The Challenge

Extend Brand Values to Customer Service

The Costco Call Center and Member Services team knew it was time to evolve. Whether responding to common FAQS, answering calls, or relaying important updates, the overwhelming majority of the customer service scripts lacked clarity, consistency, and a human touch.

The team had not been trained — or even encouraged — to adopt a communication style rooted in the brand persona. Instead, roughly 910 outdated templates served as a “foundation” for drafting emails or responding to inbound calls.

Enter Redbird. Because we already knew the brand so well (having worked with Costco on multiple projects across several departments), Redbird was recruited to help improve Costco Member Services’ ability to support and communicate with the brand’s 90.3 million members, establishing:

  • Clarity
  • Consistency
  • Accuracy
  • Industry and brand-specific best practices
  • A tailored expression of the brand’s voice / tone

Our Approach

A New Member Services Style Guide

Redbird approached improving the digital member support experience in four steps:

  1. Provide an objective analysis. Redbird conducted a series of interviews among stakeholders to identify department goals, success metrics, and key aspects of the brand persona. We then audited all 910 consumer-facing email templates, documenting strengths, weaknesses and missed opportunities.
  2. Establish a strong foundation. We translated our findings into a comprehensive Member Services Style Guide. The guide touched on everything from preferred terminology, basic organization to brand voice — what it is, how to channel it and when to adjust the tone.
  3. Rewrite the content: Using the guide as a reference, our in-house writers revised all 910 templates, phone scripts and online FAQs.
  4. Pass the torch. Redbird assisted in rolling out the new Costco Member Services Style Guide. We helped the support team absorb and execute against our work through:

  • The development of a 50-page Communications Playbook, complete with definitions, instructions, writing samples, and hypothetical situations
  • The creation of supplementary resources (i.e. “cheat sheets”) which were geared toward more technical nuances
  • Two full-day workshops, complete with a presentation, Q & A, activities, and open discussions

The Impact

Immediate

Costco’s Member Services Team began deploying the new voice — and their training — immediately. Employees reported:

Operational Efficiency

  • Fewer instances of escalation
  • Less “back and forth” communication
  • Team sharing and adoption of “best practices”

Customer Loyalty

  • Increased member satisfaction
  • Fewer “cancel my membership” emails and calls
  • More executive memberships sold

Employee Commitment

  • Increased team collaboration
  • More emotional connection to the customer
  • Pride in the work output

Long-term

After attending our workshops, leadership began to prioritize quality over quantity, taking steps to create a culture in which employees were less focused on quotas and more focused on making members feel acknowledged, supported, and connected to the brand.

Services Provided

  • Voice and Tone Audit
  • Situational Audit
  • Voice and Tone Guide

  • Brand Voice
  • Presentation Design
  • Live Workshops

  • Email Templates
  • Phone Scripts
  • Measures of Success