Fred IT Group enjoys easy migration plus 360-degree customer views
Fred IT Group is Australia’s largest dedicated IT solution provider to the pharmacy industry. After 10 years on a legacy support platform, Fred switched over to the Zendesk Suite with zero downtime and saw swift improvements in agent efficiency and customer satisfaction.
“We were looking for something that would take us into the future with best-of-breed tools, and Zendesk fits what we were looking for more than anything else.”
General Manager of Customer Experience at Fred IT Group
"By implementing Zendesk, we found more efficiencies. Now we’re staying on top of tickets, responding faster to customers, and getting through more tickets.”
Customer Service Manager at Fred IT Group
Abbotsford, Victoria, Australia
Started Using Zendesk
With more than 30 years of experience, Fred IT Group is a trusted partner in Australia’s healthcare space and is committed to making medication management safer and more effective. The group’s innovative products and services are used by more than 3,000 pharmacies to improve dispensing, eHealth, point of sale, professional services, and retail operations.
With increasingly complex pharmacy needs, Fred needed a more robust CX solution to support its customers’ dynamic needs both now and into the future.
Swapping a legacy system for Zendesk’s easy-to-use platform
To assist its pharmacy customers, Fred IT Group uses the Zendesk Suite and continues to roll out the platform to additional teams across the company. The effort has been successful thanks to the guidance of Kerri McLellan, general manager of customer experience, who has 12 years of experience working in Fred’s development, quality assurance, and customer service departments.
Prior to using Zendesk, Fred’s customer support and internal teams had spent 10 years “using another ticketing system, and in recent years it wasn’t meeting our needs or scaling with us,” recalls McLellan. The system was pushed to its limits in 2020, when the pandemic posed major challenges for the pharmacy IT space, including a surge in support ticket volume.
Fred IT Group’s existing platform had limited ability to handle the increase in pharmacy requests, which resulted in delayed responses and solidified the need for new software. After testing alternative solutions, the team zeroed in on the Zendesk Enterprise Suite based on its deep analytics, easy-to-use interface, and customizable platform.
“We really liked the look, the feel, the ease of Zendesk–how simplified it was for customers and for teams,” adds McLellan. Zendesk’s telephony integration was also appealing, because of the call management software and reporting capabilities. With Zendesk as the company’s new chosen software, Fred team members began preparing for the big switch and assembled all the key players.
The team enjoys “an easy transition with no downtime”
Since joining Fred IT Group 16 years ago, Kate Reimers has experienced the evolution of the business alongside her own professional journey from help desk consultant to customer service manager. Reimers helped deploy the group’s previous ticketing system, so she understood the importance of a smooth CX transition to Zendesk.
“We know change isn’t easy, and changing the system that our customer service consultants have used for so long can be quite a shock,” says Reimers. To ease the transition, Fred IT Group migrated to Zendesk in December 2021, starting with implementation on the customer service team and rolling out in stages to other departments.
The Zendesk platform made it possible to complete a seamless and efficient CX transformation without any interruptions to customer service, marking a great success for Fred agents and customers. “Being able to use a phased approach worked really well. It was an easy transition with no downtime,” comments Reimers. “Our customers noticed no change in the tool we used, but in terms of our service–it definitely improved from there.”
Powerful out-of-the-box features support 30% SLA improvement
By leveraging Zendesk’s out-of-the-box features and best practices, agents have been able to streamline their processes and maximize productivity from day one. “We’ve already gained so much just with the basics and finding those efficiencies with the team,” adds Reimers.
Even during the early stages of Zendesk adoption, the team was quick to see an impact with 360-degree customer views and a flexible platform at their fingertips. “It’s easier to customize in Zendesk. We have a lot more options to create smaller views and smaller buckets of work, whereas our previous tool was just a big, long list of tickets that we had to scroll through,” says Reimers.
McLellan agrees that “Zendesk helped make things a lot easier and created some dramatic improvements–particularly with SLAs and timeframes. We’re getting positive feedback from our customers already, which tells us that they’re noticing a difference and seeing more responsiveness.” Since implementing Zendesk, the team has seen SLAs improve 25 to 30 percent.
Maximizing productivity with custom help centers and live chat
Zendesk also provided agents and customers with new support channels, a customizable help center, and self-service capabilities–all in one powerful system.
The team acted fast to revamp its help center, add live chat, and launch a customer portal that is linked to a help desk solution and can easily be customized for multiple teams. Now customers can simply click a link within their Fred product that takes them directly to a self-service portal. Building out stronger self-service options has also helped deflect ticket volume from phone support, which instantly frees up agent time.
“I can see us moving forward and building up that knowledge base, promoting our portal and chat to customers,” says Reimers. “I have that vision now that I’m seeing ticket numbers drop. Whereas in the past, I just thought it would never end.”
Future-proofing the business with “best of breed tools”
Fred IT Group aims to have all customer-facing teams using Zendesk soon. Then the organization will be able to combine its annual Customer Experience Survey with Zendesk insights to create a deeper understanding of customer needs. The team can also use the robust data and analytics to guide the company’s CX roadmap and build a differentiated service experience across Fred products and services.
“Our previous tool was hard to navigate. We couldn’t get the reporting that we wanted,” comments Reimers. “By implementing Zendesk, we found more efficiencies. Now we’re staying on top of tickets, responding faster to customers, and getting through more tickets.”
Finding a “customer-centric” system that could swiftly and easily evolve with the growing business has given Fred IT Group the ultimate advantage. McLellan reflects, “We were looking for something that would take us into the future with best-of-breed tools, and Zendesk fits what we were looking for more than anything else.”