YNAB Support: Goodbye Long Waits and Auto-Replies


At the end of January, I wrote about how we had doubled the size of our Support Team, and “Why We’ll Do It Again.

Well, we’ve done it again.

The Good News

We’ve begun to adjust to our new reality, one that saw us answer 85,727 emails in the first quarter (but who’s counting?!), nearly 20,000 more conversations than the entire year in 2015.

We’re happy when we can respond to our customers in just a few hours – one, two, maybe four. But at the end of January, half of you were waiting more than twelve hours to hear back from us. (Hang in there, I promise the Good News is coming!)

By the end of March, less than one quarter of you were waiting more than twelve hours. That’s not zero, which is what it will take for us to be truly happy. But it’s a whole lot better.

In the last few weeks, we’ve been able to turn off all but three of our auto-replies that we slapped in place in a fury during January. We loathe auto-replies. This is another number we’d like to be zero. Those last three can’t go soon enough—but the good news is we are making measurable progress.

Since the end of January, we’ve also been testing in-app live chat support. People who’ve tried it love it. Our support reps love it. It allows us to meet you in the moment, in the app, right when you need help. We can’t wait to do more of it.

Here’s the good news that we’re most excited about: In the last ten days, we’ve been able to respond on the same day to customers writing in with Direct Import issues. This wouldn’t normally be cause for hoopla and dancing. But it’s been a heck of a journey with Direct Import.

Did Someone Say Direct Import?

Speaking of numbers that aren’t zero, let’s talk about the number of people who have waited days (weeks!) to get help to a Direct Import issue. Not zero.

Too many questions about Direct Import during the first part of this year were met with some initial troubleshooting steps and then, well, then not much more. Doubling our team again is exactly what has allowed us to begin delivering those same-day responses to Direct Import questions that I mentioned.

But same day isn’t enough. We’re working on ways to provide better support in the app and better information – check out our new status page with hourly updates on our top 20 institutions – when things aren’t working as they should.

Direct Import won’t be magically cured of all its ills by changes in Support, and so we will continue hammering away at the underlying issues until we get it right.

So We’ve Done It Again

Six weeks ago, we took one of our most veteran part-time Support Reps and made him full-time. His job description? Onboard and train new Support Reps. Seriously, that’s all we’re asking him to do. (Faster, Ben, faster!)

Then, a month ago, we hired another group of new Support Reps. They’re working as contractors in an extended interview of sorts, and at the end of eight weeks, we’ll hire the ones who are a perfect match for delivering the type of support we believe in—on point and on time.

And then we’ll keep going. We’ll keep building the team until we’re answering your questions in minutes, or maybe, on a bad day, an hour or two. Because budgeting is too important to wait. Your financial success and a good night’s sleep from being in total control of your money is simply too important to wait.
Todd Curtis is YNAB’s Chief Customer Officer.

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