Nodes: Laying the groundwork with Zendesk to scale as the company grows
Nodes has grown from a small Danish startup to a company that is now represented in 28 countries. In a restructure of its service management department it turned to Zendesk to provide effective and scalable solutions for support.
“We position ourselves in a partner role with our customers and so it is crucially important that we provide them with the best possible customer experience.”
"Over the years as we’ve scaled, 65% of our clients have returned for more work. But since we’ve started using Zendesk more efficiently, this is already at least 10% up from before,”
EMEA support tickets a month
of customers return for repeat business (10% increase with Zendesk)
‘Engineering Awesome’. This is quite a tagline. It belongs to Nodes, a digital product development agency on a mission to create successful, robust, and scalable digital solutions that offer that coveted ‘awesome’ user experience.
Originally founded in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2008, Nodes soon scaled setting up offices in cities across Europe. An acquisition by Japanese conglomerate Monstar Lab in 2017 enabled it to reach even more markets and so together with its offices in Aarhus, London, Dubai, Amsterdam, Berlin and Prague, an additional 18 offices in Asia and another two in the US were added to the mix.
Nodes’ customers are core to its end-to-end service offering, which sees them working together from the ideation stage of a digital solution through design and development, and then to ongoing product support.
“We position ourselves in a partner role with our customers and so it is crucially important that we provide them with the best possible customer experience,” said Dominik Hádl, VP of Technology and Operations at Nodes. “This results in us being treated as almost part of their company and this really helps when it comes to understanding what business goals they want to achieve with their digital solution.”
To enable Nodes to do this it relies on using Zendesk products in two areas. The first is the Support Suite and particularly Talk, a telephony solution that enables clients to easily communicate with Nodes’ support team, and the second is a recently implemented solution for internal IT support across Nodes’ entire group.
Gathering information to improve service management
Nodes’ core support team is centralised in its Prague office, which currently consists of five service analysts as the first line of support and then four engineers who make code level changes to projects and other related fixes. It’s a team that was set up by Hádl just over a year ago when he moved into his current position within the company.
“I began by gathering information on what we do and how we do it in all the different regions and looked at what the bottlenecks were. From there I began to create a framework to restructure our service management, IT support, operations, and all the things associated with it so that we can scale better and faster,” described Hádl.
Prior to that, support was offered via emails and phone calls, which obviously came with a number of inefficiencies and pain points. “Firstly, having clients contact project managers directly was taking time away from them. Secondly, if someone left the company their knowledge related to any client support left with them. Lastly, with no track record or documentation of previous support given it was challenging when clients came back to follow up on a specific solution,” explained Hádl.
Increasing efficiency through custom solutions
“Probably the best feature from Zendesk so far is the ability to manage support for all our clients through just the one interface."
Dominik Hádl, VP of Technology and Operations at Nodes In researching different frameworks for the restructure of its service management office, Hádl settled on applying an ITIL framework. This involved initially standardising processes such as incident management, change requests management and service requests.
“When we had those processes aligned, we approached Zendesk to help provide us with features that will really support our needs and then integrate them into this framework and the other tools we have within it. This would mean everything from setting up things like custom ticket forms and custom automations triggers,” said Hádl.
“I think probably the best feature from Zendesk we’ve discovered so far is the ability to manage support for all our clients through just the one interface. As an agency, the digital solutions we develop for our clients are very different with each having very different requirements for support. Quite quickly we can create a multi brand setup in which each client has a profile with a specific ticket form applying only to them,” he added.
Enhancing communication with customers proves results
With Nodes being a customer centric business, the CX is crucial. Using Zendesk, customers can easily communicate with the support team through a range of channels in the Support Suite. In turn, with Zendesk now integrated in its systems, the Nodes support team is able to access the right data to allow them to make the right decisions for that customer experience and also to be able to analyse that entire data flow.
Ultimately, the measure of a successful partnership is having happy clients that are satisfied with the overall quality of the project including the support provided. “Over the years as we’ve scaled, 65% of our clients have returned for more work. But since we’ve started using Zendesk more efficiently, this is already at least 10% up from before,” said Hádl.
Building blocks for a successful future
On average, Nodes is processing around 200 tickets a month in EMEA alone. But with Nodes aiming to expand the Prague-based service team to provide this support offering to clients in APAC and the US, this ticket count will no doubt increase.
“Right now, our focus is on really utilising our current Zendesk products to the max,” said Hádl. “We want to integrate it deeper within the infrastructure we have internally and that means everything from building our own Slack Bots to get the right teams on the right tickets, all the way through to actually having a Zendesk integration. It’s about having these integrated services and mapping the data flow to make sure that we really utilise the data we have.”