About Roseville Joint Union High School District

Roseville Joint Union High School District (RJUHSD), California is a one-to-one, digitally-centric school district. It is made up of 5 comprehensive high schools and 3 alternative education institutes that service 10,000+ students and 1000 adult customers. 

Technology is at the forefront of RJUHSD’s approach to education. Everything from the schools’ infrastructure, classroom wireless, audio-visual systems, to teachers’ and students’ computers are connected. As a result, it becomes very important for the district’s IT department to be on top of any technical issues that arise. 

We spoke to Tony Ham, the Director of Technology at RJUHSD, to understand how his team of 17 agents use Freshdesk to support their schools’ staff and students. 

The challenges of a legacy system

The district was initially using Altiris, a legacy work order system, but Tony found it rigid, clunky and difficult to maneuver. “It was difficult to find metrics. The problem was that there was no transparency and my agents were often printing work orders to work on them rather than functioning out of the app.” Tony revealed. 

Tony wanted a system that worked out-of-the-box, came with excellent reporting capabilities and had a mobile application that would allow agents to work on the move when needed.


Choosing a fresh approach to support

The team began to pilot different work order applications to try to find the right fit for their business when one of the agents brought Freshdesk to Tony’s attention. 

Freshdesk’s intuitive user interface, easy reporting capabilities and gamified experience won over Tony and his team. Once the official decision was made, implementation took place in a matter of days and the IT team was soon up-and-running on the system. 

The actual technical piece of the product did not require any extensive training whatsoever. It was very straightforward and easy to adopt for the technicians. It was things like setting product expectations, entering tags, deciding on service response times, and communication expectations that took  a little time.” Tony explained.  

Winning with Freshdesk

Removing friction for end-users

Before Freshdesk, Tony’s team was finding that a lot of their staff and students were not reporting the problems they were having. The process of logging into the support portal and raising a ticket was too cumbersome, and so, they just lived with the struggle. Freshdesk helped break this behavior pattern. 

The IT team kicked off an advertising campaign across their schools about the ease of raising a ticket through Freshdesk - they just had to write an email. 

Now, I’d say well over 50% of our tickets come in via email. The ease of email allowed people to come to us with smaller, tertiary problems they might not have reported otherwise.” Tony said. This was hugely beneficial for Tony and his team because it gave them a clear idea of all the problems students and staff were having and helped them ensure that everyone was truly kept happy. 


Reaching out proactively to deflect repeat queries

Keeping an eye on ticket categories and trends through Freshdesk Reporting & Analytics allowed the team to spot scenarios where a certain query was cropping up more than others; for example, 10 people wrote in regarding how to reset their computer over the course of 48 hours. 

In such cases, Tony would send out a district-wide email bulletin with instructional material and recourse on how to solve this particular issue. This eventually helped deflect repeat questions, reducing ticket volumes.


Improving agent productivity with metrics and gamification

Transitioning from a legacy system with a clunky interface to a tool like Freshdesk allowed all the agents to really appreciate the transparency and visibility of the new system. The ability to track agent performance also meant that there was a bit of a learning curve though. “There were not as many expectations of them on the previous system because it was difficult to track metrics,” Tony explained. 

One thing that helped the team quickly ramp up to meet the new performance standards was the gamification within Freshdesk. “It promotes healthy competition within the team, and it also helps me recognize and give kudos to high performers at staff meetings. I also send out emails about leaders in different categories every few weeks in order to recognize their successes.” Tony said.  


Setting realistic SLAs thanks to data-driven insights

Freshdesk has great reports. This is what I love about the product - all the metrics are very simple. It’s so easy to find out whether or not you’re performing better and all the ticket trends and data points are accessible. It allows me to set realistic expectations for my team regarding performance metrics like First Response Times, Resolution SLAs and CSAT scores.” 

Freshdesk’s customizable reporting also allows Tony to get a complete perspective on his team’s performance rather than evaluating them on a ticket-to-ticket basis.  “When a user has a less than stellar experience, Freshdesk’s reporting allows you to take a step back and get perspective on how the overall month has been going and whether there is really a need to worry about service quality. We end up focusing on the positives rather than the negatives.

CSAT surveys, sent out after each ticket is resolved, are a big point of focus for Tony and his team encourages end-users to complete their surveys whenever possible. He also uses communication patterns to check his team’s performance. “If I see that there has been no communication between first response and resolution, I know there’s a problem. I believe that constant feedback and the back-and-forth of conversation is necessary to ensure a good experience.

“Freshdesk has been extremely responsive to any needs we have. All the communications have been spot-on. The feature ads you’ve been doing within your products have been very beneficial as well”

Tony Ham

Director of Technology

Roseville Joint Union High School District

The next chapter

Other teams within RJUHSD have taken notice of the IT team’s increased efficiency and have begun to pilot Freshdesk to see if it would fit their needs as well. “The Maintenance and Services department is already implementing Freshdesk and now the Human Resources department is looking at the system as well.” Tony revealed. 

Performance metrics, communication metrics, and CSAT scores are data points that are important to all departments; we all want to know how we’re doing. The easy access to this information on Freshdesk is what has made it so popular within our organization.”