How Heygo mastered 24/7 support with PartnerHero’s help

About

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Heygo co-founders Liam and John wanted a way to keep exploring the world. That led them to found Heygo, a free-to-join tip-based travel live-streaming platform that offers everything from tours of New York City, to guided streams of volcanic eruptions in Iceland. The mission of Heygo is to break down cultural barriers and encourage care for the planet's health while maintaining curiosity about the world around us. They strive to make travel accessible for everyone, even those that might not be able to afford an expensive plane flight. During the pandemic, when everything was shut down, the ability to travel the world from the comfort of their own home was extremely attractive to consumers—Heygo saw unprecedented growth.
Industry
Travel
Location
London, UK
Channel
Email
"If you're a global platform that's streaming 24/7, you should have 24/7 support."
Annie Li

The challenge

Heygo's average tour group hosts around 200 people per tour, but can have as many as a thousand. With 30+ events per day, the Heygo support team takes care of both the guides and any technical issues they run into as well as the 9,000 or more users watching live. As their local guide network grew and became more global, it became difficult for Heygo’s small team to be available for every single tour, which had been their operating standard up until then. They decided to set "dark hours," taking the team offline during the evenings for the UK and the US East Coast, where most of their team are located. With this decision, many guides and their viewers in other timezones were left unsupported.

Even when they were online, the internal Heygo team found themselves less productive. With support volume through the roof, everyone often spent their time putting out fires during business hours. Larger-scale growth initiatives went by the wayside. This strategy was becoming increasingly unsustainable. Annie Li, Heygo’s Community Success Manager, remembers customers saying, "if you're a global platform that's streaming 24/7, you should have 24/7 support." People often waited four or five days to get resolutions to inquiries that should have been resolved during a live tour. Both guides and viewers were increasingly getting frustrated with the support experience as they often were unable to get assistance when required. 

On Heygo's community platform, customers were starting to say things like "Heygo doesn't respond, they don't seem like they care.” Annie realized then that they needed to do something to help their customers get the support and care they deserved.

The solution

Heygo evaluated four different outsourcing vendors before ultimately deciding to go with PartnerHero. Annie says, "flexibility is important to us. As a fast-growing startup, our needs can change at a whim, and for us to be able to change things and really build a customized solution is so important." They signed on to use Flex support, allowing them to utilize a la carte staffing to meet their fluctuating needs. They were put off by many BPOs' lack of flexibility and responsiveness. "We'd ask for an update, and it would take them a week to get back to us!” says Annie. “It left a nasty taste in our mouths. We thought, 'if this is what it's like before we are bought in, what will it be like after we've paid?' With PartnerHero, we felt like they supported us from the get-go." When they first started with PartnerHero, Heygo lacked a structured KPI strategy for their support function. While they had growth metrics tracked across the board, they hadn't yet implemented anything to measure success for their customer-facing teams. As part of the launch path with PartnerHero, they set up a more mature statistics strategy and tightened up their goal setting and tracking.

The results

Heygo transformed from a company where customers felt like they weren't heard to one they love working with. "Now when I go on our community forums, and there is a tech inquiry or a question, members of the community jump in and say 'Just email Heygo support! They're very fast to respond, and they are super helpful!.' That is so good to see," says Annie.  While Heygo’s customer support used to go dark for hours at a time, they now have a dedicated 24/7 support team, with staff ready to help guides and users at any hour of the day, all around the globe.  The partnership with PartnerHero has also impacted the broader team. "PartnerHero allowed us to free up a lot of our internal bandwidth." says Annie. "Before our partnership, it was all hands on deck, and a lot of times, we even pulled in product managers and engineers to do support. We didn't have enough people to handle the volume we were getting."

The internal Heygo team can now focus on growth initiatives and internal projects to help build the company. While they currently use PartnerHero for support, they like that PartnerHero can provide services for other parts of the company in the future if needed. "We love that we can build an a la carte solution,” says Annie. “We have in our back pocket that PH could help us with so much more. PartnerHero is an extension of our team and allows us to build customized, amazing solutions. We love that we can pick and choose what will work best for us."

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