How to setup your help desk in 20 minutes
With Zendesk, CALE Parking Finds the Ticket to Success
CALE Parking is growing fast and Jeff Nethery, customer service director, knows that the key to successful growth is to keep customers happy along the way. Today, with the help of Zendesk, his customers have never been happier.
Headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, CALE Parking Systems USA has been a leader in the parking meter industry for over 50 years, installing more than 50,000 pay stations in 35 countries. CALE Parking Systems USA has more than 7,000 pay stations installed in over 80 US cities, college campuses and privately-owned parking lots. These highly sophisticated stations go beyond the limits of traditional parking meters by allowing owners to manage multiple spaces at once and accept credit cards. As a result, the company must be prepared to respond to a wide variety of complex customer support issues.
Major new contract creates the need for a serious help desk system
As CALE recently prepared to convert 40,000 single-space meters to multi-space pay stations in downtown Chicago, the company realized it needed a more reliable way of keeping track of trouble tickets. The fast-growing company had tried using a Microsoft Outlook-based plug-in ticketing system, but was frustrated by the results.
“We needed a web-based system that did not require a MS Exchange server or software that had to be installed on every computer— a serious trouble ticket system that would allow our distributed team to collaborate when delivering customer support,” explains Nethery.
CALE already knew from user group feedback that some of its key customers were frustrated by the way certain support issues tended to slip through the cracks. Adding to the urgency, CALE had agreed to provide 24/7 support for the Chicago parking program and handle thousands of toll-free calls from end users in the city of Chicago. CALE faced a potential deluge of calls, and needed an easy way to track and access support information—quickly.
Online help desk system sets up in 20 minutes, enables unprecedented service
When Nethery started Zendesk’s free 30-day trial, it took less than 20 minutes to set up a new online support system. Within 30 days, CALE had completely migrated its help desk operations to Zendesk. In March 2009, CALE added a second Zendesk account dedicated solely to its Chicago parking end user call center operation.
“We were in a hurry to get our help desk ramped up for the Chicago account, and Zendesk delivered what we needed,” Nethery recalled. “In terms of getting started and adding users, we don’t think any other system can compare to Zendesk. Our operations from Florida to Montreal to Sweden are giving the online help desk system high praise.”
CALE now holds weekly meetings in which all company technicians log on to Zendesk and discuss open issues. The team prioritizes tasks and closes out finished cases—much more quickly and accurately than when technicians used to circulate spreadsheets with current statuses. Customers have noticed the difference in service.
“Our customers are saying they’ve never seen service like this,” says Nethery. “People get an email confirmation of their support ticket within two minutes, and everything is tracked through to resolution. We can often resolve issues within an hour—but even when we can’t, we can always keep customers informed of their case status.”
Comprehensive service reinvents business and enhances industry reputation
By moving to Zendesk, CALE has revolutionized its business. In addition to manufacturing, selling and supporting parking kiosks, the company now runs a national call center for parking equipment support—even fielding questions about its competitors’ machines. Offering this comprehensive service has provided the company with a new revenue stream and positioned its service offering to win new customers.
“Zendesk has single-handedly reinvented how we do business,” says Nethery.
CALE is providing the kind of service that will help parking customers better understand the parking programs and enhance their reputation in the industry.
“With Zendesk’s help, we can increase parking equipment uptime, improve customer compliance with parking programs and improve the customer’s perception and bottom line of any parking operation,” explains Nethery. ”None of our competitors are offering the level of service that Zendesk lets us provide. As much as customers care about the quality of our products, they care even more about getting prompt, accurate service if there is a problem.”
A partner to emulate
“Not only does Zendesk respond to our support requests within minutes, but they’re completely transparent with their customers,” Nethery explains. “That’s a completely foreign concept to many businesses—but it’s an approach we’re adopting at CALE. If we can pattern our service goals after Zendesk’s and achieve them, we’ll know we’re on the right track.”
Streamlined support for causes and customers
Charting a path to 99% customer satisfaction
Topic suggestions reduce ticket volume by 70%
Customer service outgrows email
Delivering customer service 35% faster
Connecting with supporters to change the world
Maintaining a consistent level of service for all
Rapid response is key for a fast-paced business
Improving support by moving from email to Zendesk