“Zendesk Guide enables us to be more active than reactive. We were able to create a body of content based on previous experience for the most common questions in each category. This reduces customer wait times and eliminates anxiety over lack of information.”
Head of BI and Fan Experience at Valencia FC
Email tickets resolved via Guide/FAQs
Valencia Football Club
Technology for a more efficient and agile user support
A major challenge for all organisations, including sport clubs, is streamlining and facilitating interactions with their customers and users. Valencia Football Club – one of Spain's most successful teams, ranked 39th amongst UEFA clubs – is a clear example of how technology can be used to provide more efficient and agile user support. Using Zendesk's family of products, it made considerable improvements by centralising information sent to users and communication channels, including Facebook, Twitter, email and web (through dynamic forms). The result: 20% faster response times and 25% less time spent on answering customer queries.
These improvements came because the club – which aspires to takes its place amongst the elite European clubs in the Champions League – wanted to optimise management of the growing number of requests from its 42,000 members without losing information, as well as interactions with the over 8,000 attendees per match at the stadium and nearly 4 million fans on social media. “As a division one football club, we have created a large community of users and followers. Improving our communication was a priority. To do this, we had to gather all the data hosted on the club's different channels and combine it into one single platform,” says Franco Segarra, Head of BI and Fan Experience at Valencia Football Club.
Optimising the tool
The club needed to make improvements and onboard new Fan Experience agents, many of whom had previously used Zendesk. Club leadership placed their trust in Zendesk, betting on the technology provider's improved capabilities.
They started using the Zendesk platform in July 2018, followed by a staggered implementation. Initially, the six Fan Experience agents worked separately, using the previous software and the Zendesk Guide platform to manage FAQs, and Zendesk Support to handle user queries and information requests. The agents also made occasional use of Zendesk Chat, live chat and messaging, and Zendesk Talk, a call centre solution integrated into the Zendesk ticketing system.
“By incorporating Zendesk into our daily work, we made considerable improvements in many aspects, both customer facing and internally,” Segarra notes. To achieve this, the team adapted Zendesk to suit its needs.
As an example, it built an FAQ site using Zendesk Guide; using the Knowledge Capture app, agents are able to easily suggest content edits. This enables users to familiarise themselves with each section and gradually become more independent, without requiring a response from the club. However, it is a process and, like any other process, customers need to get used to utilising the tools provided.
With Zendesk Guide, users can find both general information and knowledge specific to their needs at that moment. Segarra adds, “This enables us to be more active than reactive. We were able to create a body of content based on previous experience for the most common questions in each category. This reduces customer wait times, eliminating anxiety over lack of information. Our agents are responsible for updating the FAQs to make them available at all times, without needing to create a ticket. This makes for self-sufficient and independent customers, allowing them to find the information to answer their questions.”
Support request forms were also created, with specific fields that make it possible to collect the customer details – such as member numbers – required to resolve issues much faster.
A user-friendly solution
Improvements to the agent experience help them perform better. For example, they can have internal conversations when questions arise, helping shorten response times. They can also easily locate support requests coming in from other channels. Agents use internal notes to collect all available information in a single thread.
“There is no doubt that being able to follow the thread of an email without losing information is a considerable help in streamlining our work. It's also very valuable in cases where agents are not able to resolve a particular issue,” notes Martín Marco, an agent. Zendesk's intuitive ease of use helped him quickly get up to speed.
Along the same lines, Amparo Cervera, the club's Zendesk administrator, highlights that “although there's a lot to learn about what the platform has to offer, the learning process is quite easy and intuitive for any employee used to working with IT tools in their personal and professional life, or even managing email platforms such as Gmail and Outlook.”
One standout result: tasks that took three agents an entire morning to complete are now done in 10 minutes by a single agent. The same number of employees can do more work, faster.
A modern club that listens to customers
The fact is that the Zendesk family of products helps Valencia Football Club to evolve and move forward with the tech transformation needed to serve users. Segarra explains, “Every company needs to speak the language of its customers and understand their consumer behaviour. And so, we evolve alongside our customers' habits. We're adapting and learning to offer the best possible service and experience based on their needs.” He also noted that Zendesk allows new technologies to integrate and converge (CMS, social media, app, etc.), occupying the spaces where customers operate and communicate.
He's got his eye on integrating the app into the Zendesk structure. This would make it possible to categorise members internally and better segment their needs based on their profiles. He also wants to incorporate a chatbot to shore up the work of agents at certain times, such as events and campaigns.
“In today's world, with immediate access to information, and in an industry where deadlines are fixed and must be observed, we aim to offer the best 24/7 support, without customers losing the feeling of personalisation and the best possible service. Adapting and evolving are critical, without overlooking the elderly, who are not as heavy users of digital services, offering the same service to those with special accessibility needs,” Segarra concludes.