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Supporting the world's largest online fundraising community with Zendesk Support

Learn how JustGiving supports the world's largest online fundraising community using Zendesk's customer service software.

"Zendesk Support gives us the functionality we need to support the ever-growing JustGiving community."

- Huu Anh Chu

Head of Customer Experience - JustGiving




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JustGiving was started in the year 2000 with a simple vision—to use the power of the internet to enable people to raise far more for charities, easily and cost-effectively.

Since then, JustGiving has changed the face of charitable giving in the UK, helping 1.4 million fundraisers and 20 million donors to raise more than £1 billion for more than 13,000 charities.

Half marathon? Parachute jump? Bike ride? JustGiving has simplified how millions of people raise money for their chosen causes—create a fundraising page in less than a minute, share it with friends and family, and watch as the donations start rolling in. And JustGiving has helped thousands of charities, from local initiatives to national organisations, reach new supporters and increase their income through online fundraising.

For the 27-strong customer service and charity support team, that means manning a busy help desk.

“With so many people using our site every day, it’’s vital that our customer care advisors have the right tools to deal with enquiries quickly and effectively,” said Huu Anh Chu, Head of Customer Experience at JustGiving. “We have two support teams—one for fundraisers and donors (B2C) and another for our charity members (B2B)—handling a broad range of support issues, from general enquiries about how to maximise fundraising on JustGiving to technical enquiries about our mobile apps.”

Having found that its previous help desk solution no longer offered the required functionality, JustGiving started using Zendesk Support in March 2011. “The solution we had in place before was geared more towards traditional customer service operations and we couldn’t integrate it with our multichannel approach, including social media,” said Huu. “Plus, our advisors didn’t find the interface particularly intuitive.”

After customising Support to suits its needs, JustGiving now relies on a number of key features. Live chat has enabled the team to target specific user journeys and provide help when customers need it most. With the Salesforce integration, the B2B team can easily manage relationships with their charity partners—all from the Support interface.

Huu added, “We really like the way Zendesk powers our community support forums. We get around 100 posts a month on them and it’s great to see peer-to-peer support taking place. We also encourage users to suggest improvements to the service, which provides us with invaluable customer insight.”

With so many young professionals comfortable with technology and choosing to raise funds online, JustGiving has become even more of a community platform as social media has evolved. It became vital that the organisation’s customer service tool could integrate with—and enhance—its presence on Facebook and Twitter.

“With the help of Zendesk Support, we were able to launch our own help channel on Twitter @JustGiving and with the hashtag #JGhelp,” said Huu. “It’s an important area for us and we’ve created a new role for an existing member of our customer support team—they look after our social media platforms and community forums, ensuring timely responses to online posts.”

Mobile fundraising continues to be a key growth area in the charity sector with more people now choosing to fundraise on the go using their smartphone or tablet. As Huu explained, “Our site is optimised for viewing on mobile and we offer a selection of mobile apps. To support this, Zendesk Support provides us with a mobile-ready help area, enabling our users to get help regardless of their device.”

One of the key reasons JustGiving switched to Zendesk, was a desire to reduce the time it took for a user to get help—especially through quick and easy online help.

As Huu explained, “Zendesk Guide was key to being able to develop a really customer-friendly help area and we’ve already seen the impact of our self-help features on driving down the need for customers to contact us. For instance, we saw a significant drop in the number of emails we received during the London Marathon season, which is always one of our busiest times of the year—there was a massive 50% reduction in email volume between the 2010 and 2011 marathons thanks to our online help area.”

“Customer satisfaction is up and resources have been freed up to allow us to focus on using customer insights gained through Zendesk Support to influence future website development.” Each month, JustGiving consolidates the Support data into a single report, which is used to inform the management team and plan future customer support activity.

“It’s really powerful for our support team to be able to go to meetings with specific details about the contact we have with our users. The data not only informs the development of our customer service operation going forward but also helps us to bring the voice of the customer to the forefront of decision making.”

“We’’re really happy with Zendesk Support,” added Huu. “It offers a flexible platform and pricing model, and our team enjoys using it. Plus, the reporting tools have already revealed tangible benefits, like increases in productivity and quality, along with richer customer insight.”

As JustGiving continues to put the user first and remains committed to evolving its customer service in line with the needs of those fundraising for other causes.