Klook + Zendesk: Building agility in a time of unprecedented change
Hong Kong-founded online travel agency Klook leveraged Zendesk to become more agile when the world changed overnight due to the global pandemic. Using Zendesk to collate customer data and trends, Klook stays ahead of the ever-evolving travel industry. The team at Klook created a comprehensive knowledge base to improve agent productivity by 35%, reduce AHT, and continue to meet customer expectations.
“With Zendesk, we were able to use data and analytics to prioritize urgent tasks. It gave us the big picture of where we needed to go throughout the pandemic.”
Vice President, Customer Experience Group at Klook
“During the pandemic, we found that what used to work does not work today. Zendesk helped Klook adapt to the new environment.”
Vice President, Customer Experience Group at Klook
Tickets per month
Reduction, average handle time
Increase, agent productivity
Monthly help center views
In 2020, the pandemic changed many businesses over the course of the year. The travel industry specifically was hit hard as lockdowns were implemented across the world. Klook, an online travel agency founded in Hong Kong and with a global presence today, was one of the many businesses that faced challenges during the pandemic.
Known as a dynamic, forward-thinking online travel agency, Klook was the go-to for those ready to hop on a plane for their vacation in Tokyo Disneyland or to relax on the sandy beaches of Bali. But with international travels grounded for the near foreseeable future, the company needed to pivot quickly.
When the pandemic forced countries into lockdown, things changed for Klook almost overnight. Instead of bookings, Klook saw a rapid influx of customers requesting for cancellations and refunds. The company had to find new ways to address this uncharted situation.
Adapting to the new travel industry
Using a trove of customer data from Zendesk, Klook pivoted towards domestic travel and staycations – an entirely new direction for the company. Klook also explored partnerships with local tourism authorities to drive and expand domestic travel.
The company collaborated with organizations such as the Singapore Tourism Board, Japan National Tourism Organization, Korea Tourism Organization, Hong Kong Tourism Board and the Tourism Authority of Thailand to diversify offerings and grow the tourism demand domestically.
In Singapore, Klook was appointed by the Singapore Tourism Board as an authorized booking partner for the SingapoRediscover Voucher (SRV) program to boost domestic tourism demand and reinvigorate the industry.
Company-wide integration of Zendesk features, including integration with Facebook Messenger, helped the team process thousands of support tickets and effectively manage customer expectations.
Even as ticket volume soared above 78,000 per month, the team at Klook was able to increase productivity by 35 percent and reduce ticket handling time by 20 percent. Using Zendesk’s Guide feature, Klook was able to create a comprehensive knowledge base that gets upward of 6,000 hits per month.
Finding the right tools for growth
Shortly before the pandemic dawned, Klook was growing exponentially, and in need of tools that could scale with the business, Klook chose to partner with Zendesk for the diversity of its features, solutions, capabilities and a reputation of being reliable.
Colin Au, vice president of Klook’s Customer Experience Group, had previous exposure with Zendesk and understood its ability to keep up with growth.
“Customer experience is key, especially for online travel agencies,” Au said. “There are so many competitors in the market, customers have their pick. A great customer experience builds loyalty.”
Klook implemented Zendesk quickly across departments to leverage the diversity of its features. Customer Experience Group is the primary user but Zendesk tools are used in various departments such as HR, Tech, legal, security, IT, and finance.
Agility in action
Zendesk support tools provided a seamless solution for agents and soon evolved from a pure ticketing system to a source of customer data and internal knowledge that would help the company remain agile. Reporting and analytics gave Klook crucial data for measuring incoming ticket volume and traffic, productivity, quality assurance, first contact resolution and much more.
Meanwhile, each team also leveraged Zendesk’s Guide feature to develop a knowledge base for agents to quickly access new information, share insights and improve communication between departments. While analyzing customer data wasn’t new to Klook, Zendesk offered tools that gave the company more detailed analytics and helped them identify changes in customer demands and trends.
“Before the pandemic, we didn’t have a lot of data about how customers spend time for local leisure. And when the pandemic happened, we started asking, ‘What do people do when they can’t travel abroad?’, ‘If they were visiting local attractions, how would they spend time?’, and, ‘Are there different trends between families, couples, and individuals?,’” Au said. “It’s been a very enlightening journey for us to understand these trends.”
Continuing to evolve
As the business environment continues to shift through 2021, Colin’s main focus for Klook is to continue to be dynamic, innovative and agile. To do so, he believes in a solid foundation of people and systems.
“It’s a very delicate balance between providing a good customer experience and running a business,” he said. “The people we have today are the ones who are keeping us afloat, but it’s also about systems and the tools that we have. I want to make sure they are all in place and ready, so when the world reopens, we can roll out the red carpet and say, ‘Welcome world, we are ready.’