Founded almost five years ago Terminal X grew rapidly to become Israel’s largest clothing website—offering customers a wide range of items from over 100 fashion brands, all with next-day delivery.
But rapid growth in home shopping due to COVID restrictions meant the customer service team was feeling the strain. To maintain their exceptional standards, they needed to relieve pressure on their support agents. That’s when they approached Adelante.
We spoke with Terminal X customer service manager Betty Avner about the impact that working with Adelante has had on both their customer experience and their service desk workload.
As one of the longest-serving members of the team, Betty remembers when the service desk was only three agents strong. “Two years ago, we also used an external hotline during busy periods, until we decided to make significant changes in the organization,” she recalls.
“It all started in November 2020. Anyone who is involved in retail knows that this is a very strong month in the field – and this only intensified during the COVID period,” Betty explains, “It was important to free up time for our representatives to deal with complex inquiries—those that really require personal attention. That’s how Terminal X actually started speaking to Adelante.”
“Tamir was able to help us understand the processes we needed to implement to improve customer service,” Betty remembers, “In the first stage, we integrated tools to automatically resolve simple inquiries—freeing up agents to focus on customers who required more attention.”
“In the second stage, we listed the 10 most common request types to understand how we could reduce them,” she continues, “For example, tickets related to coupon codes were regularly ranked in the three most common contact reasons and made up 30 to 40 percent of the daily total of tickets. We were able to solve this fairly quickly by integrating our back-end in Zendesk and creating automatic responses that sent out those coupons.”
From the customer perspective, it’s a much more integrated experience. Rather than different agents replying to the same tickets on different channels, when a customer wants to find out where their order is and contacts Terminal X on multiple channels, they receive an automatic response with links that show them exactly where the package is.
In addition, synchronization with shipping systems makes it possible to see if a delay in delivery is expected, update the customer and even give compensation in advance. This way, Terminal X customers usually don’t get angry if the order is delayed – and most of them don’t call the hotline.
As any retailer knows, November is a busy period. With the new systems in place, Betty was keen to see how the metrics compared to previous years. “During November, about 10,000 tickets related to coupon codes or order status were automatically resolved,” she recalls, adding, “Bear in mind that a human representative can solve an average of about 1,500 such tickets per month, and you can see the value!”
The time saved overall was equivalent to 20 salaries that would have been paid to new employees if Terminal X had had to recruit to reinforce the service system.
“The natural desire of some managers is to do as much as possible, as soon as possible!” Betty admits, “But Adelante emphasizes that it is actually important to move slowly and gradually – while evaluating the effect of each change.”
Over time, the hotline, which was previously open only during business hours, switched to a 24/7 format, using a chatbot and automations to provide an initial response and even answer simple queries that could be solved without a representative. This led to the resolution of many requests before reaching the representative, shortening waiting times as well.
According to Betty, what influenced the decision to work with Adelante was their commitment to full availability and finding creative solutions to complex problems—even those that cannot be solved immediately.
“Another factor that was significant,” she adds, “was their honesty, which helped the team at Terminal X to understand the impact of decisions before they were made. Tamir explained things in real terms—where the customer will experience difficulty, where we will experience difficulty—and didn’t try to sugarcoat anything.”
Automating the handling of common inquiries was only the first step in a multi-layered system to improve service at Terminal X. “We are still improving and learning all the time,” says Betty, “I think working with Adelante was definitely the best choice for us because we don’t compromise when it comes to our customers—and neither do they.”