- Tickets/Month/Channel 30,000
- Support Hours 24/7
- Languages Supported 8
- Chat CSAT 97%
- Products Used
Design is the secret to great business. That’s the mantra that fuels 99designs, the world’s largest graphic design marketplace. Since 2008, 99designs has connected over a million businesses to freelance designers equipped with the tools and artistic know-how to make brand visions a reality.
The double-sided marketplace presents a unique challenge for the support team at 99designs, as they manage relationships with both businesses and freelance designers. “We want to help every client get a design they love,” said Zach Kulas, Director of Global Support. “And on the designer side, we want to help them land clients and develop as many ongoing relationships as we can.”
To reach its goals—and serve its international customers—99designs offers around-the-clock support out of their offices in Melbourne, Berlin, and Oakland. The teams are also supported by a network of remote agents worldwide. As for channels, 99designs offers customers the full experience—email, chat, phone, and self-service—in eight languages.
Before migrating their entire support stack over to Zendesk’s omnichannel solution, 99designs used a different vendor for each of its channels: Desk.com for email, SwitchFox for phone support, and Olark for chat. For Kulas and his support team, drawing insights from segmented channels proved frustrating. “Managing, maintaining updates, and reporting through three different companies was arduous and not fun to do,” said Kulas.
Constant frustration pushed 99designs to evaluate new tools. This time, a seamless, all-in-one solution was at the top of their wishlist. After weighing their options, the 99designs team narrowed it down to two solutions: Zendesk and Salesforce Service Cloud. “Zendesk is much more intuitive and user friendly,” said Kulas. “I definitely feel like I could figure out how to use Zendesk by looking and digging around myself, whereas I couldn’t do that with Salesforce.”
Zendesk’s simple interface was another deciding factor for the 99designs team. “We’re a design company,” said Kulas, “and we all liked the design aesthetic of the Zendesk solution better”
Once 99designs decided to adopt an omnichannel solution with Zendesk—using Support for email, Chat for chat, Talk for phone, and Guide for self-service—the team onboarded immediately. “I’m a big fan of the ease of use and simplicity of adoption,” said Kulas. “It took us only two days to get chat and phones completely switched over—we moved over one in one afternoon and the other the next afternoon, by ourselves.”
Once fully onboarded, 99designs customized its instance using the Zendesk API. When a customer signs up for an account with 99designs, they provide their phone number. So, 99designs built a capability in the backend that connects customer profile information to a caller ID. Now, when a customer calls the support team, all client information is readily available at the agent’s fingertips. “Just based on a caller ID, an agent knows exactly who the client is and can pull up what they’re using our site for,” said Kulas. “Agents can help the customer find exactly what they’re looking for without asking, ‘What’s your email address so I can search our admin tool for you?’”
Kulas and team are also taking advantage of the Zendesk Apps Marketplace. “I love the Five Most Recent app,” said Kulas. “That was one of the main things we were discussing when we first brought over all channels into Zendesk—before, if someone called and left a voicemail and then was chatting or sent two emails, our agents had no way to see all of those tickets.”
“Now we can get a call and see that a client left a voicemail five minutes ago and also sent us two emails 30 and 45 minutes ago. Then when we talk to them on the phone, we’re able to go in and solve all of the tickets as one.”
With Zendesk, 99designs finally has visibility on its entire omnichannel support instance. “We’re learning a lot more about our calls, our chats, and our emails because now we’re able to have them all in one place,” said Kulas. “We’re able to tag tickets, understand reasons, and change things pretty easily. It’s a huge plus for us.”
Zendesk gives 99designs insights into the reasons clients request refunds. Because the company offers a money back guarantee, they want to understand why people are cancelling, so they can minimize negative experiences in the future. To develop this understanding, 99designs requires that clients give them a call before the refund is issued. When the client calls, the 99designs team has all of the customer’s data available in front of them, so they can better deduce pain points, and thereby make improvements to the product.
In addition to gathering qualitative feedback during phone calls, the 99designs team also captures customer satisfaction at the resolution of chat conversations, earning, on average, a 97 percent CSAT rating. With a distributed team, it’s essential that Kulas and the leaders of the support team understand how agents are performing. “I like being able to get real time feedback on specific agents, especially since our chat agents aren’t sitting in the same offices as any of us,” said Kulas. “It’s good to be able to see that quickly and easily.”
As the design company continues to take on new freelancers and clients, they are constantly growing their support team—and need software that can grow alongside them. With Zendesk, Kulas is able to instantaneously add agents to the 99designs team. “Being able to go and push a few buttons and buy a new phone number and then assign it to a specific agent in another minute, has always been super easy,” said Kulas. “I love the setup feature.”
Next on the horizon for 99designs? Bolstering up self-service with Zendesk Guide—ensuring that each help center article is as robust as possible to maximize ticket deflection. The team began utilizing Guide to reduce inbound chats. “We recently implemented Guide in our chat widget, so that when you start typing a question it’s giving suggestions for help articles,” said Kulas.
While Guide reduces ticket volume, it increases something, too—organic web traffic coming to the 99designs site. “We’re doing a lot of tracking because we found that we’re getting a fair amount of organic Google searches to our help center,” said Kulas. “When someone is looking up a design term—vectorized logo, for example—our help center is coming up and we’re getting traffic.” By maintaining a well-developed help center with Guide, the 99designs support team is consequently increasing the reach of their brand.
As 99designs continues to grow and refine its customer experience, the Zendesk team is always readily available to offer support and guidance. “Zendesk keeps me on my toes,” said Kulas. “We have bi-weekly meetings where we check in and I share reports—it drives me to work harder.”
“Having everything all in one place, with easier to use products, has definitely been a plus for us.”