“Zendesk has been instrumental in allowing us to focus on the customer experience. Moving away from just being a service desk to looking at the customer experience collectively across the business has been a critical change for us to better leverage our relationships with customers.”
Head of Customer Service at 1-Stop Connections
Improvement in SLA adherence
Nearly 90 percent of everything purchased around the globe is transported, in one way or another, by boat. It’s a mind-boggling statistic that underscores the size, complexity, and importance of the global freight and logistics industry.
At any moment, there are more than 20 million containers at sea, transporting everything from raw materials like oil, steel, and wood, to consumer products like TVs, toys, and textiles. The largest transport ships can carry up to 18,000 individual 20-foot containers. That’s enough storage space for more than 36,000 cars—or nearly 850 million cans of baked beans.
These massive cargo ships are loaded and unloaded at dozens of ports around the world. The busiest ports can resemble small cities, processing tens of millions of shipping crates every year. Ports are complex ecosystems that require powerful tools to operate efficiently. That’s why the freight and logistics industry turns to companies like 1-Stop Connections. The company provides supply chain software-as-a-service (SAAS) that keep ports moving like clockwork.
“We help manage what we call the port community system,” said Alex Wood, head of customer service at 1-Stop Connections. “It’s an incredibly complex environment where it’s critical that everyone is working together in harmony—from the transport companies and terminals, to the cargo agencies, regulators, and even the accountants.”
Building simplicity for complex customers
To bring order to this potentially chaotic environment, the company offers a range of highly specialized software solutions that help streamline operations, tracking, reporting, and security. This allows 1-Stop Connections’ customers do everything from managing the schedule of individual truck-based freight pickups to issuing security cards to dock workers.
“Every customer is totally unique and uses our solutions differently,” Wood said. “A customer can mix and match dozens of different products, configured specifically for their organization, and set up hundreds, if not thousands, of different user roles, authorization levels, and administration ranges.”
And to add even more complexity, while the company’s core business is operating in a business-to-business capacity, it also needs to cater to individuals who use the company’s solutions to obtain their own port access security cards.
One consolidated tool to rule them all
Given the specialised nature of its customers’ businesses, and its blend of B2B and B2C interactions, providing incredible customer service is a priority for 1-Stop Connections. However, the company, which was founded in 2001 and has about 100 employees, found itself bumping into the limitations of its legacy customer service solutions, which included homegrown on-premise tools that the company has since outgrown.
“We tried to build everything on our own to our detriment,” Wood said. “It wasn’t working because our internal systems were cumbersome and inconsistent. We basically had to do a hard reset and tear it all down.”
That reset began with 1-Stop Connections adopting Zendesk Support in 2015 to consolidate its ticket management, and over time the company gradually added additional services including Talk, Chat, Guide, and Explore.
Zendesk allowed the team to quickly and easily integrate with different parts of 1-Stop Connections’ organization, from connecting to its user database and providing agents access to a customer’s history, to using Zendesk’s JIRA integration to streamline workflows for its product development teams. This move allowed the broader organization to learn directly from customer interactions, which are now used to influence everything from its sales team to its development schedule.
Steering toward growth with better visibility
“The shift toward customer experiences has allowed us to significantly improve every single interaction we have across our business functions,” Wood said. “Literally everywhere from marketing, finance, sales, or anywhere else in the company, it’s all becoming more and more in-line with those high standards, which we set in within the customer service function.”
To track this progress, the company, which receives roughly 4,000 customer contacts a month, uses Zendesk Explore to closely monitor its KPIs and track efficiency. To date, the results have been impressive, including a nearly 30 percent increase in cases solved within first reply and resolution targets, a spike in CSAT scores from 83 to 93 percent, and reduction of the average case resolution time from nearly 24 hours to 4.5 hours.
1-Stop Connections has seen so much success with its new customer service and support model, it has invested in doubling the size of its support team in the last year alone. As a result, the team has added new capabilities while increasing efficiency—and that better use of resources has helped the company grow the team only as much as required.
“It was about right-sizing our team,” Wood said. “We’ve reimagined our structure to improve our level of service by orders of magnitude. And while we’ve grown the team, Zendesk helped us do even more with less. Without it we would have conservatively needed to add at least four additional team members to get these results.”
As 1-Stop Connections grows and expands to new ports in new geographies, the company is continuing to find ways to simplify its workflows, deliver better customer experiences, and connect its internal teams with Zendesk. The team works closely with Zendek’s customer success team to regularly review the services it’s using, discuss suggestions to improve the customer experience, and reviewing customer data.
“We’re very satisfied with the amount of engagement we’ve had with Zendesk—it keeps getting better. Now we’re at the stage where we’re trying Sell for our sales operations,” Wood said. “Since Zendesk is the home for all our customer interactions, we’re always trying to find more ways to have everything into that.”