Quicko + Zendesk: Hassle-free tax support, at scale
Quicko, a leading choice in India for online tax prep and compliance, uses Zendesk to support its customers, especially during the surge at tax time when 70% of Quicko’s yearly business happens in just 45 days. Its results speak for themselves: 97% customer retention, 95% CSAT, and 15% annual growth.
“We want to use most of our time helping customers, not managing the data and the relationships between data, so our journey from using spreadsheets to using Zendesk has been tremendous.”
“Zendesk plays a very important role because it essentially provides common ground for how we treat our customers, how we show empathy, and what are important KPIs that we need to maintain.”
Consider this: in just five years, the number of individual taxpayers in India increased but the tens of millions, and those customers had no technology disruptors serving them. Not everyone can afford to hire expensive chartered accountants, especially young people just entering the workforce and largely unfamiliar with the tax process. That’s where DIY tax service Quicko comes in.
“Zendesk plays a very important role in helping us stay organized and on track.”Vishvajit Sonagara, Founder/CEO at QuickoQuicko was founded in Ahmedabad, India, by Vishvajit Sonagara in 2015. After spending eight years working for large fintech banks in the United States, Sonagara returned home to the world’s largest democracy to start his own company. He soon realized that India had a tax problem. With a population of 1.4 billion people and a rapidly growing middle-class, millions of taxpayers needed a transparent, easy way to pay taxes, file returns, and meet compliance requirements. Sonagara found a problem to solve, and Quicko was born.
Since its launch, the company has served more than 100,000 individuals and businesses, including Udaan, Zerodha and Airbnb. However, like many startups, when Quicko experienced explosive growth, it needed to do more with what it had. Quicko turned to Zendesk to help find efficiencies and scale staffing to meet needs, which led to India’s fast-growing DIY tax platform achieving a 97 percent customer retention rate and a customer satisfaction score of 95 percent.
Seamlessly scaling for tax season
Tax season is a time when 70 percent of the startup’s annual business occurs in a mere 45 days, and this crucial window calls for having the right tools and scalability to meet customers’ needs.
“Since we get almost all of our traffic in a small amount of time, it’s very difficult to scale human resources,” Sonagara said. “You want to get moderate traffic for the other six or seven months, but then there is a one-hundred-fold spike in customers and orders.”
In the company’s early days, the team relied on a patchwork of project management tools—Trello boards, Google docs, Excel spreadsheets, and open-source CRMs—to manage incoming tickets and manage sales leads. Sonagara and his team soon realized that they needed a way to quickly handle the volume of incoming tickets and deliver metrics that would help Quicko achieve its mission to make taxes easy and accessible to customers.
“You can have good intentions, and you want to respond to customers on the same business day,” Sonagar said. “You want to solve their problems, but if the tools and software you use cannot empower you, then the customer at the end of the day will get an impression that, ‘Hey, I sent you a message two days ago and you did not respond. I don’t think you care about my business.’”
To meet the spike in demand for support while staying flexible, Quicko uses a cross-functional sales/support team and a vast network of chartered accountants to meet demand—Sonagara calls it the “Uber of chartered accountants.” Quicko also offers a matchmaking service that pairs customers and chartered accountants so that clients can find the help they need preparing taxes.
Quicko uses Zendesk to centralize the support its teams are providing. By bringing together conversations and data across channels like WordPress, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook, Zendesk’s APIs gave the company’s team context about every single customer’s needs and experience with the service. For Sonagara, it was crucial to free up his team to focus on the customer, not on time-consuming data management.
“Because we are a technology platform, we immediately saw value in deeply integrating Zendesk products within our products,” he said. “We did not want to have friction—we wanted to use most of our time helping customers, not managing the data and the relationships between data, so that journey from spreadsheets to using Zendesk has been tremendous.”
Leveraging data funneled from multiple platforms
Understanding that customer experience is the sum of each interaction along the customer journey—Quicko uses the Zendesk for Service and Zendesk for Sales platforms to bring customer insights and service data to every interaction point. The goal is to create cohesive and frictionless pre- and post-sale experiences to keep growing with customer expectations and further leverage the power of data.
“I cannot emphasize how important it was, or it is, to get all the data in one place,” said Sonagara, pointing to the team’s need to interact with nearly 40 interfaces. “Previously, we would need to go to all the social media handles, all our WordPress sites, and our internal admin dashboards to see the metrics. We would also need to go check a dozen-plus email addresses.”
Since Quicko started using Zendesk extensively, most support problems have just gone away because all that data funnels into one place. “My team can focus on the tickets and how to quickly turn them around, how to solve them faster, and how to get great customer satisfaction ratings,” he said.
And as Quicko started building out its product support, the data pointed to the need to provide self-service content, too. The company now offers more than 1,000 articles powered by Guide. In just one year, Quicko saw a 600% increase in help center views, evidence that more people are able to help themselves so agents can focus on more complex inquiries.
Meanwhile, providing support for the more than 20 languages and countless dialects spoken by its customers presented another challenge for Quicko. It’s one thing to read about solving a problem using an article; it’s another to learn from a video, so Quicko realized it needed to offer vernacular language support using video. The company now provides embedded Loom videos to drive customer engagement and conversations.
Tooling up for satisfaction
Every day, Quicko evaluates the metrics and data, and metadata provides context and information that the team uses to build workflows for greater efficiency. While this focus on data is vital for staying on top of customer service needs when every moment counts, Sonagara also credits Zendesk’s KPIs with guiding Quicko toward focusing on the metrics that matter most to its business.
“As a startup, we don’t have much breathing room. We are already working at 120 percent efficiency,” said Sonagara. “But at the same time, we want to make sure that the time we spend is spent solving important problems for our customers.”
He knew that Quicko would have to be customer-obsessed to earn each customer’s trust with their financial information. A simple way to win that trust was to ensure customer requests were routed properly, and the startup also leaned on the Side Conversations feature to bring third-party charter accountants into interactions.
By leveraging Side Conversations and using automation and workflow improvements, Quicko was ready when COVID-19 sent ticket volumes up by 500 percent and forced agents to shift to remote work. Zendesk’s tools helped establish continuity of business and create a nearly seamless transition that customers barely noticed. The adjustment has been so smooth for many returning customers that they often request specific agents they’ve enjoyed working with in the past..
A more efficient sales process
Because of its cross-functional sales/support makeup, the Quicko team also began using Zendesk for Sales to manage existing business and target prospects. “When we started using Zendesk Sell, it was the first time we were introduced to a concept of a qualified and unqualified lead, and how can you predict your sale,” said Sonagara. Quicko also uses Sell’s smart lists to split leads from B2B, B2C, and B2B2C partners, while relying on Zendesk’s data and plugins to build rules for enforcing service-level agreements.
Sonagara credits Sell and Support for helping Quicko organize its data, sift through it very quickly, and maintain very high KPIs. “We send a customer satisfaction survey to every single customer. We have a more than 4.8-star rating on Google Reviews, a 95 percent satisfaction rating, and people talk about us on social media platforms, like Twitter and Instagram,” he said. “So all of this is a result of putting the right software in place, so when we are delivering goods and services to our customers, they get a great experience.”