Tile + Zendesk: Perfecting workflows to boost the customer experience

Tile quickly scaled from a crowdfunded project to a leading finding service that locates millions of misplaced items every day. Now the company uses Zendesk to meet its customers where they are, using tools like Agent Workspace to continually improve the support experience.

Tile

“Zendesk’s greatest strengths versus other solutions I’ve used is its simplicity and ease of customization, which lets companies create the perfect workflow for their unique situations. You’re not pigeonholed into having certain features work a certain way.”

Justin Michaud

Senior Customer Support Manager at Tile

“Agent Workspace was a big win for us with ticket handle times. Before we implemented it, our average handle time was about 25 minutes. Using Agent Workspace we were able to get that down to right around 15 minutes.”

Justin Michaud

Senior Customer Support Manager at Tile

Founded

2012

Headquarters

San Mateo, California

Industry

Software and technology

50-100

Agents

-40%

decreased average handle time

+14%

increased customer satisfaction

-28%

decreased customer wait time

Tile was founded to help people locate the things that matter to them. The consumer electronics company is a leading finding technology that locates millions of items every day.
Founded in 2012 as a crowdfunded project, Tile now has customers in more than 230 countries and territories and helps people find millions of items every day. In fact, more than 90 percent of things that are reported lost using Tile trackers are eventually found.

Tile has stayed true to its crowdfunded roots, even as it has seen explosive growth. It’s never lost its focus on delivering exceptional service, and continues to take cues from its global community to inform decisions about new products and features.
It’s this dedication to delivering a rich customer experience that led Tile’s Senior Customer Support Manager Justin Michaud to join the company in 2020, just as the world entered lockdown due to Covid-19.

“Joining at the beginning of the pandemic was actually an incredible opportunity,” Michaud said. “Business initially slowed down, which allowed us to take a step back and look at how we were doing things, so we could be in an even better position when demand ultimately picked back up faster than we expected.”

Cutting handle time by 40% with Agent Workspace

Michaud took the opportunity to assess Tile’s workflows in Zendesk, which it has used to manage customer service since 2013. A Zendesk expert who has worked with the customer service software since 2010, he started by cleaning up unused legacy automations and triggers, and didn’t miss a beat as he and the team transitioned to working from home.

“The fact that Zendesk is a SaaS solution and not an in-house system meant that transitioning our agents to work at home was obviously very easy,” he said. “Zendesk’s greatest strengths versus other tools I’ve used is its simplicity and ease of customization, which lets companies create the perfect workflow for their unique situations. You’re not pigeonholed into having certain features work a certain way.”

One of the new customizations Tile explored during this time was a beta version of Zendesk’s Agent Workspace feature (now generally available). Designed to help make life easy for support agents by centralizing data for optimal context, Agent Workspace unifies Tile’s channels into a single, easy-to-use environment, leading to major “efficiency gains,” according to Michaud.

After a brief onboarding period with the team, Tile started to see impressive results in the efficiency of its service.
“Agent Workspace was a big win for us with ticket handle times,” Michaud said. “Before we implemented it, our average handle time was about 25 minutes. Using Agent Workspace, we were able to get that down to right around 15 minutes.”

And it wasn’t just customers who benefited from the change. Tile’s agents loved the fact that they didn’t need to constantly click back and forth between different interfaces.

“With Agent Workspace, the context switching that comes from moving among channels gets eliminated. I don’t even think that the team even remembers a time before the new Agent Workspace, it’s just so much better,” he said. “There’s no way I would switch back ever.”

Using a chatbot to handle thousands of tickets

Another powerful customization that Tile implemented in Zendesk during this period was working with Ada to launch a chatbot as the company began to ramp up for the holiday rush. The team, which generally scales its Philippines-based BPO from 50 to 100 agents for the holiday season, was hopeful that the chatbot would help to quickly assist even more customers.

“The chatbot performed even better than we expected,” Michaud said.

While the team did see a decrease in contact volume with the chatbot, the team saw almost immediately that it is also invaluable in solving unexpected support challenges.

While the data from Zendesk makes it possible to identify trends in increased customer contacts—flagging it for the development team to quickly deploy a solution—not every customer issue needs development team attention. The chatbot helps by making easy solution recommendations up front:

“We modified a bit of our workflow with the chatbot to include relevant recommendations to the front of the troubleshooting flow,” Michaud said. “People would launch the bot and it would help right away. Customers were like, ‘Oh yeah, that worked. Thank you. Have a nice day.’ That was incredibly important in helping us manage the contacts we received on any issue.”

Tile also uses the chatbot to prioritize tickets and route them directly to the appropriate channel, whether that’s email or live chat, resulting in an improved customer experience overall.

Strong data, strong partnership, more opportunities

Meanwhile, Tile uses data mined from Zendesk to help its internal teams understand what’s working and where improvements can be made, with daily dashboards keeping their performance front-and-center. It’s this commitment to constantly leveling up its service offerings that has kept Tile one step ahead with customers.

“Our goal is to work with Zendesk to help us be everywhere our customers want us to be,” Michaud said. “Zendesk has been a great partner, and it’s actually my second time working with our customer success manager, Sam. He’s always on top of everything anytime I’ve needed help.”

Tile is currently working with Sam to evaluate Zendesk Sunshine as a way to build upon omnichannel support for an even richer customer experience, with conversations front and center.

“If we launch Sunshine, we’ll be able to tell customers, ‘Hey, text us, WhatsApp, Facebook, whatever—any channel we’re available,’ and we’ll be able to get their resolution quickly,” Michaud said.