Fintech Thunes drives better service with empowered agents
Thunes is a Singapore-based global payments infrastructure company that has built a proprietary global network for an improved and more connected cross-border payment experience. Over the last four months, the company leveraged data and insights to increase agent productivity, save time, and create meaningful customer experiences.
“There’s been a noticeable increase in agent productivity. Agents are saving approximately 320 hours a month since they’re spending 35 percent less time on each ticket.”
Head of Customer Care at Thunes
“The Zendesk professional services team spent the time understanding the details of what we do and held our hand as we set Zendesk up. This not only guided us to set up the system in an optimal fashion but also gave our team the confidence to understand how the system worked and be able to take over once it went live.”
Head of Customer Care at Thunes
Alternative payment methods
Decrease in first response rate
Decrease in resolution time
Time saved per ticket by agent
Singaporean financial technology company Thunes facilitates real-time cross-border payments by building simple payment pathways between its network across 130 countries. Thunes’ solution connects the old systems with the new ones, allowing businesses and consumers to instantly send and accept payments anywhere in the world, no matter which payment method they choose.
Empowering employees to deliver exceptional service
The company was making breakthroughs in payments technology, but its legacy customer care solution fell short of expectations. It lacked visibility and automation options and didn’t allow for problems to be flagged and solved in real-time. Thunes needed a more advanced service solution to keep its growth on track and empower employees to deliver exceptional service. “Employees are at the forefront of delivering good experiences to customers. If you don’t give them the right processes and tools to do their work happily, the customer isn’t going to get good service, which might result in churn. We wanted to take our service levels from good to great,” explains Babul Balakrishnan, head of customer care at Thunes.
Thunes’ required a solution that offered transparency to shed light on problem areas. It also needed to enable users to optimize workflows where necessary while being easy to adopt. After much research, Babul settled on Zendesk as the tool to achieve this goal.
Working hand-in-hand to create the right environment
The company worked closely with Zendesk Professional Services for six months to understand the requirements and fine-tune the solution before going live in June 2022. Thunes’ internal Customer Care (CC) team also spent many hours learning about the new system to ensure they could take over operations easily and continue to deliver a seamless experience to agents. Currently, Thunes’ customer service center in the Philippines uses the new Zendesk Suite, while its Paris, France-based Collections office (formerly Limonetik) uses Talk.
Thunes’ agents particularly appreciated the solution’s tight integration between Zendesk and Jira, the internal software used by the Thunes tech team. This integration sped up turnover since requests raised by service agents are now communicated to the CC team in real time. Agents have raised nearly 90 requests to date, which CC addressed quickly and helped streamline daily operations. “Now, when an agent comes across even a small change they want, they can make it happen with a few clicks. Both teams’ success rides on each other. So it was important to us that there was easy communication and a close relationship between IT and customer service,” says Balakrishnan.
Seamless adoption leading to productivity boosts
Thunes’ workforce has embraced the change. “Employees love the clean interface, the ability to leverage articles, and the flexibility. Plus, it was very easy for them to start using from day one,” explains Balakrishnan. “They had a lot of support from the Zendesk team at the start. And now, my team has just taken it and run with it. It’s brought everyone into a single instance of Zendesk.”
Employee productivity has since shot up as a result. Between July and September of 2022, the number of monthly tickets decreased from 45,000 to 15,000, with two-thirds of the queries resolved with a single interaction. Agents handle each ticket 35 percent faster now, saving approximately 320 hours a month – equivalent to two full-time agents.
Optimizing performance through automation and data
Zendesk’s solution enhanced agent productivity in two distinct ways. First, it enabled Thunes to automate workflows and repetitive tasks, reducing agents’ time resolving tickets. The new solution includes 20 automated workflows that automatically close old tickets and send follow-up emails when necessary. It also has more than 100 triggers that auto-complete ticket fields for data analysis before assigning it to the correct agent group, and 200 plus macros that save agents handling time.
Second, data about customer interactions and employee performance is stored in six custom dashboards. This includes a dashboard about customers that collates the number of tickets resolved and the time taken to respond to queries. Another dashboard tracks agent productivity and KPIs. “This data offers us a huge amount of granularity. It enables us to understand agents’ skill sets and assign them to the right tickets. We also use insights about when, how often, and what time tickets come in to reassign shifts for efficiency. We plan to keep revisiting this data every quarter and improve how we handle the workload,” explains Balakrishnan.
Thunes also has a separate dashboard that monitors activity by network partners, and one master dashboard that monitors performance across the company.
Turning happy customers into loyal customers
All of this has carried through to customer experience, as well. Thunes has received positive feedback from customers, noting agents’ faster responses and higher quality of service. Since deployment, the first response rate has reduced to less than four hours, a 78 percent decrease from before. Resolution time has seen a 22 percent decrease, with most tickets resolved within 24 hours. “The feedback from even the big brands we work with has been great. Often, customer care is considered too big a cost. However, investing in a good customer care solution, hiring talented people, and setting up the right processes guarantees fantastic customer service,” explains Balakrishnan. “The payback you get is customer retention. Customers who stay longer and spend more money with you. The biggest value is your customers’ commitment to stick with your brand.”
The next step in Thunes’ service transformation will be adopting more automation to drive productivity even further. Ultimately, the company seeks to deliver personalized and proactive customer service. “We want to set the gold standard in customer experience within the fintech industry. To build a level of unreserved trust with our customers, where they can send an email to an agent and cross the problem off their list. To become that voice in their ear that pushes them to do better,” concludes Balakrishnan.