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SAGE is a leading provider of innovative, high-quality academic content, publishing over 1000 journals and 800 new books each year, as well as a growing portfolio of digital library products such as archives, datasets, case studies and videos. The organization has grown exponentially since its inception in 1965 and now has over 1500 employees worldwide with offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC and Melbourne.
SAGE does not rest on its laurels as a globally recognized academic publisher. The organization constantly innovates to present its consumers with new formats of quality content like video packages. In its operations, SAGE works with multiple parties including wholesalers, agents, direct purchasers, readers and content creators. Graeme Doswell, Head of Business Solutions and System Operations, works across the operational teams to ensure systems are administered properly to meet internal needs as well as properly fulfilling both print and digital orders, providing customer-facing support when there are problems.
Before SAGE turned to Freshdesk over two years ago, its operational team was struggling to stay on top of this mandate. SAGE was using shared inboxes to manage customer conversations. Graeme realized that the system “didn’t work, especially when you have a larger and larger organization requiring more frequent customer interactions.” The lack of visibility into assignment, ownership and SLAs on email meant that teams weren’t on the same page. There was a lot of manual coordination and constant duplication of efforts which, coupled with increasing query volumes, meant that teams were fighting constant backlogs. The lack of organized data meant that there was no way to generate reports. Considering all of this, Graeme knew that it was vital to find a better solution.
Graeme evaluated Freshdesk, Zendesk, ServiceNow and Salesforce. With its scalability, intuitive interface and ease of use, Freshdesk came out on top. Freshdesk’s easy and effortless setup proved to be a gamechanger as well. SAGE was able to implement Freshdesk without any dependencies on centralized IT or dedicated consultants. After piloting Freshdesk with a 6-member team, Graeme realized that it was transformative.
Freshdesk has empowered 115 agents to look after the needs of SAGE’s 400,000 customers and readers. In the last year alone, agents have been able to tackle 110,000 customer queries and delight them with exemplary support. Freshdesk’s value for Graeme's team has been undeniable:
Data-driven decisions: Powered by Freshdesk analytics, teams are able to forecast volumes and ensure SLA adherence. Customers are no longer unduly made to wait for help.
Intelligently automated workflows: Freshdesk’s automated assignment rules have helped teams save time, reduce duplication and get on top of their backlogs. SAGE is now able to ensure that every query gets to the relevant department quickly to provide the right service, speeding up resolution times.
Seamless cross-functional collaboration: Freshdesk allows agents to respond to tickets faster by collaborating across functions and teams from within a ticket. “We’re able to break down siloes and no longer have to chase after people to get things done,” said Graeme.
Quality service at scale: Equipped with the right tool, teams now deliver the quality of service befitting a global enterprise. SAGE has been able to accomplish this at scale, and as Graeme said, “our staff hasn’t increased but our performance has.”
Graeme has ambitious plans to elevate his support organization with the Freshworks customer service platform. He is excited to enhance inter-function and team collaboration with Freshconnect. SAGE has brought (Freshcaller (now Freshdesk Contact Center)), the call center on cloud, on board to offer follow-the-sun phone support without spending on a massive infrastructure overhaul. Graeme also intends to enhance the accessibility of customer service for a wider variety of users by introducing Whatsapp for support. Graeme also wants to encourage self-service by setting up a comprehensive knowledge base and routing queries through the support portal.
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