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7-Eleven is a global convenience store brand and is one of the most recognizable names in retail. The Philippines chapter of 7-Eleven began back in 1982 when Philippines Seven Corp (PSC) acquired the license to open and run 7-Eleven stores all across the country. For close to four decades now, 7-Eleven Philippines has been the pioneer of 24-hour convenience stores in the country. Today, there are over 3000 7-Eleven stores in the Philippines..
Ever since its inception, the company has been fuelled by a desire to bring convenience like never before to its customers. This philosophy extends to its customer support. We spoke to Allian Marie Sheila Dela Cruz (Business Process Innovations Consultant, 7-Eleven) and Aeruh John Dimalanta (Customer Care Specialist, 7-Eleven) to understand how 7-Eleven Philippines transformed customer service with Freshworks.
Before Freshdesk, customer support at 7-Eleven was outsourced to an external vendor partner. The challenge that arose with this was that the team had limited visibility into customer query patterns and performance metrics. “In 2019, we were using our vendor's platform and there was a lack of transparency into their analytics. We could not validate their reports,” explains Allian. 7-Eleven was also using the vendor’s telephony solution and faced similar challenges with the reports. “We had no visibility into the volume of calls, number of abandoned calls, etc.,” continues Allian.
To gain more control and visibility into customer support, the team decided to bring the entire function in-house. “We began exploring helpdesk solutions that would enable us to build a strong in-house support team,” says Aeruh. The two frontrunners were Freshdesk and Zendesk, but Freshdesk emerged as the winner because of its cost-effectiveness. Freshdesk was also preferred because of the Freshdesk Contact Centre integration that would help move call support in-house as well.
With the in-house team handling all support queries for 7-Eleven Philippines, management has complete visibility into the types of queries coming in. Largely, a bulk of customer queries fall under the following top concerns:
These queries are handled by two different groups within the customer support team: the general customer care group which handles general store and payment queries and the CLiQQ group that handles queries related to the Loyalty program and delivery partners. Queries from every channel are routed through Freshdesk, making it a central control center for the whole team.
One of the most impactful features of Freshdesk for 7-Eleven has been scenario automations. The company gets a huge amount of queries through social media channels like Facebook. Typically, each comment or post that the company is tagged in gets converted into a ticket on Freshdesk. However, not all of these comments are issues that agents need to respond to. In many cases, they’re just customers engaging with the post through likes or emojis. To avoid such responses from getting converted into tickets, 7-Eleven has implemented scenario automations. “We are able to answer tickets in just a few hours, which is very quick compared to how we were performing without Freshdesk!” says Allian.
Scenario automations have proved particularly useful during promotions. July is the official 7-Eleven month and a majority of the company’s promotional activities happen during this time. “When people respond to our promotions or contests online, those are automatically filtered out on Freshdesk. Our agents don’t have to click on every query and add the properties to the ticket. This saves us a huge amount of time,” she says.
“Last year, we had around 44.39% of tickets coming in through Facebook, this year it’s around 39.9%. In terms of raw numbers, it’s a decrease of individually addressing around 100,000 tickets over the last year. This has only been possible through scenario automations on Freshdesk, which can be implemented in a matter of a few seconds!”
Business Process Innovations Consultant
As Aeruh puts it, “7-Eleven is called a convenience store for a reason. We were established with the vision of redefining what convenience for a customer actually means.” With Freshworks, 7-Eleven has been able to extend this same level of convenience to its internal staff as well.
Agents who use Freshdesk and Freshdesk Contact Center on a daily basis find the tools very user-friendly and easy to navigate. “Our agents love the Canned Responses feature,” says Aeruh. “All they have to do is click the ‘plus’ sign and the response goes into the answer box. All the icons on the dashboard are also very self-explanatory, which makes it easy to train and onboard new agents onto the solution.”
“There was a very short learning curve for me since both Freshdesk and Freshdesk Contact Center are very easy to navigate. Teammates can easily check tickets, utilize canned responses or execute automated scenarios for common repeat issues or items.”
Customer Support Agent
On the management side, Team Leads and Managers love the detailed Reporting and Analytics feature. With Freshworks, the team has complete visibility into support metrics, something that was lacking when they were outsourcing customer support. “We closely monitor first-response time and ticket resolution time, which is very transparent to check on Freshdesk. We are on top of our productivity because of the Analytics and Reporting feature that Freshdesk offers,” says Aeruh. Speaking about the reports on Freshdesk Contact Center, Allian says, “We’re able to see the arrival patterns of the calls that are coming in through Freshcaller and the tickets that are coming in through Freshdesk and distinguish the arrival patterns between those two. We can also see how quickly our agents are able to respond to calls and the number of dropped or abandoned calls.”
“The Dashboard and "Filter" features are the ones I like the most. The dashboard helps us have an overview of the current situation, while the "Filter" feature aids in our need to monitor previous tickets and understand the variations of concerns raised by the ticket senders.
We also appreciate that Freshdesk and Freshdesk Contact Center have guides in every part of the tool that can help users navigate them well.”
Inspired by the huge improvements in their support capabilities that 7-Eleven has seen, the team is planning to expand their usage of Freshdesk and Freshdesk Contact Center. “We are planning on adding more licenses on Freshdesk and Freshcaller because we really appreciate the features of the tools. This is based on the improved metrics that we are seeing and how happy we are with our performance,” says Allian.
Chatbot support might also be a possibility in the near future. Allian and her team expect that with chatbots, a greater number of queries will get resolved faster without agents having to actively intervene. This will undoubtedly strengthen the promise of convenience that 7-Eleven is now synonymous with.
“We see Freshworks as a partner that we can work with for a very long time because we are happy with how we are able to perform. We have mastered the features that Freshdesk and Freshdesk Contact Center offer so we are able to easily customize the automations, SLA timers, canned responses, etc.”
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