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Quando Mike Cartwright, Chefe das Soluções de Parceiros da Expedia® Affiliate Network (EAN) deu uma palestra em um evento da Zendesk em Londres, em maio do ano passado, ele brincou que a EAN oferecia dois níveis de suporte: um grupo com o endereço de email do Jamie e outro com o telefone do Jamie.
Jamie Loren Byers II is the Head of Support for EAN’s Partner:Connect team. He’s hands-on with affiliates, and with Zendesk Support, he no longer has to give out his personal contact information. Unless, of course, he wants to.
Como parte da Expedia, Inc., a EAN oferece suporte a vários parceiros B2B que usam o conteúdo da Expedia em seus sites de viagem. No passado, os afiliados passavam pelos gerentes da conta, que então entravam em contato com a equipe do Partner:Connect. Às vezes, as mensagens ficavam esquecidas nas caixas de entrada por muito tempo.
"Como qualquer organização nova, nós 'fazíamos o nosso melhor'", disse Cartwright. A equipe do Partner:Connect era composta por nove pessoas em diferentes países. No entanto, diferente de outras empresas novas, a EAN recebia milhares (e não centenas) de novos afiliados. Para cada novo afiliado, a equipe tinha que analisar a parte legal e o site antes de permitir que o parceiro implantasse a API da Expedia. O processo demorava cerca de 3 horas por parceiro.
One of Cartwright’s first tasks after joining EAN was to bring visibility to the workload faced by the Partner:Connect team. He also wanted to bring value to the business by tracking and prioritizing requests. To do this, they needed a customer service software and selected Zendesk Support for its agility. They liked that they could see the entire customer story in a single ticket, from anywhere in the world.
“I think the most impressive piece for me about Support was how quickly we started getting value from it,” Cartwright said. In a little over a month, the team went from signing the contract to deploying the product, including the training for account managers, sales reps, and support. “We kicked on very quickly. And I think if we had another tool, we couldn’t have made the leaps forward that we made over the next few months.”
Onboarding new affiliates is only part of the Partner:Connect team’s job. Yet it was so time-consuming that they were always behind. In this regard, time savings was one of the first returns they saw with Support. New affiliates began submitting review requests through Support and automatically received a questionnaire. Their responses and photos then attached to the ticket, making it easy for the team to quickly review the details.
“We’ve definitely turned it around,” Byers said. “We went from having a constant backlog, to being up-to-date, and getting our partners up and running much faster. Zendesk Support has added a lot of value there.”
Atualmente, eles conseguem completar a avaliação de novos afiliados em menos de uma hora, registrando uma melhoria de quase 60%.
Another one of Cartwright’s goals was to relieve Byers and the other skilled agents from basic support tasks so that they could focus on partner-facing optimization. EAN invested in a Level 1 support team, based in Romania. “Having Zendesk Support in place, with it being a SaaS offering, meant that it was incredibly quick and easy to get them up and running, without having to provision any internal accounts,” he said.
Ao mesmo tempo em que implantava essas mudanças, a equipe do Partner:Connect começou a criar artigos e montar uma base de conhecimento.
“Quando investimos na transformação da base de conhecimento voltada ao público em um local que sentíamos ser realmente valioso, percebemos uma queda brusca no número de solicitações de suporte recebidas", disse Cartwright. "Isso aconteceu porque os parceiros estavam conseguindo obter o que eu considero ser o melhor atendimento: não ter que precisar enviar um ticket. Se nós não recebemos tickets, estamos fazendo o trabalho certo".
Cartwright não mede as palavras ao falar sobre a importância de uma base de conhecimento interna e uma Central de Ajuda externa. "No início, muita coisa parecia perda de tempo, burocracia ou processo desnecessários", disse ele, "mas há algumas coisas que você pode fazer logo no início que assegurarão o sucesso da central de atendimento: criar uma base de conhecimento é uma delas".
As a result of this effort, they’ve built a powerful database. It’s contributed directly to the efficiency of the Level 1 team, who surface answers from the internal knowledge base using Zendesk Support’s Answer Suggestion app. “We live by the mantra: ‘When you fix a problem, document how you fixed it, and put it in the knowledge base,’” Cartwright said.
Com a Central de Ajuda, a Expedia começou a coletar conhecimento interno para trabalhar de maneira mais inteligente.
Para lidar com um volume de quase 1.000 tickets por semana, a EAN usa tags e regras de negócios para alocar tickets com base em um conjunto de critérios definidos. “Há uma lógica esperta ali”, admitiu Cartwright. “Toda empresa tem uma capacidade limitada de suporte, portanto, usá-la de maneira eficiente é muito importante".
Byers’ team relies on data pulled from Support to further improve operational efficiencies, and also to collect partner feedback. They’ve created a ‘feature requests forum’ that they review with the product team during bi-weekly bug review meetings. Any features worth implementing, are tagged. They also use the Zendesk Support JIRA integration to send problem tickets to development.
“Consciously, we’re not using Zendesk Support purely as a support tool. It is helping us manage more efficient launches, to speed up the time-to-market for new affiliates, to drive product innovation, and to fix defects in the product,” Cartwright said. “It’s been valuable to have a tool that enables us to deal with the technical questions, as well as the non-technical—the functional and financial questions.”
Instead of email, account managers now also use Zendesk Support to contact support. Even requests for updates to website copy, such as a description of a hotel, route to a content team through Support.
“Support expanded from a tool that was originally scoped to provide tech support to our partner developers to something that’s much more a collaboration tool at the heart of our business,” Cartwright said. “Support is always going to be a cost, but I think what Support allows us to do is to justify that cost by demonstrating the amount of value we’re bringing to the business and the volume of requests we’re actually dealing with.”
From the front line, Byers shared, “I would describe my experience with Zendesk Support as stellar. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Cartwright agreed. “It’s kind of a weird compliment, but when I’m not hearing a lot about Support, that’s a good thing. It’s not something on the agenda every week that we’re talking about. It’s there delivering what we wanted it to deliver.”
“We went from complete fog—not being able to see two feet in front of us—to open air. Before, we had zero visibility whatsoever. Once we started using Zendesk Support, we knew where our tickets were coming from and what people needed.”