Orica + Zendesk: Expert help in every corner of the globe
A leading mining and infrastructure solutions provider, Orica turned to Zendesk for a faster way to get global customers access to local expert help. Today, the mining services giant is giving more customers around the world a reason to love not only their forward-thinking digital solutions but also their exceptional customer experience. With 350% growth in the company’s self-service ratio and 230% more help desk views, Orica’s customers can now find the information they need at their fingertips.
“Every time I hear about a new Zendesk functionality, it's exciting. In the end, it’s about supporting our growth and continuing to give our customers a reason to both choose and stay with our products. Zendesk has been pivotal in how we support our customers with whatever they need.”
“Zendesk offers great customization and very intuitive user management. We could customize the look and feel of our public-facing help center, as well as incorporating and manipulating the workflows to suit our needs.”
Muhammad Zubair Saeed
Monthly increase in help desk views
“Orica has a long history of operations, over 140 years,” begins Peter Leckie, senior manager of Digital Solutions Global Commercial & Support at Orica. “Traditionally, our focus was heavy industry—chemicals, manufacturing, explosives, and so on. However, we’re always looking at the next frontiers of technology and with a growing industry need for digitization, and so our digital solutions portfolio was born. Five years on, we’re now moving from being a supplier of explosives and explosive technology into a technology space utilizing holistic digital tools for advanced modeling, measurement, and data science solutions. These solutions we proudly provide to mining companies and other heavy industry players.”
Designed to digitally manage and optimize key elements of blasting, extraction and other groundworks, Orica’s innovative solutions—many incorporating cutting edge elements such as AI—improve safety, sustainability, and productivity for clients across 100 countries. Yet effectively supporting the products and the company’s global users proved to be a challenge. “We needed to scale our small core of technology experts out to all the corners of the world as effectively as possible, across time zones and languages,” says Leckie. “We also needed to select the right specialists within the region, to get the right skills to the right customer at the right time.”
To further build out its customer assistance, Orica chose to move ahead with Zendesk. The platform now houses customer service interfaces for several of Orica’s other products in addition to digital technology solutions. “We had two sessions with the Zendesk Customer Success team to get us started,” shares Muhammad Zubair Saeed, global support lead at Orica. “While we like the Zendesk system, we wanted to stay within the existing look and feel of our digital applications. We didn’t want our users to feel as though they were entering a completely different application. We were able to achieve that with the Zendesk API.”
Towards effective ticketing and self-service
Creating an effective help desk for customers was one of Orica’s main goals. “Our product catalog is massive,” shares Leckie. “There are so many different types of explosives and detonators that can be used in infinite different configurations and combinations, and our Digital products need to cater to that complexity. Add to that the fact that your first five queries of the day might come from five different continents. There was a lot of complexity, and a lot of detailed digital product information for our employees to get across to customers around the world. Even our top staff were struggling to capture all the details. They were also expected to be experts in new products that we offered, even if they hadn’t used them before.”
Today, thanks to Orica’s new help desk functionality from Zendesk, the mining services leader can provide instant product support to customers around the world. “The help desk has not only empowered our own staff with up-to-date knowledge but also helped our customers to solve their own queries in many cases,” shares Leckie.
Yet Orica knew that any help desk solution could only go so far. Orica’s customers often needed rapid, expert support from real-life specialists around issues the help desk simply couldn’t cover. “Proper triaging of customer queries is the most important function of any support team,” emphasizes Saeed. Orica needed an effective ticketing system, which it found with Zendesk’s ticketing solution. “We can now automatically route a ticket to its correct region, notify the right product and technical specialists in the area, and identify if a customer needs urgent assistance,” says Saeed. “It helped us to put customers in charge of selecting the business impact of their own problems. It ensures immediate access to the right people, exactly when customers need them most.”
Orica can also select what information is available to specific users. “We’ve configured groups within our help center and also within the ticketing system that allow us only show the content that is meant for a specific audience,” says Saeed. “Some knowledge base articles or manuals are only meant to be for our development partners, or for just the specialists and champions of that technology. So, we display the relevant content to a specific target audience. That way, people only have access to what they need; they don’t get overloaded with unnecessary information.”
Looking to the future
The numbers paint a clear picture of the strides the mining services giant is making. Orica’s previous help desk solution garnered 3,000 views per month. Today, that number is well over 10,000. The company’s self-service ratio—the number of help center views to tickets raised—has also improved dramatically, growing 350 percent from 6:1 to 25:1 within three 3 months. Despite Orica’s ever-growing market, ticket flow has remained constant, reflecting the rising number of tickets being deflected through self-service channels.
Orica’s average first reply times have also improved considerably by 40 percent in six months. Full resolution times have improved even more markedly by more than 75 percent in that same time period.
With the November 2021 opening of Orica’s Digital Immersion Centre in Brisbane—a specialized facility where it can work on new solutions with development partners and customers—the company has laid strong foundations for an even more digitally focused future.
Leckie and his team are as proud of what they’ve achieved in customer service as they are excited about what’s to come. “Every time I hear about a new Zendesk functionality, it’s exciting,” shares Leckie. “These tools have helped our support team to be both high performing and well regarded. In the end, it’s about supporting our growth and continuing to give our customers a reason to both choose and stay with our products. Zendesk has been pivotal in how we support our customers with whatever they need.”