CARET elevates its brand with customer-first experiences
For SaaS company CARET, delivering high quality legal and accounting software solutions is their mission. But just as important is providing great customer service. Upgrading to the Zendesk Suite Enterprise helped drive growth and rebranding efforts to set CARET apart as a customer-first company. Powered by Agent Workspace, the CX team has increased its visibility and efficiency, while adding optimizations in omnichannel routing, self-service, and NPS.
“Shaving off a few seconds here, saving a click or two there, that adds up over time and two clicks becomes a hundred, a thousand clicks within a week. That kind of efficiency adds up really quickly when you have that much activity on a platform.”
Business Analyst at CARET
“Agent Workspace allowed for a better flow, better consolidation of conversations all within a single space, a single platform. So it did exactly what was promised and definitely provided the benefit we were looking for.”
Business Analyst at CARET
San Diego, California
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Backed by 40 years of experience and a global team of more than 300 employees, CARET has set a new standard for excellence with its award-winning SaaS platform. The company delivers quality legal and accounting software solutions along with great customer service. To date, CARET has provided more than 10,000 legal and accounting firms with the tools they need to work smarter and more efficiently.
A commitment to customer-first experiences
CARET recently rebranded to better represent its commitment to caring for its clients and helping them succeed with the latest in technology and automation solutions to power their firms. “One of our brand values is ‘We care big’ which centers around how we provide exceptional experiences for our customers,” shares Daniel Prouty, business analyst on the CARET business systems team. “We show that care through designing and delivering solutions that delight. And by providing the support and services our customers need to be successful. That’s where Zendesk comes in.”
A short learning curve with Zendesk
CARET’s first step was evaluating their Zendesk instance to ensure they had the best tools in place. The company had already been using Zendesk for four years when they decided to make it their primary CRM for customer support in 2019.
At the same time, Prouty was stepping into his new role in technology operations and having his first encounter with Zendesk. He recalls, “In a year and half, I went from not knowing what Zendesk was to, two to three months later, becoming the Zendesk expert in name, to eventually becoming a certified admin in Zendesk support.”
The process of learning new business rules, forms, and fields went smoothly, thanks to Zendesk’s strong UX. “Zendesk is a great platform out of the box and the configuration options are really easy to pick up,” adds Prouty. “You don’t need a lot of programming experience or tech experience to understand how the business rules interact with one another and how to set yourself up for success.”
From the beginning, Prouty has taken an active role in learning about Zendesk features and best practices, noting “There is a wealth of information in Zendesk community forums. Referencing that knowledge base has improved my skill set and my experience with the platform.”
One platform unites multiple teams
Various teams at CARET use Zendesk to streamline their workflows and communication, including client services, business systems, finance, Network Operations Center (NOC), cloud engineering, and legal. Prouty’s business systems team services both internal and external customers, while client services uses Zendesk to handle support tickets from legal and accounting firms, contractor partners, and the occasional IT worker.
“Having these teams within Zendesk and being able to build the business rules and the workflows directly in Zendesk makes everything flow that much smoother,” says Prouty. He’s a big advocate of unifying departments on one platform, because it helps optimize escalations and get tickets into the hands of people that can provide solutions. “When a customer issue comes in, it doesn’t make sense for our support team to email the NOC team or send a message through Teams or Slack to our cloud engineering team. From a business standpoint, it makes a lot more sense to escalate that issue entirely within Zendesk.”
Strong data integrations for smoother operations
One of the company’s biggest challenges was consolidating and sharing information across different software platforms. “It’s far more convenient to find a single vendor that can provide the solution for everything,” says Prouty.
CARET found the answer by upgrading to the Zendesk Suite Enterprise and adding integrations, which enabled data sharing and more agility to handle staffing fluctuations during tax season. Although the sales, CSM, and professional services teams primarily operate in Salesforce, they can now seamlessly sync data with Zendesk using the plugin Salesforce app and Celigo.
When tickets require technical support and cannot be solved with a quick call, an integration with JIRA saves the day. Prouty’s team can escalate issues from Zendesk to JIRA, the primary system used by developers. That connection creates transparency, so agents can keep clients up to date on the status of their tickets. In turn, developers use the field sync in JIRA along with the SweetHawk app to notify agents when an update is made or the issue is resolved.
Agent Workspace for the win
By 2021, CARET decided to add the Zendesk Agent Workspace to help spark more efficiency. The migration went smoothly, with Prouty first enabling it in the Sandbox, documenting the changes, and then creating video training sessions for his teams. He also provided Sandbox access to managers so that various teams using Zendesk could create their own training.
Moving to Agent Workspace empowered the team to tackle key navigation and visibility challenges. In Prouty’s experience, “Agent Workspace allowed for a better flow, better consolidation of conversations all within a single space, a single platform. So it did exactly what was promised and definitely provided the benefit we were looking for.”
His team also experienced cumulative improvements, individually and collectively. “Shaving off a few seconds here, saving a click or two there, that adds up over time and two clicks becomes a hundred, a thousand clicks within a week,” adds Prouty. “That kind of efficiency adds up really quickly when you have that much activity in one system.”
Seeking opportunities to optimize
Prouty will continue spearheading CARET’s investment in Zendesk. “One thing I try to do is make sure that we are embracing the new technologies that come our way to see what can make us better and get us into the next year, into the next decade. If Zendesk offers a new feature, then I’m going to press managers to take advantage of it. Let’s see what we can do.”
“Having access to Zendesk’s Premier Support has helped us resolve issues in a more timely manner,” adds Prouty. “It’s also helped us open up conversations for further enhancements.” For example, the team is pursuing an optimization project in 2023 that will utilize new features like Net Promoter Score (NPS), omnichannel routing, and self-service.
Having managers manually assign tickets was time intensive and created backlogs when employees were out of office, so CARET will use omnichannel routing to ensure that tickets are quickly and automatically routed to the correct agents. They also plan to leverage NPS in Zendesk to help identify customer pain points, and then send out a survey via CustomerGauge.
The road to self-service and beyond
Self-service is a high priority on CARET’s CX roadmap. When the team’s workflow fluctuates during tax season, seemingly simple tickets may accumulate in the support queue and take longer to address. By encouraging customers to solve basic issues on their own, CARET will be able to reduce the workload and help maximize agent time.
“Being able to turn one-touch tickets into self-service empowers our customers and allows our customer service agents to focus on the bigger picture, on more complicated tasks,” says Prouty. “Ultimately, that improves the relationship between the customers and the business, to know that support is there when they need it, but they don’t have to rely on agents for everything.”
Prouty envisions a dream scenario for the team: optimizing the knowledge base and community forum so that customers can easily access information and feel motivated to become product experts. Each improvement in the customer experience takes CARET one step closer to that goal. With consistent use of the platform across teams and investment in new Zendesk features, CARET is destined to reach new levels of success in their customer-focused rebrand.