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Saludsa + Zendesk: Delivering compassionate, data-driven healthcare

Ecuadorian healthcare company Saludsa provides prepaid medicine and services to more than 200,000 customers. After promoting its telemedicine service during COVID-19, queries skyrocketed 400% to more than 34,000 support requests a day. Saludsa used Zendesk to scale its support operations, while making sure people received prompt, personalized answers.

“We now have a 360-degree view of both the customer and our operation.”

Laura Lalama

National Reimbursement Manager at Saludsa

“With Zendesk I get information in real time: two clicks and that’s it.”

Laura Lalama

National Reimbursement Manager at Saludsa





Zendesk Start Date



Productivity increase





Ecuadorian healthcare company Saludsa offers prepaid medicine and services to more than 200,000 customers. Providing exceptional care is an essential part of its daily activities, and Saludsa knows that delivering it encourages people to promote the company. Its goal is for 9 out of 10 customers to recommend its services.

For many years, the company’s customer support team used a variety of systems and technologies to reply to requests. Most of them did not prioritize the customer experience, however.

“Our processes were simple for the employees, but very complex for the customers,” said Saludsa National Reimbursement Manager Laura Lalama. “We were working very manually, and it took a lot of time, for example, to measure agent productivity. We were also unable to obtain detailed information about customers, meaning that we could not anticipate their requests.”

Getting real-time metrics, boosting productivity

In 2019, Saludsa began looking for a support platform that would give it a much broader view of each customer and allow it to understand their specific needs. The company wanted to be able to operate quickly and with agility when handling customer requests and concerns. After comparing different platforms, Saludsa adopted Zendesk.

“During our search for the ideal platform for Saludsa, we realized that with Zendesk, we would not need to be systems experts,” Lalama said. “We could make changes ourselves very simply or customize the control panels to monitor our operation, obtaining real-time metrics that are vital for our business, such as number of transactions or first response times. Over time, we also realized that with Zendesk, we can measure many more indicators or have a direct impact on NPS®, our customers’ Net Promoter Score, in line with the company’s mission.”

Saludsa worked with a Zendesk partner to roll out a staged implementation of the support platform. That implementation began with the automation of processes that featured the highest number of transactions. Then the company’s agents—more than 100 of them—were swiftly trained. The results of using a cohesive platform soon began to show.

“Our agents love Zendesk. They find the platform very easy to use and user-friendly,” Lalama said. “In fact, after one year of using the platform, productivity has doubled. For example, a specific reimbursement procedure used to take 10 minutes, and today it can be completed in five. The organization and seamlessness with which they can now manage customer service are truly valuable.”

Another noteworthy outcome for Saludsa is that the NPS for Dr. Salud—the company’s 24/7 medical service—increased from 5 to 8.5 out of 10 with a 20 percent survey response rate, an impressive result for Latin America. A large portion of those customer responses congratulate and recognize the service provided by the company; an improving customer experience is reflected in Saludsa’s CSAT rating of 90 percent.

Meanwhile, Saludsa also uses Zendesk to get a comprehensive view of its processes. “We now have a 360-degree view of both the customer and our operation,” Lalama said. “Using Zendesk has made us more integrated as a company. Although not all areas deal directly with the customer, all of them are aware of what is happening in each case, helping us work more efficiently and improving communication flow.”

Transforming service to embody more warmth

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people postponed doctor visits and treatments, which posed a risk to their health. Luckily, Saludsa has offered a telemedicine service to its customers since 2014. The company quickly pivoted over to supporting and promoting that channel so patients feel safe reaching out to their doctors. Telemedicine queries have skyrocketed 400 percent to more than 34,000 support requests a day. Similarly, reimbursements requests went up 40 percent, and Dr. Salud inquiries rose by 35 percent.

“The pandemic transformed the way people interact with health services, so we had to respond quickly and strengthen our healthcare channels,” said Lalama. “Zendesk allowed us to automate certain processes that previously required more time and steps, usually in person.”

Lalama points to how those automated processes have real effects on its customers. For example, they can now initiate a request and easily track it from their phones.

“Our customers also know that they are not just another number and that we have a clear picture of each person’s entire story, without them having to repeat it to each person they come in contact with,” Lalama said. “Bringing human warmth to support, even when using automated tools, is something that customers value very highly and that we can offer them with Zendesk.”

According to Lalama, the switch from traditional, manual processes to using a platform that supports automated workflows opens up a lot of potential for Saludsa. “Today we can obtain and manage all the information from our customers far more efficiently,” Lalama said. “I am confident that with the resources provided by Zendesk, we can plan better and see where the future will take us. We expect to continue exceeding our customers’ expectations.”

Net Promoter and NPS are registered U.S. trademarks, and Net Promoter Score and Net Promoter System are service marks, of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc. and Fred Reichheld.