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Events DC brings efficiency and insights to CX and internal teams

Events DC is the main host of entertainment and cultural events in Washington D.C. with a goal to promote tourism and help the local community flourish. In the past, the company struggled to collaborate with a complex network of service providers and partners. After implementing the Zendesk platform with integrated apps from SweetHawk, Events DC saw a jump in agent efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Events DC
“What I like about Zendesk is that it lends itself to an iterative approach that we can build and tweak as we go. Zendesk is easier to interact with, it has a cleaner, more modern interface, and it is easy for us to tailor it to our needs.”

Albert DeGregorio

Director of Digital Workforce and Technical Partner Operations

“Zendesk helps us grow and evolve. We gain deep insight into how efficient our support team is in providing assistance and we reconfigure those metrics to examine business processes and improve customer satisfaction.”

Brandon Mahone

Systems Administrator

Company Headquarters

Washington, D. C.

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Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, is the primary host of conventions, entertainment, sporting, and cultural events in Washington D.C. “Our goal is to promote D.C. as a destination for business events and help develop the local community,” explains Albert DeGregorio, director of digital workforce and technical partner operations at Events DC. “We host hundreds of conventions throughout the year, with a huge economic impact.”

A need for visibility across the business

For such complex events, streamlined collaboration and outstanding customer service is vital. Two years ago, the company’s internal and external communication efforts were scattered across channels without holistic visibility. “The tools we were using were ineffective and underutilized, and they did not bring the rigor or discipline that we were striving for,” recalls DeGregorio. “We needed a medium to collect data and gain visibility of our customers and our own performance to encourage informed decision-making.”

As the team was looking for a scalable, flexible, easy-to-use solution, Events DC chose to partner with Zendesk. “I have had experience with implementing different support systems in the past. They were usually not as robust and required a full-time administrator,” says DeGregorio. “Because Zendesk is so easy to use, we could save time and resources and start using it right away, without entry barriers.”

Supported by a team of Zendesk representatives, Events DC moved forward with the implementation. “The Zendesk team worked hand-in-hand with us, helping map everything out, plan the architecture, and teaching us about triggers, workflows, and things of that nature. It was an excellent experience to work with them.”

An omnichannel presence with data and insights

By the end of 2020, Events DC started relying on Zendesk not only to communicate with its customers, but also to more closely connect its complex network of internal teams and partners who needed support with core services such as technology management and procurement. “Zendesk is very flexible, which is one of the things we love about it. It allowed us to set up various interconnected groups of support agents, rather than just a traditional help desk for our customers. This way, the agents themselves can also get help from a different support group,” explains DeGregorio.

Events DC quickly established an omnichannel presence with Zendesk. The company empowered more than 50 agents to provide customer assistance through an email support channel, which receives a total of 9,000 tickets annually.

A new help center allowed the team to offer a rich information hub to customers and employees alike, including a COVID-19 Return to Work portal, an Oracle enterprise resource planning (ERP) training portal, and information-rich landing pages to communicate important information and content. Meanwhile, phone, chat, and chatbot channels served as hotlines for customers. Events DC also used Zendesk metrics to generate insights on customer experience and administration.


Integrating apps for more efficiency and cost savings

To bring even more simplicity, transparency, and reliability to the system, Events DC turned to SweetHawk, a Zendesk apps developer, to integrate its Super Suite apps into the environment. One of these is the Calendar app, which Events DC uses to track audio visual assistance requests from customers directly through the Zendesk portal. Using other apps such as Reminders, Notify, and Due Date ensures that the team is up to date on customer tickets and requests.

Events DC has also streamlined processes like onboarding requests and hardware purchases with SweetHawk apps such as Task and Sub tickets. Finally, Survey empowers the team to capture custom metrics, bringing even more visibility to agent performance. “We looked at SweetHawk to enhance the capabilities we’ve gained with Zendesk. Their techniques, the code, the stuff that it added on to the system has been very helpful,” explains DeGregorio.

Events DC also chose Chat Form, an app integrated within Zendesk Suite that enabled the team to automate and digitize forms for service providers, saving the company time, travel, and paper expenses.

Streamlined processes, data-driven decisions

Armed with the Zendesk platform and SweetHawk apps, Events DC saw an upswing in agent efficiency and customer satisfaction. With instant, easier access to collaboration tools and information, the Events DC team has also streamlined its internal processes. “Before Zendesk, there was a lot of guesswork internally, people not knowing what to do or who to approach for a task,” remembers Brandon Mahone, systems sdministrator at Events DC. “Zendesk has solved this problem in various ways, for example, by helping us utilize different email channels. Instead of going to a specific service provider, we now have group emails for different groups, such as those managing paper and supplies.”

The added visibility has also fostered a more data-driven approach in management. “I can now easily build my case when advocating for a change,” says DeGregorio. “I can say, ‘I need more resources and here’s why.’ The information streaming from these systems drives what our colleagues do and how they do it.”

Celebrating success and looking ahead

Events DC is determined to continue bringing more automation and efficiency to its efforts. This includes adding other app integrations such as Change Manager—which is expected to help the team manage all major changes to the IT infrastructure—and tracking more events and metrics.

“Zendesk has become a key driver of our maturity efforts as an organization,” adds DeGregorio. “I hope we can incorporate this approach in all departments of the company and really institutionalize it. People are seeing the benefits of the system and they are eager to fully dive in.”