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Evernote sees a 17% drop in ticket volume with a newly configured help center

Evernote chooses the Zendesk platform to provide multilingual support to its 200 million-plus customers. The company cut first response time for live chat to under 30 seconds using macros and triggers, and reduced ticket volume by 17% after configuring its help center.

“Zendesk is very important and will play a key role in supporting our business customers, helping us to maintain a low churn rate and a high retention rate as we grow.”

Gerald Hastie

Director of Global Customer Experience hos Evernote

200 Million



Tickets per Week


Self-Service Ticket Deflection

<30 secs.

FRT for Live Chat

Whether it’s a corporate creative team sharing their inspirations or a home cook attempting a new recipe, Evernote’s software has transformed the way that millions of people organize and share their great ideas.

The company has seen incredible growth since its founding in 2008. Their freemium cross-platform application grew into paid plans in the consumer market before moving into the corporate space. Once Evernote Business launched, the company’s customer base swelled to the tune of 200 million users.

Gerald Hastie is Evernote’s Director of Global Customer Experience. He’s in charge of overseeing the needs of their global customer base and manages a team of 60 support agents, in addition to a success team that handles major business accounts. When Hastie came on board, the team had already been using Zendesk Support for about two years, which had been selected as a replacement for Parature.

Hastie found that Support is able to scale with Evernote’s growth, and although 90 percent of their volume comes in via email and through a custom-built web form within their help center, the team added Zendesk Chat to offer an additional contact channel for paid customers. “We like that we can offer multiple support channels within the same platform so that we have a unified view,” Hastie said.

Offering great self-service is imperative for a team of Hastie’s size, supporting a user base as large as Evernote’s. “We love the help center in Zendesk Guide because it’s easy to use. It’s easy for us to make changes to articles, and we get some great analytics out of it in terms of which articles are being used the most. It helps us to make adjustments and to see what’s helping our users.”

Another key reason why Evernote loves Support is that it’s easy to integrate with other tools the team uses, helping to automate workflows and improve everyone’s experience. Tickets are auto-generated from phone calls with the Talkdesk integration; a scheduling tool is currently being installed to ensure that callbacks are returned at the customer’s convenience. And thanks to the Salesforce integration, the sales team can also pitch in and send questions over to support. “Our inside sales team will run across an inquiry and realize, ‘Oh, this is really a support question.’ They now click a button that automatically sends an email and creates a ticket in Zendesk,” Hastie said. Regardless of the tools used by support and other organizations at Evernote, a central record for each customer interaction lives in Zendesk Support, visible to the team.

Hastie’s team handles 4,000 tickets per week from paid consumer and business customers through email and live chat. To ensure that the quality of Evernote’s customer service is consistently stellar, the team utilizes service level agreements (SLAs) that include a 30-second first response time for live chats, which they’re able to meet at least 80 percent of the time. The use of macros and triggers also helps to streamline the agent process for email support, leading to overall faster response times.

Evernote’s help center is key, however, both for helping to reduce ticket volume and to serve their freemium customers. To this end, Evernote’s help center boasts a thriving community forum and the team used the Zendesk API to design a search experience that digs deep into the content to surface relevant and related help articles.

“We made our help center more dynamic,” Hastie shared. “If there’s a technical support issue, then the form asks a relevant follow-up question, and then another. It usually dives about three questions deep and then returns a series of related articles or links to the forums. If this guided approach doesn’t answer the customer’s question, we promote the search feature or the customers can submit a ticket.”

It’s an approach that works, as it ensures that customers have several chances and as much exposure to existing help resources as possible. The effort has also paid off nicely for Hastie’s team, as they’ve seen a 17 percent reduction in their total ticket volume.

What’s more, help content is offered in 30 languages, to best accommodate a global audience, and the team offers email in 9 languages and live chat in 3 languages, thanks to support agents located around the globe.

Email still accounts for 90 percent of their volume, so Hastie and his team are working to increase the real-time engagement through live chat, and to continue fine-tuning their self-service. When he pores over the analytics in Support, he’s always on the lookout for improvements in productivity, customer satisfaction (CSAT), and service levels. And when the team has questions about Zendesk, they turn to their customer success executive for support. “The thing that I really like about our partnership with Zendesk is that we can get in front of a product manager whenever I have questions or issues,” Hastie said.

Certainly, at least a few of us have taken note of Evernote’s great support. As Hastie’s team continues to make productivity gains through their workflows and integrations, Hastie can spend more time on coaching. “I make sure my agents are able to empathize, listen, and effectively troubleshoot when they need to,” he said, of his support philosophy. “It’s also important that they have a sound knowledge of the product. If they have those things, then it makes a great foundation for great customer service.”