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When your company is growing quickly, there’s barely time to catch your breath before moving on to the next challenge.
That’s been Jonas Grooten’s experience as the Customer Care Lead at Unleashed, a Belgian company offering a full spectrum of mobile services. After successfully upgrading customer support for the Mobile Vikings brand, he was tasked with working the same magic for two additional brands.
Mobile Vikings was the first Belgian telecom provider to realise the potential of mobile data and creating fixed-rate mobile internet plans. Their innovative concept and low-cost packages had wide appeal: within eight years of launching in 2009, Mobile Vikings grew to 285,000 members and 76 employees.
Grooten became one of these employees in 2013, starting as a care agent and ultimately overseeing everything related to customer care for three Unleashed brands: Mobile Vikings, JIM Mobile and Stievie, a television streaming app. As part of his role, Grooten needed to find the right partner to help strengthen customer support.
“Initially, we just used Gmail. Another system collected requests we received via social media. It was very difficult to trace previous calls or agreements with customers,” he explained. “Meanwhile, our membership was growing fast, and after Mobile Vikings was taken over by MEDIALAAN [Unleashed’s parent company] in 2016, we had more brands in our portfolio. To keep up with that increase in scale, we were looking for a high-quality, user-friendly, integrated system.”
Mobile Vikings was the first Unleashed brand to get a support makeover. Like all the Unleashed brands, Mobile Vikings takes pride in being customer-centric, so it was essential that customers could quickly and easily reach a care agent or locate information through self-service.
With this in mind, Grooten determined Zendesk was the best solution. He explained, “Zendesk offered us a lot of advantages: the price, the ability to process tickets more quickly, an omnichannel approach, and—last but not least—user-friendly software.”
Unleashed started by implementing Zendesk Support and transferring the existing Mobile Vikings FAQ section and knowledge base to Zendesk Guide.
“At the beginning, we had to add a lot of information, but after that, the knowledge base grew organically. When we identify particular incidents or trends in our customers’ questions, Zendesk flags them automatically. The result is a very dynamic FAQ section,” said Grooten. “What’s more, visitors now see a modern page with a large search bar, entirely in the style of the Mobile Vikings brand, so our help centre has become much more user-friendly.”
Unleashed currently boast a self-service ratio of 8 to 1: that is, help centre views per ticket created.
The company uses the Zendesk web widget to give customers another avenue into help centre content and, to achieve fully-fledged multichannel support, it has also implemented Zendesk Chat.
“Chat is very accessible, making it easy for our customers to reach us. Because agents can chat with several people at the same time, issues can be dealt with faster,” said Grooten.
Zendesk’s Answer Bot, a feature of Zendesk Guide, has provided yet another way to strengthen support, helping to resolve customer requests before they reach an agent. Grooten explained, “This use of deep machine learning has proven to add value. Our agents can now concentrate on more complex support issues that require extra time and care. They’re able to devote themselves fully to their main task: customer satisfaction.”
Since implementing Answer Bot with Mobile Vikings customers, the ticket resolution rate has exceeded 9 per cent. When care agents are involved in solving requests, Mobile Vikings ranks first among all Belgian telecom providers in help desk response time, connecting customers with care agents in an average of just 6 seconds. The result is a positive claim for everyone involved with support: nearly 92 per cent of customers say they’re satisfied with Mobile Vikings.
Given that success, Grooten turned to Zendesk again when his team took on support for the JIM Mobile and Stievie brands in 2017. This time, they wanted to create an omnichannel, multi-brand support environment.
Adding Stievie was the easy part: this was a MEDIALAAN brand already using Zendesk. But supporting JIM Mobile meant starting from scratch.
“JIM Mobile was something completely new; it had belonged to another company. They basically transferred everything they had to us, and we had to build support flows for the specific brand,” said Grooten.
The changeover to supporting three brands had to happen quickly. Grooten relied on existing agents—a lean team of 39, including 21 dedicated to Mobile Vikings and 14 to JIM Mobile; additional licences are provided for copywriters, designers and other business partners. Unleashed also has about 4 dozen light agents so other people at the company can collaborate in Zendesk. Each brand has different language requirements: English, Dutch and French for Mobile Vikings, Dutch for Stievie, French and Dutch for JIM Mobile.
After mapping JIM Mobile’s customer care needs, they created workflows in Support, duplicating the automations they used for Mobile Vikings while customising the brand settings and content for JIM Mobile. They also outsourced customer care to an external call centre and quickly trained agents there to use Zendesk.
With Zendesk implemented across the three brands, Unleashed now has a full overview of its customer support organisation. Grooten is able to use Zendesk metrics to track trends by brand, and compare them against themes across their global organisation.
Using Zendesk Explore’s efficiency and Support overview dashboards, Grooten can track his team’s performance over time and identify areas of improvement. He is also able to spot trends and create reports to make meaningful changes. For example, Grooten explained that he is able to create a report in Explore to see which are the busiest weekdays and then use that number to calculate how many agents are needed on any given day of the week. This helps ensure that agents are able to process requests effectively and customers are not left waiting for assistance.
The Unleashed team is already looking for more ways to strengthen customer support. To create better customer communication across channels, Unleashed is currently testing Zendesk Connect, a product Grooten learned about at Zendesk’s The Future of Customer Experience event in New York. They also plan to use Zendesk Chat as a proactive channel to increase customer satisfaction, and are promoting self-service for JIM Mobile to decrease tickets.
“What I love about working in support is that there’s always room for improvement. I can keep working on getting better results, making processes more efficient, and making changes to the user experience,” said Grooten. “The big result is that our users keep getting happier, which is what I really like—that doubles the pleasure for me.”
“Zendesk is very intuitive. It’s like playing with LEGOs. You have a firm foundation on which you can build with your blocks.”