How to delight your community
Providing Services for the Creative Community
Based in Chicago, Illinois, crowdSPRING is an online marketplace for creative services. Businesses looking for a logo, a website, or even help naming their company can post projects on crowdSPRING. Projects are then available for the creative community to browse and work on. Each project typically receives 100 entries; the business decides which entry they want to go with from that pool and the creative gets paid.
Making Customer Service Part of Marketing
Right from the start, crowdSPRING recognized the need for timely and accurate responses to support requests. In the world of web startups, co-founder of crowdSPRING Mike Samson explains, customer service and support is not something you think about after you’ve built up your customer base, it’s how you build up your customer base. “Customer service is part of our marketing plan,” Samson says. “A large part of our marketing is through word of mouth. Good customer service is the best way to make happy customers.” Rather than play catchup once support requests started coming in, Samson wanted something in place as they grew. Because the company deals with potentially sensitive transactions between individuals and small-businesses, he wanted to get a solid support ticketing system (as opposed to just a community help forum) in place.
Searching for a Solution With the Flexibility to Grow
As a startup, crowdSPRING needed something low-cost that would allow them flexibility later on. Zendesk’s hosted help desk model meant they could get up and running with a low-monthly cost and no long-term commitment. Zendesk proved easy to set up and learn while at the same time providing a rich feature set. Additionally, Zendesks’s API— “robust and customizable,” according to Samson— has allowed crowdSPRING to build their own customized support forums. This flexibility is key, Samson says.
Supporting 70,000+ Users With a Small Team
When crowdSPRING launched the site, Samson says, they had about 400 users and not a huge volume of tickets. As crowdSpring grew, however, so did their support requests. In less than 2 years they were up to 40,000 service requests and 70,000 users. Zendesk’s flexibility made scaling possible. They added more agents as needed and have been able to keep their commitment to great customer service throughout their growth. “Zendesk maximizes our capacity,” Samson explains. With Zendesk, they are able to support their 70,000 user base with a relatively small group: two full-time and one part-time agents who work on the forums, and the two founders covering nights and weekends. With such a small team on support, crowdSPRING can focus their resources on making crowdSPRING the best it can be. At the same time, however, they haven’t had to compromise on providing the level of customer service and support they know is necessary to their success. “Zendesk is foundational for us,” Samson says. “It’s not just critical, it’s essential. Zendesk has been a huge help in our own efforts at instituting a robust customer service structure and we love it.”
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