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Bitly boosts productivity with Agent Workspace and Ada chatbot

Shortened URL links and QR codes have become mainstays in the marketing world, thanks to Bitly. The popular Connections Platform made Zendesk Suite Enterprise the hub of its entire support organization, uniting multiple teams to deliver a stronger and faster customer experience. Rolling out Agent Workspace with AI-powered self-service propelled the team to achieve shorter ticket resolution time and higher agent productivity.

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Bitly
“Zendesk is really the hub of our entire support operation. Everything builds off of that. If we can just integrate something with Zendesk, then we've got this magical pipeline of data and information.”

Brad Harris

Global Customer Support Director - Bitly

“We saw a real improvement in the agent’s ability to iterate on their workflows and an increase in the number of one-touch tickets that could be solved with macros. We became much more efficient and successful on Zendesk.”

Brad Harris

Global Customer Support Director - Bitly

Company Headquarters

New York, New York

Employees

125+

Company founded

2008

Started Using Zendesk

2016

30%

Increase in agent efficiency

+4.5%

Increase in average CSAT

-22%

Decrease in full resolve time

23K

Average monthly tickets

Bitly is the world’s leading Connections Platform, providing a way for brands and businesses to build more meaningful connections with their audiences both online and offline. Bitly empowers millions of monthly active users and hundreds of thousands of customers globally to use branded links, custom QR Codes, and link-in-bio solutions as a trusted way for engaging their audiences and delivering critical notifications, information, and experiences.

The onset of the 2020 pandemic brought a new surge of contactless menus and QR codes into people’s lives. Ever since, QR codes have been cropping up everywhere, from billboards and pop-up ads to the Oscars ceremony and Disney+ Marvel series. “The real opportunity for QR codes and short links just keeps growing, for individuals as well as large companies and large campaigns. We’re seeing more people use it in really clever ways,” says Brad Harris, Bitly’s Global Customer Support Director.

“Zendesk is the hub of our entire support operation”

Service teams are being called upon more than ever to manage business changes in the fast-paced tech world and in periods of economic uncertainty. In response, Harris is focused on increasing team productivity without extra headcount and reducing ticket volume while maintaining excellent service. Since 2016, Bitly has been using Zendesk to meet those challenges, while providing fast, personalized, and high-quality support.

“Zendesk is really the hub of our entire support operation. Everything builds off of that,” says Harris. “It’s where our support teams live, between Zendesk and Slack. If we can just integrate something with Zendesk, then we’ve got this magical pipeline of data and information.”

Harris is also a fan of Zendesk’s proactive messaging functionality and has begun implementation, so the team can send updates and alerts, get ahead of customer issues, and deliver more personalized service.

Multiple teams at Bitly rely on Zendesk functionality to provide a strong customer experience, but it’s primarily used by the Connections Platform and QR Code Generator support function, and the finance team. In addition to leveraging the Suite Enterprise support ticketing and help center, Bitly also uses Sprout Social to funnel Twitter tickets into Zendesk.

Bitly

Quick time to value + long-term agility

Bitly activated Agent Workspace in 2022 in an effort to stay ahead of their technology integration efforts for QR Code Generator, a Bitly product, and the Connections Platform. The team enjoyed a smooth transition to the new ticketing system, in part because Harris set up custom workspaces in advance. “There was very little drama or difficulty moving to the Agent Workspace,” recalls Harris. “The agents were actually excited to try new things, and I know that’s not always the case when using a new tool or a process.”

Prior to being acquired by Bitly, QR Code Generator had been using Intercom. To facilitate the transition to Zendesk, Harris hosted shadow sessions with agents to expose them to Agent Workspace for daily use. To prepare the Connections Platform, already seasoned users of Zendesk, he shared help center articles on seamless adoption to Agent Workspace and created a Sandbox testing environment in the new workspace.

Harris also attributes the ease of implementation to the CX platform’s user-friendly nature and support documentation, noting that “Zendesk has always done a great job of providing materials and instructions in preparation for changes like this. It’s just like most things in Zendesk: drag and drop.” Better yet, this newfound agility will empower Bitly well into the future. “Arming the team with a nimble mindset has made them more prepared to adopt new processes and features.”

Creating more efficiency with Agent Workspace

With Agent Workspace, the teams gained access to new features and the ability to easily identify customer context and history without toggling between different tools or tabs. Having a full customer-centric view has improved the speed at which agents track and resolve customer issues.

“Now that we’re able to see duplicate tickets on the same subject, we can ensure that two agents are not answering the same question in different ways,” explains Harris. “It’s easier to find information in the customer history and narrow down what’s most important in handling that ticket.” The team can now work seamlessly across Zendesk channels, all within a single ticket interface, leading to greater efficiency.

The proof is in the metrics. Following the implementation of Agent Workspace, agents are now able to handle 30 percent more tickets and the full resolution time for those tickets has dropped 22 percent.

The new Zendesk users supporting QR code excelled quickly, despite facing rapidly growing ticket numbers soon after migrating–a time when any interruption or slowdown can easily create a backlog. Harris notes, “We had a big spike in August when we ripped the bandage off and it speaks volumes to the adaptability and effectiveness of our team, coupled with the preparations we did while building out the platform.”

“The ramp up time was drastically reduced,” adds Harris. “We expected it to take two months for agents to get back to their standard pace. Three to four weeks in, they were knocking out the same volume of ticket resolutions, if not more.”

Bitly

Contextual workspaces to promote productivity

Zendesk’s flexibility proved essential for QR Code Generator and the Connections Platform. According to Harris, “One of the key functionalities in Zendesk is being able to have contextual workspaces. Depending on who you are, which groups you belong to, the agent interface on Zendesk can have a different look and feel.”

In order to meet GDPR compliance and visibility standards, Bitly needed to make sure that a specific third-party app and the information within it was only visible to the QR Code Generator agents and not to the entire company. Using Agent Workspace made it easy to keep those functions separate and set each team up for success with the most efficient workflow.

“We’re dealing with 20,000 to 30,000 tickets a month, so agents need to know exactly where to go and what to click, so they can move on to the next ticket,” says Harris. QR Code Generator created more than 800 macros and the Connections Platform built another 150 macros to help streamline ticketing and drive agent productivity. “We saw a real improvement in the agent’s ability to iterate on their workflows and an increase in the number of one-touch tickets that could be solved with macros. We became much more efficient and successful on Zendesk.”

Leave simple requests to the bots

With a steady influx of support tickets, Harris has made efficiency and automation his top goals for the future. He ses AI-powered self-service as a smart way to reduce overall ticket volume and reduce Bitly’s dependence on a BPO for handling entry-level tickets, without adding headcount.

“We don’t have phone support. We don’t have the bandwidth to provide live chat support for QR Code Generator,” says Harris. “Investing in an AI chatbot is going to give us an exponential improvement in customer satisfaction, speed, and quality.” So, he set to work rolling out an Ada integration on the help centers. “It was the natural evolution to show off our robust help center. We also want to be able to answer quick questions using a chatbot, because we’ve trained it to respond the same way a support agent or a friend might.”

The result? Maintaining a bot on the help centers not only drives faster resolution, it allows the team to address hands-on requests that require more critical thinking. “Now we can shave off time for agents so they’re doing work that requires human interaction, and leave the billing requests or refunds to the bots.” As more customers are directed to the help center, Bitly is seeing higher ticket deflection while saving time, thus increasing overall ROI.