“Zendesk is such an easy tool for agents to work with. It’s really been developed for them—it’s fluid, it’s simple where it needs to be, and it’s powerful when it needs to be.”
“With Zendesk, we can set up new markets in a matter of weeks and months versus years,”
It’s not hard to find people unhappy with their telecom service provider. The reasons are many: Merciless contracts. Lack of data. Terrible customer service. But Circles.Life, Singapore’s first fully digital telco company, recognizes and tackles these problems by making the customer experience its first priority.
Founded in 2016, Circles.Life knew it had to address the grave shortage of data available in Singapore. The founders took the data issue personally, as they’d experienced it firsthand, and set out to build a different kind of telco. Only the fourth telco in Singapore, Circles.Life is a leader in offering no-contract mobile plans and its Circles-X platform is built on cloud technology. The resulting lack of physical infrastructure means the company can pass on massive savings to its customers, explained Marketing Manager Megan Yulga.
Choosing Zendesk to set support scaling and growth
Adopting a digital-first mindset contributes to the fast growth the company sees—it plans to expand into Indonesia and one other market in 2018—and helps the team keep up with fast moving customer expectations. This is why they chose Zendesk for their customer service software.
“With Zendesk, we can set up new markets in a matter of weeks and months versus years,” said Yulga. “Everything we have is digital, from our customer touch points to our onboarding, and the way we engage with our customers and allow them to manage their subscriptions through our mobile app.”
Circles.Life began using Zendesk for customer support from day one, after its recommendation from John Epok Pascual, Head of Customer Service. “Zendesk is easy to use because it’s been designed for the agent,” Epok explained. “That’s one of the great parts about Zendesk—it’s simple, not only to use, but also to configure. Making changes is straightforward, which allows us to derive the most value from it. We want to provide a great digital experience for our customers, and we see Zendesk as a great fit for our customers and our support experts on the backend as well.”
Over the top customer support benefits with omnichannel
Part of Circles.Life’s vision of giving power back to the customer is by allowing them to choose what channel is most convenient and best fits their needs. To realize this omnichannel strategy, the team uses a solution from Zendesk that includes Zendesk Support, Guide, Chat, Message, and Answer Bot. Rather than having its 50 agents, based in the Philippines and Singapore, specialize in an individual channel, all agents are trained across channels and products. Onboarding takes only two weeks—one week for learning about Circle.Life’s product and another on Zendesk.
Benefits of the Zendesk omnichannel support solution include cost savings and gaining the ability to keep customer data consolidated and readily available to agents. The efficiency of being recognized at each contact does not go unnoticed by customers.
“Having insights integrated into one system is extremely helpful for the customer experience,” says Tom Brown, Customer Service Operations Manager, who expressed relief at not having to worry about integrating multiple systems. “With Zendesk, we’re able to get an overall view on how happy our customers are.”
Circles.Life’s customers are heavy users of Zendesk Chat—65 percent of the questions come in through live chat. The rest of the volume is a mix between email and social media messages. Agents also carefully monitor Answer Bot to make sure it captures the most effective answers from Zendesk Guide for customers. Answer Bot resolves about 10 percent of customer questions coming through the email channel and saves 50 percent on costs per question over a live agent answer, Brown said.
Circles.Life tries to help their customers help themselves first. “We want to make our self-service options as powerful as possible. We invested a lot of time into the Guide articles, and they’re constantly refined and reviewed,” said Brown. This effort pays dividends with the resulting ticket deflection the team sees with Answer Bot. “The more well-written the articles are, the more customers will get their answer without having to speak with someone, which is a win for both parties.”
Help articles are a joint effort between the marketing and support teams and are viewed as living documents that continue to evolve, Brown explained.
The team closely monitors the quality of their support to ensure they are putting the customer experience first, said Customer Service Operations Manager, Tinesh Raj. The team maintains an email SLA of three hours, a chat SLA of 60 seconds, and a first response for social media messages of 22 minutes. The team’s customer satisfaction benchmark is set at 90 percent, and they aim to uphold a Net Promoter Score℠ of 54, well above the Singapore industry average of -25.
“Not only is customer satisfaction important, but we also monitor whether the interaction fits the way we want to communicate with our customers. There will be times when what the agent says will be in line with the company’s policies, but would not be the best for the customer,” Raj said.
Circles.Life also uses several apps with their support: Time Tracking to monitor time spent on tickets, Quickie to organize ticket views, Answer Suggestion to suggest relevant content for agents to give customers, and Linked Ticket to connect tickets about the same topic. Tymeshift is particularly useful for managing agent schedules and performance. Triggers and macros also come in handy to alert customers when tickets are answered, and auto-fill answers for agents.
Giving power back to the customer means Circles.Life needs a support philosophy centered around knowing what the customer needs. “Everything is refined based on what we know about the customer journey, and what they need to know to proceed,” said Yulga. “Everything is taken and reviewed under a microscope, and it all goes back to providing a more refined customer experience.”
Working with Zendesk has been fantastic, Brown said, from both the agent and customer side.“Whether it’s a small technical question or throwing around ideas for a bigger project, we always get swift and knowledgeable help from Zendesk. Our relationship is very good,” he said.
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