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SodaStream’s customer service sparkles with Zendesk

SodaStream turned direct-to-consumer and transformed its customer care operation, with Zendesk supporting the sparkling water brand on its mission to provide consistent VIP service to its consumers across the globe.

“You have to differentiate yourself in service these days and do that by delivering an awesome experience, even if you’re a product company. This is why we embrace everything from the tech perspective.”

Leora Machlis

Director of Global Customer Care at SodaStream

“Customising our integration is a big money saver for us. And it allows us to invest more in [tech] development to improve the business.”

Leora Machlis

Director of Global Customer Care at SodaStream










Reduction in first response time YoY


Reduction in resolution time


Cost efficiency saving forecast per year


“Our mission is to change the way the world drinks”

SodaStream might be one of the hottest brands on the market right now, but did you know the stylish kitchen gadget which delivers consumers sparkling water at home was founded well over 100 years ago?

Fast-forward 121 years, the company is now headquartered in Israel and was bought by PepsiCo for $3.2bn in 2018 when the CPG company saw shoppers increasingly looking for solutions to reduce their single-use plastic waste.

“Our vision is to eliminate single-use plastic waste by changing the way the world drinks,” says Leora Machlis, Director of Global Customer Care at SodaStream. “We want to support people to make the right choices for a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle - consumers shouldn’t have to do without their favourite sparkly drinks, so we give them the tools to change their drinking habits.”

The increasing importance of B2C and direct customer engagement

More than ever, consumers are avoiding single-use plastics to help protect the environment, and SodaStream claims that one Sparkling Water Maker can save up to thousands of single-use plastic bottles in its lifetime.

A combination of climate change awareness, Covid-19 and the healthy living trend in recent years has led to a spike in SodaStream sales. This came at a time when the company was engaging more with consumers directly through ecommerce, which also led to an influx of consumer enquiries. This was a huge transition for a brand which had up until this point manufactured and distributed its product primarily through B2B channels. By ramping up its use of Zendesk, SodaStream was able to meet the challenge head-on and the company now boasts a CSAT score of close to 90%.

Today SodaStream distributes its machines to retailers in over 48 countries around the globe, as well as via its sizeable online B2C operation, which includes a subscription option for shoppers to easily replenish their CO2 gas cylinders.

“Over the past couple of years, B2C has become so much more relevant to so many countries. Product demand has been incredible with B2C and we’ve also seen a huge increase in Customer Care direct interactions.”

“It’s really important to ensure that we are always giving a consistent, VIP experience to our global consumers”

During the Covid-19 lockdowns, the company had to deal with huge peaks in demand as consumers were stuck at home and unable to buy their favourite carbonated drinks. “2020 was wild and it was at that point we realised we needed to refocus our strategy to cope with the influx of B2C queries.”

The following year saw a big change with the creation of global hubs for Customer Care to replace localised services, to ensure its markets were aligned, which has been one of SodaStream’s biggest challenges. Using Zendesk’s cloud-based solution allows SodaStream to be flexible and leverage talent from one location to serve a different market when necessary.

“For me, it’s really important to ensure that we are always giving a consistent, VIP experience to our global consumers,” says Machlis, who looks after over 180 customer service agents worldwide.

Another big challenge for the brand has been adapting to changes in consumer behaviour and expectations. “After the switchover to B2C, we had to make sure that we were always delivering excellent customer service despite continuous changes.”

Sodastream's use of WhatsApp to troubleshoot machine faults

SodaStream uses a range of products from the Zendesk suite including Chat, Gather, Explore and Guide, and a high volume of API subs. The deep integration with SodaStream’s e-commerce provider Shopify is a welcome tool, says Machlis, as it allows her agents to work from Zendesk without leaving the system. She explains how being able to customise their integration with Zendesk is a “big money saver” and allows SodaStream to invest this cash into tech developments elsewhere in the business.

“Zendesk cares so much about customer service and customer experience, it means we can focus a little less on in-house development and be really brave. We do everything with a sense of boldness and urgency.”

Zendesk Chat has allowed SodaStream to digitise its customer engagement by rolling out automated chatbots, achieving a 76% containment rate and freeing up agents to deal with more complicated queries. Messaging is another big channel for SodaStream, with many consumers preferring to communicate with customer service agents through SMS, Whatsapp, or FB and IG messenger. Zendesk’s messaging integrations have enabled Machlis and her team to engage with customers on their terms. “We’re a high-touch service centre, but we want to be able to be where our consumers are, and everyone today is mainly communicating with messaging.”

Machlis mentions that the team find WhatsApp particularly useful for troubleshooting machine faults. Consumers on a call with an agent can quickly send a photo via WhatsApp which helps them get to the root of the problem swiftly. “We want to resolve an issue from beginning to end because we’d like them to be able to use their machine every day - if it takes days to get it working again, they might start making other choices.”

She adds: “It’s nice to be able to act quickly and in line with new trends. Zendesk allows us to do this through the implementation of additional apps rather than having to develop them ourselves. A lot of other platforms don’t give us as much access, and most of our apps have great integration with Zendesk already.”

Leveraging digitisation to create a 'sparkly' customer service experience

Machlis points out that in Israel there are many high-tech companies, which has influenced SodaStream’s digital ambitions. “You have to differentiate yourself in service these days and do that by delivering an awesome experience, even if you’re a product company. This is why we embrace everything from the tech perspective.”

“When it comes to our Customer Care, we use the word ‘sparkly’,” says Machlis. “Our rollout of Zendesk from two markets to 16, is very cool - it’s driven a huge increase in our overall service levels since our big changes in the past few years and enabled us to deliver a service that sparkles.”

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