We love to connect with amazing families who have been enjoying their YardRink.These connections wouldn’t be possible without our amazing customer service team led by Johanna Spittle!
As an expert in the customer service field for over a decade, Johanna’s main focus is building a best-in-class customer service program to help drive business growth. Gathering and sharing customer feedback is invaluable, and no one does it any better than Johanna. And we have the feedback to prove it!
Keep reading below to hear what Johanna has to say about connecting with YardRink’s customers, what she finds most satisfying about these conversations, measuring customer satisfaction, and more.
Tell us how you got involved with YardRink.
Brian Packard (CEO of YardRink) and I worked together at another company. Brian reached out shortly before the 2022 season to ask if I wanted to join the YardRink team. I found the concept of a backyard skating rink super interesting and was happy to have the opportunity to work with Brian again on this startup adventure. As I learned more about YardRink, I became even more excited as the product was not only fun but incredibly well designed, and I knew I could help elevate the customer experience to match.
What is YardRink's customer care philosophy and how are you setting the tone for customer interactions?
Our goal is to build relationships with our customers for seasons to come, and have them turn into our biggest fans! If our customers are taking the time to speak with us, we know it’s important and we want to hear what they have to say. We want our customers to know that we are here to help answer any questions and find solutions to fit each unique need. While we may not know the answer to every question, we’re not afraid to do the work to find answers and solutions and are confident we can help every customer.
We’re just as excited as our customers are to get their rinks set up, so we want to make every step of this process easy to get right and even harder to get wrong. Heading into the new season we can’t wait to hear even more feedback from customers!
What channels does YardRink offer for customers to reach out for support, and how do you prioritize and manage incoming inquiries across these channels?
Customers can reach out to YardRink in a variety of ways – we offer customer support via live chat, email (through the contact us form), phone, and social media. We pride ourselves on being quick and responsive when replying to inquiries, which is usually within 24 hours.
Live chat is the leading service channel and is where a majority of our conversations take place. The channel allows us to reply quickly and generally, we can connect with current (and future!) customers to answer questions while they are still on the website. The same goes for social media inquiries because they are usually short and we are able to resolve them on the same day. We do move longer or more complex issues to email or phone if needed. We have found the majority of phone calls come from customers looking for tips during set up/take down.
Could you share an example of a particularly challenging customer support situation you've encountered and how you successfully resolved it?
Last season, we encountered a unique challenge with a customer in Colorado. They lived in a remote area with an extensive, snow-covered driveway. The customer had directly scheduled deliveries with a freight company and cleared the driveway for easy access. However, the freight company repeatedly failed to show up as agreed. After several days, the customer reached out to us for assistance.
Upon contacting the delivery company, we learned that due to the remote location and the length of the driveway, they could only deliver to the driveway's end. Adding to the complexity, the snowy season was in full swing. The customer had to repeatedly shovel the driveway and rink location in anticipation of the delivery.
Ultimately, we helped the customer by connecting them with a local courier who possessed the necessary equipment. We hired this courier to pick up the rink from the freight dock and transport it directly to the customer's house down the long driveway. As a result, the customer successfully set up the rink for their family, leading to an enjoyable winter skating season.
What’s the most satisfying part of helping YardRink customers?
For me, I love hearing why our customers decided to set up their YardRink. It’s fulfilling to hear about the memories each family is creating on their rinks and what they’ve done over the season to make it their own. Knowing these moments are once again just around the corner with the upcoming season, I find it extra satisfying to help that not-so-handy parent get their rink up and running for the year (usually their first time). Hearing from customers who were able to set up a rink when they previously didn’t think it was possible is always a great feeling!
How does YardRink measure customer satisfaction, and what steps are taken to continuously improve the customer care experience based on feedback?
At YardRink, we’re constantly doing what we can to listen to our customers and gather insightful feedback. We send out surveys to measure customer satisfaction levels and willingness to recommend levels. Customer sentiment is something we also measure based on the individual conversations we’re having with each customer. This feedback is collected and shared throughout the organization, driving conversations about our product, services, and operations, allowing us to use that feedback to drive improvements at each level.
If YardRink had a theme song that played every time a customer called, what song would it be?
This is a tough question because music for me these days is heavy on the kids genre side. However, that being said, I’m going to have to go with Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger by Daft Punk. I think it’s a great theme song for where we are as a company as we push to learn more with each customer call we get. Feedback from every customer has been so important to improve as we look to build YardRink and the outdoor rink market. The song even applies to some of our customers who are learning how to make an ODR a possibility for their families for the first time.
Do you or your family have a personal connection to backyard skating?
While I personally don’t have much experience out on the ice, growing up my Dad always did what he could to help us practice team sports at home, from creating batting cage contraptions to a tennis wall, and eventually a paved “court” in the backyard. This provided opportunities beyond just basic practice, and similarly to outdoor rinks, became a popular hangout spot for the neighborhood.
As a parent myself, I can now appreciate the work he put into making these spaces for us accessible right in our backyard. In fact, my son who’s just turned 4 has been asking to try to learn to skate, so we may be looking to get him out on the ice soon and there’s no better rink than a YardRink to help him learn!
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