Bringing creativity to self-service: A CX Moment with Kajabi
Zendesk spoke with Kajabi’s VP of Customer Experience, Jared Loman, about scaling quality self-service and integrating artificial intelligence.
Published March 1, 2022
Last updated March 1, 2022
“Nobody really wants to contact support. They just want to use the application and get to do the thing that they came in to do…If we can take the edge off of that process and make it even quicker, I think we've won in that world.” Jared Loman, VP of Customer Experience at Kajabi
As part of Zendesk’s CX Moment virtual event series, we spoke with Jared Loman, VP of Customer Experience at Kajabi. Kajabi is the leading knowledge commerce platform for creators and entrepreneurs, helping its customers share and monetize their knowledge at scale by creating their own video courses, podcasts, and more—from your grandma monetizing her expert cookie baking to industry influencers or people who are passionate about a charitable organization. Kajabi’s story began when its founder and CEO engineered a complex sprinkler out of PVC pipe. Rather than sell his new product, he sold the knowledge of how to design the same product.
Here are the key four takeaways from our talk.
Get creative with self-service tools
Like many businesses, Loman and his team saw an enormous increase in service requests during the pandemic as classrooms shut down and people turned to online education. To manage the influx of inquiries, the company decided to get creative with its self-service options.
Based on an idea from a previous leader, the company tried using webinars as a self-service tool rather than a sales function to drive new business. Loman said, “We started with the knee-jerk reaction of self-service and webinars, and we used that as our initial mechanism to get customers in the door, get their questions answered as quickly as possible, and hopefully reduce the wait time.”
These educational webinars reduced service requests from new customers. The webinars’ success led to converting the most common service requests into videos for a multimedia approach. The company has now started to caption those videos to ingest for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
Integrate AI and machine learning—it’s simpler than you think
Pre-pandemic, anywhere from four to 50+ support agents may have sat in the same room. Service teams had a natural feedback loop by simply listening to their colleagues interact with customers and asking each other questions about their conversations. If a few agents were saying, "Oh, that customer keeps complaining about this one feature," the whole company could hear it, see it, feel it, talk about it.
Loman highlighted that once a company scales and fields thousands of tickets, those same conversations between support agents and the greater organization are more difficult. This is especially true now as teams are remote or distributed. Companies need a better way to understand and keep a pulse on what is happening with their customer base.
ML, AI is really all about self-service, and the AI component is a search engine. It's about surfacing the right resources to the user to address whatever question that they're answering.Jared Loman
The beauty of AI is that it allows you to track customer conversations and empowers teams to rely on data rather than gut instinct or watercooler conversations. AI can determine where you need to focus your priorities—and it doesn’t have to be hard. Loman has some practical advice to offer based on his experience:
“Focus on your self-service strategy first. That is key to success in this space. If you're going to do one thing, make sure you have a solid self-service strategy, hopefully starting out with written [content],” he says. “If you have a lot of video content, start captioning it earlier, but self-service is really, really key.”
Metrics tell the entire support story
Getting to the heart of what your customer wants is everyone’s responsibility—not just your customer service agents. “Of course, I’ve got the overarching responsibility for [the customer support strategy], but in the end, [these metrics] are something that we all need to be looking at,” says Loman. “We are a very customer-centric company and our customers are loud. They’re vocal. They let us know if something isn’t right.”
Whatever metrics you measure (customer satisfaction, customer effort score, deflection rates, etc.), the answer to improving is not necessarily throwing more humans into the mix. By following the metrics, Loman and his team use customer satisfaction as a counterbalance against ticket deflection, ensuring ticket deflection isn’t getting in the way of an excellent customer experience. When they look at ticket deflection, it’s not about answering fewer tickets, but about answering more tickets. Some customers appreciate solving a problem quickly, and if it can be answered by AI or a chatbot, then the team collectively can serve more customers.
Let your grandma set the benchmark for seamless customer service
Companies should meet customers where they are and in ways they like to engage and interact. Kajabi’s customer base was tech-savvy pre-pandemic, but over the last two or so years, the company has seen the technical capabilities of its customers shift as its user base has grown and expanded. Loman thinks about his grandma when considering how best to serve these new customers.
“This has been an enormous two, three years of change for everyone,” he says. “But I think about the first time I was talking with my grandma and she was talking about attending her church service on Zoom, and I'm like, "Zoom! You know what Zoom is, grandma?" I bought her her first iPad … And so undoubtedly, we're seeing a different type of customer and also, of course, different quantity of customers.”
Looking to the future, Loman is excited about using AI to bring personalization to the next level for Kajabi’s agents.
Missed our chat? Watch the conversation on-demand here.