INDUSTRY

Software & IT

HEADQUARTERS

Israel

CHALLENGES
  • Limited visibility into the customer journey

  • Hard-to-use support platform

  • Siloed customer service tech stack

KEY BENEFITS
  • Smooth migration from Salesforce

  • Transparent and context-driven customer interactions

  • Self-service

  • Workflow automation

  • API- and Marketplace-powered integrations

Time saved due to automation

25%

Improvements in FCR

35%

Improvements in resolution time

30%

About Gigaspaces

In today’s 24/7 always-on world, organizations must remain competitive, and require the agility to develop and deploy real-time data-driven services and applications that improve customer experience and optimize business operations. That’s where GigaSpaces comes in – by providing in-memory computing solutions that meet the most challenging enterprise data and analytics processing needs for accelerating and scaling real-time applications, analytics, and operational BI on any data, at any load, and across any environment, for customers such as Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, CSX, Goldman Sachs, Société Générale, Crédit Agricole, Avanza Bank, Avaya, Frequentis, CLSA, Groupe PSA, and UBS.

As a key enabler of high-stakes operations, Gigaspaces must ensure that it provides top-notch, round-the-clock customer service. Ami Zvieli, Director of Technical Support, opened up to us in a candid conversation about how his team operates, and how it evolved into a cross-geographical unit that provides cohesive support to users across the globe. 

Providing high-tech support at scale

Ami’s customer service squad consists of DevOps engineers spread across the US, Israel, and the Asia Pacific region. On average, the team receives 30-50 tickets (which usually revolve around APIs, routine upgrades, or performance tuning) a week. They also routinely collaborate with their product development team in the instance that a customer finds a bug in the product, and a patch has to be rolled out to fix it. This calls for timely communication across geographies, wherein other stakeholders (Customer Service Managers, for instance) have to be filled in on ownership changes and platform modifications.

Ami runs a tight ship when it comes to service standards. “We love exceeding expectations. If a customer is eligible for a 2-day SLA, we try to fulfill it in 2 hours. It’s how we challenge ourselves”, he remarks.  

Moving on from Salesforce...

Gigaspaces’ pre-2020 customer service setup was a Salesforce shop. While Ami found it to be adequate for day-to-day operation, it was lacking in ease of use. On the usability front, the team found it quite difficult to consistently obtain a comprehensive timeline of agent-customer interactions. On the technical front, making API calls to associated business productivity apps (Slack, for instance) was a complicated affair. “I had to hire professional services even to add or remove a field. If I did it myself, the smallest change would affect the entire dashboard. I think software should be modular, like plugins in a microservices-based model – this wasn’t”, explains Ami. 

...to greener pastures

Ami eventually concluded that the team could benefit from a more agent- and customer-friendly solution. Several POCs and internal discussions later, he distilled his selection criteria down to:

  • Ease of deployment

  • Marketplace ecosystem

  • Compatibility with diverse use-cases

  • Ease of workflow configuration

  • Ability to automate

Of all the solutions he evaluated, Freshdesk emerged as the clear winner in Ami’s eyes. Years’ worth of user records and cases had to be migrated from Salesforce to Freshdesk, but the transition went smoothly, and the Gigaspaces team had their service suite up and running in no time. It’s worth noting that the implementation took place smack dab in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet presented no logistical challenges to the team. “Ease of use and time-to-market [of new support use cases] are what led to us choosing Freshdesk. Freshdesk is truly a building block that helps us work more efficiently, whether we’re at home or in the office. It’s very helpful to us because of its simplicity.”, says Ami.

Driving customer satisfaction with Freshdesk

Ami’s customer service squad was on-boarded onto Freshdesk, and the team made ample use of Freshdesk’s features – including the knowledge base, workflow automation, and seamless marketplace integrations – to accelerate responses and provide timely support to clients that needed it. 

Let’s take a closer look at how exactly Gigaspaces benefited from Freshdesk. 

A standalone customer portal: Gigaspaces trained and encouraged their customers to use a Freshdesk-powered customer portal. “Customers can log in, and enter the requisite details in order for them to triage their issues more effectively”, says Ami. Customers used the portal to check statuses of their support requests, obtain help documentation, and so on. 

360° customer journey visibility: Due to the highly technical nature of inbound queries, email is Gigaspaces’ primary support channel. Freshdesk automatically converted all incoming mail into support tickets, and affixed each one with pertinent details like service history and interaction records – this ensured that agents always had context on which customer they were attending to. The context-driven agent experience resulted in resolution times increasing by 30% (soaring past SLAs) and first-contact resolution statistics improving by 25-35% on average.

A powerful self-service engine: Several dozen FAQ articles were loaded into Freshdesk’s knowledge base, allowing customers to browse through them for possible fixes before they raised a support ticket. The knowledge base also works in tandem with a metadata engine, enabling it to present apposite articles to customers as soon as they start typing into the repository’s search bar. Ami plans to grow the self-service portal in the future. “We’re trying to translate every relevant ticket into a knowledge base article so we can reduce the number of recurring tickets”, he says.

Reporting and analytics: Freshdesk’s in-built reporting system is used to generate quarterly reports of service metrics and performance data. 

Flexible workflow automation: The applications of Freshworks’s automation engine ranged from time-bound auto-escalation of tickets to firing off automated replies to customers. “We find the automation rules really helpful for ticket lifecycle management and onboarding”, says Ami. Automation resulted in overall time savings of 25% – time which was reinvested into building stronger customer relationships.

Integrations with third-party software: Gigaspaces required multiple integrations with other support and productivity software, which Freshdesk provided by means of marketplace apps and API integrations. Here’s a closer look: 

  • Slack: Agents were alerted to incoming Freshdesk tickets via Slack notifications. This was especially useful for agents assigned to high-priority accounts, wherein they were expected to be mindful of every ticket received from these customers.
  • JIRA: The Freshdesk customer service portal is tightly integrated with JIRA. The integration comes into play when an agent receives a ticket related to software issues that the development team has to address – the agent can simply use a plugin to raise the issue with development, without ever having to log into JIRA. 
  • ClientSuccess: Freshdesk integrates with Gigaspaces’ customer success platform, ClientSuccess, and contributes towards providing customer success managers with a 360° view of the customer journey to date.
  • SendSafely: In order to comply with US data security regulations, Gigaspaces was required to encrypt and audit every log file they possessed. To that end, Ami browsed through the Freshworks Marketplace and found a plug-in for SendSafely, an end-to-end encryption and auditing platform. This enabled Gigaspaces to encrypt all pertinent email attachments that flowed through Freshdesk and add encrypted log files to an audit trail as well. “This plugin helped us obtain the required cybersecurity certification [from the US government]. It was a nice success story for us”, says Ami. 
The road ahead

In the months to come, Ami plans to bolster the knowledge base with more FAQs and solution articles. He hopes that it will gain traction with customers, and thereby, take some load off of his team’s shoulders. He also anticipates imminent business expansion that would spawn a Network Operations Center (NOC) – which would also require a technical support unit. He looks forward to integrating Freshdesk into this vision. 

Customer service has a special place in the world of high-throughput data processing, with customers being heavily reliant upon firms like Gigaspaces to edge ahead of the competition.  Gigaspaces is aware of that fact – its partnership with Freshdesk effectively future-proofs its support operations and ensures that the technical support team can continue to support and delight its customers, regardless of the scale they operate in.

“Freshdesk has saved us so much time. Everything we once did manually is now automated – copy-pastes have turned into auto-generated templates. The automation capabilities, especially, have been really helpful.”

Ami Zvieli

Director of Technical Support

Gigaspaces