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The key to good customer service is hiring Ivy League graduates, says founder of Warby Parker

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
In the new new economy, dropping out of Harvard gets you into the C-suite; graduating gets you into customer service.
New YorkPublished This article is more than 2 years old.

The stereotype of customer service is that it’s a race to the bottom—call centers in India, computers, or worse. But when you’re a hip eyeglasses brand with headquarters in Manhattan, you can convince graduates of places like Harvard and Yale to answer your phones, as well as former employees of Goldman Sachs, said David Gilboa, one of the founders of Warby Parker.

It sounds like a bad joke about the worst job market young people have faced in a generation, but it’s more complicated than that, Gilboa said at today’s Next Billion event put on by Quartz. Warby Parker’s customer service brain trust is coming up with new ways to answer customer questions, such as taking requests on Twitter and responding with YouTube videos that answer customers’ questions. It’s a strategy that apparently works for Warby Parker, which caters to the hip, young, tech-savvy portion of its market—but unless the job market gets even worse, it’s hard to imagine scaling up the practice for a large company or a mass market brand.

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