based in San Francisco. Fast-forward to today, she’s managing a team of 30, distributed across the world. Let's dig in.
I was glad to have this question because I can get caught up in the day-to-day of making sure our operations are working smoothly but it's always good to reflect on how you are living the philosophy. The foundation of my philosophy is to create trust both in how we treat the customer and how we work with our team. If you can’t create trust with your team, your team isn’t going to be able to build trust with your customers.
Next is showing empathy and meeting people where they are which allows you to identify tone. Again, this is as important with your team as it is with customers. When customers reach out with an issue it would be easy to send a quick macro back but being able to recognize how the issue made the customer feel and then being able to adjust the macro to better meet that customer where they are - that’s what empathy is all about.
Our operations are complex and no matter how good we are there will always be issues. So it's important to be able to connect with people so you can understand their needs and build that relationship and avoid churn.
Growing the team from being a small, local team to a global team of 30 with the help of PartnerHero, and feeling successful at it, has been one of the biggest accomplishments for me.
A huge breakthrough for me in terms of realizing that scale was learning about Zapier and building all kinds of automations to connect our tools. Zapier is the best tool I’ve found to problem-solve without relying on engineering resources. Our business is really heavy on logistics and operations and some of the best automations I’ve made allow our team to more seamlessly communicate with operations when customers report errors. We can update a ticket in Zendesk with information about an error which automatically triggers a notification to operations. It allows us to share information with them while keeping all the data in Zendesk.
A recent automation that I’m really pumped about is something I’m sure anyone who works in CX e-commerce can relate to: I built an automation that flags addresses that we know to be fraudulent users (people using stolen credit cards or abusers of our new customer promo codes). Our team is automatically alerted when someone checks out with one of those addresses which allows us to make sure that order never leaves our fulfillment center. The automation allows us to find fraud more easily AND saves us so much time.
COVID! Covid was a serious oh shit for us. We had a rough start to 2020 for multiple reasons and we were seeing a higher ticket volume that we could have projected. When COVID hit, I mean, you know what happened to grocery delivery services at the beginning of COVID. Due to an enormous increase in order volume (great!) we were overwhelmed with tickets (not great). Everyday we were getting more and more behind and eventually had thousands of tickets in our backlog which is not at all our style. We pride ourselves on providing excellent, timely support. It got really scary but we found a couple solutions to meet the challenge.
First, we worked with PartnerHero to quickly spin up a temp labor force. Second, I revisited our approach to “normal priority” tickets that allowed associates to get through them 20% faster. By using custom fields, macros and automations that sent refund and credit data to a separate spreadsheet to be processed in a different workflow, we were able to reduce the number of steps associates take to resolve a ticket.
This is an exciting question for us right now. We are in a place of evolving our CX experience and what our team means to the company and to our customers. For the past few years we’ve been really operational focused. Our operations team has been finding its footing over the years which meant we were limited in how much surprise and delight work our team could take on. Now that we have a really solid foundation we can figure out how to be the customer-centric company that we are in our DNA.
I don’t want to say we’re turning CX into sales but it's really about product knowledge. If our team gets a phone call or chat from someone who says, “I’m having a dinner party with five different dietary preferences, can you help” we can make sure that customer is shining when they put dinner on the table for their friends.
Time flies, it's a weird construct, especially these days. We’ve been working with PartnerHero for just over three years though it feels like much longer. PartnerHero, when we brought them on, was a big opportunity for me to step up in my role. We started with two associates to add to our team of 4. Now we have 30. And that’s just for CX, we also have a number of folks from PartnerHero helping our accounting team.
Within support we have a few differentiated roles. We have the associate role, an escalation lead, team leads and a program manager. We recently added a new role that we call “seasoned associates.” These are folks who have been with us for 6 months or more who are showing a lot of potential who take on responsibilities beyond tickets.
Being able to build this structure to strengthen our team has been one of the most fun and collaborative projects I’ve worked on with PartnerHero. We implemented it last year when we saw our team grow quickly in a short time. I appreciate the mentorship I got from PartnerHero when it came to how to build a really robust, high functioning team.
Before joining Good Eggs I was doing HR management and recruiting for a digital design agency in SF. Prior to that I was working at a school in Florida and I had multiple roles there but I was mainly an admissions representative. Most of my career has focused on being a resource, sharing knowledge and being able to break things down in a way that makes sense for everybody. Slowly, as I went into HR management, it got more into problem solving. I’ve found that I love project management and problem solving. When I joined Good Eggs I was a frontline associate and then quickly started taking on more responsibility. I was like, “I can do a schedule, I can do 1:1s.” My background in HR really helped with a lot of the responsibilities I have today. I’ve learned a lot of lessons on how to talk to people, meeting them where they are and taking a human approach.
I have two: a more standard Saturday that has potential to actually happen would be to sleep in until 8am, snuggle with my pup and (now) fiance - I think that’s the first time I’ve called him that. Having coffee at Grand Coffee shop, our favorite coffee shop in SF (feel free to shamelessly plug Grand). Then a hike with trees and fresh air and coming home to watch a movie and eat dinner with friends from our pod.
The second Saturday, and really my favorite, would be getting out of SF for the weekend and staying at a cabin somewhere.
Food security is a big one for me. I grew up in a family without a lot of money. My parents struggled to pay for groceries. In the end we always did get fed but I look back and see some of the hardships they went through. It breaks my heart that that’s still a problem for so many people. I try to do my part by donating food to pantries. Food is important. You literally need it and it's a way for people to feel connected.
I’ve been getting more involved with an organization called The Last Prisoner Project that provides legal aid for people who are in jail on cannabis-related charges. We live in a country where cannabis is legal in more and more places yet there are still millions in jail, some even serving life sentences, for nonviolent drug offences.