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Building award-winning customer support operations with self-service and automation

GoCardless has managed to establish itself as a leader in the B2B payments industry. Learn more about GoCardless and how they leverage Zendesk.

“Our next focus will be on expanding our channels and self serve initiatives to help with customer enquiries. We are also looking at how we can expand our video content library and at further refining our SLAs to deliver even more efficient service to our customers.”

– Daniel Mooney

Director of Customer Operations at GoCardless




Automated customer enquiries:


Reduction in ticket volume by:


Manual agent hours saved:

The B2B payments industry has become hugely competitive, with an ever-increasing number of companies seeking to disrupt and transform the practices traditionally monopolised by the big banks.

GoCardless has managed to establish itself as a leader in this space, tackling the widespread difficulty businesses face when collecting recurring payments from customers, both locally and overseas.

In the era of the subscription economy, GoCardless has grown quickly from a small UK fintech start-up to a global player serving businesses of all sizes in 31 countries and counting. This growth has been fuelled by continuous technology innovation and a strong commitment to delivering outstanding service by improving customer experience.

Overhauling existing customer service operations

At the outset, GoCardless had a small team of customer support agents who directly responded to customer enquiries. Rapid growth meant the company needed to streamline customer service operations rapidly, to support its growing customer base.

“In 2016, we had 11 customer service agents and no manager, but this team rapidly expanded to cope with the increasing number of customer enquiries,” said Daniel Mooney, Director of Customer Operations at GoCardless. “There was no centralised system for managing enquiries, so the team spent a lot of time focusing on simple manual tasks and customer engagement was only reactive. This resulted in high overhead costs and lack of efficiency.”

Having worked with Zendesk prior to joining GoCardless, Daniel was confident in its technological capabilities and the team chose to implement Zendesk Support and Guide within the company’s customer support function to help address the operational issues the team then faced. 

Driving efficiencies with triggers and automation

Within a month of working with Zendesk, the team were able to increase efficiency and speed up the resolution of customer enquiries through its automation capabilities. By creating a trigger based on one of the most repeated subject lines in customer enquiries, the team saw a 25% reduction in customer service ticket volume. As a result, more responses were automated to tackle other basic questions as well as the ability to route tickets to the right customer support agent. The automation and trigger capabilities were also used to optimise workflows to ensure both greater efficiency and provide a greater level of service.

Within less than a year, the GoCardless customer support team managed to automate 28% of customer enquiries, while saving 284 hours of manual labour or approximately 35.5 working days.

Zendesk software also enabled the team to introduce Service Level Agreements (SLA), allowing the introduction of new standards for quicker response times for customers.

“Within two months our average overall response times reduced from 24 hours to 6, and by a year, it was four hours. We reduced priority tickets from over seven hours, to just over an hour! 63% of the tickets are also now resolved with the first response.

“This has freed up more time for our customer service agents to expand their skills and focus on handling more complex customer issues,” said Daniel.

Building award-winning self-service capabilities

To move the needle even further, we created a Help Centre and introduced self-service capabilities.

“Within the first six months of launching our Help Centre, we had created more than 150 articles addressing common customer questions. The ability to attach links to ticket responses also sped up time to resolution,” continued Daniel, “and we were able to reduce the number of incoming tickets by 16%”

Thanks to the commitment of the customer support team and the technology efficiencies enabled by Zendesk, GoCardless has maintained a consistent CSAT score of 92% and is achieving close to 100% of its service levels consistently. The Help Center initiative was so successful that it won the prestigious European Contact Centre Award for Most Effective Self Service Initiative.

“The operational efficiencies created by the self-service Help Centre were tremendous. Since introducing Zendesk about three years ago, our company has grown significantly, but we have managed to maintain the same headcount within the customer support team for almost two years. Our increased efficiency has enabled our agents to be more productive without additional pressure or workload. This has resulted in higher overall employee satisfaction,” said Daniel.

In fact, the customer support team now demonstrate 18% higher engagement and work ownership than the average for comparable businesses.

In 2019, GoCardless were nominated for the best Customer Service team award at the 2019 European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards (ECCCSAs).

Streamlining operations across departments

Thanks to these results, the GoCardless customer support team has become a best practice example within the company. As a result, the technology was rolled out across other departments within the organisation, including Risk, Compliance, Legal and HR.

“We need to comply with multiple regulations around processing payments including anti-money laundering (AML), know your customer (KYC) and user privacy (GDPR). This requires close collaboration between front line agents and the regulatory teams. Zendesk helps us to rapidly escalate issues where needed and to liaise with our compliance and legal experts to get timely advice on more complex or sensitive customer queries,” said Daniel.

The easy sharing of information across multiple departments has helped GoCardless drive significant efficiencies across the business. For instance, the HR team uses Zendesk to manage internal enquires about payroll, holiday entitlement, or other personal queries related to work policies.

Using data insights to streamline customer support operations

The ability to integrate Zendesk with third-party tools has provided better data visibility for GoCardless, which has been particularly useful for customer onboarding and when consolidating data insights for monthly senior management reviews. It has played an important role in streamlining customer service operations and identifying new areas of innovation as the company grows.

“Our next focus will be on expanding our channels and self serve initiatives to help with customer enquiries. We are also looking at how we can expand our video content library and at further refining our SLAs to deliver even more efficient service to our customers,” concluded Daniel.

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