“Allowing customers multiple channels over which to contact you is always a benefit. It doesn’t just make you seem approachable. It means that the process from question to answer becomes more and more seamless.”
“Our agents really like the change in style and dynamics that come when you offer all these different communication channels. As do customers. We’ve seen a big increase in the number of customers using these channels to get in touch with us.”
In a market that is evolving at a faster speed all the time, being able to respond in a way that’s agile but also human and helpful is key to maintaining customer engagement. Two organisations that are leading the way in creating a responsive customer experience are the e-bike conversion specialist Swytch Bike and men’s wellbeing provider Numan.
Oliver Brookes, Customer Experience Project Manager at Numan and Benjamin Mepsted, Swytch Bike’s Head Of Customer Service share their experience on streamlining their customer journey and support operations.
Founded in 2017, Swytch Bike makes bespoke kits that cyclists use to convert their normal bike into an e-bike. Providing a premium customer experience to their 20,000 plus customers is key to the success of the brand.
“Giving customers many different ways to talk to you not only makes your company approachable,” said Benjamin, “It also shrinks the time between the customer asking a question and us being able to give an answer. That means agents can get on with helping more people.”
The role of flexible, intelligent customer-experience tools
“It’s about meeting customers wherever they want us to meet them,” explained Numan’s Oliver Brookes. “When we first started at Numan, the customer support offering was just standard email and phone, very bare bones. Over the last twelve months, working with Zendesk, we’ve integrated with social media. People can get support via SMS. They can engage with our answer-bot. We have the flexibility to let customers get in touch on whatever channel they are most comfortable with.”
Regardless of the industry, customers expect great service across all channels. Letting customers choose the way they contact a business gives them the freedom they need. And because the conversation can flow across channels, customers never have to repeat themselves, which is a common cause of frustration.
Oliver went on to talk about how easy the transition had been, how hard he and his team had worked with Zendesk to ensure that customers were comfortable with the new communication options and how happy his agents were with the new setup. He highlighted the importance of the Zendesk and Slack integration. Using the channel features has been crucial to ensuring that agents have a constant flow of key information, delivering an improved, agile customer experience.
As well as agreeing on the importance of Slack for internal communications, Benjamin highlighted the role of Atlassian Confluence as an internal knowledgebase. Swytch Bike has integrated both tools with Zendesk to ensure that information is shared seamlessly across all channels and to ensure consistency, no matter how an agent is communicating with a customer. It’s paying off. Swytch Bike has seen a boost in agent efficiency, with the average number of replies falling across all classifications to record-breaking levels.
Building an agile customer-support operation
Oliver Brookes also highlighted the importance of back-end automation. Numan uses it to close tickets that no longer require any further actions and to highlight those that agents should deal with as a priority. This has led to improved efficiency as well as saving costs on Numan’s customer support team.
“With intelligent automation, we can ensure that our inbox properly reflects the things agents have to work on,” he explained. “It’s really important to use automation and triggers effectively to help agents cut through the noise and instantly see which are the highest priority cases.”
Automation tools can be rolled out in a number of ways. And with Zendesk’s customisation options, businesses can get ahead of their customers. For example, proactive messaging can provide outbound notifications that drive customer engagement and prevent escalations.
Swytch Bike’s Benjamin Mepsted talked to us about the role back-end automation has played in helping his company cut support costs. “The biggest impact on cost reduction anyone can make is by prioritising work and making sure the team’s time is used effectively. We’ve used Zendesk to ensure that agents don’t have to click away from the support ticket to get the information they need. We’ve also integrated an agent scripting app, to ensure that agents have instant access to expert knowledge. And we have our own app that imports data from our customer database and places it on the side of the Zendesk ticket, so the agent really does have all the information they need where they can see it.”
Since using Zendesk, Swytch Bike has seen CSAT scores increase from 80% to 87%. The company has also seen median first reply times fall by a full ten minutes. And with agents becoming more efficient, Swytch Bike can now consider new services, such as multi-language support. Benjamin is proud of his company’s ability to rise above its competitors on Trustpilot. Swytch Bike being approachable across channels is a big part of that.
“The best thing you can do to improve customer support is to open as many channels for feedback as you can,” said Oliver Brookes. “This allows you to gather the broadest and the most detailed understanding of the improvements that everyone wants to see internally but most importantly, of course, that your customers want.”