If you work in the high-tech industry in Israel, we can bet pretty confidently that you have heard of HitechZone at least once in your life. HitechZone is a consumer club for high-tech companies that offers a wide range of benefits and promotions to private customers and organizations. As in any customer club of such a scale, in HitechZone, one of the most significant challenges is that its success lies mainly in the customer service it provides.
Uri Ironi, VP of B2B projects at the company, is also in charge of customer services and sales teams. Uri says that until January 2020, the company used BumpYard’s system to manage its customer service. However, that system did not suit their needs, which they only expected to increase and intensify over the coming months.
“This was at a time when our service center was still relatively small,” Uri recalls, “but even then, the activity in the system was very challenging. The main difficulty was that the requests we received were not classified and were received very haphazardly in the system. It ultimately led to many tickets from the same people on the same topics but via different channels.”
HitechZone, like many other companies, offers its service to its customers over a wide choice of channels – WhatsApp, email, live chat, social networks, and more. As mentioned above, this results in many duplicate customer requests, without any ability to view documentation of the service the customer received via other channels, and without the ability to concentrate the customer’s ticket history in one place.
“A two-thirds decrease in customer service tickets”
The issue with classification and duplicate tickets is one of the matters that led HitechZone to see the need for replacing its customer service system. That’s how they came to Adelante, which specializes in implementing advanced tools for improving work processes. After a joint discussion and characterizing the company’s needs, they decided to implement Zendesk – a system that is considered one of the leading systems in the world today. Uri says that after moving over to Zendesk, there was a dramatic change in the company:
“First of all, Adelante helped us to solve the problem of multiple tickets via different channels almost immediately. It gave us the freedom to not contact the customer more than once and also to see a record of the customer’s request in one place. In terms of management, we have more control and more accurate interaction with the customer as well.”
Uri says that when they were using the old system, service reps experienced significant difficulty. “We were drowning in work and dealing with a serious pile-up of tickets, and we were dealing with a huge number of requests via several channels. The consolidation (of tickets, done through the implementation of Zendesk) resulted in a two-thirds decrease in tickets. Regardless, the system also allowed for more orderly work, and we could find a way to get out of the mud.”
In addition, this has led to the more efficient use of the company’s most important resource – its people. He says the system helped reach a correct distribution of work and provided managers with accurate reports to increase their control over their areas of responsibility. “Once there was a division of work and an understanding of how things looked, we knew how many people we needed. Being able to get out of the mud so quickly right when COVID-19 began and caught everyone unprepared is because we used a much more professional and efficient tool.”
Our most outstanding employee is not an employee at all.
What also significantly impacted work at HitechZone was implementing an advanced virtual agent called Becky, which does the job of a service representative for all intents and purposes. Becky responds to customers, contacts suppliers to make various inquiries, and resolves many tickets before they even reach a human representative.
“Once we realized that there were specific actions that agents were doing the same way multiple times – we let Becky take care of them, and we no longer have to deal with them,” says Uri. “For example, we had a supplier who asked to receive all cancellation requests from customers immediately via email. In the past, I needed a rep to go through all the cancellations and send them to the supplier – today, it happens automatically and saves us a lot of time.”
Uri continues with a smile and says that they call Becky their outstanding employee: “She gives our top guns a real run for their money and also manages to irritate them because they work hard and find themselves putting in a lot of effort to solve requests that she usually solves effortlessly.”
How much is a lot? In one month, for instance, Becky managed to resolve 3,000 tickets on her own. Uri stresses that a rep resolves about 1,000 tickets a month – and as such, Becky saves the company a rough estimate of 2.5 representatives. “In the end, it doesn’t completely solve the need for real reps because most requests are complex and need a person to deal with them, but on the other hand, as you grow and the number of requests grows too – Becky saves a lot of work for our real reps.”
Tailoring a custom-made suit
Uri defines himself as a visionary who does not like to hear the words “It’s impossible.” In the beginning, he worked with other suppliers that implemented Zendesk, but according to him, it was Adelante’s service that interested him, precisely for this very reason. “Above all else, Adelante’s experience has proven itself. They know this system inside-out and know how to take a customer’s vision and provide an effective and smart solution.”
“After going through other implementations, I can say that Adelante’s greatest virtue lies in that they know how to think outside Zendesk. Adelante knows how to go out there and learn about other solutions that we were unfamiliar with and can be integrated into the system to do the things it doesn’t let us do out of the box. Anyone can implement systems, but the complex part lies in smart implementation. You have to choose a person who knows how to customize the suit for you, and that’s exactly what Adelante does.”