How Suncorp’s digital service arm seamlessly manages customer enquiries

Bingle's online self-service capability is leveraging the latest technology offering as part of its customer enquiry mission to reach ‘zero cries for help’

Brand customer service principal and customer service deliver leader, Thomas Heib reveals how Bingle slashed a backlog of customer enquiry tickets and boosted customer engagement with Zendesk
Brand customer service principal and customer service deliver leader, Thomas Heib reveals how Bingle slashed a backlog of customer enquiry tickets and boosted customer engagement with Zendesk
  • Brand customer service principal and customer service deliver leader, Thomas Heib reveals how Bingle slashed a backlog of customer enquiry tickets and boosted customer engagement with Zendesk
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Bingle, created by Suncorp to meet the customer service demands for an online-only digital brand, has transformed into a largely self-service business after implementing a new customer service management technology aimed at achieving ‘zero cries for help’.

According to the brand's customer service principal and customer service deliver leader, Thomas Heib, Bingle was seeing a huge backlog of ticketed customer enquiries and using a very basic inbox system to manage interactions.

“Before Zendesk, we were primitive in a way, and were just using Microsoft software like Outlook,” he said. “Bingle is online so most of our customers use self-service options, but if something breaks or they need help, previously they would send an email and we would help them with that enquiry from a typical team inbox.

“As you can imagine, it wasn’t the most ideal way to manage customer enquiries – because you can’t really track each enquiry, there are also no reportables around interactions, nor is it a very efficient way to handle customer interactions.”

Bingle set out to find a way to improve customer self-service capabilities, make customer interactions more measurable and use those interactions to better understand feedback from customers and how to support them.

“We wanted to improve our customer experience, not only from an online perspective as well as from every customer touchpoint – so that they could get the help they needed as quickly as possible,” Heib said.

The service and analytics answer

The solution was to roll out Zendesk's customer service suite paired with Inbenta’s Backstage Analytics. The combination gave the team measurable information and a better understanding about what customers search for online, common requests, and where they tend to get stuck in the customer request process.

Heib said this helped Bingle make the entire process more customer centric. In addition, his team is using Zendesk-powered Help Centre to create content that is easy to read, search and track for customers.

“One of the things Zendesk offers in its palette of tools is a help centre and we spent a very long time optimising that help centre for our customers,” he explained. “Previously, we had no reportables or any account of how quickly we were getting back to our customers – or what they thought about our content. And when it came to the customer experience, we felt Zendesk offered so much to improve it.”

In terms of implementation and training, Heib said integration was seamless with Bingle’s other internal structures.

“Our offerings and all our touchpoints and internal systems can be quite complex, and we were thrilled and amazed at how easily and quickly Zendesk has integrated with everything,” he said. “We have everything from social media to customer feedback, regular emails, online interactions - everything comes through our Zendesk tool seamlessly.

“Training staff on navigating and understanding the new software was also easy, with staff attending a one day training session, which is now also integrated into new staff induction. And visually, Zendesk is very easy to follow, there are a lot of step-by-step guides.”

Removing the backlog

In fewer than six months, Bingle has gone from a lengthy first response time and a huge backlog in customer interactions, to a first reply time of six to seven hours and no backlog in customer interactions.

“One of the greatest benefits we’ve seen as a result of implementing Zendesk is that we’ve been able to show weekly improvements as we’re able to track how quickly we’re getting back to customers. We're also able to get feedback from customers by sending a survey after every customer ticket to ask we went,” Heib said. “As a result, we found we now have customer satisfaction rating over 85 per cent and we’ve also been able to action customer interactions and track how quickly we respond – we can even now make promises we can solve problems within 24 hours.”

Heib and his team at Bingle are now aiming to get to ‘zero cries for help’. He believes Zendesk and Inbenta will allow the brand to get to zero and be a truly digital, self-service business.

“We’re not customer advocates, we’re customer avatars – we don’t speak for the customer, we are the customer,” he claimed. “So if the customer has an issue, we take that on – we don’t just advocate or speak on behalf of them, we live out that issue to get it fixed.”

The future of webchats and predictive AI

After a rapid turn around in customer service fuelled by technology, Bingle is now planning to implement live chat into the Bingle website in 2017.

“This is all part of the mission to get to zero cries for help – we want to be there for our customers when they need us, and we also don’t want to be a barrier for them to do something," Heib said. "We don’t want any system limitations or any UI limitations or self-service limitations for a customer to anything they need to do online.”

Bingle also recently implemented Answer Bot, which it calls Bingle-Bot, an AI enabled software that integrates with Zendesk and can predict a customer enquiry and submit an answer before they even submit a ticket.

“We’re about dedicating to provide an experience that is purely customer driven,” Heib said. “Every month, we’re getting better and better at removing blockages and implementing Zendesk, Inbenta, Answer Bot and web chat is all leading us into an exciting space of zero cries for help.”

Read more of CMO's case studies on improving customer experience engagement:

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