How Roadpost uses Deskpro to deliver scalable tech support for lifesaving devices.
Satellite communications specialist Roadpost has to provide tech support for sophisticated devices that can be critical to the safety of their customers. With a subscriber base of over 25,000, Roadpost relies on Deskpro to provide efficient support and encourage self-service.
Roadpost sells and rents satellite phones and data equipment, and provides subscription and prepaid airtime services. Its customer base includes enterprises in sectors like utilities and natural resources management, with employees who work beyond the reach of the cellphone grid, and outdoor adventurists like hikers and round-the-World sailors.
High quality tech support is particularly important in this sector, because to Roadpost's customers, reliable functioning of these devices can be a matter of life and death.
John Issa, Director of Operations at Roadpost, explains: "People who carry satellite communication devices are doing it because it is their only method of communication. It needs to work; they rely on the ability to have a two-way conversation. Some of the equipment we sell provides a button for declaring an SOS. It is life-saving equipment when it comes to a lot of enterprise accounts."
Alongside 24/7 phone support with both in-house and outsourced call centers, Roadpost used to take email directly from customers. But two years ago, as the business grew, managing the volume of email using Outlook became impossible."
"When they used to email us, it went into dedicated email boxes that were managed by individuals. So one person might have responsibility for a customer care inbox, another person would have responsibility for a tech support inbox. And we had email addresses on all our marketing collateral and guides."
"The problem with that was that there was no visibility into the volume of emails that were coming in. We had no visibility into the effectiveness and the responsiveness of an individual staff member on email. We would get contacted by customers who had emailed requests for certain things that had never been actioned, and we were none the wiser."
Roadpost needed a better way to monitor their customer communications. The company needed full visibility of what their support staff were doing and whether they were meeting service standards. Another requirement was the ability to separate incoming tickets into departments, so that collections, technical support, customer care and corporate care requests could each be handled by the right member of staff.
After evaluating "half-a-dozen different providers" on 300 different features, John Issa says, they found that Deskpro was the best solution for their needs.
"The visibility, the SLA (service level agreement] setting, the accountability, the categorization, the reporting on the volume that's coming in, all of those things were enabled by Deskpro. It basically took our customer support capabilities and tripled our capacity overnight; it drastically enhanced what we can do."
Some routine procedures could be handled by Deskpro's automation, freeing up staff time. "With some corporate contracts, there is a requirement for immediate acknowledgement when they send us an email or a ticket. Through Deskpro we were able to setup an automatic notification that could be customized, and tells the sender, 'Hey, we've got your message. One of our staff will be responding to you within the next business day.'"
Another reason for selecting Deskpro was the ability to provide a public knowledgebase. Roadpost has built up a comprehensive collection of over 480 articles, arranged in a product-based category hierarchy.
"The top level goal for our knowledgebase is to steer the customer to some level of self-help, because in order for our business to scale, we need customers to have access to online-based resources that allow them to answer their own questions. We're always going to be available to them through phone or email. But what we find in our industry is that most of the questions that come in on any type of post-sale support or technical issue can be solved by a knowledgebase article."
Deskpro's integration between the knowledgebase and the ticket and chat systems makes it easy for Roadpost support agents to send article links out to customers.
As Roadpost's growing business approaches 25,000 subscribers, they have been able to keep the size of their customer service staff flat, with only seven Deskpro agents.
The knowledgebase helps Roadpost scale by enabling them to steer customers towards self-help. Deskpro's integrated reporting shows the Roadpost knowledgebase gets 2000 to 3000 knowledgebase hits per month. John Issa estimates that 20-25% of those hits prevent an incoming ticket or phone call.
Roadpost also uses Deskpro's custom fields to classify tickets and evaluate which topics are the top drivers of support requests.
"As we started to collect data, we realized 30% of our billing inquiries have to do with people wanting to make changes to their payment types, they want to update their credit card number, they want to change their expiry date, when they have their own capability to do it online on their individual accounts.
"So that took us to the next stage, where we started to create "how to articles and add links onto invoices to tell customers, "Here's how you update your payment information. And that has started to drive a decrease in the amount of emails coming in."
Deskpro's integrated chat support is another way that Roadpost has achieved scalability.
"An agent can only take one phone call at a time but they can have three or four chats going at the same time. I love the fact that our staff can have chats amongst themselves internally while they're chatting with a customer if they need to get support from a peer in-house."
John Issa emphasises that having an integrated platform is crucial to Roadpost's plans to improve their customer service and support more customers without needing to add extra staff.
"The ability to be able to know how you want to analyze things and what you want to do about them to improve the customer experience, to improve the customer education, to improve the capability of your internal staff, to be able to offer all-in-one solutions with a ticketing system, a resource center, knowledgebase and a chat capability all inside one platform is paramount and we're seeing the benefits of it."
He also praised the platform's rapid pace of development. "Deskpro in general has a very proactive attitude to continuous improvement. I value the fact that you guys continuously evolve, and the most valuable element of your evolution is that you take what customers recommend and find ways of implementing them.”