Agents play a key role in the company's mission: making it easier to buy and sell real estate
Loft set out to transform the real estate industry by reducing the red tape involved in buying and selling apartments, helping to make dreams come true. From the beginning, the startup relied on its partnership with Zendesk to achieve this mission.
“Zendesk helps us transform the real estate industry and introduce a new way of buying and selling property.”
lead program manager at Loft
“Based on customer feedback, we bring new ideas to the organization and identify necessary improvements in other departments.”
Head of Strategy and Operations at Loft
Average first reply time on emails
Calls answered in under 20 seconds
Tickets resolved in under 6 hours
Call wait time
Innovating by improving the real estate market experience
Established in just 2018, real estate startup Loft has already become the 11th Brazilian unicorn. It has joined a select group of young companies with a market value topping 1 billion dollars.
Loft captured the market’s attention by offering a new way to streamline the process for customers seeking to buy or sell property. The company reduces the red tape involved in buying, financing, and credit approval, acting as an intermediary between the bank and the customer. Its financing arm, Loft Cred, is among the fastest growing areas of the organization – and the only one whose customers are other companies, operating on a B2B model.
It is Loft’s philosophy that sets it apart. The firm is there for the customer over their entire life, offering practical housing for each stage of their journey – including all the necessary services, such as Internet, electricity, and gas. The idea is to offer suitable options no matter when the person chooses to move, providing all the support they need, from the property search through the guided tour, offer, and paperwork to renovations and the move.
Zendesk accompanied Loft in its rise and rapid growth from the very start. The relationship began with the organization’s startup program. “Zendesk has always supported us in our mission to transform the real estate industry by introducing a new way of buying and selling property,” said Bruno Domingues, Loft’s lead program manager.
Several areas of Loft currently utilize Zendesk. The most important are Customer Service; Loft Cred, focused on financing; and Gatekeepers, a sort of “mini startup” within Loft that establishes relationships with building supervisors, who attract potential customers and receive financial compensation for each conversion.
Smart channels, efficient agents
Partnering with Zendesk helped Loft improve several aspects of its customer experience. Some of these improvements came from boosting customer service agent efficiency and making better use of channels.
To do this, Loft implemented the Zendesk Suite solution, a set of applications providing complete omnichannel support.
Loft’s Customer Service area uses the Zendesk Support call and agent management system. And Zendesk Sunshine Conversations – an open customer service platform for messages and AI resources – allows the Gatekeepers area to manage and optimize relationships with building supervisors.
Loft Cred is implementing Zendesk Sell, which enables sales teams to improve productivity, processes, and visibility for the entire customer journey leading up to the purchase decision.
Some of these solutions were implemented as the relationship between Loft and Zendesk evolved. However, the company did not initially explore the full potential of many of these products, preventing it from moving ahead on making major improvements to service agent performance.
Loft Lead Program Manager Bruno Domingues, who came to the startup in late 2019, was among those who led the company in optimizing its use of the platform. The executive helped guide the firm in getting the most out of the solutions, building on previous positive experiences with Zendesk at other local digital platform companies, including Uber and Guiabolso.
When he joined Loft, Bruno and his team noticed that there was a lot of duplicated effort and inefficiency in the support area. “There were cases where Zendesk products were used only as email accounts,” he said. In early 2020, he tackled the challenge of restructuring this area.
“We needed to scale support to a BPO, in other words, outsource it to a call center. This allowed me to become more familiar with the area, and I was able to determine how much Zendesk could help us address these challenges,” he stated. Bruno currently heads up the Customer Service and Gatekeepers areas.
Flexibility, scalability, and consolidated data
“Agents are now crucial to other team members and even help leaders make better business decisions.”Bruno Domingues, lead program manager at Loft Zendesk supported Loft in defining internal processes and monitoring how well agents adapted to changes within the company. It also gave the Loft service team greater flexibility and scalability, making room for new solutions as needed. The firm was able to consolidate customer data and get a clearer picture of the operation. “Previously, we couldn’t even say how many support calls we received in a month,” said Bruno. The issue of service bottlenecks was solved by splitting Loft’s 146 support agents into channels. “This allows them to specialize in a specific channel, while also making it easier to track each agent’s progress and establish individual goals,” Bruno stated.
The company can now utilize several KPIs to assess the quality of the customer experience and identify opportunities for improvement. “Previously, customer data was spread across multiple systems, spreadsheets, and even agent emails. Now we have everything in one place.”
The startup’s support operation uses Zendesk solutions for all phone and email interactions. Today, it handles roughly 6,000 calls and 1,000 emails each month. The next step is incorporating WhatsApp support into the platform.
Loft also created a contact tree, dividing calls by category – each one related to a specific area of the company, such as sales or renovations. Being better organized enables Loft’s support team to assist other areas by processing and passing on customer feedback. “Now, based on this data, we funnel new ideas to other teams. We are even able to indicate which process needs improvement in a specific department,” said Artur Pádua, Head of Strategy and Operations at Loft Cred.
Happy customers headed for a new apartment
Another important benefit of the partnership with Zendesk was reducing the number of screens used by agents to monitor calls and service channels. Previously, there were four screens: one for phone service, one for emails, one for the knowledge base (used to search for customer information), and another for WhatsApp. Today, phone, email, and knowledge base interactions all appear on one screen.
This makes it easier for agents to search up customer information and helps reduce average service time. “Our goal is a single screen,” noted Pádua, referring to plans to incorporate the messaging app into the platform.
One specific function of Zendesk Support that agents find particularly useful is the “guided mode,” which ensures that service calls are handled in the correct order. “One of our previous issues was that agents chose to handle the easiest calls first. The more complex ones were set aside, greatly increasing our resolution time,” Bruno commented.
This feature dramatically reduced average ticket resolution time. 95% of tickets are now resolved in under 6 hours. Average first response time is also shorter. For email contacts, the current average time is 15 minutes. For phone service, 92% of calls are answered in under 20 seconds.
Waiting time to talk to an agent is also improved. Customers used to wait an average of eight minutes, today it is down to 10 seconds. Loft’s customer satisfaction rating (CSAT) has gone from 3.54 to 4.78 – and it continues to rise.
With happier customers and an increasingly streamlined business model, Loft now can focus on what really matters: helping people fulfill their dream of loading up the moving truck and heading to their new home.