"Live chat was a huge step for us...It has been a revelation!"
- Tim McMinn
Training and Support Manager - Connective
% Live Chat Volume
The customer service team at Connective readily admits they didn’t want to offer live chat. But when they did, appeasing customer demand, they brokered their best deal yet and completely replaced their phone support.
Connective is an Australian cloud-based mortgage aggregator that brokers use to offer their clients the best price. Headquartered in Melbourne and with offices across Australia, Connective works with more than 2,700 leading mortgage brokers around the country. Today, one in every eleven houses in Australia is sold through Connective.
While Connective’s award-winning software platform and simple monthly pricing model is key to the company’s rapid growth, so is their customer service. Tim McMinn, training and support manager at Connective, believes that their support does, and should, differentiate them from the competition.
“Connective is more than the software platform, our people are really our success,” said McMinn. “We offer a team of experts spanning all areas of mortgage broking as part of our service, so providing the best support and service for our customer is vital.”
Connective works with mortgage brokers to offer support on lenders, aggregation, fraud prevention, compliance, risk support, and more.
“Our team members are experts in their fields, but they also need to be customer service experts,” explained McMinn. “The support and services we provide are really aimed at making the brokers’ jobs easier and to help them manage the many balls they have in the air.”
Connective started using Zendesk Support in 2009. At that time they received about 200 customer enquiries per month, primarily through email. But as the company continued to grow, consciously placing customer service at the heart of its success, it realised that email and phone weren’t the only mediums through which customers wanted to contact them.
The team worked on building a customer Help Centre so that customers could self-serve, and then, despite some internal resistance, rolled out Zendesk Chat.Connective has steadily seen live chat grow to become their most efficient and popular support channel.
“Live chat was a huge step for us; I was reluctant and I also received a lot of push back from the team,” McMinn admitted. “But we quickly changed our tune when we realised just how quickly we can deal with customer queries. It has been a revelation!”
The Connective team can now respond to customer enquiries far more quickly than they were previously able to do. Brokers no longer need to wait a day for a response to email and the support team is handling multiple chats at a time, improving overall efficiency.
The savings in time have also added up to some large business savings. McMinn had planned to hire an additional three people for his team, in order to help scale volume, but once they began offering live chat, realized they didn’t need to. The team today includes 10 agents on live chat and 24 on email support.
When it comes to talking about live chat, Connective has transformed from a group of skeptics to champions for the channel. “Using chat, you get more context because it’s one person asking a number of different questions, compared to one ticket being raised with one question via email, going back the next day with a suggestion, waiting for the customer to respond, then going back the next day. Live chat is just that—it’s live,” McMinn said.
The channel has proven so popular with both customers and the team—in part for the gains they’ve seen, and in part for its ease of use—that they made the bold decision to stop providing voice support. McMinn explained, “We experimented one day by offering our old customer phone number again. One agent spent seven hours that day trying to resolve a single customer query, so we promptly removed the general number again.”
McMinn and his team initially set a goal for how many queries they would handle through live chat. The team felt that 30 percent of their volume seemed realistic, and anything above 35 percent would be pushing it. But after only eight weeks, they were handling 40 percent of enquiries through live chat and today are handling up to 50 percent of their volume through the channel.
Live chat has been so beneficial to Connective’s customer service team that Connective plans to roll it out to their commissions department next, followed by their marketing and compliance teams. That way, a broker expecting a commission can find out what the numbers are almost instantly.