Why We Doubled Our Support Team Last Week

Everyone has their thing, and awesome customer support has long since been ours. Did we always get it right? Of course not. But we have always cared—a lot. When we talk about being friendly and fast, we’re not just talking about words on some document. We like to think those things live in our actions.

Nothing is more important (or more fun) than delighting, surprising and really helping our customers learn. Often times, just minutes after they reached out to us.

And then, about a month ago, we launched a new product.

On December 31st, the day after launch, we received more support emails from customers than we had the entire month of November. Since launch, we’ve received emails from as many customers as we did in the first eight months of 2015.

We planned to hear from a lot of people. After all, we made it easier than ever before to reach out, with an email submission form on every page of our website, and one built right into the new app. We looked at our team and our schedule, and were confident that we were ready.

We were wrong.

We very quickly realized we weren’t getting people the responses they deserved in the time they needed them. For the first time in our history we had to send automated responses. It hurt—our customers, our team, and a reputation we’d spent years building up—it hurt all around.

Some of our new, excited customers even got multiple automated responses. That’s painful to think about. We’re now digging our way out of those, closing them down one at a time.

More importantly, though, we aren’t wasting any time turning things around. Because technical solutions like auto-replies aren’t the answer to prompt, personal support. People are.

Last week, we brought on enough new Support Reps to double the size of our team. They are getting up and running in record time.

And in the coming months, we’ll do it again.

Response times right now are hovering around 11 hours. But too many people are waiting more than a day, and sometimes two, to have a question answered or an issue resolved. That’s not OK with us.

Getting a handle on our new reality doesn’t mean responding in one day instead of two. We’re much more interested in measuring response time in minutes. We’re exploring new ways, like in-app chat, to communicate with customers faster, and on your terms. Because we don’t just want to catch up—we want to provide better support than ever before.

To our customers, our users, all you YNABers: We intimately understand that your finances are important and personal and urgent. It’s why we do what we do. We know, because we’ve seen it hundreds of thousands times over, that getting control of your finances can change your life.

We are wholly committed—at every level of the organization—to getting this right. We can’t wait to wow you again.

Todd Curtis is YNAB’s Chief Customer Officer.