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Corkcicle scales B2C sales with next-level support

When Corkcicle decided to sell its fashion-forward, sustainable hydration products direct-to- consumer, the company needed to quickly upgrade its CX platform to handle greater volumes with higher efficiency. After implementing a Zendesk solution, the company’s support team has not only delivered superior customer experiences, but also achieved a 100 percent increase in first reply time despite a double-digit increase in sales.

“I love improving systems and making things more efficient, so I am extremely proud of how we have been able to implement Zendesk for our fast-growing e-commerce business to deliver exceptional customer service.”

Laura Walden

eCommerce Operations Manager at Corkcicle

“The fact that we’ve been able to increase our return customers by 10 percent year over year is a great example of how positive customer experience is key to brand loyalty.”

Laura Walden

eCommerce Operations Manager at Corkcicle

Company Headquarters

Orlando, Florida



Monthly ticket volume

Average 3,700

Started using Zendesk



Increase in return customers (YoY)


Improvement in first reply time


Decrease in SLA time


Increase in average SLA score

Staying hydrated and fashionable on the go is easier than ever now thanks to Corkcicle. The company boasts an obsession-worthy collection of insulated tumblers, coffee mugs, coolers, barware, and canteens that are sustainable and reusable. Partnering with iconic brands like Disney and Rifle Paper Co. has also given Corkcicle a valuable edge in the drinkware market.

In addition to delivering high quality products, providing exceptional customer service has always been key to the Corkcicle experience. A small yet dedicated team supports customers across the consumer and wholesale markets, so a high volume of email and web forms ultimately pushed the limits of the company’s homegrown CX system and demanded a more robust solution.

More channels to power a growing business

When the company’s B2C business started taking off, Corkcicle turned to Zendesk to help handle the surging workload. The company was quickly outgrowing its current support system that funneled emails through a Netsuite CRM and phone calls through a separate channel. Prior to implementing Zendesk, there was no way for team members to track emails and phone calls from the same customer.

All that changed when the company pivoted to Zendesk in 2019. Corkcicle’s eCommerce Operations Manager, Laura Walden, observed a remarkable transformation as the company rolled out the new platform. “We added more channels with Zendesk and we’ve only seen a positive impact from it.”

A Corkcicle employee since 2017, Walden welcomes the changes and knows switching to Zendesk has empowered her team and improved performance. Ticket volume has decreased six percent year over year while sales have increased. “We’re getting more orders, more sales, more customers and fewer people contacting customer service, which is amazing.”

A single platform to support multiple markets

Employing a multi-channel, integrated Zendesk solution enables the consumer (B2C) and wholesale (B2B) support teams to improve customer experience. Walden notes, “Having two separate, dedicated teams has been extremely beneficial because it’s streamlined and less confusing. The agents are only focusing on one market, rather than dividing time and attention between wholesale and consumer.”

Zendesk gives her small, tight-knit team the flexibility and agility to handle tickets with maximum efficiency. From 2020 to 2021, the team nearly doubled the percentage of tickets they were answering on time (from 45 percent to a whopping 86 percent).

Over the past year, the team has seen its first reply time jump from 48 percent to 96 percent, marking a 100 percent improvement. Additionally, the team lowered its SLA time from three business days to one – a 67 percent improvement. “Having Zendesk and being focused only on the direct to consumer channel was the perfect recipe to drive such impressive improvements in our response times.”


Real-time support leads to loyal customers

Adding a chat channel in January 2021 proved essential as Corkcicle saw its ecommerce business continue to grow. The introduction of chat and text channels has reduced phone support queries by 30 percent and email support requests by 15 percent.

Chat gives customers access to live support so they can get their questions answered quickly and easily on the website. This feature also empowers agents to build positive relationships with customers.

In the CX world, first impressions count. Personalized and efficient chat conversations today means happier customers tomorrow. Walden sees a strong connection between Corkcicle’s improved quality of customer service via Zendesk and customer satisfaction.

“The fact that we’ve been able to increase our return customers by 10 percent year over year is a great example of how positive customer experience is key to brand loyalty.”

The biggest game changer: Adding a help center

Upgrading the FAQ pages in the help center has also made a world of difference for customers and support agents. Instead of relying on outdated links in a website footer that offered few metrics on customer traffic, the team now has an abundance of data and support tools at their fingertips.

“We can see all the activity in the help center related to customer searches. We can see what they click on, which topics they search for, and which keywords do not generate helpful articles,” explains Walden. The team then uses that information to assign articles, provide feedback, and create and publish new help center content driven by SEO terms. Bonus points: all the FAQs are now accessible in one place.

“The Zendesk help center has been a big game changer for us. Now we can easily add or update articles on the FAQ page in two seconds. It’s super easy,” says Walden.

Giving customers self-service options has helped reduce the volume of tickets that reach Walden’s team. “When we launched the chat widget, we encouraged customers to enter a keyword search to find what they needed in the help center. That deflects a customer from contacting us if they get their question answered, so that’s been wonderful.”

Ticket tagging boosts agility

Using the Zendesk platform has fueled essential collaboration and agile functioning across Corkcicle teams, too. One major takeaway: customer support can be a value-add to business, not just a cost center.

Prior to rolling out Zendesk, Corkcicle had not been using ticket tagging to track product concerns that customers brought to the support team. Today agents can use ticket tagging to identify urgent issues and share with colleagues for handling. The ability to align and pivot so quickly can have cost-saving results.

For instance, one noteworthy Monday the support team notified executive leadership about a new product defect. A call was quickly placed to the manufacturer to explain the issue, and the defect was corrected within 30 minutes for the next batch of product.

Training agents for future growth

Moving forward, Walden plans to use her learnings from Zendesk to prepare new team members for the type of questions they are most likely to hear from customers. “Out of all the training that we do for new hires, Zendesk is the easiest for us. It’s extremely user friendly and very intuitive.”

Walden also uses monthly CSAT scores and ticket volumes to measure agent happiness and productivity, while also identifying possible performance issues and employee roadblocks. This enables her to build effective communications and cultivate good relationships with her team members.

What’s on the horizon for Corkcicle? Promoting even more text conversations with customers. Walden sees texting as the next great channel to drive efficiency, as it offers easier and more approachable customer experiences.