How Hugo Helped Outschool Handle Growth During the Pandemic

Author: Andrea Okonkwo

Outschool is an innovative education platform that offers a variety of engaging, small-group classes online. It gives kids the unique opportunity to explore their interests in-depth via interactive, live video by experienced, independent educators on topics covered in the traditional school system and out of it.

The Challenge: Keeping Up with Unprecedented Demand

Outschool was founded on a simple but powerful idea: provide a flexible online platform where students of all ages could learn everything from core subjects to specialty interests. From coding to ballet, music lessons to math tutoring, Outschool offered live classes on almost any topic imaginable.

The company saw steady growth, facilitating thousands of classes globally. But when COVID-19 hit, Outschool experienced a crisis of success.

School closures led to a 150X spike in demand practically overnight. Ticket requests overwhelmed Outschool’s support system, with response times ballooning from 4 hours to a staggering 15 days.

The Solution: Hugo’s Always-On Support

“It was a challenging time,” remembers Caroline Schwabb, Outschool’s Approvals Lead. “We needed to get wait times under control quickly while maintaining our reputation for great customer service.”

Outschool realized they needed help, and fast. But there was some initial hesitation about outsourcing their critical customer support operations. To build confidence, Hugo offered Outschool its risk-free startup pilot. In just 30 days, Hugo’s team demonstrated deep knowledge of Outschool’s business, resolving tickets rapidly while maintaining high satisfaction scores.

Beyond sheer competency, the geographic diversity of Hugo’s global operations ensured resilient service delivery even when other outsourcing regions faced shutdowns. This combination of proven excellence and always-on reliability gave Outschool the confidence to proceed with the partnership. By selecting Hugo, Outschool gained a dedicated customer support team to handle their needs seamlessly, no matter the circumstances.

Swift Stabilization: Clearing the Backlog 

Hugo moved rapidly, constructing a dedicated team to tackle Outschool’s backlog. Within a week, over 5,000 pending tickets were cleared. In two weeks, customer satisfaction scores exceeded those of Outschool’s in-house team.

“I was amazed by how quickly Hugo stabilized things,” Caroline recalls. “They really understood our needs and culture.”

Built for Scale: Meeting Growing Demand

But Hugo didn’t stop there. As Outschool’s demand grew, so did the Hugo team. Agent count doubled in the first six weeks. New workflows reduced response times while increasing satisfaction. Custom training materials targeted frequent customer issues.

Soon, Hugo was handling over 25,000 tickets per week flawlessly. Outschool leaned on them for additional support needs – teacher verification, content moderation, and escalations.

The Results: Empowering Uninterrupted Learning

“I’m so grateful for our partnership with Hugo,” Caroline says.

They've been flexible, efficient, and dedicated through enormous growth. The high volume of work can easily feel overwhelming, but the team is always on top of it, and they remain curious, asking questions to ensure they are doing their best work. We couldn't ask for a better team.

Hugo enabled continuous learning during an unprecedented crisis. By clearing the ticket backlog, Hugo helped Outschool scale during a period of hypergrowth and allowed thousands of eager students to finally access enriching classes.

But Hugo’s impact went further:

  • Starting without templates, Hugo’s team quickly identified key issues needing standardized responses. They proposed comprehensive templates that were implemented by Outschool.
  • Hugo onboarded 110 new agents in just 2 weeks. They built an immersive curriculum that swiftly leveled up support capabilities.
  • Hugo instituted robust quality assurance, including daily standups to review issues and enhance knowledge with Outschool’s internal CX team.
  • Hugo recommended an LMS that Outschool adopted and created the first training modules on the platform.
  • Hugo introduced ongoing performance improvements like targeted training, workgroups, and brand guidelines.

Hugo’s partnership with Outschool not only addressed the immediate crisis of overwhelming demand but also laid a foundation for sustained growth and excellence in customer support. Their adaptable, efficient approach and deep understanding of Outschool’s mission transformed a challenging situation into an opportunity for innovation and improved service delivery.

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