How Spokeo connects more people, faster than ever

How Spokeo connects more people, faster than ever

October 4, 2017
How Spokeo connects more people, faster than ever

Spokeo is a search engine that aggregates people’s public information, allowing users to easily research or reconnect with people. In 2017, it was ranked on the Inc. 5000 list for the third consecutive year as one of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.

As one might imagine, aggregating data from multiple sources on millions of people is a big task. As a tool that serves the curious and the seeking, Spokeo’s app can help with everything from identifying an unknown caller to creating some truly remarkable connections. Behind the technology is a lot of relationship management. Spokeo’s Customer Care team handles every type of customer inquiry, from general questions about functionality to how-to steps, billing, and subscription support.

Dawn of a new day with Multibrand

Four years ago, Spokeo provided this support through two support channels: phone and email. At the time, Brady Gillerlain, now the Junior Customer Experience Manager at Spokeo, was one of two email support agents and received up to 1,000 tickets every day.

Though Spokeo had Zendesk Support already in place, it was set up in a “hub and spoke” model and its features were underutilized. Gillerlain’s growing team of agents found it difficult to navigate between the different spokes and maintain a consistent brand voice. To better manage increasing ticket volume, Gillerlain was tasked with expanding the support team and building out Zendesk with more functionality.

Zendesk Support’s Multibrand feature proved to be the solution they were looking for. “Moving over to Multibrand was just a godsend for us,” Gillerlain recalled. “It was night and day.”

By utilizing the Multibrand feature, all of Spokeo’s support channels for each of its products are able to be accessed through a single interface, leading to incredible time savings and great improvement in the agent experience. The team also heavily uses macros to provide pre-defined answers to common questions.

More Tymeshift, less time wasted

Since that transition to Multibrand three years back, Spokeo has continued to derive great value from the flexibility of Zendesk Support. As Spokeo has continued to grow, the email and chat team’s count has climbed to 20-plus. As much as Gillerlain worked to streamline KPIs and response times, there was more work to do on the operations side to track agent efficiency and provide agents with transparency into their performance. Spokeo had been manually pulling in data from external sources to report from Zendesk, but it was a time-consuming process and open to human error.

“What we love about Zendesk is its openness to other programs, and having the ability to do all sorts of tweaking to make it do exactly what we want,” Gillerlain said. Spokeo has since installed many apps from the Zendesk Apps Marketplace, including Tymeshift, a real-time workforce management dashboard.

“The entire team is now consistently hitting most of our metrics,” Gillerlain said, partially due to Tymeshift proactively serving agents with data. With so many people to manage, it can be a challenge for managers to pause everything to look up real-time data for the agents who request it, and easy to overlook those agents who don’t.

    Each agent is able to receive instant, direct feedback on their Support dashboard and can self-adjust their activities to be as efficient as possible.

Thus, Gillerlain’s team worked with Tymeshift to create a custom integration to address its specific organizational needs and metrics, so that each agent is able to receive instant, direct feedback on their Support dashboard and can self-adjust their activities to be as efficient as possible.

According to Gillerlain, the biggest impact of Tymeshift has been the new trust that’s been fostered by the service: “It gave transparency to me as a direct team leader on what’s going on in the team. It gives management a better idea of the team’s performance on KPIs. It gives the agents more transparency on their own performance. It’s been a huge win for us.”

From email to chat, and beyond

As Spokeo has grown, so has its support offerings. Today, Spokeo uses the Zendesk Support, Zendesk Guide, and Zendesk Chat products to provide seamless omnichannel support across its email, live chat, and self-service channels.

“Having the out-of-the-box chat solution right off the bat definitely felt like lucking out, because of how seamlessly it’s integrated into the core product. In a matter of months after we upgraded our Zendesk plan it was all in place, and so easy to expand; we just add agent seats as needed,” Gillerlain said.

Always looking to further operationalize and stay ahead of the curve, Spokeo has strategically tested adding the chat widget to specific pages of its site, more than tripling their team’s daily chat volume. This move has shifted a previously email-heavy volume over to chat, allowing for more customer engagement. The team anticipates further bolstering their capabilities with Zendesk Web Widget and Answer Bot features of Zendesk Guide—to first deflect tickets with automated self-service before a user initiates a chat or sends an email.

Already, the team is able to maintain a first response time of 15-20 seconds for chat and 8 hours for email. From there, the issues are typically easily handled by a macro—Spokeo has built out a library of more than 360 macros—or may require personalized troubleshooting or that human touch to solve.

“We’re very excited about what Zendesk is rolling out down the road,” Gillerlain said. “You guys are beating us to the punch—anticipating what we need, sometimes even before we do. We definitely are liking what we’re seeing on the Zendesk product development roadmap.”

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