- Employees 6,000+
- Tickets/Week 100,000
- One-Touch Resolution Rate 95%
- SLA Adherence 95%
- Products Used
77.4 million. That’s the number of people living in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore alone. India has tens of millions of people traveling in and around its cities every day, underscoring the need for a service like Ola, an easy mobile platform that allows people to book a ride in over 100 cities.
Founder Bhavish Aggarwal, a former Microsoft employee, began the company in 2010 after being abandoned by a cab driver in the middle of a trip from Bangalore. Aggarwal’s new company took off quickly: by 2014 Ola had a network of more than 200,000 cars in 100 cities. Three years later, that network swelled to 600,000 cars and over 6,000 employees.
Ola’s explosive growth in India’s largest cities requires the company to provide comprehensive and efficient customer service. At first, Ola used Freshdesk for customer support but by 2015, the tool didn’t offer the advanced configuration, scalability, or reporting options they needed, explained Director of Products Sankar Rao Amburkar. Ola considered both Salesforce Service Cloud and Zendesk as alternatives, and chose Zendesk because it was quick to deploy and easy to configure. By 2017, four teams at Ola now use Zendesk Support and Zendesk Guide, and the company offers omnichannel support through email, phone, and social media.
“A single omnichannel solution helps because the data is in one place, and helps us reduce time and improve our productivity,” said Amburkar. “It also helps us avoid having to train our agents in multiple tools. Agents can learn Zendesk and start moving between different teams right away.”
When they began using Zendesk, Ola had a few hundred customer service agents. That team has grown to include more than a thousand agents across three cities in India, providing 24/7 support in six languages. Zendesk is easy for Ola agents to use when searching for riders or previous communications with customers, Amburkar said, which comes in handy considering the 300,000 phone calls and 100,000 email tickets Ola receives each week—usually concerning billing issues or ride quality.
Zendesk Support has several features that come in especially handy for Ola agents, Amburkar said, like the ability to sort tickets into categories and to measure customer satisfaction and identify areas where agents can improve their communication. The transparency the product offers also goes a long way toward providing better, faster support.
“We’re able to transfer tickets between multiple teams,” Amburkar explained, “and the same communication can be seen by everyone…it’s helped the customer service teams to be more productive.”
Ola has also integrated Support with its CRM and DRM systems, which serves to further help agents easily find all the information they need about a rider. The team works to drive self-service by creating help articles, hosted on Ola’s CRM platform, from frequently submitted tickets. There’s also an option to create a ticket from help articles, which generates about 150,000 inquiries per week.
The customer support team has also built other integrations using the Zendesk API that include a call-back feature for staying in contact with customers, and use the Round Robin app from the Zendesk Apps Marketplace for processing driver information. Ola also operates Ola Money, a platform for making online payments through the Ola mobile app, and a dedicated support team also uses Zendesk Support to answer questions related to payments.
Ola focuses on several metrics to measure the success of their support: volume by channel, how often customer issues are resolved via self-service, and first response time by channel. The teams strive to resolve 95 percent of inquiries within an hour, which they are able to do approximately 95 percent of the time. They also closely monitor customer satisfaction, and the rate of first-contact, or one-touch, resolution.
Part of the plan to raise these numbers is to add more automated support. Ola has already increased the amount of automation in their support system by 60 percent over the course of a year, which they attribute to a 40 percent increase in customer satisfaction. On the operations side, this shift in strategy also allowed Ola to deliver high quality support with 800 fewer agents than they would have needed previously, at the same time the business quadrupled.
Overall Zendesk has been a beneficial partner for Ola’s growth, Amburkar said, both as a support tool and as a resource.
“I’m quite happy with our interactions with Zendesk,” he said. “We’re very comfortable with the product and the customer support, and the account managers who work closely with our business, product, and engineering teams. Whatever our business goal is, they’re able to support us.”
“Our Zendesk solution has proven to be scalable due to good data, and good reporting features. The business team can see all their reports and it has configuration and workflow tools that help our customer support team talk to us about the local business teams.”