At South Africa’s leading courier service, customer service speeds are keeping pace with delivery
When fast-growing The Courier Guy outgrew their CX system, the company turned to the Zendesk platform to scale and deliver faster, more personalized customer service. With the Zendesk Enterprise Suite, automation and self-service options enable the delivery company to drive greater CX efficiency and realise more than $500K in annual cost savings.
“A good reputation is essential in the delivery industry. That’s earned through effective communication and customer service. Providing great service is not as simple as ‘pick up and deliver’. You need to pick up, communicate, and deliver. Communication is vital for success.”
Zendesk Administrator at The Courier Guy
“As a company, we want to grow and create more jobs. We love putting ads out there, saying: ‘We're expanding – we need more people!’. Zendesk’s technology has supported us as we’ve grown and that’s allowed us to employ more customer service agents.”
Zendesk Administrator at The Courier Guy
Full-time Zendesk users
Shadow agents using Zendesk
Agent productivity increase
Estimated cost savings from deflected tickets per annum
South African delivery service The Courier Guy
Serving customers of all sizes
South African delivery service, The Courier Guy, handles millions of packages each year, shipping within South Africa and beyond. Its customers range from individuals sending personal deliveries, such as birthday presents, to large corporations dispatching hundreds of packages each day.
Over the course of 20 years, The Courier Guy has grown from a founder, his bike and a phone, to 173 hubs, 534 customer service agents and a pool of more than 1400 couriers.
As well as door-to-door collection and delivery, the company also provides a smart locker system, via its sister company Pudo, that allows customers to send and collect parcels around the country, using dedicated lockers.
Scaling customer service with Zendesk
Before The Courier Guy started using Zendesk technology in 2021, the company delivered customer support via email and phone. However, as the business scaled, the support team began to experience challenges, despite adding more agents to handle the additional traffic. Due to the limitations of the email and phone system, agents couldn’t respond to customers within target timeframes.
The company needed a new solution and began looking for customer service software that would meet their needs. Reducing the number of incoming calls and empowering customers to self-serve was a key priority for the team.
“Zendesk’s integrated chat capabilities were a big pull factor for the company,” explains Dawid Smit, Zendesk Administrator at The Courier Guy. “At that point, there was a huge volume of calls coming in every day, so the company was very focussed on reducing calls and transitioning to chat.”
The Courier Guy team now uses Zendesk Enterprise Suite to deliver fast, personalised customer support across a variety of channels, including email, phone, web, mobile, and social media. The ability to integrate chat across channels has been a game-changer. WhatsApp is particularly popular in South Africa, and today, 36 per cent of The Courier Guy’s tickets come in via WhatsApp chat.
Combining live agents, automation and self-service
Zendesk has enabled The Courier Guy’s customer support team to use conversational bots to gather customer information. Before automation, agents had to ask customers for their details at the start of every conversation. However, using Zendesk's bot builder, Dawid, together with his support team at Zendesk, has created several conversational bots to gather customer information. Now, customers can input basic information, such as name and label number details, before their call or chat is routed to an agent. By developing these bots, The Courier Guy has saved around $77,000 per year.
Dawid and the team have also implemented an Application Programming Interface (API) integration on chat. In this way, when customers enter their label number, the estimated delivery time frame for their package is provided via automation.
To assist customers with simple queries faster, the company has used Zendesk Help Center to roll out a self-serve knowledge base. It is extremely popular with customers and has helped the company reduce the number of customer tickets generated by up to seven per cent, saving approximately $110,000 in the last year alone.
Providing automation and self-serve options enables the delivery company to support more customers, which is essential - particularly during the hectic Christmas period.
“As you can imagine, Black Friday and Christmas are extremely busy periods for delivery companies. We call it the Silly Season,” explains Dawid. “A typical day brings in around 10,000 tickets, but during Christmas there can be up to 50,000 tickets and call volumes can rise from 4,000 to as many as 12,000.”
Delivering faster customer support via automation and self-serve solutions has enabled the company to work more efficiently and free up agents to focus on customers with more complex queries.
Using customer satisfaction monitoring to improve customer experience (CX)
Using Zendesk’s customer satisfaction (CSAT) reporting helps Dawid and his team to catch any low customer ratings.
“Looking at CSAT allows us to monitor any poor ratings and find out what happened,” Dawid explains. “Understanding if the rating was aimed at the delivery or the agent is important. As a customer support team, poor ratings that are down to delivery delays are outside of our control. However, poor ratings that are agent-related can often be improved with training. So, monitoring CSAT alerts us to which agents could benefit from additional training, and then we can work with those individuals to help them improve their communication style.”
The company’s current CSAT is 84 per cent, and Dawid and the team are aiming to raise CSAT metrics even further with a combination of technology and training.
“I believe we can increase our CSAT to 95 per cent using Artificial Intelligence (AI),” adds Dawid. “As AI develops, we plan to integrate it more into our system, to serve customers even faster and improve overall satisfaction.”
Future planning with AI
The company has made significant savings after successfully rolling out Zendesk technologies and automation. Agent productivity has increased by 8.5 per cent, with The Courier Guy support staff solving 14,940 more tickets per month, which equates to a monthly cost saving of $95,616. The company is also saving an estimated $277,000 per year through deflected One Touch tickets.
Automation and AI are a key part of The Courier Guy’s future planning and investment, and the company is exploring AI developments to drive efficiency and boost CSAT. What’s more, its dedicated Zendesk account manager is in close contact with Dawid and his team, providing day-to-day support and information about AI developments and new technologies, so they can stay up-to-date and plan future innovations.