Carousell + Zendesk: Expanding with multilingual self-service
Carousell’s 45-person support team solves 30,000 tickets a month. How? By allowing Answer Bot to deflect 24% of its general enquiries across six languages, agents can have better conversations over email and chat.
Founded by three friends in 2012, Carousell began in Singapore and is now one of the world’s largest and fastest growing marketplaces across Southeast Asia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. The company’s mobile app and website makes selling as easy as taking a photo, buying as simple as chatting. Carousell also lets buyers join communities of like-minded shoppers and explore a curated selection of new and secondhand goods in categories ranging from cars and real estate to baby clothing and household goods.
The company has experienced explosive growth thanks to its seamless shopping and selling experience, its vibrant community of buyers and sellers, and a focus on delivering fast, friendly customer service.
That relentless focus on the customer inspired Chloe Ng, internal products specialist, to join the company in 2017.
“I’ve been a Carousell user for years. So naturally, I was very excited when I saw a job posting at the company,” Ng said. “It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to work for a company and also be a member of the community it has created.”
Carousell taps the power of its community
Previously, Carousell used another platform to manage customer support tickets, but the team realized the solution didn’t scale to the company’s needs. As a result, Carousell faced slower response times and lagging CSAT scores, trends that were exacerbated by a slow, manual tagging process that was prone to user error. Meanwhile, the lack of customization meant Carousell couldn’t easily collect information it needed from customers to solve their problems.
After switching to Zendesk in 2017, Ng’s team was finally able to create custom forms to collect the information that agents need, automatically tag tickets, and route them to the right agents.
“Zendesk is a great fit because we needed something that would scale, had more opportunities to automate, more opportunities to customize, and more opportunities to collect customer data,” Ng said. “This means we can spend more time helping customers and less time manually trafficking tickets and cleaning up tagging errors.”
Carousell has grown its community by putting buyers and sellers at the heart of everything it does. In fact, when the company is adding new features, it bases many of its decisions on feedback that comes directly from its customers.
To keep that focus on the customer, Carousell employs a team of 21 agents based in Carousell’s office in the Philippines and a BPO in Malaysia that provides support in six languages. One of the most powerful ways that Ng and her team deliver the exceptional service that Carousell prides itself on is with automation and triggers in Zendesk Support.
Knowledge fuels Carousell’s support operations
Carousell has also scaled its operations by investing heavily in both internal and external knowledge bases via Answer Bot and Zendesk Guide.
Guide gives Carousell’s team of agents a shared source of information so they’re able to quickly and easily access what they need to solve customer problems. It’s also a way to ensure that agents working in different locations are working off the same information and can share best practices.
Guide also powers Carousell’s customer-facing knowledge base, a primary factor in the team’s ability to scale. A majority of the questions Carousell receives are straightforward and transactional, like how to create an account or how to accept payments. This is where Answer Bot comes into play: it guides customers to relevant help center articles, which in turn drives ticket deflection.
“We give customers the tools to help themselves,” said Ng, who notes that Answer Bot serves Carousell customers in English, Chinese, and Indonesian. “This means customers are able to solve their problems faster, and our agents are free to focus on more complex problems.”
This investment in self-service tools has been a boon for Carousell’s support team. The help center currently receives more than a million views a month, and Answer Bot responses have a 22 percent click-through rate. As a result, the company is able to successfully deflect 24 percent of inbound general enquiries, and 7 percent of all incoming requests.
And since the team spends less time on low-level requests, it has been able to dramatically improve its response time—77 percent of the 30,000 monthly tickets are answered in less than 24 hours.
Keeping customers safe in a pandemic
Carousell used Guide to help users navigate the difficulties of buying and selling after COVID-19 impacted people’s ability to meet up to complete transactions. The company was able to quickly create articles in the help center that gave users tips on how to buy and sell safely in a socially distanced world.
Carousell works closely with Zendesk’s customer success team to find new ways to improve its customer service programs. It’s something that Lavone Toh, the company’s business process improvement manager, looks forward to every month.
“We love working with the Zendesk customer success team,” said Toh, who adds that Carousell has begun to evaluate adding Zendesk Sunshine. “They have great suggestions for how to scale our operations and help us see where we stand in terms of industry benchmarks. I know whenever I have a question, they’re there to help.”