Sendle delivers the goods with omnichannel customer service
Sendle, Australia's first 100% carbon neutral shipping service, is constantly looking for new ways to help small businesses thrive. To help its customers, Sendle started using Zendesk's email support system, then expanded its use with time. Delivering omnichannel service and integrating all support functions into Zendesk has increased agent efficiency and sped up ticket resolution. Within a year, the transformation has led to a 2x decrease in resolution times and a nearly 4x improvement of first response times.
“The fact that Zendesk is able to integrate with other tools and technologies we're using means that we have great transparency on all metrics, and we're able to make decisions very quickly. We are able to launch and roll out new channels at the speed we need to.”
Chief Customer and Marketing Officer - Sendle
"We're unique in the market to be a shipping and logistics service that has such tremendous customer support. Through working with Zendesk and having omnichannel tools available, we've really added value to small businesses."
Chief Customer and Marketing Officer - Sendle
Tickets per month
Improvement in first reply time
Improvement in full resolution time
Australian startup Sendle puts customers front and center, allowing them to send parcels affordably, while caring for the planet. The company evolved from a circular economy marketplace into a sustainable door-to-door parcel delivery service, offering cost-effective shipping rates to small businesses. By tapping into big business delivery networks, it helps small businesses compete against large organizations. In addition, to eliminate the environmental impact of its courier services, it purchases carbon offsets and supports remarkable reforestation and biodiversity projects around the world.
“We want to flip shipping from cost into value,” says Eva Ross, chief customer and marketing officer at Sendle. “Trying to build an emotional connection with our customers and understanding their needs is what drives us.” In the past, reaching that goal posed a challenge. The company struggled with a clunky email system and slow, manual support processes. “Before we started with Zendesk, five people were working in support, contacting customers through direct email,” reveals Teki Repalda, head of support at Sendle. To ensure smooth communication with customers, Sendle has expanded its support team to 125 people and stepped up the use of Zendesk.
A stepping stone for growth
Sendle’s journey with Zendesk began from integrating the existing customer relationship management (CRM) platform to different interaction channels, bringing agility into support operations. “In the beginning, we used Zendesk as a very simple support tool, with one view for all the tickets,” reveals Lynne De Castro, learning and quality manager at Sendle. “As time passed by, we started to think about how to maximize the use of Zendesk through integrations.”
The coronavirus pandemic incentivized Sendle to ramp up the use of the platform hard and fast. “As the number of people shopping online spiked drastically, it created a set of challenges, especially for small businesses,” explains Ross. Affected by mandatory closures and social distancing restrictions, businesses had to rely on online sales and dependable delivery services. “We faced massive demand for shipping,” Ross admits. “And with that came many customer inquiries.”
To ensure customer parcels would ship reliably despite lockdowns and spikes in demand for delivery, Sendle grew its support team from 50 people to 125. Zendesk’s intuitive user interface and tips from its customer success experts made the onboarding of new users a breeze. “Zendesk is a really user-friendly tool and it provides all the training you need. That’s why even for hires that are part of our QA team now, it was very easy to learn how to use it,” says De Castro. The agents now handle inquiries 24 hours a day, five days a week. “To accommodate the 24/5 service, we used Zendesk’s analytical capabilities, which displays ticket arrival hour by hour. By digging into data, we were able to estimate what our agent capacity should be if we expanded beyond business hours,” describes Repalda.
Connecting experiences for efficient services
The company also implemented Agent Workspace, a single ticket interface enabling agents to work seamlessly across email, chat, phone, social media, and other channels. “There were many duplicates across channels. Customers would email us and then, at another time, use chat or call. So, we enabled the Agent Workspace to provide our support team with cross-channel visibility,” confirms Repalda.
As a single source of truth for all customer interactions, Zendesk has expedited ticket handling thanks to automated incident grouping and assignment. “Agents can focus more easily on responding to tickets within their skill set, leading to higher productivity,” reveals Repalda. Following these optimizations, the first reply time decreased by 92% from 8.3 hours to 0.7 hours, while the full ticket resolution time was reduced by half compared to a year earlier.
Letting customers decide
Thanks to Zendesk, Sendle now leaves it to customers how and when they want to reach out, rather than forcing preferred pathways onto them. “Customers naturally gravitate towards a specific channel. They now have more choices to go to,” agrees Repalda.
Ross also believes that omnichannel empowers small businesses to redirect their energy to key business operations. “For such businesses, one of the most precious things is time,” she says. “We’re unique in the market to be a shipping and logistics service that has such tremendous customer support. Through working with Zendesk and having omnichannel tools available, we’ve really added value to small businesses. Now, they can spend time on more productive areas of their work.”
Despite these tremendous outcomes, Sendle keeps upgrading its tools to streamline the carbon-neutral delivery experience for its customers. It takes advantage of the Zendesk Marketplace to add new support solutions and access them all in one place. “The marketplace is wonderful because we don’t need to leave Zendesk to help our customers succeed. Instead, agents can find all the tools they need from the marketplace and add them to their workspace without toggling between apps,” confirms Repalda.
Additionally, managers at Sendle make the most of the close partnership with Zendesk, regularly engaging in calls to explore new ways to enhance customer service. “The Zendesk team has always kept us ahead of the game,” says Dennis Oates, chief logistics officer at Sendle. “Along with the changes in the industry and support systems, ensuring that we’re ready for innovations and have the right tools at our disposal, should we want to give them a go.”
Building a loyal fan base
Through Zendesk, Sendle has also unlocked self-service options, which allow customers to research and troubleshoot issues by themselves. “We have set up Guide, which now houses all our Help Center articles, and launched the Zendesk bot, used to intercept tickets that can be addressed with existing articles,” mentions Repalda.
Continuous innovation is the cornerstone of the company’s international success. “The key is ensuring that we’re always ahead of the latest in technology,” Ross reveals. “The fact that Zendesk is able to integrate with other tools that we’re using means that we’ve got great transparency on all metrics, we’re able to make decisions really quickly, and we are able to launch new channels at the speed we need to.“ Thanks to the platform’s flexibility, Sendle’s overseas teams were set up seamlessly. “And I think we’ve got full confidence that we’d be able to do that again,” Oates shares.
Following its overseas expansion, the company has rolled out Live Chat, Messaging, and Talk to streamline communication with global customers. “Our messaging channels are now available for everyone around the world so that they can get real-time support,” says De Castro. “When we introduced it, the customer satisfaction has greatly increased thanks to the quick response times. As a result, our Customer Satisfaction Score is ranging between 72%; sometimes it gets as high as 90% daily,” she says.
All these features and enhancements serve one major purpose: to maximize value for customers. Embracing omnichannel support through Zendesk has helped Sendle better understand their customers’ feelings and needs and promptly respond to these emotions, especially in tough times. “People are always looking for love, hope, optimism, and connection,” shares Ross. “So businesses need to think about how to talk to them and understand them. Those that do that are the ones that will prosper.”