Pet Lovers Centre + Zendesk: Exceeding customer expectations for the love of pets
Pet Lovers Centre helps tens of thousands of people in southeast Asia take better care of their pets. When the company’s customers flocked online following the COVID-19 lockdowns, the company integrated all touchpoints in Zendesk to optimize the customer experience across channels. Stepping up automation and self-service helped tame ticket volumes, and led to a 60 percent decrease in chat messages, and a 32 percent increase in CSAT scores.
“Besides contact form, live chat, and help centre, we’ve also introduced mobile messaging and social media touchpoints. Having them all integrated into Zendesk allows our agents to manage them easily in one place.”
“It's very easy to use Zendesk without technical expertise because resources are readily available. Zendesk provides a central platform to control all processes, which I find to be extremely helpful in managing customer service.”
Number of Outlets
Decrease in chat volume
First response time improvement
Full resolution time improvement
Happy owners, happy pets. These words proved especially true during the global pandemic when animals became a lifesaver for many people struggling with loneliness and isolation. The intricate bond between owners and their furballs inspires Pet Lovers Centre (PLC) to continuously improve its services, giving the best possible advice on pet care. “We believe in connecting with customers where they are. So we provide multiple channels of communication to reach us,” says Elaine Tan, head of customer service at PLC. The company optimized its omnichannel strategy after COVID-19 changed the way people shop. “Before the pandemic, most sales took place in both physical and online stores. However, after closing our stores due to the lockdown, we saw a huge surge in online orders,” says Tan. “This meant that we needed more efficient online customer support.”
Engaging customers in their preferred ways
To accommodate the evolving customer behavior, PLC needed a tool to capture all customer interactions across channels. The company had already been using Zendesk, but not to its full potential. “Only the basic functions of Zendesk were used. We were not leveraging its analytics capabilities, help centre, and automation,” describes Tan. Leveraging in-depth knowledge of Zendesk amassed in her previous roles, Tan decided to upgrade to the Zendesk Suite Enterprise plan and put the advanced features to good use.
To provide customers with a truly omnichannel experience, PLC incorporated 10 customer touchpoints into Zendesk, including contact form, live chat, mobile messaging, and social media platforms, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. The team set up its help centre, which now houses more than 350 articles. It enabled customers to find answers quickly for basic queries. The platform is also integrated with Answer Bot, an automated bot service available 24/7 to resolve simple queries without involving human agents. “The bot is also available on our website and mobile app, which our customers use extensively. After we launched it, we saw a huge drop in live chat requests by at least 60 percent. It has allowed our agents more time to focus on less straightforward cases,” explains Tan.
Lighter workloads, more effective support
Apart from driving omnichannel interactions, PLC also aimed to streamline workflow for its customer service team. The shift to online shopping led to a large inflow of tickets, which quickly overwhelmed agents. “Since we were not leveraging the full capabilities of Zendesk, manual processes led to delay in our response time, adding to customer frustration and affecting satisfaction scores. We needed to optimize how we used the platform to get easy access to details of our interactions and react quickly to issues,” says Tan.
PLC now uses Zendesk’s Side Conversations, which allows them to collaborate internally while keeping all captured information in the same place. Tan shares, “If there’s a need to jump in quickly when a person is not around, we can do that easily because we have all the information we need. Everything is organized and our agents feel less frustrated.”
Replacing manual processes with automation also eased the support team’s workload, dramatically improving issue resolution times. “In the past, live chat conversations would be converted into Zendesk tickets, which agents had to manually close, even if they didn’t require any follow-up. That was about 90 percent of chats,” Tan explains. “By implementing an automation that classifies a ticket as solved when it doesn’t require any follow-up, we were able to reduce our first response time by 76 percent in just a month, sparing our agents hours manually closing hundreds of chats. ”
The solution has reflected positively on customer experience. “During the peak of the pandemic period, our customers’ satisfaction (CSAT) score was as low as 68 percent. Now, we consistently exceed a 90 percent CSAT score,” says Tan.
Improving performance with better insights
The solution extends beyond customer support to key business decisions. Using Zendesk’s analytics capabilities, PLC gets insights into customer interactions, which they share with key stakeholders across the company. “We have created more than 30 dashboards over the last year, which allow our stakeholders to observe regional performance using metrics such as first response time, full resolution time, and CSAT. They gain more visibility about customer behavior, which enables them to make more informed decisions about the business,” describes Tan.
By analyzing customer feedback, PLC teams can understand how customers truly feel and proactively manage expectations. Tan says, “I share common complaints with stakeholders, so they can address recurring issues or deep dive into individual cases. We also inform the logistics department about complaints regarding damaged or missing items, which helps them improve their delivery system.” In terms of marketing, the insights from Zendesk reporting have also been useful in understanding current trends. “We capture information about what products or brands customers are searching for, and share them with the marketing team. They can then decide to publish posts or updates that are focused on those trending keywords,” concludes Tan.
Looking forward, PLC aims to become Asia Pacific’s leader in pet care services and has ambitious plans to leverage Zendesk. Those plans include introducing Zendesk to its pet pharmacy and pet grooming services to provide faster and more efficient service. The company is also looking to take advantage of new AI-driven features rolling out in the next few months. ”We are investing more in Zendesk because the platform has brought significant improvements not just to our customer support, but to our overall business as well,” says Tan. “At PLC, we’re all about turning the love for pets into value. At the end of the day, customers are entrusting their beloved companions to us. Through our commitment to deliver friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable service, we make them happy and ensure they will stay with us for life,” she concludes.