The Education Roundtable is a group of Zendesk customers in Education who share their expertise on a specific topic. You don't have to be in Education to participate!
How to participate:
- Read the advice from the panel.
- Add a comment to ask a question or share your ideas.
The topic this time is how to run a lean team. Meet the panel and read their advice below:
- Kevin Rocci, Student Help Lead, Magoosh
- Alex Milne, IT Director, Wharton School
- Wes Drury, Manager of Enterprise Technologies & Darius Denton, Manager of Customer Support Center, Muscogee County School District
- Tzvi Eleff, Manager of Touro NONSTOP, Touro College
- Chris Robison, Business Analyst / Project Manager of Technology Dept, Birdville ISD
Kevin Rocci, Student Help Lead, Magoosh
Howdy! This is Kevin, the customer support lead at Magoosh.
We have an interesting approach to having a Lean Team . And it's not new: have everyone do support. :D
If you are in a situation where you have a limited amount of money to spend, and can't build out a team, then you need to get everyone at your company answering customer questions.
In the early days of Magoosh, every person was answering student questions, from the CEO down. And this actually benefits us and our students for two reasons.
For one, students are stoked when they get an answer from the CEO, especially when it's a math question! :D Just look at Bhavin, our co-founder and CEO, jumping in and answering questions on Thanksgiving! Further, this shows the student and the other employees the value of support and the value of helping students.
Second, putting everyone on the front lines of support means they have a deeper understanding of the students and what they are struggling with. You'd be amazed the things you start to work on when the marketing and product team are answering tickets.
At this point, we've grown and have a larger team and don't have to worry about lean teams. But the CEO still is answering tickets, and that makes a world of difference for our students and for our employees.
Alex Milne, IT Director, Wharton School
The importance of maintaining an accurate and up to date KB cannot be overstated.
The focus should be to create a FAQ on steroids. The end goal is to provide a robust resource for self-directed endusers, and consistency of response from internal support agents as well as third party contractors.
Wes Drury, Manager of Enterprise Technologies & Darius Denton, Manager of Customer Support Center, Muscogee County School District
Muscogee County School District is located in west Georgia and has a student population of approximately 33,000 and staff of 6000. Our Zendesk instance receives on average over 2000 tickets a month, and up to 5000 tickets in August when schools start.
In order to effectively support our students and staff, the Division of Information Services contracts with several key vendor partners. These partners service specific hardware and software based on their expertise.
One of the challenges our Customer Support Center faced on a daily basis was effectively routing incoming issues to the correct vendor. Another challenge was to make sure that when a vendor resolved an issue, the incoming issue ticket was updated with the resolution and changed to a resolved status.
With the implementation of Zendesk, we were able to created automatic interfaces between our vendor partner ticketing systems and Zendesk. We were able to achieve this using two different methods.
Our first method was to use a combination of emails, tags, and triggers. This worked great with a few of our vendors, however not all of them. Our second method was to use the Zendesk API to talk back-and-forth between our Zendesk instance and our vendor’s work order system. Now, all our agents must do is select the correct vendor in a drop-down list on the ticket form as they are triaging the ticket.
The issue information is sent directly to the vendor partner, and a ticket is created automatically in their system. Our vendor partners can also make update comments, refer a miss routed ticket back, enter resolution information, and resolve a ticket; and all that information is automatically added and updated in the original Zendesk ticket.
These vendor interfaces have increased the productivity of both our internal staff and the vendor staff by eliminating all manual process that were present before Zendesk. Along with the vendor interfaces, triggers, automations, tags, and macros have all played a major part with our successful Zendesk implementation.
The end result is our customers are happier as their issues are handled much quicker now by our vendors and our staff.
Tzvi Eleff, Manager of Touro NONSTOP, Touro College
What has 20 fingers, 2 brains and energy levels that far surpass MC2?
The Touro NONSTOP Help Desk, of course!
You see, we had the same problem every institution has – multiple interrelated departments that operated in silos with many breaks in the communication chain. Now, complicate that more than thirty-fold for each of our schools, each one with its own set of departments. An operation of this size required a support line for every school.
The idea, redirect all existing help–line phone numbers, email addresses, and stray owls (like Harry Potter owls) to a single source. Utilizing the talents of two friendly and motivated staff, all inquiries now go through our Help Desk.
If they aren’t immediately answerable/resolvable, our dedicated heroes coordinate the hundreds of people working in their distinct department and orchestrate a masterful solution in record time.
Heard of Jeff Gordon? A snail.
Like your favorite pair of jeans. Not those, the ones without the holes.
In all seriousness, this model allows us to keep tabs and follow up on every ticket created in the leanest way possible. Not only does this ensure that no inquiry falls through the cracks, it also saves them from getting the proverbial run-around in search of the appropriate department.
Internally, it controls the call volume so that nearly 80% of inquiries are answered at the door, while the remaining 20% go directly to the relevant department.
Aside from the caffeine after-effects, it’s a helluva fun operation.
Chris Robison, Business Analyst / Project Manager of Technology Dept, Birdville ISD
In dealing with a very lean team here at Birdville ISD, we’ve developed a few ways that assist with our ticket workflow to increase our agent efficiency.
Macros are our most widely used tool that enables us to move and answer tickets quickly. We have enabled an organization-wide macro when closing tickets that helps notify the customer of the work performed, solution explained, and to expect a satisfaction survey within 24 hours.
This allows us to not only be transparent with our end users but it also gives them the ability to leave valuable feedback to measure our level of service, as well as create a standard response from our agents (screenshot below).
Triggers were also developed to allow us to move tickets quickly to a specific Group of agents – our field Technicians. We have 5 Technicians that share 32 campuses.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to remember who gets what tickets for a particular campus. To help alleviate the ticket assignment, our trigger auto-assigns a ticket based on the location of the ticket (the “Location” field is a custom field we inserted). All that needs to be done is to assign it to the top group level, in this case “Technicians”, and ensure the location field is populated.
The trigger will do the rest and assign the ticket to the agent that is responsible for that location.