ftrack: One CX ecosystem powering 24/7 global support
Fast-growing technology brand ftrack created a production tracking and interactive media review suite to help global creative studios with project management and collaboration. Upgrading to Zendesk Suite Professional gave ftrack the flexibility to scale quickly, add new communication channels, and consolidate its tech stack into one CX ecosystem. With streamlined ticketing, robust reporting, and self-service options, the small team is able to provide 24/7 support across three global regions and has shown an 83 percent decrease in average first response time.
“We are building out Zendesk as the single source of truth for support messaging and communication. In order to best serve our users, we need as much context as possible at our fingertips.”
Global Head of Customer Support at ftrack
“We have big plans for consolidating our tech stack into Zendesk Suite to create one ecosystem that supports the tools used by our global partners.”
Global Head of Customer Support at ftrack
Started Using Zendesk
Decrease in average first response time
Tickets capturing a root cause
Global regions served
In 2012, ftrack’s founders united behind a powerful idea: make creativity simple. The small Stockholm-based crew went on to develop a suite of creative project management and media review tools that help connect a studio’s pipeline and act as the central hub for collaboration.
Today ftrack employs a remote global team of 57 people with offices in Stockholm, London, Toronto, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Adelaide. The company’s Academy Award- and Emmy Award-winning solutions are used in television, movie, video game, and animation studios, serving more than 60 countries around the world.
A background in the visual effects and animation industry prepared Andrew Lawrence for his new role at ftrack, as the global head of customer support. Since joining in May 2021, he has focused on building out the team’s support strategy, tools, and processes. “Our core ethos at ftrack is creating tools to make people’s lives easier, so we’re trying to do that in our internal workflow. Zendesk has been a huge part of that journey,” says Lawrence.
When the company’s primary CRM, Salesforce Desk, was nearing its end of life, ftrack embraced the opportunity to start fresh with a different platform. The team started using Zendesk in 2019 because it needed a solution that could quickly scale with the business, support a variety of integrations, and provide comprehensive analytics.
With more than seven years of prior experience using Zendesk, Lawrence fully supported the upgrade to Zendesk Suite Professional. “We gained access to more products at a great value and had the flexibility to try out new channels, like chat and social,” he says. Today Lawrence drives a majority of the design, rollout, and workflows on the platform.
Seamless communication powers efficiency
Around 15 to 20 ftrack agents actively use Zendesk to communicate with clients and share insights across the company, while an additional 20 agents have light agent access to view conversations. Since the core support team is quite small, agents tend to wear a lot of different hats. Having daily access to the Zendesk platform ensures that agents can stay aligned, provide quicker responses, and ensure a seamless flow of support.
Over the past 6 to 12 months, the fast-growing company has steadily been adding agents as users, not just viewers, in Zendesk. That gives new employees a chance to start by following conversations before directly interacting with clients.
“We are building out Zendesk as the single source of truth for support messaging and communication. In order to best serve our users, we need as much context as possible at our fingertips.” The goal is to give users all the visibility and answers they need, so clients never have to repeat themselves in support interactions.
Smarter ticketing with automations + integrations
Upgrading ftrack’s CX system brought key improvements, especially after years of add-ons left ftrack’s central CRM rather segmented. “This year we’re focused on leveraging the tools we have to create a streamlined user experience through Zendesk omnichannel support,” says Lawrence. For example, the team was able to seamlessly integrate PagerDuty for urgent escalations and ftrack has plans to switch from Intercom to Zendesk for chat and guide.
Lawrence notes, “Integrating our help center with support was huge. With chat and AI, we can create a workflow that allows users to self-serve very quickly and easily.” Agents are able to embed information and link to external help center articles, or search internal policies. “Triggers and automations help us funnel tickets more efficiently and the Zendesk workspace provides a connected user history,” says Lawrence.
“We love the way chats and tickets are interconnected in Zendesk. We can see the context panels showing agent interactions and complete a user’s journey from start to finish.” Lawrence adds, “There was no risk in turning on chat for the first time. Our agents adjusted to the new order of messaging within a week.”
Data-driven support has a big impact
According to Lawrence, access to robust reporting and analytics was the driving factor in switching to Zendesk Suite and has made the largest impact at ftrack. “I’m a big fan of data-driven models. Zendesk helped us start leveraging all of the insights from support.”
Studio productions follow a seasonal cycle with departments staffing up and down at different times of year. “With three years of ticket data available in Zendesk, we’re able to accurately forecast trends in our busy and quiet periods and adjust coverage accordingly,” he adds.
Support tickets for ftrack’s three core products (ftrack Studio, ftrack Review, and cineSync) are tracked and actioned within Zendesk, allowing the team to track bugs and feature requests. “Using Zendesk, our team is now able to pinpoint the root cause on 100 percent of tickets submitted,” Lawrence explains. “We can share that information with other teams and collaborate on solutions.” Previously that data had not been captured in any tickets.
With ftrack providing 24/7 support in three global regions, the team uses Zendesk as more of a team inbox than a tool for traditional agent assignments. Leadership is primarily focused on how teams address ticket backlogs and team resolution times, and Zendesk reporting makes it easy to monitor and meet those SLAs. “Our global team of three frontline agents has shown an 83 percent decrease in average first response time, from 24 hours down to 4 hours,” says Lawrence.
Creating a global ecosystem for the future
Looking ahead, ftrack will continue to focus on improving the client experience, as the company opens up its platform to new industries, customers, and use cases. One of the next steps will be integrating various apps and communication tools (e.g. WeChat) into the Zendesk platform.
“We have big plans for consolidating our tech stack into Zendesk Suite to create one large ecosystem that supports the tools used by our global partners and provides all the context about their clients,” Lawrence says. “Then we can use the power of Zendesk to start fielding, tracking, and analyzing those conversations, so it’s a seamless experience for the end user.”