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As one of the biggest publishing houses and learning companies in the world, Pearson boasts of an admirable presence in over 70 countries, with publications spanning across hundreds of languages.
Pearson Assessment and Information B.V. is an international office of the Pearson group in Netherlands. Over the years, Pearson Netherlands had predominantly been using email to respond to customer queries. But as their publications and consumer base grew bigger, Pearson Netherlands began to realize a number of problems with its current support workflow.
A study by Pearson found that once a publication goes live, the author has a sixty day window of opportunity to create buzz, engage with consumers and get the word out. Pearson had been exploring ways to increase the reach of the author during this sixty-day period. Over the years, Pearson Netherlands had predominantly been using email to respond to customer queries. But as their publications and consumer base grew bigger, Pearson Netherlands began to realize a number of problems with its current support workflow.
Pearson’s typical workflow consisted of reading through each email coming in from over a dozen different mailboxes, manually categorizing them, and either responding to them directly or forwarding them to an author. With a first-in-first-out approach to their email based processes, the support team at Pearson were unable to categorize and differentiate the high priority queries from the general information questions.
Since most conversations took place within an author’s individual email account, tracking and managing support queries was also growing into a nightmare. And since each author only had to login and reply to support issues sporadically, subscribing to a full-time agent seat for every author was neither economical nor logical.
Although the Pearson team at Netherlands understood that a majority of customer questions required the same repetitive processes, they lacked the tools to reuse replies.
Pearson had also tried a multitude of ways to expand an author's reach during the sixty-day period. To increase engagement with consumers and to get the word out. But none of them had met with great success. They realized that authors and their support agents had to be given the ability to take their customer support to where their customers go - social media.
Pearson Netherlands wanted a powerful support solution with robust email ticket management capabilities to handle consumer queries across a growing base of authors and publications.
Within the first few minutes of signing up with Freshdesk, the Pearson team were able to bring in all the emails coming into their primary support address into their helpdesk. Since trialing Freshdesk, the Pearson team has subsequently brought over two dozen mailboxes including publication specific support emails.
Automation capabilities like the Dispatch’r have made sure that most support queries reach the right person in time, saving the Pearson team hours of manual work dispatching and supervising support tickets. And thanks to Freshdesk’s trinity of automations, the Pearson team has been able to make sure that every support ticket got categorized, prioritized and assigned to the right support agent or author automatically; despite dealing with hundreds of publications and authors.
The ability to add authors as “Occasional Agents” in Freshdesk, and allow them to login only when necessary was perfect for the Pearson team. Pearson was able to give authors direct access to social sites to engage with their consumers. This feature has allowed Pearson to reach a far wider audience during those crucial days after a book launch.
“If the support team is not jumping with joy, chances are customers won't either, so it’s important to keep them engaged. This is where Freshdesk hit the nail on the head with its gamification features, it promotes healthy competition internally, and ultimately keeps both our customers and staff happy”
Today, Pearson Netherlands subscribes to about twelve full-time support agents who need to login to the support portal and respond to support queries every day. The team has created dozens of occasional agent accounts for its authors who login to Freshdesk only when they need to respond to a query using a Day Pass.
With Freshdesk, the Pearson team has been able to bring in conversations about them in Twitter and Facebook into their support portal, assign them, and give authors the platform to directly engage with their audience, all in one place.
Despite the global pressure on print publications, Pearson Netherlands has proven that with a focus on customer experience and the right set of tools can be a powerful competitive advantage. With the growing stack of capabilities and refreshing interface in Freshdesk, representatives from Pearson say that they are confident in scale their customer support, operations and social engagement.