The beginning of a new school year brings a great deal of excitement—from back-to-school shopping to the anticipation of the first bell ring, students are charged with the anticipation of reunion with friends and a fresh start. Parents, on the other hand, are tasked with extensive enrollment paperwork. It’s a heavy dose of parental homework.
When Forum Desai and Jinal Jhaveri, both engineering consultants, filled out stacks of paperwork for their daughter’s kindergarten enrollment back in 2013, they realized the process could be more efficient. Later that same year, they launched SchoolMint, a startup that streamlines all elements of administrative paperwork with its user-friendly cloud-based software. With SchoolMint, administrators can send parents necessary documents via email and parents can complete everything online. It’s quick and painless and has turned a process that was previously dreaded into something that saves administrators money and resources, and gives parents back the gift of time.
Providing around-the-clock support
As more schools signed on with SchoolMint, the company was faced with an influx of support requests from two distinct populations—administrations implementing SchoolMint, and parents using the system. This created a complex support dynamic, one that Customer Success Manager, Katherine Burk, was able to simplify with Zendesk products.
SchoolMint’s service team of eleven provides parents and admins with the support they need, “without having to hire a thousand customer service managers” because they lean heavily on Zendesk Guide. By serving relevant articles to each customer population, they’ve been able to scale support as the company grows.
Promoting self-service has freed up time for agents to provide email and voice support at the hours they know their customers and end-users are most active. “We work with people all across the country. If you’re a parent and you have three kids and you get home at seven, you’re not going to start this paperwork until ten at night,” Burk explains. “A lot of parents email at all hours of the day and night, and we want to provide a quick response.”
Building relationships with phone support
In addition to helping parents around the clock, SchoolMint is also able to meet the needs of its end-users by providing support in multiple languages. Many SchoolMint support agents are bilingual and able to fully assist customers who need explanations of paperwork in their native language. Many of these parents seek support of this nature by calling SchoolMint for direct, personal support. “Schools in particular, are very relational,” Burk said. “And the people that we work with very much want to have a contact at their vendor who they know and trust. Our phone support through Zendesk Talk is a very important part of the service that we provide.”
In addition to the personal touch that phone support provides, it also helps SchoolMint reach all of its users. Almost 25 percent of families do not have access to a computer, so providing phone support is an essential channel for connecting with these parents. Burk understands that for these users, “an email support channel would feel really impersonal and probably really ineffective. We know from the customer surveys that we send that phone support is one of the most valuable offerings we provide.”
Saved by the metrics
SchoolMint initially used Grasshopper for phone support, but soon outgrew the service. Burk found herself trying to download hard-to-digest data points into an excel spreadsheet late at night. “We didn’t have an easy way to gain insight into our metrics,” she said. “It took a lot of time to figure out our call volume. So, since we were already using Support and Guide and liked them, it just made sense to add on Talk and keep everything in one place.”
After trialing Talk, her team was sold. “When I saw that it was easy to use, and how it increased transparency in terms of who’s taking calls, who’s taking too long to wrap up, and all the different metrics, Talk just made a lot of sense.”
Focus on satisfaction and improvement
As SchoolMint grows, they are continually dedicated to providing quality customer support. Since integrating their phone support with Talk, they’ve been able to better understand the correlation between customer satisfaction and the support received. Burk can now see phone support wait time, the duration of calls, and when lines are at their busiest. Burk has even gotten SchoolMint employees in non-support roles to occupy seats on their Zendesk plan. Members from the engineering, sales, and product management teams all have eyes on the account and are helping to address the issues customers are facing in real time.
Looking ahead, SchoolMint’s next step is to roll out their community forums, giving them another opportunity to support and build better relationships with their customers. And Katherine Burk? She’s no longer spending her nights downloading files and mapping data.
Is it time for you to make a connection? Learn more about Zendesk Talk.