INDUSTRY

Education

HEADQUARTERS

North America

Resolution within SLA

100%

CSAT 

100%

About Kern High School District 

The Kern High School District (KHSD), California, is made up of 18 comprehensive high schools and 11 alternative, adult, career technical, and special education institutions that serve over 45,000 students. 

The district office began its journey with Freshworks in 2014 and currently has 50+ agents working out of Freshdesk. We caught up with Paul Schwartz, Business Applications Coordinator, and Jennifer Randel, System Applications Specialist, to understand how Freshdesk enables their team to create customers for life.

Paul and Jennifer support the student information system, Synergy, that is used by over 4000 staff across 34 education institutions. Paul defines their customer service philosophy by two key elements - speed and efficiency. “We want to be able to give quick responses and ensure quick resolutions.” 

Understanding the challenges 

What we wanted to do was simplify things for our end-users while improving their overall experience,” Paul revealed. 

KHSD’s support teams were set up across functions with separate groups of agents who tackled payroll, student systems, admin, etc. They realized over time that while it was easy for teachers to reach out to their assigned IT technician when they had an issue with their computer, not everyone knew who to reach out to if they had issues with their paycheck or leave applications. KHSD needed a system that acted as one pane of glass for all requests from teachers and school staff. 

It was frustrating for us agents as well because we were not sure if the request coming in was one that had already been addressed by someone else,” Jennifer said, bringing to light the lack of visibility brought about by working out of shared inboxes. This also meant there was no way to extract metrics and monitor the performance of agents.  

We wanted to eliminate the bureaucratic shuffle and reduce frustration by making communications simple for our customers,” Paul explained.  

Winning with Freshdesk

Better customer experience: When Paul’s team was looking for a solution, the Director of Fiscal Services at the district, Robert Dickson, pointed him in the direction of Freshdesk. By introducing Freshdesk, the team is now able to assign ownership and accountability to each ticket. “Freshdesk takes care of that initial communication of ‘Hey, someone is working on your incident,’” Paul said. He explained how this helped enhance the customer’s experience as well by letting them know their issue was being addressed. Customers also benefit from having a single point of contact to reach out to all the support teams, allowing for a seamless exchange.

Increased efficiency within the support team: Jennifer felt Freshdesk made it easier for her colleagues to resolve tickets faster. She called out canned responses and the ability to go back and refer resolved tickets as features that helped make her job more manageable. “I’ve used the in-product tech support chat before and have great results with that,” Jennifer added. 

Bird’s eye view on agent performance: From a manager’s point of view, Paul felt Freshdesk reporting and analytics were invaluable. “There have been times when it’s not been clear to top leadership what we’ve been doing, and they’ve brought that to my attention. I’ve used the Freshdesk agent report to communicate with them exactly what’s going on, and they’re usually pretty impressed with that.” Paul recalled, “I’m a big fan of data analytics and business intelligence; I use the agent report quite a bit to see who’s doing what. It helps me make sure there’s an equitable balance between our agents’ workload and pending tickets.”  

Faster ramp-up time: After implementing Freshdesk, Paul has also observed a reduced ramp time when onboarding new agents. “In my opinion, Freshdesk is tremendously easy; it’s a very intuitive and well-designed product. We can create a group and add an agent in basically no time.” Paul stated, going on to say that new agents quickly pick up the nuances of the product and get started. 

“Freshdesk has helped us become much more efficient. It has provided consistency in messaging too. It’s not a lot of random voices. It’s a single voice and someone they recognize.”

Paul Schwartz

Business Applications Coordinator

Kern High School District

What is next on the agenda? 

The difficult part of establishing trust with the customers is over. Teachers and school staff are comfortable in knowing who they are reaching out to and confident in the agents’ ability to resolve their issue. 

Now, KHSD is looking at how to improve their operations further by introducing automated ticket routing and deploying live chat. Paul revealed that they wanted to make it easier for people who preferred messaging over phone calls and emails to get in touch with them. “There is no one-size-fits-all model here; we’d love to add chat for those end-users who prefer that.

Our experience with Freshdesk to this point has been very positive. I know the people that I’ve worked with there are smart and forward-thinking. That lets me know we’re on the right track with Freshdesk.” Paul concluded.