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Reduction in agent onboarding time
Ticket surge successfully managed
Time saved with Freshdesk+Textline
Fluid Services is a field service marketing and operations company located in Ohio.
Co-founders Adam Butcher and Alex Hallmark initially launched Fluid Services to provide service companies with expertise on how to market their services online. Adam and Alex have hands-on experience in the field service industry, having worked for several years at Fred’s Appliance, a Cleveland-based appliance repair and training company founded by Adam’s father.
Fluid Services first started working remotely in January 2019, before the pandemic forced other companies to adopt a similar model. We spoke to Adam and Alex to learn how the company uses Freshdesk to provide quick service to its customers and facilitate seamless internal collaboration.
In the early days of Fluid Services, customer queries or requests would come into a single inbox, from where they would have to be manually distributed to the support agents. Queries coming in through a web form or Facebook Messenger would also have to be manually assigned. There were a few obvious challenges with this system. “There would usually be a bystander effect, where no one is actually taking care of an incoming service request. There was no accountability or transparency into who actually needed to take ownership of the issue,” explains Adam.
The team soon started to explore help desk solutions that would replace their shared inbox. The first solution they explored was Zendesk, but it didn’t quite fit the bill. “There were a lot of features that Freshdesk had that Zendesk didn’t,” says Adam. “For example, we could not forward a ticket as an email to an outbound party on Zendesk.” The team used Zendesk for almost a year, but when their requirements began to outgrow what the solution could provide, they made a complete switch to Freshdesk. Today, the team tracks their daily activities and all customer communication on Freshdesk. This has given agents greater visibility into their roles and equipped them to provide better support to the end customers.
“I attribute our success in being a remote company to Freshdesk. We went remote in January 2019 and we still have complete accountability and visibility of our team’s operations with Freshdesk.”
Textline is a leading text support provider that makes it easy for businesses to engage with their customers in a personalized and efficient way. Fluid Service’s integration with Textline has been a vital part of their mission to provide faster customer support. The company has a number of customer support channels, of which phone calls used to be the most popular. However, phone support was also the most time-intensive, and with the fixed number of agents, it wasn’t a scalable solution in the long run. This is when the team began to actively push text support with the help of Textline. “We began to initiate text conversations with our customers rather than waiting for them to reach out to us via text,” explains Adam. “That really taught our customers that they could interact with us through text and has greatly improved the adoption of this support channel.”
When Fluid Services implemented Freshdesk, it was important to them that it was integrated with Textline so the two were talking to each other. “When we first implemented Freshdesk, there was no integration with Textline available,” recalls Alex. “I reached out to the Freshdesk support team about this and they converted it into a ticket that was sent to the technical team. Around four months later, Freshdesk announced that the Textline integration was now available on the Marketplace!” The integration with Textline has given the support team 360-degree visibility into customer interactions across channels and helped them manage it out of a single help desk solution. Despite ticket volumes doubling over the last year, the team has been able to manage the increase effortlessly with the integrated solution.
“We were really happy to see that Freshworks actually took our suggestion and implemented it. Kudos to Textline and Freshworks for working together and solving a problem for their customers.”
Freshdesk has allowed the support team at Fluid Services to manage work more efficiently and provide accurate, timely responses to customers. There are five key areas where the team has seen the greatest improvement after using Freshdesk:
Delegation of tasks: Freshdesk has ensured that work is distributed evenly and fairly across the team. “We used to have a sort of honor system before when it came to taking on new tickets. We would often notice that one team member was carrying the brunt of the workload,” says Adam. With Freshdesk’s round-robin, work is automatically routed to agents based on availability. The team no longer monitors agent productivity metrics closely because they are confident that the work is evenly distributed.
Reduced phone support with the Textline integration: With the success of the Textline and Freshdesk integration, Fluid Services has gained the confidence to reduce its phone support hours by 90 minutes. Responding to a majority of queries through text has allowed the team to automate several repetitive questions and gain more time to focus on completing other back-end tasks.
Interactive knowledge base: Fluid Services has used Freshdesk’s Knowledge Base to create interactive guides that agents can reference at any point. For every article and SOP in the policy manual, there is a hyperlink that leads the user to a Google Doc that contains deeper information on why the task is important and how to carry it out. According to Adam, “This is a living document and we’re constantly updating it based on business changes and feedback from users. It’s so much better than a gigantic manual that no one ever references.”
Faster agent onboarding: Freshdesk’s simplified interface and interactive knowledge base have helped Fluid Services reduce training times by half. Previously, it would take around 4-5 months to complete training for a new hire, but it has now come down to just 60 days. “The morale of our entire support team has definitely improved as a result,” confirms Alex. “We can also train our teams to take on different roles because it is a software-driven system. This has increased cross-team collaboration.”
Positive customer reviews: The numerous enthusiastic customer reviews on Fluid Service’s website are testament to the efficacy of its support setup. “Our customers are delighted by the number of support channels we have opened up and how responsive we are. This is solely due to the way we have leveraged technology to improve customer experience. Our customers don’t have to wait for long to be put through to an agent and they’re assured of getting helpful solutions every time,” says Adam.
As Alex puts it, customers are rarely ever calling customer support because they’re happy - it’s usually because they’re facing a problem. Freshdesk has helped make their journey as smooth as possible.
After experiencing the positive impact of implementing technology-backed customer support solutions, Alex and Adam have become evangelists for the integrated Freshdesk-Textline setup. “Many companies that we consult with have experienced similar success. We often have clients coming back to us and saying that their mornings now look completely different with the help of the new customer support solutions they’ve implemented,” says Adam.
Fluid Services in association with Fred’s Appliance Academy plans to continue on its mission to build a strong community within the service industry. “We run on an open-source model and users are free to have a conversation with us at no charge. There’s an urgent need for people to get into this line of work and we want to share our expertise and experience around it,” says Alex. Backed by a strong support solution, Fluid Services is certainly poised to continue forward on its growth journey and achieve its mission.
“With Freshdesk, we have the confidence that we can scale at any moment. From a management standpoint, we always have our finger on the pulse of what’s going on.Our improved customer support capabilities are absolutely influencing brand loyalty.”
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