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In March 2020, European Wax Center, the number one waxing services personal care brand, had to temporarily close almost every one of its 750 doors nationwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic and guidance from local and state governments. The following months were challenging for European Wax Center’s customer care team, as they were for most brands in the US and around the world.
But with the help of Khoros Care, the brand came through the crisis, continuing to support customers with excellent service and a top-notch experience while competitors went dark in responses to guest concerns. Here’s how they did it.
As centers closed, social media mentions of European Wax Center increased across multiple platforms. Many people were simply proclaiming their love for the brand, and how much they missed it. But many others had actionable requests for information, such as questions about specific center reopenings and more information on how European Wax Center had increased its already stringent hygiene protocols:
Social media mentions like this one require a response from customer service. Customers who message brands on social media expect a quick reply — typically within three hours or less. Brands that don’t respond run the risk of losing prospects or even existing customers, so this is a vital function where social media and customer service teams must collaborate.
This led to a difficult situation for European Wax Center’s social media customer service team: they knew they had to respond to incoming messages, but rising volumes were making it that much harder. The customer service team was inundated both with new volume and with changing consumer messaging behaviors. Before the pandemic, European Wax Center averaged about 40 social media mentions per day; by June 2020, that number was almost 200. 60% of messages on Instagram are from people reaching out for some type of customer support, while only 40% are for brand love. European Wax Center saw an 86.5% increase in agent hours spent on social media and chatbot inquiries during this time; agents had to work five straight hours per day, seven days per week, to address the caseload. This type of workload can put a company in danger of increased agent attrition, which can be very costly, especially during a crisis like COVID-19.
In fact, even as customers and centers adjusted to COVID-19 across the United States, and stores began to reopen following local and state mandates and increased safety and sanitation protocols, the volume of customers reaching out via social media didn’t change — and neither did European Wax Center’s digital care caseload.
With all the incoming support volume, and no Facebook API support yet available to manage Instagram through Khoros, European Wax Center was not able to respond to Instagram direct messages at scale. And for security reasons, only the social media team had access to the Instagram app — so customer care without API support from Facebook was harder to achieve. European Wax Center knew there was important guest relations work to be done in the channel, but could not handle it at scale and thus didn’t immediately know what kinds of messages were coming through. Their social media care team was missing a crucial touchpoint to engage with and serve customers.
“Integrating Instagram DMs into Khoros Care hasn’t just helped us increase efficiency and handle guest needs without increasing our team; it also allowed us to continue providing guests with solutions and responses tailored to their particular needs.”
-Auburn Berry, Director of Social Media, PR, Guest Relations
Faced with these challenges, European Wax Center turned to Khoros Care for help. They already used the solution to amplify their team. With guests reaching out on all different social media platforms, centralizing their comments helped them handle customer care internally, with associates who know the brand inside and out and can bring crisis situations to the forefront as soon as they arise.
In partnership with Facebook Messenger, Khoros had begun testing their Messenger API for Instagram, which would give brands the ability to manage Instagram Messages in Khoros Marketing and Khoros Care. European Wax Center’s high volumes of Instagram Messages — as well as their digital care strategy, goals, and commitment to providing a fully human agent experience whenever possible — made them the perfect brand to test this new capability.
European Wax Center quickly integrated Instagram messages within Khoros, focusing on responding to items that require direct attention and response. They used the advanced workflows and automation features of Khoros Care to route, label, and prioritize messages according to their unique social care strategy. The platform allows them to handle urgent requests first, then concerns related to COVID-19 and sanitation protocols, and finally more minor inquiries like technical issues and brand love. What’s more, messages flow directly into European Wax Center’s workflow, meaning that they no longer have to wait until the end of the day to get to Instagram messages — conversations with customers are now ranked by priority, not by channel.
Even as European Wax Center’s care needs grew, their support team didn’t have to. By using Khoros Care for digital customer support, they were able to effectively monitor and reply to customer service cases through all their digital channels, including Instagram and other social media platforms.
Since European Wax Center began managing Instagram messages through Khoros Care, they have been able to optimize workflows, improving agent work quality and efficiency. They have gained insights for future optimizations and, most importantly, grown and improved their digital care operations.
European Wax Center’s most impressive result is that even through the COVID-19 crisis, they did not need to increase the size of their customer support team. But other results have also been impressive. They have saved over four hours per agent per week of time by streamlining social community management within the Khoros platform. Perhaps even better, Khoros has helped them integrate customer service into their marketing department. Breaking down this silo is important for increased communication, and helps them provide a more holistic and seamless customer experience, even during times of potential crisis.
“Without Khoros Care integration, our guests reaching out through Instagram DMs wouldn’t have seen the same priority and responses that we strive for as a team.”
-Auburn Berry, Director of Social Media, PR, Guest Relations
European Wax Center has increased both the volume and types of inquiries they can respond to through Instagram. This helps them build a stronger digital care strategy and relationships with customers, as well as a more tailored, customer-centric approach to how they handle each social care instance.