BigTent Uses Web 2.0 to Help Customers Help Themselves

July 22, 2010

Zendesk has been a huge timesaver for our staff. Thanks to built-in Triggers — which our previous solution didn’t include — we’ve reduced the number of tickets requiring agent interaction by 22 percent.

— Rosa Terrazas, Director of Community Support

bigtent-logoBigTent is where trusted groups connect online. This free platform for family-friendly organizations strengthens group involvement and simplifies group management by combining the best of today’s social networking features with group management tools. Founded in 2006, the company is headquartered in San Francisco and hosts a wide variety of groups, including parent, school, hobby, neighborhood and community groups nationwide.

When BigTent’s customer support vendor Helpstream went out of business in 2010, the company was given only eight weeks to find and migrate to a new solution. Rather than rushing out and selecting something similar, the customer support team saw this event as an opportunity to find a system that was much better. As Rosa Terrazas, director of community support at BigTent, considered possible online help desk solutions, Zendesk was the first name that came to mind. Even after BigTent thoroughly evaluated several other solutions, Zendesk came out ahead. BigTent went live on Zendesk in April 2010.

Automation Reduces Need for Agent Interaction by 22 Percent

Zendesk’s intuitive navigation makes it easy for customers to submit support requests. Powerful search features help customers find more answers for themselves. And Zendesk’s Triggers enable BigTent to send automatic replies to many common support requests. As a result, BigTent has reduced its overall support tickets by 5.5 percent.

“Zendesk has been a huge timesaver for our staff, ” Terrazas remarks. “Thanks to built-in Triggers — which our previous solution didn’t include — we’ve reduced the number of tickets requiring agent interaction by 22 percent. We now use Triggers to automatically answer 45 percent of all feature requests, requests to change email and unsubscribe tickets.”

Add-on “Extras” Give New Power at No Additional Cost

Zendesk delivers several helpful “extras” for BigTent’s staff. The Zendesk for iPhone app lets Terrazas keep up with support issues during off hours. And BigTent hopes that Zendesk’s Twitter integration will enable the company to identify more support issues in cyberspace and address them proactively.

BigTent is also “big” on measurement, which is why the customer support team is excited about the new GoodData for Zendesk capabilities. The on-demand dashboards, reporting and analytics will help BigTent understand support activity trends using advanced business intelligence techniques.

“The pre-built dashboards and out-of-the-box metrics will give us new insight into our support activities,” said Terrazas. “With the ability to quickly slice and dice data, we will be able to provide near-immediate customer intelligences to all areas of our business that need that information to improve the customer experience — from product management to the executive team.”

The BigTent customer support staff achieved what at one time seemed impossible. In Zendesk, they found a solution that not only met, but also exceeded, all their requirements and completely transformed the customer support experience for their customers — all while staying within a tight budget.

“We love the fact that Zendesk is constantly innovating and includes the needs and opinions of its customers in that innovation,” Terrazas concludes. “Zendesk has been a huge morale boost for our support staff. Our whole company loves using it.”