How a Virtual Agent Paved the Way for Papier’s US Expansion

Stationery by Papier with Ultimate branding

24/7 self-service support helped fast-growing, UK-based stationery startup Papier scale successfully across continents. They also reached an automation rate of over 40%.

CRM Integration
chat support 24/7
automation rate 40%


  • Papier successfully supported their growing US market thanks to 24/7 chat support
  • They minimized staff scaling efforts during the holiday and wedding peak seasons
  • By analyzing their historic support data with our CS Automation Explorer, Papier identified what needed to be automated first, boosting their ROI
  • Ultimate quickly and easily integrated with Papier’s CRM and backoffice systems, Zendesk and Sorted
  • Since going live, Papier’s virtual agent has consistently reached automation rates of over 40%

The Customer: Bringing paper to the people on both sides of the pond

In a deeply digitalized world, Papier is passionate about paper. This London-based stationery startup shop offers personalized greeting cards and stationery to customers in the UK, Australia, and the United States. Powered by a $50M Series C round of funding, Papier is on a trajectory towards massive global expansion. However, their support team is still located in the UK, staffed with 10-15 agents depending on the season.

The Situation: Customers in the US, support agents in the UK

When Papier approached Ultimate, they had big plans for a US expansion, but their support agents were still located in the UK. They needed to figure out how to serve customers in US time zones and how to handle increased support volumes that would result from going global. Self-service automation quickly emerged as the perfect solution to provide live support and resolve repetitive and most frequently asked questions on the spot.

The Solution: Seamless self-service, easy integrations, and an automation platform that was completely run within the CS team

Papier chose Ultimate for three reasons: Our compatibility with their CRM and backend applications, our no-code, easy to use dialogue builder, and the quick and simple setup of both.

After identifying their most common requests using the CS Automation Explorer, Papier was ready to start setting up their virtual agent  to handle requests via live chat.

For an internationally operating ecommerce business like Papier, requests regarding shipping will invariably top the list of most common customer intents. They include tracking information, address updates, and what industry insiders call WISMO (Where is my order?). Luckily, many of these issues can be solved quickly, accurately, and easily using chat and ticketing automation. The key to success here? Integrations.

Papier knew that Ultimate had a proven track record of integrating seamlessly with Zendesk, their existing CRM. Because the virtual agent is an agent within the Zendesk environment, it easily and immediately integrates into the support team’s workflow. Zendesk also helps with reporting, and makes it easy for the virtual agent to tag issues automatically.

In addition, Ultimate’s Customer Success teams swiftly integrated with Sorted, Papier’s delivery experience platform. Their virtual agent can now fetch information like tracking numbers and shipping status from Sorted in real time, and pass it on to their customers 24/7.

“Something I found useful about the virtual agent that I didn’t necessarily expect was the information-gathering aspect,” recalls Suzanne Duffy, Head of Customer Service at Papier.

Suzanne and the rest of the support team also enjoyed building dialogues for their virtual agent.

Today, their team works with roughly 100 intents, jumping in only occasionally to adjust them when a product is new or out of stock, and to keep accommodating for the many different ways in which customers ask for what they need through quick and easy no-code training.

Moreover, even if the virtual agent was unable to resolve all issues, its ability to immediately resolve over 40% of all requests outside office hours had the knock-on effect of reducing backlogs that the human agents would then easily tackle once they came in the next day.

The Success: New (and happier) customers thanks to personalized and efficient support

In fact, Papier’s support team noticed a considerable impact on their brand’s overall CX: After surveying their customers to find out what was most important to them in terms of customer support, they found out that immediacy was an absolute priority. More than anything, their customers wanted instant replies, whether it be an estimate of when their shipment would arrive or information on when a certain product would be back in stock. Adding a virtual agent helped meet that need - no matter when or from where in the world customers were writing in.

Despite specializing in custom products, Papier benefited immensely from their virtual agent, while enabling their agents to lend their expertise to more complex requests.

Ready to start your automation journey?

Find out how Ultimate can automate your customer support.