Advertising Specialty Institute
Discover how Advertising Specialty Institute created an efficient, scalable and multi-brand helpdesk.
The world's largest promotional product membership organization required a unified ticketing system that could intelligently manage support requests across multiple brands and departments.
Being the world's largest promotional product membership organization comes with a lot of responsibility. Promotional products make up a $22.9 billion industry, and it's no wonder why. Branded items like hats, T-shirts and bags are meaningful, portable advertisements that leave a firm impression - making them an absolutely boundless tool for building long-lasting brand awareness.
ASI supports this thriving industry through a number of ways, including a proprietary platform that links product suppliers with distributors, website creation services, and a range of award-winning industry publications. As well as maintaining a commitment to provide industry-leading services, ASI is also highly-committed to providing an excellent standard of support to its customers.
As Executive Director of Technical Product Support, Matt Goldfarb manages a team of over 20 dedicated support staff that service a diverse range of clients. "Our customers range from a one-person business to an enterprise organization with several-hundred people," explains Matt. "There are lots of different and complex aspects to the support we provide. Customers ask questions about the software, report issues, and request live video training. Every time we add new enhancements or features to our platform, we're constantly listening to feedback and communicating with the people who use it."
As an organization with a diverse range of services and clients, Matt and his team needed to ensure they could manage support interactions with both efficiency and excellence. Prior to using Deskpro, ASI was using a email management system called eGain to manage customer support interactions. "It wasn't a ticketing system, and that was my biggest concern. It was just a way to manage email," says Matt. "When I joined ASI over five years ago, my main goal was to bring a ticketing system into the organization."
With highly-specific needs for a ticketing system, Matt and his team went about looking for a solution that could meet a multitude of requirements. "We manage a number of separate brands, and it's important to us to keep these separate when it comes to tracking how customers interact with them," explains Matt. "This allows us to trace different entry points across our entire organization."
Matt and his team found that balancing segmented support with a unified system was difficult. The need to retain and harness the nuances between the way differentiated brands handled support was a high-priority for ASI, but finding a solution that could achieve this was seemingly more difficult than it should have been.
"We examined at least four or five different applications, including Freshdesk, Zendesk, and Desk.com," tells Matt. "We heavily vetted all those applications, and at the end of the day we found that Deskpro was the right choice for us. It was very difficult to find an application that could support our multiple branding."
Matt describes his frustrations with how other help desk software providers offer multibrand capability. "The pricing plan for multibrand capability included a lot of features that we didn't need. It doesn't make sense to charge so much for a feature that is necessary for the normal day-to-day workflow of a number of businesses," tells Matt. "After spending some time pushing hard to try and find a solution, they could not successfully handle multiple operational workflows. Deskpro could, and that's one of the main reasons we chose the platform." Another aspect of Deskpro that Matt highlighted was the pricing structure. "The pricing is competitive, realistic and straightforward. We were very happy with that."
After selecting Deskpro to become the new ticketing system and helpdesk for ASI, Matt and his colleagues considered deploying a self-hosted version of the software. "In the end, we decided to opt for the cloud version of Deskpro in order to reduce complexity for our technical team," explains Matt. "Still, we were impressed to see Deskpro give us the option to deploy as we saw fit."
During the implementation process, the Deskpro team worked closely with ASI to ensure the software was rolled out successfully and smoothly. "We really appreciated the onboarding process with Deskpro. All the people we worked with at Deskpro helped us get to the point we're at today," says Matt. "The team was very helpful and we felt like we had a great partnership at every step of the process. We have never felt invisible or lost in a sea of other customers."
After implementing Deskpro, Matt quickly found ASI could make full-use of multibrand live chat features. ASI used Deskpro to segment their incoming chats by brand and department, allowing for more streamlined support and sales operations. "Our sales team don't get support chats, and vice versa," says Matt. "Customers contacting us via our different brand pages automatically get connected to the most appropriate agents without having to go through a process that generates friction for them. That is a big win for us."
ASI quickly started to experience significant benefits in the realm of agent performance and efficiency. Using their old system, they found it almost impossible to improve and streamline the workflow of agents. "The one improvement that has been the most visible is the activity and output of each individual agent. Intelligent routing options make everything much more efficient. I have the lowest number of agents on my team for a couple of years, but we're able to maintain support requests effectively, because of Deskpro."
Another of the clear and measurable benefits ASI experienced from using Deskpro is the increased accountability the system delivers. Matt and his team use Deskpro's SLA function to track ticket response and resolution times. "We value being able to track metrics using the SLA function," says Matt. "We can better understand how customers are interacting with our organization using reports, and can tweak our training, resources and processes to meet standards."
After using Deskpro for over a year, Matt describes the amount of value ASI continue to receive from the platform. "I enjoy the consistent updates and releases from Deskpro. We selected Deskpro for the range of features it delivers as standard, and more are added on a regular basis," explains Matt. "We also provide feature suggestions and improvements to the Deskpro team using the feedback system on the portal."
"We've also learnt how to manage our knowledgebase in a truly effective way, too", says Matt. "It was only customer facing upon conceptualization, but now we have a completely internal knowledgebase that supports the agents in their learning and development."
"All-in-all, we are very happy with Deskpro," tells Matt. "I look forward to continuing to build our relationship with Deskpro and trying the new features that come out."
Over a year after deployment, Matt and ASI are now gearing up to roll Deskpro out to other departments. "Now that we have a few in-house Deskpro experts, we can easily deploy the platform across other departments," explains Matt. "This will enable us to work in a way that is much more joined-up than before."
"Without Deskpro, it would be very difficult to run customer support across various brands and departments in the way we do now. It would become a monstrous challenge to manage the day-to-day processes we rely on as a business. With Deskpro, we can always ensure customers get the support they need with ease."