• Fixing an inflexible and robotic approach to customer service
  • Dealing with multiple customer service channels, all of which had their own tools
  • Expanding a limited reporting facility
  • Created a collaborative approach to customer service across multiple countries
  • Agent ownership of customer issues improved both quality and speed of service
  • Reduced average issue response time by over 50 percent

About the Company

Launching in 2007, musicMagpie identified a gap in the market for a place to sell your old CDs and DVDs for quick cash during the recession. In the last 11 years, the company has expanded into buying technology within the UK and the US, as well as launching its online store in 2016. It is the first company in the world to pass five million in eBay feedback and musicMagpie’s growth has been driven by its approach to customer support and service.

A new approach to customer experience and engagement

Group Head of Customer Service and Experience Jonathan Beirne looks after the customer service teams in both the UK and the US. His main focus is working alongside the marketing department to make sure that all customer touch points for the company are user friendly and as simple as possible to run. “At musicMagpie the customer has to come first - to support this, we have always invested to make sure the customer feels this is the case,” explained Jonathan. “We are continuing to develop our approach around customer engagement and service to keep up with the best available options.”

As part of its customer experience strategy, musicMagpie previously used a different product provider for each contact channel, including its email system and social media channels. However, it wasn’t simple to manage service across them.

As an example, musicMagpie had a limited ability to track agent responsibility for tickets delivered by email. Jonathan explained how this affected service levels: “Our in-house system for managing emails had minimal reporting, so it was difficult to manage and extract data about who was owning and working on each ticket. This could affect customers’ perception of their service without us having the right data to show what was taking place.”

To solve this, Jonathan wanted to create a more joined-up approach to customer service. He recognised that implementing a new approach that hosted all channels in one place would create a seamless customer experience. “We wanted to provide that same great experience to customers, but we also wanted more insight into how we were performing across those services in one place. We took this opportunity to look at our approach and how it would develop in future.”

After drafting a shortlist of potential providers and presenting this to the board, Jonathan decided to work with Freshworks to deliver this new vision for customer experience.

Creating a collaborative customer experience approach

For Jonathan and his team, Freshworks provided the best solution to the company’s issues around managing multiple channels in one place, as well as delivering ease of use and effective reporting. Freshworks could handle service requests over all customer service channels - the team chose Freshdesk as its help desk management tool and Freshchat as its live chat product.

Commenting on the implementation process of both systems, Jonathan says, “It was a surprise how easy it was to implement into musicMagpie’s infrastructure. I personally did most of the set up within the platform. I had constant support from Account Management and some Technical Support from the Freshworks team who were always there when we needed them. It took a week from start to finish, and they were with us every step of the way.”

In total, Freshdesk supports ticket management and allocation for 42 agents in the UK and 9 agents in the US.

Bringing the UK and US teams together to work on the same platform was an important part of the whole project. By consolidating on Freshworks, the teams could feel that they were part of one global team, and they recognised the investment that was being made in them too.

“Freshworks allows us to provide the same customer experience in the UK and US. Bringing these teams together makes everything run more smoothly - we can collaborate better to resolve customer issues. The gamification aspect of the tool - Quest - has created healthy competition too as you can earn badges, enabling the agents to see how they are performing against each other. This has helped to build morale as agents feel like they are working together to fulfill customer needs,” continued Jonathan.

Following the implementation of Freshworks, Jonathan and his team have seen the impact that consolidating channels can have on agent efficiency. “The Freshdesk product makes it easier for agents to manage email volume, allowing them to provide a better customer service experience. They find it really easy to use and it makes them more productive, and we can get more detail on how our teams are working,” commented Jonathan. “Ultimately, we can prove the difference that the switch to Freshworks has made.”

Building more insight into the customer experience

As part of the move to Freshworks, musicMagpie has taken the opportunity to re-evaluate processes around customer support based on new capabilities around analytics and data. This included giving agents greater ownership around customer tickets.

“Now we’ve implemented Freshdesk, we have a tracking system which allows us to see when an agent has been assigned an email ticket. From this moment, it is their responsibility to deal with the customer’s problem from start to finish. We have helped our agents by providing a better tool to work with, and we’re now able to provide a more personal service too. This has increased our customer satisfaction rates, as customers don’t have to repeat details and they feel their problems are being managed more effectively,” said Jonathan.

Talking about the results which musicMagpie has seen so far since implementation of the products in October, Jonathan states, “Since we integrated Freshdesk and Freshchat there’s been a 10 per cent drop in email volume due to an improved first contact resolution and some volume shifting towards Live Chat. That shift has continued since we implemented Freshchat, with it now being our most efficient channel. We have such a broad demographic of customers, we need to offer a variety of channels of communication, but younger customers prefer the live chat approach.”

Through using Freshworks, musicMagpie now has more insight into wider customer service issues and trends. This has improved customer service quality and response times. Previously the average response time from an agent was 24-48 hours. After implementation, this has been as low as four hours.

This capability has also helped the team spot issues internally around customer service channels and service design as well as larger problems. “Previously, we could only look at our interactions through a lot of manual work to collate information from multiple channels – making it harder to spot problems that were affecting multiple customers at the same time.” said Jonathan.

From initial deployment to expanded processes

Since the initial deployment of Freshworks, the team has built up more knowledge management processes that can help customers through self-service. This can be used across multiple channels. “On Freshchat, we can use the integrated FAQs and articles to provide customers with answers quickly - customers like how quickly we can provide what they want. Internally, it’s easy to use and manage this knowledge. We can automatically gather feedback and ratings on the FAQs and articles, helping us develop our content database too. Having this centrally means that we can make changes and respond to requests faster, and ultimately improve customer satisfaction,” explained Jonathan.

“We’ve also started using Freshchat as part of our campaign designs and this has been really useful. As a result, we’ve been able to add more support services into our checkout journey, helping convert more customers and find problem areas on the website. The take up has been really good on some of the campaigns - on one we ran, we had a 28 percent engagement rate.”

Jonathan Beirne

Group Head of Customer Service & Experience


As a result of such strong results soon after the implementation of Freshworks, Jonathan is already looking at plans for the future: “Next, we’re building our portal as the entry point to self service. This will help reduce ticket volumes and increase customer satisfaction. This should also free up agents’ time, allowing them to focus on providing quality customer service.”

Jonathan and his team are also looking at how they can take advantage of other functionality within the Freshworks suite of products, including the voice channel for their contact centre in the UK. “We’re looking at implementing Freshworks’ Freshcaller call centre management product into our infrastructure here in the UK. Freshcaller has already been implemented in the US, and it integrates seamlessly into how that team works. We’re aiming to have Freshcaller implemented within this year.” 

Customer support operations at musicMagpie - By The Numbers

  • 7 million customers worldwide
  • 42 agents in the UK and 9 agents in the US
  • Dealing with a high volume of emails - 18,000 emails a week in the UK
  • Phone contact also significant - 2,500 calls a week in the UK
  • Live chat sessions growing - 2,000 chats a week in the UK
  • Social media a very small channel - currently only 200 enquiries a week