Article | 4 min read

Finding what matters: How Tile zeroes in on the customer voice

Last updated March 3, 2016

Wouldn’t it be great if we never left our keys in the back of an Uber or our wallets behind at a restaurant? It can be hard to keep track of the little things in life, even when the little things are indispensable.

The founders of Tile recognized this—as did many others who crowdfunded the company back in 2012. Today Tile helps people find as many as 500,000 things a day through their Bluetooth hardware and location-tracking mobile app.

The company’s blog and community stories tell remarkable tales of keys found in the snow or down elevator shafts, and of adventures in locating lost luggage and stolen valuables. It’s the Tile community, now spanning over 200 countries and territories around the world, who consistently unearth new ways to use Tile.

A support trifecta: Hardware, mobile app, and humans
Tile makes the “Internet of Things” a reality and, as head of customer care, it’s Scott Arrieta’s job to build out a support organization that can support both hardware and software across different mobile devices, as well as foster a sense of community among Tile’s diverse user base.

Tile’s emphasis on community and customer support sets them apart from other consumer electronics companies. “Too many times, customer care is relegated to a call center, and the primary reason I came to Tile was because of their vision for customer care and recognition of the importance of growing a thriving and engaged community of users,” Arrieta explained.

The team strives to become an insights center for the rest of the company. Each month, Arrieta shares a Voice of the Customer report that includes CSAT and NPS scores, as well as insights gleaned from social media channels and review sites, to other business units. Arrieta’s team aggregates all these to identify themes and to make recommendations to Tile’s product, marketing, and engineering teams.

A snapshot of Tile’s support
Over the past year, Arrieta has grown the customer care team from a skeleton crew of agents to an efficient, international organization. In the spirit of full transparency, Arrieta admitted that in the beginning, while trying to keep up with their exploding user base, it sometimes took days to respond to customers. Today they respond to email tickets, and to reviews on Amazon and other sites, within hours—even though their volume sometimes fluctuates by as much as 400 percent during peak periods.

The team also rolled out a help center to help deflect tickets and added live chat to be able to connect with more customers, faster. Together, these steps have significantly decreased first resolution times and increased customer satisfaction.

Tile Help Center
Live chat—the insights channel
When it came to choosing which live chat vendor to implement, Arrieta had already done his research. He’d put together an RFP for his previous company and landed on Zendesk Chat as one of the top choices. At Tile, he was specifically looking for a solution that would integrate quickly with their Zendesk instance, and that would be scalable and cost-effective. That made Chat an easy choice this time around. The team implemented live chat last June.

Today chat represents about 40 percent of Tile’s contacts, equal parts pre-sales and tech support. Arrieta views live chat as an insights channel, but also as one that helps drive incremental revenue. “What we found by analyzing our available data was that a customer who interacted with an agent via chat was 2-3 times more likely to convert than an unassisted customer,” he said.

As a next step, the customer care team proactively-triggered live chat at the bottom of the page, allowing the widget to pop up on any page where site visitors linger.

The result? Chat volume increased without substantially decreasing conversions. “Long story short, we’re generating incremental revenue and converting at the same rate while producing new leads,” Arrieta said.

Unlike with email, the team hardly uses macros when they chat. “Live chat creates more organic conversations where the customer or agent’s voice can shine through a bit more,” Arrieta explained. It seems to pay off, as their live chat CSAT hovers at 94-95 percent.

“Chat enables us to have synchronous conversations and get to root causes with more ease, without frustrating the customer,” he said. “It’s been a lifesaver, especially for the technical support type of contacts.”

Curious what live chat can do for you? Hear from other Zendesk Chat customers, including and Le Tote.