US Autoparts is an eCommerce giant in the automobile aftermarket industry. Through the company’s network of websites they reach approximately 10 million online customers per month, providing over 1 million high quality vehicle parts.
91% of their $289 million revenue in 2019 was generated through the company’s websites and online marketplaces, so a well-functioning online operation is critical to the success of the company.
A customer support headache
Providing excellent customer support is a strategic priority for US Autoparts and an area they identified to differentiate themselves from their competitors and gain a competitive advantage.
They had a problem though: several million online customers inevitably generate a large volume of tickets and managing these was proving extremely difficult. Head of customer support Tristan Catahan explains how they managed the process:
“We responded to buyer messages directly in our marketplaces’ Message Centers, kept track of those messages and dealt with multiple windows and multiple accounts for multiple stores. The process was incredibly cumbersome.”
Not only was the process of answering customer queries a headache for the support team, but measuring and improving customer support activity was a painstaking process for management:
“Our team leads would have to log in and out of different accounts throughout the day to monitor productivity using Excel trackers.”
You can imagine the volume of incoming customer questions that come from 10 million customers every month. Dealing with each one from either My eBay, Amazon Seller Central or your email service provider gets very messy very quickly!
With the company embarking on a strategic initiative to improve their customer service, fixing this operational mess was a priority!
Step 1: Create a single location for support
Tristin was searching for help desks to provide a single location for all incoming messages and eDesk’s eCommerce focus grabbed his attention.
Unlike other helpdesks, eDesk is built specifically for online retailers so it was a perfect fit for US Autoparts. Its native integrations with Amazon, eBay and every other major marketplace, along with shopping cart and inventory management software, meant that US Autoparts didn’t need to add apps, plugins or use other programs as you’d need to with other helpdesks. eDesk simplified US Autoparts’ customer service process pretty much overnight.
“eDesk has consolidated all of our individual messaging platforms into one centralized mailbox. Now each issue comes in as one ticket, so we no longer have to dig through multiple inboxes and threads.”
As well as enabling US Autoparts to find order from the chaos of multiple programs and messaging channels, it has delivered serious improvements in a multitude of other aspects of their customer service function, notably customer support response time, productivity and teamwork.
Step 2: Enable teamwork and collaboration
An important feature of customer service optimization involves empowering agents to collaborate with each other. If agents can involve their teammates easily when help is needed to resolve a ticket, significant time-savings can be unlocked.
US Autoparts found eDesk was the perfect environment for collaboration:
“Collaborating with team members on the platform is incredibly easy. To loop a teammate into a conversation, you can simply tag them with eDesk’s “mention” function. The platform creates engagement among team members by clearly displaying all messages in a thread, and allowing agents to see how their fellow team members respond to different messages.”
In addition to the collaboration that’s possible with open tickets, eDesk makes it possible to automatically route incoming tickets to the best suited support agents, making the allocation of team resources completely seamless.
Step 3: Data and reporting fosters success
Being data-driven is an imperative for large eCommerce companies at the top of their game and for US Autoparts, it’s no different.
The ability to accurately assess which areas of their customer service operation needed improvement, setting realistic targets, coaching agents and then measuring progress was a strategic imperative for US Autoparts.
eDesk’s dashboards and reporting features provide the perfect analytical environment for the company to grow:
“Reporting has been a fundamental resource for our team leads, empowering them with much more informative reports that they’re able to utilize when coaching agents. Through eDesk, we’ve been able to really optimize our operations.”
eDesk integrates so much functionality within the platform. It’s given us greater visibility of our email volume and SLA, allowing us to focus on areas where we can further improve agent productivity and efficiency.”
Step 4: Time is money: save it whenever possible
If creating a single location for support, building teamwork and enabling data-driven decisions is the foundation for success, saving time is the pay-off. This is where US Autoparts would be able to save on support costs and see the benefit to their bottom line.
One of the unique time-saving features that attracted US Autoparts to eDesk is the magic button feature. eDesk’s A.I. analyzes millions of customer support interactions to suggest a personalized response that’s ready to be sent in just one click (the magic button!)
Some tickets require a bit more delving into in order to resolve, and in those instances agents can respond manually. It’s very often the case however, that customer support queries are similar in nature and typing out the same response again and again is a tiresome chore that eDesk eliminates in seconds!
Users can personalize eDesk’s automation features to each business’ needs like a glove. US Autoparts did exactly this:
“eDesk’s smart features auto-predict your text so you can easily set up templates and use “Snippets” (or shortcut keys) to pull in your customers’ names, order numbers, etc. This helps us work much more efficiently and ensure that we respond to our customers in a timely manner.”
After using eDesk for only six months, US Autoparts saw an immediate improvement in their key customer support metrics:
“Since using eDesk we’ve experienced a 10.3% reduction of ticket handle time and an increase in emails handled per day of 12%. eDesk has greatly improved agent efficiency and boosted productivity, which aids in forecasting and staffing projections.”
For a Nasdaq listed company like US Autoparts that deals with tickets from over 10 million customers every month, a 10% reduction in handle time per ticket is a considerable saving.
eDesk helped US Autoparts to transform their online customer support by providing a single location for all their incoming messages from every online marketplace they sell on, as well as encouraging teamwork and creating a data-driven culture. This enabled them to slash their support ticket handling time by over 10% per customer.
David Melanie, Chief Financial Officer & Chief Operating Officer, explains the difference that eDesk has made to US Autoparts’ customer support
“We had been looking for a platform for three years to centralize and streamline our eBay and Amazon customer service processes. Since the implementation of eDesk, our customer service team has been much more efficient in answering our customers’ pre- and post-purchase queries.
I highly recommend this platform if you’re looking to improve your customer service metrics and to provide customers with quick, effectual responses to their product needs.”