Valuable, speedy, secure: Azimo delivers priceless customer service with Zendesk
Your child’s school is awaiting payment for next term; you need to pay your company’s suppliers and employees who are based abroad; your sister needs money for urgent medical treatment; your family is relying on you sending a portion of your wages back home. Or, you simply owe your friend a few pounds for a round of drinks! Transferring money across borders has become an increasingly important–and in some cases, vital–part of many of our lives. Traditional bank transfers, however, are costly and an impossibility for un(der)banked individuals.
Azimo was founded in 2012 with a commendable mission: to use technology to democratise financial services, making them affordable and available to all. Azimo enables its customers–which in 2018 hit the one million mark–to send money to more than 195 countries and territories worldwide, quickly and safely.
As more people in more regions started to adopt and benefit from Azimo, the volume of customer data the company was tasked with managing also grew significantly. Its omnichannel business model meant customers could contact the company for support in whichever way was most suited to them-live chat, email, phone, an online contact form, or social media. Whilst this was great for Azimo’s customers, the omnichannel approach posed a major challenge for its customer service agents.
The value of effective data management
Split into eight language teams, Azimo’s agents were tasked with managing multiple platforms simultaneously, with consumer data–on their account, history, communication etc.–dispersed and stored in numerous siloes. Compliance, operations and back office teams also lacked an integrated, comprehensive view of customer and business data, making it difficult to provide the level of customer service which had been so important to the company’s founding and mission.
“Money is an emotional issue,” said Kevin Miodek, Head of Customer Support and Operations, Azimo. “So reassuring them when they get in touch and making them feel safe–and that their money is safe–is paramount.” Any delay in transactions, issues with accounts, or problems with a beneficiary collecting money, must be dealt with effectively and efficiently.
Operating in the fintech sector, Azimo had to ensure its customers could get in touch with its team quickly and easily, allowing agents to solve problems efficiently and offer reassurance to customers. A customer based in the UK could be trying to urgently send money back to her family in Germany, for example, and experience an issue logging into her account. Waiting in a lengthy telephone queue, having to explain the situation multiple times to different departments, or being transferred multiple times before reaching a German-speaking team, could negatively impact Azimo’s customer service reputation. If the transaction was urgent it could also have repercussions for the individual involved.
Integration of all channels of communication was crucial to ensuring conversations and connections between agents and customers are seamless and productive. This omnichannel model would ideally also include a means for customer service agents to share data and customer information across the company.
A growing company with growing customer expectations
Customer service agents at the company have all had extensive training to enable them to deliver the level of customer service Azimo had come to be known for. Customer queries must be listened to and empathised with, solutions must be quickly proposed, and the agent must get in touch with every team that could potentially contribute towards a solution. However, Azimo’s incumbent solution–from Freshdesk–didn’t offer the flexibility, data management and omnichannel capabilities required to meet the expectations of customers and the needs of a rapidly-growing business; in the space of just 12 months the company was to add at least 20 new employees to its team, bringing the number of agents up to 45. Neither did the solution meet the needs of Azimo’s customers, 80% of which were using the service via the app. Freshdesk did not offer an integrated chat solution via the app, so Azimo needed to use another platform for chat interactions: they ended up having their customer contact information stored on two different platforms. Thereby the company was held back from delivering the kind of omnichannel approach that its customers required.
February 2018 saw Azimo move away from Freshdesk and begin to integrate Zendesk’s customer service and engagement platform across its business. In addition to its customer support teams, Azimo’s compliance, operations and back-office teams also benefited from the tech upgrade. The initial set-up involved connecting its existing customer database to Zendesk, pushing emails, contacts and agent accounts to the platform, and building new rules for triggers, to determine what happens when agents receive a certain type of ticket. This means that if a customer calls from Spain, for example, they will automatically get transferred to the Spanish language team. Finally, Azimo was able to customise Zendesk’s platform to support eight different languages and 45 agents, who are able to handle over 20,000 customer engagements (including chat, tickets, emails and phone calls) every month.
Flexibility in fintech
“In order to keep everything running as it should and to keep customer service levels high, we were using three platforms at one stage!” explained Miodek. “Fortunately, the Zendesk platform is open, straightforward, and intuitive to use. The migration took about six months in total–which speaks volumes for the flexibility of the platform.”
The scalability of Zendesk’s platform enabled Azimo to pick and choose which support channels would best fit its business and integrate apps tailored to its employees’ (and its customers’) needs. The company began using Zendesk Talk, Support, Guide and Chat, building in the Round Robin and Out of Office apps. Round Robin now automates ticket allocation, limiting customer queue times and prioritising more urgent requests. The Out of Office tool manages the availability of agents and ensures that any tickets which are assigned to unavailable agents will be re-assigned and handled efficiently if updated by a customer.
An intuitive, integrated interface accessible to all Azimo team members supports this omnichannel approach, meaning interactions are smoother and less repetitive for the customer. Think back to the UK-based customer wanting to send money to her family in Russia: she might have initially had a chat conversation with Azimo, followed by a phone call. Making this chain of communication visible to all customer service agents allows the issue to be prioritised to whichever agent has a gap in their work scheduling. He or she is then able to pick up the chat query and view the customer’s information as soon as her phone call connects. The omnichannel model also enhances follow-up support services: after the call, the customer would automatically receive a Russian-language email, based on her profile information and historical interactions.
“The ability to integrate all communication channels into a single, unified platform was absolutely crucial for us,” said Miodek,. “Having everything in one place–including 14 percent of duplicate tickets–means the teams are no longer constantly switching between different platforms. They have more control over customer data–and, as a result, the customer experience.” Miodek continued, “We were also able to add Trustpilot to the mix, with public reviews consolidated with our workflow, and customer feedback handled as promptly as possible.” Being a relatively young company, “many customers weren’t familiar with our brand, so building trust was really important. Being able to view and manage public responses on Trustpilot played a huge role in growing that trust. Of course, streamlining our communications channels and problem-solving also helped position us as a trusted partner to our customers.” As a result, Azimo achieved a 9.0 rating on Trustpilot–well ahead of its competitors.
Azimo isn’t alone in being a young, growing company, working out how best to deliver for its customers. Using Zendesk’s SDK, Azimo also integrated SnapCall, which helped to further strengthen customer relations by providing a WebRTC (and therefore low-cost) communication channel which instantly displays the name and information of the agent and caller involved in the engagement.
“Like us, SnapCall was a new company just starting out,” said Miodek, Customer Service Team Lead, Azimo. “They were in the process of launching their service, so we worked collaboratively to shape and realise a shared vision of the ‘perfect’ customer experience. We built our own button for our website and worked with SnapCall to tailor it specifically to our needs. Now, we’re able to automate and filter customer calls, prioritise high-value calls, and provide our customers with one-click contact. It’s a win-win: the results for our business are clear, and SnapCall has benefitted from a shining example of what it can now offer new customers.”
These offerings include the ability to quickly handle end-user calls, while agents can easily manage the volume of work assigned to their team. Since introducing this service–as well as the other improvements supported by Zendesk–Azimo’s net promoter score for customer service went from negative up to +21 points in just a few months time.
At some point, we’ll likely all need to transfer money overseas. No matter the reasons or recipients, we’ll all need the same level of security, support, reassurance and problem solving capabilities. Adopting Zendesk has given Azimo the agility and control needed to grow its business, improve the lives of more money-sharers worldwide, and help its employees to dedicate more time to what really matters: getting money from A to B and delivering flawless customer support.
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