SellerSmile’s Tygh Walters On The Ideal Customer Experience

Learn how to build a scalable customer-service system that guarantees outstanding customer experiences.

Customer service conversations are a gold mine for key insights, improving customer loyalty and your bottom line. But as businesses grow and scale, maintaining focus on meeting customers’ requirements at speed becomes increasingly overwhelming. 

In this episode of The Checkout, Tygh Walters, CEO of SellerSmile, and our host, Adii Pienaar, talk about delivering great customer service across all channels.

Tune in and learn:

  • How implementing Amazon’s strict customer service policy consistently across different channels is now an expectation 
  • The ideal tech stack to provide great customer experiences 
  • The most important customer service metrics that measure performance 
  • The potential for artificial intelligence (AI) to replace humans in customer service

Tune in on: Apple | Google | Spotify

“The startup advice is saying: have conversations with your customers. But your customer service team is the one having those conversations. So the data that they can provide to you as the business operator is vital. There's gold in there because you can learn how to iterate your product or your process to be even better than it is now.”
Tygh Walters, co-founder & CEO at SellerSmile

Meet Tygh Walters

Tygh Walters is the CEO and co-founder at SellerSmile. He has a wealth of experience building legendary customer service teams from the ground up, having worked for Seller Labs, an ecommerce software company empowering brands to grow their Amazon stores. 

Inspired by Amazon sellers, Tygh has dedicated his professional life to learning how to deliver world-class customer experiences online. If he isn’t making customers smile, he is diving deep into Full Stack Ruby on Rails or playing his banjo.

Connect with Tygh on: LinkedIn | Twitter

About SellerSmile

SellerSmile is a customer service outsourcing partner trusted by world-class ecommerce brands. It is a one-stop customer service solution for all online channels, including Amazon, Shopify, eBay, and Walmart. They improve the ecommerce customer service experience with a human approach of timely, accurate, and personalized responses leaving customers happy and coming back for more.

Learn more about SellerSmile on: Linkedin | Website

The Checkout episode 56 unpacks:

In today’s episode, our Adii and Tygh discuss the secrets behind scaling customer service across multiple channels and how customer conversations can help shape the future of ecommerce brands. Here are the highlights:


How SellerSmile started

  • SellerSmile started back in 2015 when co-founders Tygh and Michael Melgar met at a software company that built tools for 3rd-party Amazon sellers
  • Tygh and Michael became experts in Amazon buyer-seller communication policies, having worked with a tool that sent automatic outbound emails. However, many sellers were asking for help in responding to customers — that’s when the idea kicked in
  • “We started as an Amazon first agency, and we’ve since branched out to multi-channel: eBay, Walmart, a Shopify site. The why came from that need of really empathizing with sellers.”

Keeping customer service fast and consistent

  • Amazon sets the bar high in amazing customer experience, and their strict policies became a reference point for Tygh when doing customer service for other shopping platforms
  • Many shoppers have an Amazon Prime account, and they expect a consistent experience wherever they go
  • Our Shopify customers are gonna love it if they get a response in 10 hours instead of 36 or 72.  It’s just a general expectation on the internet that things are faster, responses are quicker.”

Harmonizing data in Help Scout

  • Tygh’s preferred tech tool for consolidating all interactions from different customer service channels is Help Scout
  • “One of the tools that we use in Help Scout is this type of piping in customer data and the context. So, if the email is recognized as one of our customers from Amazon or Shopify, it’ll tell us more about that.”

Having context speeds up the conversation

  • The advantage of seeing everything (email, SMS, live chat, voicemails) in one place is that the agent can quickly understand how to deal with customers better and faster
  • Instead of “tickets,” Tygh calls them “conversations” because it’s more human-centric. “So for each conversation, we can categorize: What is this about? Which sales channel is this from? And any other type of information that we’d want to know.”
  • “The system should automatically do most of the tagging, so your reports work well. With everything continuing to flow, you can rest assured you’re not missing anything.”

Why customer service data is critical

  • Founders don’t have time to have conversations with customers, but it’s vital to see the data from customer service to understand everything that’s going in
  • “The idea is the data that they’re giving you, the feedback, the complaints, there’s gold in there because you can learn how to iterate your product or your process to be even better than it is now.”

Customer experience vs. customer support

  • While customer experience, customer service or customer support are seen as interchangeable, Tygh sees customer experience as the umbrella term
  • “We see customer service being nested within customer experience because you could theoretically have an experience of a brand without ever touching the support or service aspect.”

The metric that matters most in customer service

  • For Tygh, the most important metric is to see the frequency of customer conversations per platform
  • 80% of sales happens in Amazon and 20% in Shopify, but Shopify has more customer service conversations
  • “Is the sales activity there equivalent to the support I’m seeing? And if there’s some type of mismatch that might indicate  something to look into further because there might be something on that platform, you can change or optimize.”

Should you optimize for speed or accuracy?

  • Customers prefer responsive sellers even if the response is not accurate because there is hope for a resolution
  • “The longer a reply takes, the more likely I am to write a critical review or submit a claim, or a chargeback or something like that.”
  • Besides knowing the volume of interactions on the marketplace, sellers can also look at “time to first response” (or how long until a customer’s complaint is acknowledged)
  • How long does it take for you to resolve a conversation? At SellerSmile, clients request an average response time of under 12 hours

How businesses should structure their customer support team

  • Structure your support team to match business size and goals
  • “Whether it’s an in-house team or an outsourced solution, make sure you’re requesting reports because you can use that as your compass to guide the decisions in your business.”

Dealing with stockouts

  • Strive for proactive communication and transparency which takes away the uncertainty
  • “Maybe the order status is unfulfilled, somehow reach out to them whenever there’s an update just to say ‘Hey, we still haven’t forgotten about you. Your order’s on its way, we’re so sorry.”
  • SellerSmile found that being transparent and proactive prevents customers from canceling their order or asking for a refund when stockouts occur

AI is a win for customer service

  • Tygh believes that AI will be that assistive device that can help create “super humans” out of your customer support team
  • “I think overall it’s a win because as a customer, whether or not it’s AI, you should be getting a faster response. That’s better. And if that’s the case, I think it’s a win.”