Influencer marketing is one of the most popular and effective forms of marketing today. This kind of marketing entails influencers, subject matter experts, and industry leaders naturally endorsing brands and products on their personal or business content platforms. These authentic, third-party endorsements are preferred by many brands and consumers, but it can be challenging for brands to connect with the right influencer, form a relationship, and initiate a partnership. This is where our client comes to the rescue as the world’s first creator management platform. Their platform enables connections and helps manage relationships, turning brands into household names through the power of authentic creator partnerships.
This is no easy feat. It takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work for this company to maintain its high-quality platform and keep its resources current. To meet the growing needs of the brands they serve, this company needed to strategically and rapidly develop an expert research team. SupportNinja was up to the task and partnered with this organization to develop the ideal team and meet their time-bound goals.
Assembling an expert research team
This creator management platform organization needed a team to navigate Instagram and scan for quality leads for customers. Creating this team was about more than just recruiting the right talent, it included establishing training programs and setting performance measures. The company also needed guidance on implementing quality assurance policies to keep their team focused and productive. Having ample, efficient, knowledgeable people was key to forming a successful team that would deliver for the company’s customers. It was a large task the company estimated would take 20 people to accomplish and work needed to start in about a month. There was an urgent need to start generating leads for customers so the company started looking for a solution that could meet their volume and timing needs. They were not willing to sacrifice competency or skills to acquire this team. Once assembled, the team was tasked with gathering and delivering insights almost immediately to start benefiting customers.
A partner to accelerate growth
The challenge for this content management company could not be adequately addressed internally so they sought a strategic partner to keep marching towards their business goals and brand promise. They identified SupporNinja as the ideal partner. Our existing network of knowledgeable Ninjas was just what they needed: our expertise in training, team management, performance metrics, and quality assurance made this a natural partnership. They signed up with SupportNinja in September 2022, with the aim to grow their lead research team immediately. We were excited to work with such a strategic company with a hunger to grow and deliver for their customers.
Phase 1: meeting immediate needs
The first step in organizing this company’s new research team was recruiting great, skilled people. During the first scoping call between SupportNinja and the company, it was determined 20 team members would be needed to accomplish the company’s objectives. These team members needed to be ready for work in just 4 weeks.
This is a lofty mandate for any company. According to LinkedIn, only about 30% of companies can hire in 30 days or less. This means about 70% of companies typically take anywhere from 1-4 months to hire a new employee. Additional data from The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) shared in a talent acquisition benchmark report that it determined the average time to hire is 36 days. In a Spark Hire growth trends report, they shared some slightly different stats that said about half of companies in the United States fill a position in 1-2 weeks. The same study said almost 25% of companies take up to 30 days to hire. So while the industry is still debating on the typical time it may take to hire, it is clear that hiring is not a simple or speedy process.
We ambitiously set out to hire a full team in under a month. After kicking off the hiring process, it became clear that the client would need closer to 50 team members to meet their needs; more than double the number originally needed. When this reality was apparent, we quickly coordinated with the talent development team to adjust our strategy and put together a detailed ramp plan of how this could be achieved. We worked with the client to build in some additional time for this recruiting so we could source the right team while coordinating and aligning with the company’s timeline.
With careful coordination and strict adherence to our strategic ramp plan, we were able to assemble this team of 50. We got them through the initial onboarding and training process so they could start gathering research insights for the content management platform.
Phase 2: support tools
After the research team was created within the required timeframe, our focus shifted to implementing the right tools for our team to efficiently research. Having access to the right tools is key to any support team’s success. It benefits the support team by enabling them to produce their best work. Cumbersome technology can be a serious barrier to success. When agents have tools that operate seamlessly, outcomes such as customer satisfaction, research findings, and insights will improve in quality and quantity.
When teams are equipped with streamlining technology and tools they can do more in less time. That kind of efficiency can lead to cost savings for any business. In the financial services sector, for example, companies in North America could realize $140 billion in productivity gains just from modernizing existing technologies and employing new tools. One way we helped our client realize savings was by installing a mobile phone emulator on every team member’s laptop. This tool enabled team members to emulate the process of accessing Instagram as if using a mobile app. The most notable benefit of this process was that it also allowed us to better monitor team productivity. This is because team members continued using the same device to conduct research. As we monitored productivity we could continue to tweak and improve the team's processes and ensure efforts were meeting the client’s goals.
Phase 3: optimizing process
Now that the team was recruited, onboarded, and equipped with the proper tools, we could focus on one of the most exciting parts of any partnership—optimization. Once the team was in place and operations were running smoothly, we focused our efforts on ways to make the partnership even more effective and goal oriented. We started by pulling data on how things were going. Our expert Ninjas at the Ninja Control Center connected with our client’s IT department and began the implementation of a QA form that pulled data directly from the company’s existing Google sheets. This produced up-to-date reporting for the company’s management team.
In order to track team performance, we needed to compare the gathered data with determined metrics for success. We proposed three business KPIs to evaluate performance:
- Productivity: The amount of value added to the company (output) compared to the amount of effort invested (input).
- Time to Return: How quickly a task was satisfactorily completed.
- CSAT: This is a customer satisfaction score that shows how happy a customer is with the product, service, help, or information they received.
We added two internal KPIs as well:
- Attendance: A measurement for how present each team member is at work (punctuality, engagement, attendance, etc).
- Attrition: A way to evaluate instances of reduced effectiveness.
After these KPIs were established, our Ninjas began drawing live data from the customer to build a strong KPI reporting dashboard for the client. Having clear goals and KPIs helped our Ninja’s march towards a unified outcome. Data gathered was reported with transparency which helped the client link the team’s efforts to actual results.
Phase 4: a winning organizational structure
With operations in place we felt there was another strategy that could be implemented to further support our client. With such a large team, we noticed ways we could improve on the Ninja’s organization structure. We examined the existing group and evaluated alternative ways the team could be arranged to maximize efficiency and even provide built-in mentoring. We decided to break up the team into four smaller pods with about 11-12 people per pod. Heading up each of these pods was a coach who helped provide an environment of continual improvement via over-the-shoulder training and support. A team lead was then put in place to manage the coaches. They provided daily reporting and feedback for the client. This structure enabled continual evaluation, feedback, and improvement which helped set up these Ninjas for sustainable, ongoing success.
An ongoing partnership
Partnering with this content management platform has shown us how much we can achieve in a short amount of time. With the right strategy and a set of unified goals we can accomplish a lot quickly. But the work does not end there. Continual review, optimization, and adjustment will really ensure this team is a success in the long run.
We look forward to partnering with this client again on a new line of business. That project will have a new goal but we will deliver the same speed and optimization needed to adapt with this organization’s growing business.
Growth can be a great problem to have
As long as you have the right team.
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