How AI Helps Us Keep the Care in Customer Care Team


Artificial intelligence and automation are nothing new to the world of customer service. Automated tools like interactive voice response and chatbots have let companies help a greater number of consumers at one time for decades.

And we’re among those companies! We have readily available, automated resources to offer flexibility and ease (which every parent of young kids appreciates) with common questions or tasks like managing your O’Farm subscription. Our knowledge base, FAQ page, automated responses when you send us a Facebook message, and website chat features are all there to help make your life easier and more convenient.

When these tools work (and they do often), it’s great for you and for us. Not only do you get your problem solved as efficiently as possible, but we get to free up time to be there for the moments when you need a real person on the other end. Because—let’s face it—even advanced technology has its limitations.

As a smaller company that values human connection and having the time to attend to parents’ and caregivers’ questions, AI and automation let us bring MORE of the human element into the equation. By automating certain processes, we get to spend time on what’s most important when it comes to customer care: ensuring you feel valued, understood, reassured, informed, and—in some cases—surprised and delighted.

The heart of our approach to customer care is real, caring humans. And trust us—there is no AI substitute for the care that our team genuinely exudes for our consumers. If you haven’t yet had the distinct pleasure of speaking with Lee or Sue, allow us to introduce them to you.

Once Upon a Farm Care Team members, Sue Yajko and Lee Hill

  Sue Yajko (left) and Lee Hill (right), volunteering at Bay Area Rescue Mission

Lee Hill

Lee Hill is our Senior Consumer Relations Manager, leading our Care Team for more than five years. She lights up a room with her infectious energy and tells the best stories. One of our consumers recently posted to her Instagram story about a call with our Care Team (turned out to be Lee), saying, “I literally could have talked to this lady all day long.” We feel the exact same way.

What types of consumer interactions bring you the most joy?

LH: Do I really have to choose only a few? As the mom of a 25-week micro-preemie, my heart immediately swells when I talk to any parent with a sick or struggling little one. I KNOW firsthand the fear, frustration and helplessness that comes with medical or feeding issues. My heart immediately sends virtual hugs, and my mind asks, “How can I help?” The importance of good, nutritious, sustenance feedings for our daughter’s first 3 years was like a landmine in our home. It was SO stressful! And Once Upon a Farm was not an option at the time. I read every nutrition label, diced, and pureed every healthy fat and was obsessed with getting her weight up. So, to now be on the other side of parents’ nutrition journeys and being able to help…it’s full circle and just brings the biggest smile to my face.

Can you share a recent consumer interaction that made a lasting impact on you?

LH: We’re a small (but mighty) team as you can see. We are personal in responding to every call, email, SMS, chat, etc. which may result in us getting back to you at another time. I recently spoke with a mom who’d called a couple of times in succession. She was surprised when I returned the missed call and then realized that we aren’t a call center with a multitude of agents. We were able to take care of all her questions, shared some insights with her she was unaware of and learned a bit about her little one’s upcoming birthday. By the end of the call, she’d given us some grace and appreciation for our authenticity. She understood why we may not have been available on her first call attempt. Her thank you note was a nice way to end that day.

As companies turn to AI, why do you think we’ll always need a human element in customer care?

LH: The answer is in our name, “care.” AI is wonderful for gaining efficiencies and can provide immediate answers to common questions/issues. But it can’t pick up on the little things, the caring things, the human touch things that we do naturally. AI isn’t going to hear your little one playing in the background and say, “Aww, how old is your little one, they sound so cute?” Or hear them crying in the background and say, “It’s ok mom/dad/grandparent, take your time with your little one. I’m here.” Or reassure and hear you when you’re really worried about something. The warmth in our voices and empathy in our hearts simply can’t be duplicated. In this wonderful world of technology, the human element cannot be underscored.

Sue Yajko

Sue Yajko is our Consumer Relations and Digital Specialist and is approaching her third year with Once Upon a Farm. You will never meet a kinder person. Imagine calling a company about an issue and ending the call, having formed a new friendship. That’s our Sue—solving problems and building meaningful relationships all day long.

What is the purpose of customer care/service/relations, in your opinion?

SY: I believe giving great customer service is so important for our customers. We want to make sure our customers (Moms, Dads, Grandmas, Grandpas and more) feel good about the Once Upon a Farm food they are giving their little ones or themselves. We want to be here for any questions or concerns they may have and help them when there is an issue with our product or a service we provide. We are a company of Moms and Dads and we want to show them we care about them and their family. Good customer service is hard to find these days, especially with so much of our world now automated. We want our customers to know we are real people, who care and are here for them. We want customers to know we are here for them, especially new moms as they start this feeding journey with their babies.

Can you share a recent consumer interaction that made a lasting impact on you?

SY: It is so wonderful when you help someone and they follow up with adorable photos as a thank you! Mona had called, checking on the status of her order because they are going out of the country and she wanted to make sure it came before they left! I told her the status and assured her it should arrive in time. Then they got the order in plenty of time and sent us this photo of her little love so excited! Makes it all worth it.

young girl excitedly opening a once upon a farm subscription box

What’s a reason people contact CR that might surprise us all to learn?

SY: Not only does our food feed little ones, we have a good number of adults who are enjoying our pouches and Plant-Rich Meals. Many times, adults contact us to ask if there are larger sized products for just adults. They are taking our pouches hiking, biking or are elderly and can not eat much else. Recently, I had a husband contact us to thank us for the pouches. His wife is suffering from late stages of Alzheimer’s and can’t eat much anymore. She is eating our pouches and he is so thankful for us!

Connect With Our Care Team

Have a question? Need a product recommendation? Want to share a positive experience you’ve had with our brand? Call, text, or email us anytime.