How to go from call center to full support
Based in Toronto, Ontario, Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network of 197 corporate stores, 241 dealer stores, 31 home improvement showrooms, more than 1,800 catalogue merchandise pick-up locations, 108 Sears Travel offices, and a nationwide home maintenance, repair, and installation network. The company also publishes Canada’s most extensive general merchandise catalogue and offers shopping online.
In October 2009, Sears Canada faced the challenge of streamlining its call center customer support system.
“We serve store associates and other internal clients, handling a wide variety of technical issues around applications,” explains Timothy Eberwein, director of information technology, Sears Canada. “We have a lot of complex enterprise applications, but the process of collecting support ticket information has typically been cumbersome and labor-intensive. Nothing we had really met our needs, so we decided to look at other alternatives.”
Sears Canada wanted a solution that was lightweight, but powerful and customizable, and something that worked with numerous other web-based solutions, so the company could constantly integrate new capabilities.
“It was also critical the solution did not require a huge investment of development time and budget,” recalls Eberwein.
Customizing the Solution & Workflow
Eberwein evaluated several web-based trouble ticket systems but kept coming back to the only one that met all of his criteria: Zendesk. The tone of Zendesk’s website convinced Eberwein he had found a customer-friendly vendor and the open integration allowed it to easily fit into Sears Canada’s workflow.
“Having an open, easy-to-integrate customer support solution, like Zendesk, is crucial, especially with so many hosted products coming onto the market,” says Eberwein.
“None of the other solutions we researched had the simplicity and flexibility of Zendesk,” says Toan Le, Application Support Technician, Sears Canada. “Zendesk allows you to start off simple and gradually add more features. So far, the triggers and targets have let us automate a lot of redundant jobs and save time.”
Expediting Support Tickets
Today, Sears Canada’s internal call center processes revolve around Zendesk’s support ticket system. Each customer support ticket now contains concise information on the nature of the problem, including which business division and application is involved. Technicians can more easily understand any situation without needing a detailed description. Custom ticket views enable all technical staff to maintain a high-level view of incoming issues and requests.
“Zendesk is excellent web-based customer support software that our team uses daily,” says Le. “It’s our central point of communication between end users and support personnel, and because it’s so customizable, we can handle all requests and needs in an organized manner.”
Eberwein’s team is constantly in contact with Zendesk’s support staff. With each call, they get the help they need to continue fine-tuning Sears Canada’s new web-based help desk software.
“We’ve made several requests for enhancements since we started using Zendesk, and they’ve pretty much all been completed,” says Le. “The Zendesk team continually enhances their product and listens to their clients, and that’s made us even more certain that we made the right choice.”
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