Rapid Zendesk Setup: How Adelante beat a tight deadline to get Bilt Rewards up and running.

Bilt Rewards Alliance is a collection of 2M+ rental homes across the country that lets you earn points by paying rent. Renting is now rewarding.
Setting Up Zendesk On A Tight Deadline

Fintech startup Bilt Rewards had started out using Gladly to manage customer service requests—but with growth happening faster than predicted, they urgently needed to move to a more robust platform.

In Adelante, they found a Zendesk implementation partner who could commit to the tight timescale required, stick to the game plan, and crucially, who they could trust to deliver exactly what was promised without delays.  

We talked to Michael Little, CX Director for the company, to find out more about his experience of the project.

“Communication with Adelante was great—and turnaround on requests was always swift”

“Bilt is my third fintech startup,” he explains, “and it’s been the most successful in the shortest period. We’re a rewards program—basically allowing people to earn points for paying their rent. It’s an unrewarding market for renters, and we’re here to disrupt it.”

Michael started at Bilt while the COVID pandemic was still causing widespread disruption, and onboarded remotely. Since being back in the office, he’d seen growth continue to outstrip expectations—describing it as a “rollercoaster ride”—great news for the company, but a challenge for Michael’s CX team.

“Getting answers and useful information from the Adelante team ‘on the fly’ has been easy—and really helpful.”

With the customer base scaling rapidly, and Gladly no longer fit for purpose, he was looking for a trustworthy partner with the experience and expertise needed to migrate their customer service function to Zendesk in just a few weeks.

“I’d used Zendesk before, I knew how strong a solution it can be if you build it out right, and I knew they had a great startup program. I just needed the right partner to make the migration happen on time.” Michael says. He was introduced to Adelante through an outsourcing company that Bilt had been using in a number of departments.

“Adelante was the only implementation partner we spoke to that could commit completely to our required turnaround time.”

“When Adelante showed how they could get a working Zendesk installation in place in 7 days, and then iterate from there, we agreed to terms quickly and got the project underway in the next rent cycle. No other vendor could offer that.” Michael recalls. “I had a vision for the project—I knew what tools and integrations we needed, and Adelante was able to respond to my requests quickly and efficiently.”

“Adelante didn’t schedule unnecessary meetings—with the game plan agreed they started work and agreed adjustments as we went forward.”

Having recruited a total headcount of 20 agents in the CX department, Michael’s time and attention were already spread thin. He valued the independence and initiative shown by the team at Adelante, commenting, “Other providers I’ve worked with want to hold meeting after meeting before even getting to the start line with a project. Adelante was different—they understood the vision and goals from the start and got to work.”

“I don’t pretend to know everything about Zendesk—I need a trusted partner like Adelante to provide guidance and advice”

With Bilt operating under significant time pressure, Michael was impressed by Adelante’s ability to get the foundations of the new platform in place quickly and iterate improvements from there. “Instead of the 30 or 60 days I’d heard from other vendors, Adelante were talking 7 days to get the basics we needed up and running—and they delivered on that,” he recalls.

“I appreciate the honesty with Adelante: ‘we can’t do X but we can do Y and Z’. That’s the biggest thing for us—trust.”

With the project completed on time and to specification, Michael and his team are now two weeks into using the new Zendesk platform—and it’s going well.

“Our inbound and outbound channels are up and running—which is a great success in itself—customers are in touch with us and we’re using triggers and automation for a lot of the single touchpoint, low-hanging requests—getting basic inquiries resolved faster,” Michael says, “In terms of efficiency, we’re just starting to see the figures, but it’s all positive. In the next couple of months, we’ll be able to take a big picture view and iterate improvements from there.”

“We had a shared Monday.com dashboard to view progress on each task and give direct feedback—and response times were always quick”

With the initial migration complete and future improvements already on the drawing board, Michael is positive he made the right choice—both in selecting Zendesk as a platform, and Adelante as an implementation partner.

“Zendesk is a big player, and the software has been around for a while—so you know you can rely on it,” he comments, “But you also need a partner who can commit to getting things done when they say they will—sadly quite rare these days. Adelante does that—they are big on communication, they let you know what’s happening daily and they stick to the game plan. They made it easy for me to keep both my team and my directors in the loop, and reassure them that everything was on schedule.”  

“I appreciate the honesty with Adelante—advising on best practice and keeping open lines of communication through the process.”

While Bilt Rewards’ customer base continues to grow at pace, Michael is conscious that recruiting more and more agents is not the right move. “We’re not keen on throwing people at the problem—instead we’re looking to work on smarter solutions with Adelante,” he says, “We have a good relationship—we can trust their ability to get the work done—and now we want to start talking about Phase 2.”

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