1 minute response time, 9am to 9pm, 365 days a year

Back in 2017, we set ourselves a target of offering a 1-minute response time. Here's how we hit it.
By Team member, 11/04/2019
3 minutes read

Back in 2017, we outlined our ambition to offer a 1-minute response time, 365 days a year. At the time, we had a 3-minute response time. And we were available from 8am -12:30am every day. But it wasn't enough.

We're building insurance the way it should be.

A huge part of this mission is how we treat our customers. This means not having to wait in long queues on the phone, listening to irritatingly upbeat music on a loop, waiting for an answer to a simple question. It also means being able to get support whenever you need it.

We wanted our customers to be able to reach us and to get the help they needed quickly. So we set ourselves the ambition to offer a 1-minute response time, every single day of the year. And, toward the end of 2018, we achieved that goal. 🎉

How do we do it?

First and foremost, by empowering everyone in the company to offer exceptional customer support. Every employee from the engineers, through to the CEO are trained to do customer support by COps (Customer Operations). And to make sure they can put that knowledge into practice, everyone does at least 4 hours of support a month. It's so important to us that we created COps club. Every Friday, the team enjoy a free breakfast for helping on support. 🥐

Our COps are experts

But the true champions of the 1 minute response time are the COps team themselves. 👩‍💻👨‍💻All members of the team are trained in all aspects of the role, and can answer most queries. But we have experts who specialise in certain tasks or cases, such as fraud prevention, who can offer more in-depth knowledge when it's needed.

To maintain that 1-minute response time even during busier times, we have more COps members working than we expect we'll need. This means that if the chat gets busier unexpectedly, we have enough COps ready to jump on and support our customers. 💬

The team spend the rest of their shift working on side projects. This varies massively. It can be anything from COps-related tasks to work that supports the wider company.

A great example is trend analysis. 📈They look for trends in conversations and share them with the product team. This means that the whole company benefits from all the great insights we get from chatting with our customers.

Other project work could include writing content for the blog. 📝We've had COps members sharing insights into how working remotely works at Cuvva, or how we deal with difficult situations. One member of the team even helps with social media, helping to create posts and respond to comments and queries.

365 days a year? Really?

Sometimes it's not as easy. Over Christmas 2018, it was important for our COps team to be able to take a well-earned break and enjoy some time off with their families. This is where the company-wide training came in handy. 💡

We offered the wider team the chance to support over the Christmas period in exchange for holiday elsewhere in the year. We created a schedule that meant the whole team had a chance to rest and our customers got the support they needed, when they needed it. And we kept our 1-minute response time intact. 👍

We faced a similar issue in March. To celebrate a milestone, Cuvva went to Budapest. ✈️That's nearly the whole company in a different country, and plenty of distractions and activities that could get in the way of offering our usual high standard of customer support.

Again, we turned to the wider team to help. Everyone was given a 2-hour slot sometime across the 2-day trip. We made sure we planned it so each given shift had an experienced COps member, so that even the most difficult queries could be answered.

We set up a working area in the hotel. But so that some of the team could take part in various activities, we also set up stations wherever we could find good wifi.

A photo of our Product Manager, Simon, enjoying great views whilst doing customer support in Budapest.

Here's our Product Manager, Simon. He made the most of the views from the Hilton, home to the Faust Wine Cellar where half of the company enjoyed wine tasting. 🍷(Don't feel sorry for the other half - they went Axe Throwing. We don't have favourites.)

Putting out fires

The whole team get involved in support, so everyone knows how to do it - and do it well. But it also means the whole team is invested. Throughout the entire company, there is a genuine care for our customers.

This becomes most obvious when we have an issue. Last week, the product team rolled a new feature into the app which inadvertently caused a problem with quoting. ⚠️

As we had more COps scheduled than we needed, they were able to hop onto the chat to help out. And because the wider team are just as invested in providing great support, we have no shortage of people willing to pick up the slack.

And because we all spend at least 4 hours a month doing COps, we can all get straight to helping when the pressure's on. 👍

If you're as nerdy about customer service as we are, we'd love for you to join our team. 🤓Check out our latest job openings.

(Note: since April 2022, we offer customer support between 9am to 9pm every single day of the year, including Christmas)

Team member

Team member