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, at HitechZone, one of the most significant challenges is that its success lies in the customer service it provides.
Until January 2020, the company used a local system to manage its customer service. Increasingly though, it didn’t meet their needs, and with inbound communication expected to increase and intensify over the coming months, a change was needed. They approached Adelante for advice on selecting and implementing a customer service platform that would be able to handle the high volume and complexity of communications they were receiving without the need to recruit additional staff.
Uri Ironi, VP of B2B projects, heads up the customer services and sales teams at HitechZone. We spoke with him about his experience working with Adelante.
“We had multiple tickets from the same people on the same topics but via different channels.”
“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. It ultimately led to duplicate tickets from the same people coming in via different channels — increasing our workload unnecessarily.”
HitechZone connects with its customers over a wide choice of channels – WhatsApp, email, live chat, social networks, and more. 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, the customer service team was regularly duplicating work.
“Adelante helped us to solve the problem of multiple tickets via different channels almost immediately.”
The issues with classification and duplicate tickets led HitechZone to realize they needed a replacement customer service system. That’s how they came to Adelante, which specializes in implementing advanced tools for improving work processes. After a joint discussion, characterizing the company’s needs, they decided to move forward with Zendesk.
Uri recalls that after moving over to Zendesk, there was a dramatic change in the company, “It gave us the freedom to contact customers just once per issue, and also to see a record of the customer’s requests in one place. In terms of management, we have more control and more accurate interactions with the customer as well.”
“The new system allows for more orderly work —it quickly enabled us to find a way to get out of the mud.”
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 de-duplication of tickets, done through the implementation of Zendesk resulted in a two-thirds decrease in tickets overall”
Removing so much duplicate work has led to more efficient use of the company’s most important resource – its people. Uri found that the new system helped them plan the 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 was only possible because we were using a much more professional and efficient tool.”
“Our most outstanding employee is not an employee at all — she’s a virtual AI agent that Adelante put in place!”
What also significantly impacted work at HitechZone was implementing an advanced virtual agent called Becky, which does the job of several service representatives. 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.”
“In one month, for instance, Becky managed to resolve 3,000 tickets — without any human involvement.”
He explains that a human agent resolves about 1,000 tickets a month – so Becky saves the company a rough estimate of 2.5 representatives. “In the end, it doesn’t completely solve the need for human agents,” he explains, “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 simple, repetitive tickets grows too – Becky saves a lot of work for our human team.”
Uri defines himself as a visionary who does not like to hear the words “It’s impossible.” In the beginning, he had worked with other suppliers that implemented Zendesk, but according to him, it was the quality of Adelante’s service that stood out. “Above all else,” he comments, “Adelante’s experience with Zendesk and their ability to communicate their ideas in a way we can understand immediately 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.” Uri says, “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.”