Microverse + Zendesk: Scaling up to meet global students
Microverse breaks down the barriers for students interested in coding from diverse cultural, religious, and geographical backgrounds. When the startup started growing fast to support an increasing student population, they turned to Zendesk to scale their support operations and understand their students’ educational expectations better.
By implementing Zendesk tools, our support agents solved an average 3870 tickets per month, 91.93% of them being one-touch tickets. And with an average self-service ratio of 1.23.”
Head of Customer Success at Microverse
“It [Zendesk Support] also allows us to prioritize which issues need to be handled, and helps our team analyze what issues are recurring so that they help build a knowledge base around that.”
Head of Customer Success at Microverse
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
Average self-service ratio
Median full resolve time
Microverse is an online coding school committed to breaking the educational barriers of students globally — by providing no up-front costs for its online program.
In its curriculum, you’ll find that students have a very unique and hands-on approach — they pair program and collaborate with other students in real-time. This not only provides students with an accountability partner and a global network of support but also helps them learn remote workflows and gain the collaboration and communication skills needed to join the global workforce.
Throughout the full-time program, Microverse provides students the tools and services they need to land their dream job. And only then will they begin to pay back tuition fees.
But with such a diverse customer base (many hailing from Africa, Eastern Europe, and South America) it makes meeting the needs of these students — from very different backgrounds — a challenge.
Building a global community
Designing a student experience is never a one size fits all effort. But in Microverse’s case, catering to students with different ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds in various time zones has been a tricky feat.
Leaning into empathy to understand the nuances of its students is what lets the startup cater to them in a meaningful and effective way.
“Our customers are our students, so it’s our number one priority to make sure they get the immediate help they need to be successful,” says Lydia Freeman, the company’s head of customer success.
And in order to do that, Microverse turned to the Zendesk for Startups Program for help. Implementing Zendesk solutions has helped the company give students the attention they need, when and how they need it, to be successful in their career journey.
Scaling up to meet needs
Initially, the startup used Slack as the primary way to communicate with its students, but quickly realized it didn’t have the capabilities needed to function as a CRM. This meant that it couldn’t analyze student interactions or prioritize important issues to keep up with its growing student community.
They then switched to Crisp, a messaging platform for startups and SMBs. The draw was that it was also a startup and had a low price point. But they realized that, like Slack, Crisp was unable to provide the capabilities Microverse needed to scale. That’s when they made the final switch to Zendesk — and they haven’t looked back since.
“By using Zendesk Support, our team is able to interact with students and understand their journey — from admission to training to even getting their first, second, third, and fourth remote job,” says Freeman. “It also allows us to prioritize which issues need to be handled, and helps our team analyze what issues are recurring so that we can help build a knowledge base around that,” she adds.
With Zendesk Guide, support agents are able to provide students with a robust knowledge base, enabling them to answer their most pressing questions themselves. Microverse is consistently building and refining its knowledge base to empower its students to find answers on their own, and students are happy to get answers right away and carry on with their goals and education.
“We always make sure to keep in mind students that come from diverse backgrounds, the cultural norm is for students to ask a person before seeking self-help, so it’s important for us to specialize in both in-person and self-service,” explains Freeman.
“By implementing Zendesk tools, our support agents solved an average 3870 tickets per month, 91.93% of them being one-touch tickets. And with an average self-service ratio of 1.23,” says Freeman.
A strong partnership that lasts
Microverse’s eventual partnership with Zendesk wasn’t an accident. While enrolled in Y Combinator (YC), a startup accelerator providing young companies with seed funding, they saw Zendesk for Startups had an offer to use their products for free for 6 months in addition to connecting them with a community of founders, makers, and resources. So Microverse knew it had to jump on the opportunity.
What helped seal the deal was when they received Zendesk mentorship from a previous Head of Customer Success of another YC startup who successfully used Zendesk to scale their customer success operations. With the mentor by Microverse’s side, the startup was able to categorize all incoming messages into five or six topics and create a tagging system to quickly create and use macros to analyze ticket usage.
This ultimately was the foundation for Microverse on setting up their self-service feature so that they can guide their students to try to find the answers better themselves. With Zendesk, they realized how important it was to have a really well-thought-out help center for their staff and students to be able to scale and stay lean as a fast-growing startup.
“Without consulting with an expert, our customer support agents would’ve learned a lot of lessons the hard way,” says Freeman. “We want to ensure the students’ success, and Zendesk helps us keep up with just that,” she adds.