Avid Ratings sees quick speed to value with Zendesk
Avid Ratings created the leading CX platform for the homebuilding industry, using customer satisfaction surveys to optimize the homeowner experience. When unforeseen economic challenges arose, the company successfully deployed Zendesk in less than a week and started tackling a 110 percent increase in ticket volume. By connecting Zendesk with integrations across the business, Avid Ratings created a more customer-centric product and cut first response time by 67 percent.
“It took us less than a week to get Zendesk up and running, and less than three weeks to integrate with Jira, Salesforce, and Dialpad.”
“Our team saw a 67 percent decrease in first response time, from more than three days down to less than 24 hours.”
Number of Employees
Started Using Zendesk
Increase in monthly ticket volume
< 1 week
Time to implementation
< 3 weeks
Time to complete integrations
Decrease in first response time
Avid Ratings has been helping home builders thrive since 1992. The Wisconsin-based CX technology company conducts customer satisfaction surveys on the home buying experience and provides an overall rating that can be compared to builders throughout North America. Avid Ratings also partners with Google My Business and Zillow to deliver syndicated reviews and ratings to other areas using public page SEO.
That’s great news for builders, contractors, remodelers, product manufacturers, dealers, and distributors seeking to improve their customer experience. In fact, thousands of home industry professionals depend on the award-winning AvidCX solution to turn in-depth customer feedback into actionable insights. The 360-degree platform provides home builders with a cost-effective way to measure their performance against competitive benchmarks, identify areas of success, improve operational efficiency, manage their brand reputation, increase online visibility, and even drive sales.
By offering builders a direct line of communication to home buyers, Avid Ratings puts customer needs at the center of the conversation. When the company entered a period of unexpected growth, Avid Ratings turned to Zendesk to create a better user experience for its expanding customer base and a more customer-centric product that adapts to shifting business needs.
Avid Ratings scales quickly with smart integrations
In 2020, Avid Ratings experienced a surge in customer and home builder inquiries, intensifying the need for scalable support. The growth trend showed no signs of slowing, so the company made a pivotal decision. After more than 20 years primarily serving home builders, Avid Ratings chose to expand its service offerings to home buyers, as well.
Without a dedicated customer success team in place, leadership had to ensure the organization was properly staffed to serve a wider customer base. Director of Client Support Erin Willemsen recalls the rapid transformation. “The team grew from two customer service reps to 14 in less than a year in order to handle the increase in ticket volume.”
After considering various CX solutions for support ticketing, Zendesk emerged as the top choice based on the platform’s capabilities, ease of use, and ability to be implemented without expert administrators.
“It took us less than a week to get Zendesk up and running, and less than three weeks to integrate with Jira, Salesforce, and Dialpad,” adds Willemsen.
Currently, 14 employees at Avid Ratings use Zendesk, including five support agents. Willemsen appreciated the smooth onboarding process. “Zendesk is pretty intuitive and has really good documentation for training new users, so it’s just a matter of learning the nuances of our specific system and how it works within our greater ecosystem and integrations.”
“A single source of truth” shortens response times
Prior to using Zendesk, two account managers had been handling all the support requests via email and forwarding complicated tickets to the development team, which created constant interruptions, inefficiencies, and backlogs. The unfocused workflow had team members putting out fires as issues arose, without prioritizing tickets or separating necessary fixes from one-off complaints.
Making the leap from email support to a centralized, omnichannel platform proved essential. “With Zendesk, we were able to move all our support communications from email, spreadsheets, and personal notes to one solution,” Willemsen says.
Today, Avid Ratings leverages Zendesk’s CX platform for support ticketing, integrated voice software, knowledge base, and reporting functionality. The company also offers chat features on its website.
“We use Zendesk as the single source of truth for messaging and communication,” says Willemsen. “In order to best serve our users, we need to have as much context as possible at our fingertips. Clients should never have to repeat themselves to different agents. We want to get users the answers they need, in context, when they need it.”
Avid Ratings has already achieved that goal of answering customers more efficiently. “Our team saw a 67 percent decrease in first response time, from more than three days down to less than 24 hours.”
Delivering top-notch service to two different customer bases
Since implementing Zendesk, Avid Ratings has discovered a newfound agility that allows them to deliver excellent service to two unique customer bases: home builders (B2B) and home buyers (B2C).
Having a flexible CX solution was pivotal when the company launched HomeKeep, an app-based subscription service that gives homeowners an easy way to access home maintenance information, catalog and register appliances, and schedule service appointments. Willemsen notes, “When we launched a new app, it was easy to create a separate Zendesk instance for ticketing and documentation. We didn’t need a lot of help, so we were able to hit the ground running as soon as it was up.”
On the B2B side, the team relies on Zendesk support features to efficiently communicate with home builders who are mapping out the homeowner journey. Adding self-service options and help center FAQs also gave home builders and buyers a faster, easier way to get their questions answered, which led to higher ticket deflection.
Seamless integrations foster communication and collaboration
Avid Ratings also saw instant improvements when the team connected its ticketing system and primary CRM to Zendesk, a move that has paved the way for future growth, teamwork, and success.
“After integrating Zendesk with Jira, it was suddenly easier to track tickets and communications between teams and show agents how best to work together,” says Willemsen. Avid Ratings had not been tracking ticket volume for long before using Zendesk, but the team logged a 110 percent increase over the last year, in part due to opening the support portal to home buyers.
Using the Zendesk platform also helped eliminate friction and mistrust that had developed between the customer success and development teams. “Now we have the ability to easily create Zendesk macros, which we use to answer repeat questions from home buyers and builders,” explains Willemsen. “With the Salesforce integration, we were able to prove recurring issues our customers faced daily and highlight how much revenue is tied to it, which made the relationship between the teams more valuable.”
The team continues to explore Zendesk capabilities that will lead the company into the future, with an emphasis on reporting and analytics. Willemsen sees Zendesk as “a great way for us to show other teams within the platform and within the company exactly what’s going on and give them actual data to reinforce it.”
Better access to data changes everything, including customer retention and loyalty. “One of the biggest benefits is how we’re able to use the information in Zendesk to drive our product roadmap, because we’re getting direct customer feedback,” says Willemsen. “When customers feel like they are being heard and supported, they renew with us.”