ManageBac + Zendesk: Scaling fast to support online learning

ManageBac, a curriculum-first learning platform for schools, uses Zendesk to support students, parents, and teachers. Its omnichannel strategy helped the company meet the rise in demand for online learning resources during the COVID-19 pandemic, all while boosting its CSAT to 99%.

ManageBac

“Zendesk has simply made our job so much easier in maintaining our high standards both prior to and throughout this pandemic. We have more visibility seeing trends from our customers and tracking what our internal teams are doing. At the end of the day, we can ensure a more well-rounded experience so our customers–be it a teacher, student, administrator, or parent–can find the support they need quickly.”

Kieran Tully

Director of Customer Success at ManageBac

“Our resources have been used by record numbers since the pandemic with teachers working from home, students accessing our product remotely, and all of our support team also being at home. Zendesk has enabled us to provide the real-time support needed, keeping everything up to date and accurate. If we didn’t have this visibility through Zendesk, it would have been much more complex for our team to manage through a pandemic.”

Kristy Dindorf Hatch

Customer Success Manager, Americas at ManageBac

Products used

Industry

Digital Services

Offices

Hong Kong, Shanghai, & Taipei

Schools

10,000+

Students

4 Million

99%

CSAT

10:1

Self-service ratio

119%

Increase in agent productivity

464%

Increase in help centre views

In 2020, more than 1 billion learners switched from in-person classes to online learning. Education technology platforms like ManageBac quickly adapted to keep up with the surging demand for resources.

Founded in 2006, ManageBac is the flagship product from Farla Education Group that helps over 10,000 schools and 4 million students around the world manage classes and curriculums; it helps teachers upload resources, students track deadlines, and administration officials assemble coursework samples. The company was founded by three former International Baccalaureate students who wanted to enhance school efficiency in managing their daily process, thereby saving time and better allocating resources to empower students and teachers to do their work.

“At our core, we aim to be that one solution for a school’s learning management needs – much like Zendesk is doing for our support services, providing support from a single platform,” said Kieran Tully, Director of Customer Success at ManageBac.

Supporting online learning in a changing world

Before Zendesk, ManageBac’s support operation was split across multiple systems–one for email, another for phone, one for help tutorials, and another to house video guides. ManageBac needed to reduce this complexity and make it easier for support agents to be trained on one system. In 2018, the business shifted its customer service operations to Zendesk to better unify its support solutions, and provide timely, quality support to teachers and students.

“Our vision is to enhance efficiency in education, and our support team plays a vital role in this. Modern educators have little time to learn complicated processes or be introduced to yet another tool, and so through our reactive email or phone support, and our proactive training and webinar services, our customer success team can ensure no minute is wasted on technology, giving our customers more time to focus on what’s actually important to them. Zendesk is the right platform to help us do this, providing the right services for our schools and helping us track our performance as a team,” added Tully.

Excellent customer service through rapid growth

ManageBac strives to provide exceptional service to all schools it supports. During the onset of COVID-19, 24/7 support, quick reply times, and self-service became even more essential to meeting that goal.

“It’s more than responding to tickets; it’s about providing the best service by understanding what the issue is and showing empathy. Teachers are busy and don’t have time to reach out. When they do, we need to make sure we’re giving them the answers they need and providing the next steps so they can get on with their day,” said Kristy Dindorf Hatch, Customer Success Manager, Americas at ManageBac.

Up-to-date resources, real-time support and Zendesk features that provide visibility in managing tickets are key to this. The simplicity and ease of the platform helps new support agents onboard quickly.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, ManageBac’s knowledge base, built with Zendesk Guide, received record increases in article views and engagement. Visitors use it to answer their frequently asked questions. ManageBac’s support team uses Guide analytics to refine and improve articles that are not performing well, and also to create new content based on content cues. Improvements to knowledge base content is paying off: ManageBac’s self-service ratio–the number of help center views to tickets raised–increased from 2:1 in April, 2020 to 10:1 less than a year later.

Live analytics: Agents outperform targets, 99% requester satisfaction

ManageBac’s team provides exceptional and highly personalized support by using Zendesk Explore’s robust, real-time reporting and analytics to increase agent productivity, particularly as the pandemic requires agile adaptation. Dashboards significantly improve the agent experience–especially during peak periods–through the use of shared charts to track tickets better and ensure everyone meets their targets. With the additional insight gained from analytics, ManageBac was able to increase agent productivity by 119% over the course of a year, despite ticket spikes brought on by the pandemic.

“By providing this live and visual feedback, agents instantly get recognition for their hard work. A record number of our team members outperform their targets,” said Tully.

Students and teachers are happy about that hard work–ManageBac’s CSAT is at 99% across an average of 19,000 tickets per month. With Zendesk’s support, the proportion of tickets responded to within 8 hours across all products increased from 70% to 87% in 12 months, with an average of 41% resolved in under 4 hours. This focus on excellence helps ManageBac strengthen relationships with its customers.

“A focus on great customer service is everything in education, because it’s inherently a field focused on great communication and a growth mindset,” said Hatch. “This means the educators we work with are passionate learners and team players themselves, so providing quality customer service is essential to building a long-lasting relationship.”