iCard

Better service, better products: How Zendesk helps iCard grow its customer base

  • Agents 181
  • Tickets/mo 35K
  • Brands supported 10
  • Gain in productivity 50%
  • Products Used

When the credit card debuted in the early 1950s, it revolutionized how consumers paid for goods and services — and became a staple in millions of wallets tucked into back pockets and purses. Now, more than a half century later, the digital payments revolution is in full swing, and with that comes more sophisticated customer expectations.

The focus on innovation and the constant search for new ways to make mobile and online payments safer and more affordable lies in the corporate mission and company values of the Bulgaria-based company iCard. Founded in 2007, the company offers a wide variety of payment solutions including and not limited to debit, prepaid and credit cards, online banking platforms, physical and virtual POS terminals, retail ATMs, e-money accounts, etc. With more than 255,000 retail customers and 55,000 business clients across the European Union, iCard uses the Zendesk platform to address one of its biggest challenges: supporting customers in 10 different languages.

“Zendesk allows us to provide 24/7 support across multiple communication channels,” said Maria Angelova, iCard customer service manager. “It gives us the chance to provide multi-language customer service, which is very important to us. For us, offering excellence in the customer services is a must. Our main goal is to turn every single client into iCard ambassador”

iCard’s product portfolio extends across 10 different product brands — including iCard Digital Wallet, GiftCard, iCard Credit Cards, myATM, LeoPay, and LeoPay Wallet — further complicating customer service, which is why the company hired Maria in December 2016. Tasked with building out the customer service team, Maria has helped guide a transition that unified the email and phone teams, tripled the number of agents, and set up more effective agent workflows.

“It’s a very innovative company and everything is quite dynamic here,” Maria said. “You’ll never be bored. We’ve expanded a lot in the last year and a half to answer the growth of our customer base and the progressive advancement of our products.”

iCard’s ability to centralize a host of channels, from email and phone to chat and social media with Zendesk has played a large role in helping ease the team’s expansion while improving efficiency and reporting. Since implementing Zendesk Support and Chat, the team has been able to reply to tickets three times more quickly and agents are working through the 35,000 monthly tickets at twice the previous rate. Agents located across Europe are easily able to access the same system and customer information.

“We have people in our company that are using Zendesk away from the office, so it was important to choose an online platform as our solution,” Maria said.

Another win came with the multibrand feature in Support, which iCard used to set up individually branded help centers, making it galaxies easier for new agents to navigate the complex collection of brands and associated customer questions. “Sometimes the financial topic is very new to some of the agents if they haven’t worked in a similar environment,” she said. “We have a lot of macros and dynamic content to cover most of the cases that we have with our clients. By typing a few letters, our agents can find the answer to the ticket before starting to communicate with clients.”

Using business rules, Maria has been able to automate reminders for customers to provide documentation. More importantly, macros are language-specific, ensuring that Italian customers aren’t receiving answers in, say, English.

“In our previous software, tickets were distributed manually,” Maria said. “We couldn’t distinguish the language the client was writing in. With Zendesk and the triggers, all of that is automated. The ticket is directly going into the relevant group and the relevant speaker. That means a ticket from a French client will go only to an agent who speaks French.”

While navigating language requirements has helped improve customer service, Zendesk’s reporting functionality allows iCard to monitor how well customers are served, agents perform, and internal teams collaborate. Moreover, using ticket fields to analyze common issues, the team has a direct impact on improving iCard’s products and lowering customer effort by improving self-service content.

“We analyze what the clients are asking us about most frequently, and we feed back this information to our product teams, and they work on developing the products, the websites, the mobile apps,” Maria said. “So, if a lot of clients are asking about their passwords and how to log into their accounts, it means that this important information is not clear in our FAQ or our website is difficult to navigate.”

The ability to analyze data and share it across teams has led to better B2B and B2C support, and to more opportunities to collaborate with departments that handle the EU’s stringent compliance requirements, account verification, and risk. The company’s decision to explore Zendesk’s integration with JIRA has further strengthened collaboration among departments, Maria said.

“We wanted to be able to escalate the tickets to our business units,” she explained. “We have a separate business unit for each product, and if we would like to escalate something to them — for example, a problem with the website or the mobile app — we do it through the JIRA integration.”

On the customer side, live chat — both via the Web Widget on the company’s branded help centers, as well as using the Zendesk Mobile SDK embedded in all their mobile apps—has led to a sharp decline in call volume.

“Chat is a real game changer for us,” Maria said. “This is our clients’ preferred way to communicate with us. Their security is very important to us because we are a financial institution, and with Zendesk we have the option to see whether clients are chatting with us from inside or outside their online accounts.”

Throughout iCard’s rapid customer service expansion, the company has been able to rely on Zendesk’s Professional Services team to keep things running smoothly. “It’s been a very nice experience,” Maria said. “Zendesk has been very professional. The person who helped us integrate Zendesk — we learned a lot from him. He taught us how to use Zendesk, how to set up the automations and macros. He even helped us with Zignature, which provides us the option, depending on the language and the brand, to display the correct signature on the ticket.”

“Zendesk is a piece of cake. It’s easy to understand, to use, and to navigate. Everything is so simple.”

– Maria Angelova Customer Service Manager