Furthering Our Commitment to Support Customers and Shoppers: A Message from Instacart Care’s Mark…
Instacart has in a matter of weeks become an essential service for millions of customers across North America. Coast-to-coast in cities and communities large and small, we’re working around the clock to ensure families can rely on us for the fresh groceries and household essentials they need and that shoppers can turn to us as an immediate, safe and flexible earnings opportunity.
Instacart’s Care organization exists to support customers, shoppers and retail partners every step of the way. Our goal has always been to provide seamless service for every member of our community — and in the rare case that something isn’t right, to quickly and effectively find a solution. We call ourselves a “Care” organization for a reason — our jobs are not just to support members of the community with a quick fix, but to take care to make sure every situation is resolved thoughtfully, carefully and thoroughly.
Over the course of the last few weeks, the customer demand for our service and the sheer number of shoppers on our platform has surged in the wake of COVID-19. Our order volume was up more than 300% year-over-year last week and our shopper community has grown to more than 350,000 active shoppers, up from 200,000 just two weeks ago. As a result of this growth and influx of new customers across the marketplace, we’ve also seen an unprecedented spike in support volume across all of our Instacart Care facilities.
As customer demand has increased, we’ve also worked quickly to better support our teams. In mid-March, we moved to a work from home model for all Instacart Care agents in the wake of COVID-19. We made this transition over a weekend, and I’m proud of the fact that we never had to pause Care operations as we made this move. In my 38 years in the customer support industry, I’ve never seen anything quite like this. From a Care operations perspective, most natural disasters and emergencies are high stakes, sudden but localized. In contrast, COVID-19 is affecting every one of us over a sustained period of time and, as a result, we’ve had to reimagine and rescale our Care operations overnight to best serve customers and shoppers across North America.
Expanding the Instacart Care Support Organization
First, we’re working quickly to hire and train more Instacart Care representatives to support our growing community. At the start of March, we had 1,200 Care agents. With these 1,200 representatives, we were able to respond to customer, shopper and retail partner inquiries in an average of just 60 seconds.
In response to the demand we’re seeing, we’ve more than doubled our Care team from 1,200 to 3,000 agents over the last two weeks. We’ve already hired and signed an additional 15,000 agents. By May, we will have an Instacart Care organization of 18,000 members actively supporting our customers, shoppers, and partners.
In addition to our broad hiring efforts, we’re working alongside a number of companies — spanning industries including hospitality, travel, retail and more — to bring on experienced support agents whose previous positions have been impacted by the economic downturn. We’re working fast to train each of these new agents to ensure we can best support every member of the Instacart community.
Making It Easier & Faster to Reach Us
As part of our ongoing efforts to scale the team and quickly rise to meet the level of demand we’re seeing, we’re temporarily moving all Care communications to chat. Chat is available across all desktop and mobile devices, and allows us to work more quickly to address community concerns.
Introducing New Product Features for Real-time Issue Resolution
Our sincerest hope is that your Instacart delivery is seamless and you don’t need us. But in the event we can make your experience better, we’re here to support you 24/7. Over the last few weeks, our product teams have been working tirelessly to launch new features that remove friction, ultimately delivering a better experience for both our customers and shoppers. These new features include:
- “Leave at My Door” delivery
- Contactless alcohol delivery
- Automatic cancellation for out of stock orders
- In-app incident reporting for shoppers
- In-app order issue review for shoppers
- Ratings forgiveness for shoppers
- Easy cancel batches for shoppers
- Mobile Checkout for shoppers
Next week, we’ll be starting to roll out a new “Missing Order” feature that will allow customers to make an in-app report and automatic refund request for the rare instance that an order is delivered to the wrong address or doesn’t arrive.
Serving our customers is what drives our team and organization. We have much more work to do to improve our customer and shopper care in terms of speed and efficiency, but I’m proud of how quickly our teams are moving to make this better for our entire community.
Thank you all for your continued trust in Instacart — it’s our privilege to deliver for you and your loved ones.
As VP of Instacart Care, Mark Killick leads Instacart’s customer and shopper support organizations, responsible for all customer, shopper and retail support needs across the company’s entire North American footprint.
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