William Schmidt
Will Schmidt
7 min

How Classy Redefines Customer Support for Nonprofits

“By 2020, 85 percent of all customer interactions will be handled without a human agent,” according to an article written by IBM. In the post, there’s a heavy emphasis on what companies and organizations stand to benefit from this paradigm shift.

But what do we stand to lose in this transition? What happens when you need to talk to a human being who understands context, patiently listens to you, and empathizes with you and your situation?

At Classy, you won’t find any robots on the customer support lines or chat boxes. Our team establishes human connections, builds lasting relationships with nonprofits, and helps them solve both their difficult and high-level issues.

We think the human element of customer support is something worth holding on to, and so do our clients.

A Human Element Fosters Human Connection

Our customer support team establishes real human connections with the people they interact with on a daily basis. According to Marshall Peden, Director of Customer Success, this is a major factor that often attracts a certain compliment: Classy’s customer support members are a natural extension of our clients’ own teams.

Image of Marshall Peden, Director of Customer Success

They tell us, ‘We couldn’t do this without you, and we truly view you as a member of our team.’ It’s because we integrate ourselves into their needs, strategies, and aspirations, and we take the time to get to know what will work best for them.”

Marshall Peden
Director of Customer Success

If we’re part of their team, that opens the doors to strengthen the relationship and make it even more personal. For example, almost everyone on the customer support team either follows, donates to, or supports clients whose missions they’re passionate about on a regular basis.

For instance, one of the team members, Taylor Luebkeman, met with the founder of Drink Local Think Global at our annual Collaborative event, a three-day immersive social entrepreneurship conference. After hanging out, he volunteered to help them run a fundraising campaign in San Diego.

Image of Taylor Luebkeman, Classy Customer Support Agent

They’re based in Missouri, and they’re all about the craft beer scene. I thought it was perfect for them to come to San Diego, one of the most prominent craft beer cities in America, to host a campaign. And I wanted to be the one to bring them out here.”

Taylor Luebkeman
Classy Customer Support Agent

Our team does things that robots can’t do, like spawn creative and collaborative fundraising campaigns.

These Aren’t the Droids You’re Looking For

“Are you a robot?” It’s a question our team is frequently asked, and they always have creative ways to answer it. Case in point, support agent Tim Kanter exercises his quick wit when facing the question.

Image of Tim Kanter, Classy Customer Support Agent

People will see my picture come up on chat, and it says, ‘Tim is speaking.’ They’ll ask, ‘Is your name really Tim?’ They’re expecting me to be a robot or on the other side of the world. I’ll say, “Oh, you caught me. My name is actually Timothy!’”

Tim Kanter
Classy Customer Support Agent

And then there’s Julian Joseph, who responds with the speed of a robot but is entirely human.

Image of Julian Joseph, Classy Customer Support Agent

I don’t think most people know that we can see what they’re typing before they finish their message on chat. Sometimes I like to get ready and answer the question really quickly. I’ll type my response and wait until they hit ‘enter,’ and I’ll respond as quickly as possible. But, wait, maybe that actually makes me look more like a robot now that I think about it?”

Julian Joseph
Classy Customer Support Agent

Beyond the question of whether or not they’re robots, our customer support team is able to explore the context surrounding a question. If someone is calling about a fundraising campaign, there might be underlying issues tied directly to their mission and the desire they have to bring change to the world.

Image of Paige Ledesma, Classy Customer Support Agent

There’s always a story in the background when we talk to clients. We’re able to listen to that story and understand, truly, what it is that the organization is trying to accomplish.”

Paige Ledesma
Classy Customer Support Agent

The team also keys in on empathy.

Image of Britney Haas, Classy Customer Support Agent

I can empathize with a client and let them know that, whatever they’re going through, it stinks and is definitely frustrating.”

Britney Haas
Classy Customer Support Agent

Human elements like these are crucial to successfully helping our nonprofit clients. These organizations are heavily committed to their work on a deeply emotional level, and no robot can grasp the finer points of what they’re dealing with.

Image of Marshall Peden, Director of Customer Support

Taking the time to understand people’s needs, frustrations, goals, and aspirations tailors our response. Bringing all that into the solutions and advice our team offers is something a robot will never be able to offer.”

Marshall Peden
Director of Customer Support

All this effort allows us to build lasting human-to-human relationships. When our clients reach out, they can pick up right where they left off with someone who knows them, the context surrounding their organization, and what they work to accomplish.

Building Relationships, One Brick at a Time

Building a relationship starts at the first interaction, which establishes a baseline for the connection moving forward. For example, our team worked with a first-time internet user at an organization and helped them become a Classy fundraising superstar.

Image of Taylor Luebkeman, Classy Customer Support Agent

I spent some time helping with the campaign, the communication plan, and its launch. It was their first campaign ever, but they ended up raising well past their goal of $50,000 to $63,000.”

Taylor Luebkeman
Classy Customer Support Agent

As easy as it would have been to give up, Taylor stuck with it. Similarly, Jo Moya committed to solving a client’s issue at the expense of her personal time.

Image of Jo Moya, Classy Customer Support Agent

A client had an issue that came up out of the blue, and it happened to be on a day that I was attending the wedding of a fellow team member. It was one of those things where it kept lingering, and we couldn’t get a resolution. So, I gave the client my cell phone number, got in my car to go to the wedding, and worked with them the whole way there. We got it solved. This is what we do, especially when these people who you become close with are in a bind. It’s more like helping a friend than helping a client.”

Jo Moya
Classy Customer Support Agent

That sentiment of friendship goes both ways. It creates a bond between client and support agent that holds up through all situations, simple or technical.

We’re in This Fight Together

When things do get technical, the team maintains the same human connection and relationship-building they would on any simple issue. According to Julian Joseph, dealing with things like Salesforce, data, and data management can be complicated and require an especially delicate touch.

Image of Julian Joseph, Classy Customer Support Agent

We always respect that this is their Salesforce instance and their Salesforce data. However, bugs do happen whether in our product, Salesforce, or another third-party product. If a bug or situation has been caused by us, we on the support side help with any cleanup we can while walking a fine line between helping and not intruding into the data.”

Julian Joseph
Classy Customer Support Agent

For example, if there’s duplicate data our team can help dedupe it. Or if there’s missing data, they can help fill it in and resync it.

“Before Classy, when I was at a nonprofit myself, I worked with app companies that refused to help clean up any messes. That could be our response at Classy, but instead we make the extra effort to help our clients in these tricky technical situations.”

Julian Joseph
Classy Customer Support Agent

There are other instances that don’t deal with Salesforce, but are likewise technical in nature.

Image of Sarah Yee, Classy Customer Support Agent

We had a client who was running their biggest event of the year, and they had a limited ticket quantity of 20 tickets, per ticket type. There was a bug where even though there were still tickets available, donors were getting a message that said all of them were sold out. I recommended our client set the ticket levels to unlimited, and then I sat on the phone with them to monitor levels. When each type reached their capacity of 20, I would manually turn off the ticket type for them.”

Sarah Yee
Classy Customer Support Agent

At the end of the day, Classy support has your back in all situations and at all times—no matter what it takes.

Classy customer support is a unified picture of humans working together to solve issues in order to bring more good into the world. From step one, our team will walk with you through whatever life throws your way.

Take some time to get to know our team, and learn all the different ways they can help bring your mission to life.


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