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Chat volume since March 2020
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ShipTime was founded in 2008 to help businesses track and manage their shipping with ease. The full-service shipping solution provides customers tools to find the best courier companies for their shipments at the most competitive prices so that customers can get maximum ROI on their investments.
Currently, ShipTime services 60,000 customers across many countries worldwide. On average, 5,000 customers send shipments every week with ShipTime’s service, with that number only increasing every month.
In current times of flux, customer support becomes even more crucial to winning customer loyalty. The incredible benefit that ShipTime provides businesses during COVID-19 cannot be overstated, with many having to ship products to customer doorsteps. Dave Wilson, VP of Operations at the company, understands the invaluable role of customer service in running ShipTime’s operations.
Before using a helpdesk, Dave explained the challenges his support team faced with a shared inbox when managing issues. “Organizing files and emails into a folder or trying to find the email, later on, to see who was working on what was challenging. We average about 60 tickets a day in volume, which became messy to handle for our reps.”
Moving to Freshdesk helped Dave’s customer service team stay organized and track support tickets better. With Freshdesk’s collaboration feature, they improved coordination between agents and other internal teams. “We use Freshdesk’s collaboration as an internal chat feature to talk to each other on a specific ticket. This quickly gets the attention of the other party working on the same ticket.”
Every customer has a preference when it comes to communication. With so many different channels available, businesses need to be present on the same platforms as their customers to have the most impact. Dave and the ShipTime crew wanted their customers to reach out to them through their preferred channels and decided on an omnichannel approach to customer service.
“We started with Freshdesk for incoming support tickets through the portal or email. We used Freshcaller for support from Five9 and Freshchat from both a marketing standpoint and as an alternative to phone support.”, Dave explained.
Being able to integrate all three products seamlessly also made it possible to switch channels without any hassle.
“It's common sense that having all three together with the app switcher on the bottom made it quick and easy to get everything in one place. The seamless integrations between Freshchat, Freshcaller, and Freshdesk just made my job easier,” said Dave.
With three great options for customers to choose from, Dave saw an increase in incoming requests, showing the strong demand from customers to get better access to support.
Focusing on chat: Dave gave strategic importance to chat because of how much faster it made responding to customers. By assigning an agent to focus on answering messages on Freshchat, ShipTime could drastically reduce response times from 6 minutes to around 30 seconds for each ticket! “We started requesting customers to use chat instead of email, or instead of phone support, and then we dedicated a rep to just chat. The results quickly spoke for themselves.” Dave revealed.
With COVID-19 forcing more people to look at online options for their shopping needs, many brick and mortar stores needed to pivot to an e-commerce model. This meant more shipping demand, leading to rapid growth for ShipTime in terms of customers and shipment quantity.
As a result, there was a surge in customer inquiries. Chat volume went up from 30-40 a day to around 100 messages per day, while call volumes also went up from 100 to 150 per day.
“We were averaging about ‘25 tickets a day’ a year ago, and now we are averaging 65. For April, our call volume went up 20%, and our chat volume doubled due to COVID-19 related items”, Dave said.
Dave and his team needed to ensure the increased volume did not result in slower response times. To manage the situation, ShipTime used a 3-pronged approach to stay on top of customer requests:
1. Bots for query deflection:
Having an agent dedicated to answering chat messages was a great strategy from Dave’s support team. But he also wanted to ensure the agent was not overloaded with too many inquiries. By implementing an answer bot within Freshchat, to handle commonly asked questions quickly, deflected several repetitive queries, and bought more time for the agent to focus on priority issues.
2. Automating ticket workflows: Dave wanted to ensure ShipTime’s support team wasn’t bogged down by manual tasks when handling tickets. By setting up scenario automation for each type of ticket, they were able to prevent agents from spending time unnecessarily on categorizing and assigning tickets to the right group. “Instead of the agent having to go through and click seven different boxes and choose the right dispositioning, they just select a scenario that we created, and it automates the process,” Dave revealed.
3. Using auto-response to save time: With the auto-response feature, ShipTime displayed an ‘Offline’ or ‘Out of office’ status on their website chat widget during busy hours when phones were ringing. Customers could still submit queries on the chat and have an agent get back to them at a later time. ShipTime’s customer service team saved almost 20 seconds on each ticket created. To put that in context, it resulted in up to 16 hours saved in just a single month!
4. FAQs and internal KnowledgeBase: ShipTime built a set of highly valuable FAQ sections for customers on their website to enable self-service for repetitive questions. With Freshdesk’s Knowledge Base, they are also implementing an internal resources section to lend agents a helping hand when resolving inquiries. With an internal resource folder, the support team can quickly find solutions without needing to search for answers.
It’s not certain how long the COVID-19 situation will persist, but one thing that won’t change is the importance of staying connected with customers. Moving forward, Dave plans to use IVR and recorded voice messages with Freshcaller to guide customers to the right solutions, so they don’t have to wait for an agent.
“We would like to have a bigger phone tree and some pre-recorded messages that can explain certain things like tracking shipments on the web app instead of waiting for us to do it since we all have the same information,” Dave explained.
Freshdesk was able to help ShipTime improve customer communication and made contacting their support team more accessible to customers.
“Freshdesk has helped us communicate better with our customers using different entry-points like email, chat, call, or web portal based on what kind of communication method they (the customer) prefer”
Vice President, Operations
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