How a dating app saved agents 3 hours a day while improving customer experience
The online dating world has a reputation for being both superficial and disappointing, yet it’s often the only way for singles to meet potential partners. The founders of Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB) saw this frustration and knew they could do better. So, they developed a dating app that would create fewer but more authentic connections, leading to real, lasting relationships.
The concept was a huge success, earning $16.7 million in total funding and expanding internationally, starting with Hong Kong. However, as the app’s popularity grew to millions of users, so did the number of questions that came flooding into customer support, trying to understand this new model. What is a bagel? How do I use beans? How can I edit my profile?
The support team of four was spending eight hours a day—and still never getting to the bottom of their support inbox. And that’s when everything was running smoothly.
“We were just getting a mountain of emails constantly,” says Melissa Rosen, the current Head of Customer Experience (CX). “We were tasked with going through it everyday and hoping to come out the other side.”
When taking a closer look, the CX team realized that 90% or more of their inquiries were from confused customers, asking questions that were answered on their FAQ. “For whatever reason, they weren’t going to the FAQ or they didn’t understand it,” says Melissa. Having to answer these repetitive questions individually meant that the majority of emails sent by her team were saved replies, explaining what the apps does and how it works. It was draining their resources and keeping their focus from improving other areas of the customer experience.
As the app worked to solve the problems of the online dating world, the CX team needed to equip customers with the knowledge and tools to make the most of it. They decided to integrate a chatbot powered by Ada to help filter the flow of inquiries.
Melissa, a CX rep at the time, was skeptical. “We have a lot of jargon in the app. People are called bagels, there’s an in-house currency called beans, which get called points or all types of different things. I thought, ‘There’s no way a bot is going to understand all the vague or incorrect terms our customers use for the same thing. You need a human to translate what people are saying.’”
Beyond whether a bot could understand the customer, Melissa worried it would sound too impersonal or robotic. But as the team started building their bot, Melissa found herself drawn to the new system. Through the process of inputting saved replies into the Ada dashboard, the team was able to edit and organize their standard responses, streamlining how customers receive information. “Slowly but surely, I started to see,” says Melissa. “Plus, we had control over the training, so I could see if a customer was saying, ‘I didn’t get my points,’ I knew they were talking about beans and could train it appropriately.”
They launched the CMB bot in less than a month, initially to their Android customers and then to iOS in a second roll-out several months later.
“We went from eight hours in the inbox to three,” says Melissa, who was pleasantly surprised at how well customers responded to the bot. “We hit inbox zero every day now. When I first started, that was pie in the sky.”
The chatbot now answers general questions, captures customer information and performs smooth hand-offs to human agents. CMB’s ticket volume has been cut in half, the average resolution time reduced by four hours, all while increasing overall satisfaction rates during a time of company-wide growth. The bot has become a critical filter for the CX team, since only 13% of customers still need human attention after chatting with it. The majority of emails now in their inbox are about issues that need more complex, human attention, such as bug reports or glitches that require manual changes.
And, not only does the bot understand what customers are asking, it’s able to reply in a personalized way that’s on-brand for CMB.
“When we first started inputting answers, I realized this could be our brand’s voice. This isn’t a robot. This is us talking,” Melissa says.
While customers seem to appreciate responses that seem human, Melissa acknowledges the post-launch rise in conversations shows that many are more comfortable talking to a bot than a human—especially since dating can be a highly personal and sensitive matter.
“We’ve seen so many more people talk to Ada than have ever spoken to us,” she says, describing how more customers are engaging with their brand through the bot, with fewer escalated inquiries that need human intervention.
“To have a bot that can mimic the immediate conversation you can have with someone, without the pressure of actually talking to another human, it’s providing a much more positive experience for our customers.” CMB saw this increase in positive customer engagement without additional costs to the company or work for their CX team.
The speed, accuracy, personalization and privacy offered by the CMB chatbot has not only improved the customer experience for their users, it’s also allowed Melissa’s CX team to be more proactive and strategic about their role in the company. “Having Ada be that first line of defense and answer more general questions, it’s allowed us more time to work on tasks that are way more meaningful,” she says, explaining that now she can focus on using the customer insight they’re collecting, rather than just reacting to it.
She’s able to collect data trends through the Ada dashboard and bring that insight to the table, collaborating with engineers and other departments to improve the product. Melissa has also used the bot to proactively communicate changes in services and system interruptions right in the bot’s initial greeting, reducing ticket volumes during times that would otherwise see huge spikes.
“Ada has allowed me to do my job better, instead of doing my job for me, which I think is the fear a lot of reps have,” she says.
Coffee Meets Bagel has doubled in size since she started at the company two and a half years ago and it’s poised to grow even more. With the help of their Ada chatbot, Melissa and her team are more than ready.
“Previously our goal was just to get fewer people talking to support,” she says. “Now my goal is to engage more with our customers in a positive way. Ada is a great way to do that.”