Limeade facilitates global expansion with Zendesk
A move to Zendesk empowered Limeade’s customer support team as an agile, strategic partner to the wider business. With advanced reporting capabilities, integrations with Salesforce and Azure DevOps, and apps to support the technical team, Limeade has reduced its first response time and kept agent headcount static while supporting global expansion and user growth.
“One of the reasons that Zendesk was so appealing was the fact that it connects to a lot of other systems. Being a technology company, it was crucial that we had the capability to be able to grow with other services.”
"Zendesk has enabled us to run our own internal enablement initiatives to help develop and train our internal teams so they feel empowered and confident supporting our customers. They have the tools and knowledge they need to do a great job.”
Number of users
Decrease in first response time
Decrease in time to resolve technical tickets
Reduction in escalation rate
Time to implementation
Limeade is a well-being software company that helps build great places to work. A pioneer in the world of HR technology, Limeade helps companies amplify care for their employees every day in order to deliver improved people results. The events of 2020 highlighted the crucial importance of its mission to improve employee well-being and engagement in workplaces all around the world. Over the last two years, the company has more than risen to the challenge of helping their 2 million+ users navigate unprecedented changes to the new way of work. True to its SaaS roots, Limeade has continued to innovate and develop its product and service offerings, launching over 25 new features in the last year alone. Pair this with the acquisition of three new companies and an ambitious strategy for global expansion, and it’s clear to see why the priority for Limeade has been agility.
Customer service should be as agile as the wider business
The customer support team at Limeade play a crucial role in the product feedback loop that helps drive company growth. To ensure that valuable feedback is communicated in a timely fashion, it’s vital that the team operates with the same agility as other departments. “All of our teams need to run at the same rate, otherwise people and information get left behind,” explained Ryan Putnam, director of customer service. “I need to be able to be just as agile as our product team. I need to be able to do that same thing for our support group and do it in a scalable fashion.”
Without the right customer service solution, achieving and maintaining this agility is easier said than done. Before moving to Zendesk, Limeade struggled with Salesforce’s complexity and couldn’t adapt, or make changes in customer service without specialist developer resources. With one big ticket queue, limited metrics, and inefficient escalation procedures it was difficult to prioritize, understand pain points, or improve the customer experience. “The ability to spot trends was just non-existent. We had no way of tracking overarching issues that affected the business. I didn’t feel like I had the tools and resources to effectively influence changes that would ultimately serve our users better,” Putnam explained. “It was difficult to know where to actually focus my time and energy to make positive changes.” As a result, the customer support team found themselves forced to make strategic decisions based on ad hoc anecdotal information.
Zendesk brings Limeade agility and the power to scale efficiently
Making the necessary changes to the existing customer support platform required time and resources that the team just didn’t have. So Putnam began looking for an alternative vendor.
Any new partner needed to have self-serve functionality. Putnam knew that his team received a large amount of simple inquiries, including registration and password reset requests. Responding to these straightforward requests was slowing agents down. A knowledge-based tool that empowered customers to self-serve would free the team up to focus on more complex or higher value conversations. So that’s where he began. “One of the things I really appreciate about Zendesk compared to other tools, is that you can start simple and then grow over time. We actually started with just the knowledge base and gradually migrated the team over. That walk, crawl, run approach allowed us to really manage the change of shifting to a new tool. Zendesk has been able to keep up with what we’ve needed to accomplish as a service organization.”
Putnam built out a proof of concept demonstrating the value of Zendesk to the wider business in just two days. With a small team he began building out the knowledge center with relevant articles and pushed the web widget live. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with customers choosing to self-serve rather than submitting tickets. The knowledge base now supports six teams across the entire business, in multiple languages. The localization of help center articles has been particularly significant, providing a global customer base with a seamless experience from product to knowledge center.
Zendesk quickly became Limeade’s customer service backbone, empowering the team to innovate at the same rate as the rest of the business and scale efficiently. The results speak for themselves. With Zendesk Suite, Guide, and Gather in their corner, Limeade has been able to increase its user base by 60 percent without needing to increase customer support headcount.
An agile, distributed workforce powered by Zendesk
While Limeade had operated with remote working prior to the events of 2020, when all staff began working from home, Putnam was confident that they had the structures and processes in place to support a fully distributed workforce. “We didn’t miss a beat as far as being able to support our customers. Zendesk helped us with the security piece, too. We knew all of our systems would be secure whether staff were accessing them from home or at the office.”
Enhanced reporting and visibility meant that Putnam could continue to support and manage his remote team effectively. “We use an app to create lots of custom views in Explore and organize them in a way that enables managers to quickly and easily monitor performance and identify hotspots. We were able to keep a pulse on things without having to look over someone’s shoulder the whole time.”
Bringing the visibility needed to be a strategic partner to the rest of the business
Through everything the last year has brought Limeade—from product releases to acquisitions—the customer care team has remained its source of truth for making key strategic decisions quickly.
Before Zendesk, the Limeade team felt they were operating in the dark. Now the team is able to quickly pivot as they identify new trends and opportunities. The customer care team often identifies new metrics or issues to track, builds out the mechanisms needed, and is reporting on them substantively in less than a month. Putnam described a scenario that clearly demonstrated the value of such a flexible, easy-to-use platform. “I asked a new hire to take a look at the hot spots in the team backlog. He suggested a simple change that I could make in five minutes and our backlog decreased by 20 percent.”
On the back of enhanced customizable reporting and visibility into incoming requests, the team has found ways to increase its efficiency, for example by establishing separate, specialist teams dedicated to supporting end users and system administrators. This has led to a 30+ percent decrease in escalations and a better experience for Limeade’s primary customers.
Ultimately, increased reporting capabilities and agility empowers the customer support team as a strategic partner to the product team. By quickly updating support processes to accommodate product releases and capturing and communicating product feedback, customer support is empowering the product team to continue to innovate and improve, which ultimately benefits their users.
Putnam provided an example of this partnership in action. “We were upgrading customers to a new product and noticed a high associated escalation rate. A deep dive into the spike revealed that several in-house tools were missing some critical information. This was quickly fed back to the product team who were able to make the necessary changes, cutting the escalation result in half.”
Strategic integrations drive improvements across the board
The ability of Zendesk to connect and work well with Limeade’s other business critical tools has been a big win for the customer care team. “One of the reasons that Zendesk was so appealing was the fact that it connects to a lot of other systems. Being a technology company, it was crucial that we had the capability to be able to grow with other services.”
Limeade leveraged Zendesk’s out-of-the-box integration with Salesforce, enabling customer success reps to see historical and open tickets associated with customer accounts, informing their account management strategies.
An app connecting Support to the Azure Devops tool used by Limeade’s development team has helped facilitate a quicker, smoother experience for customers submitting technical tickets. The app automatically creates an Azure Devops ticket for the technical team and feeds updates back into Zendesk. “That made a huge improvement to the time it took for us to resolve those types of tickets—dropping by 35 percent.”
Through mobile SDKs, Limeade has also been able to extend its customer care footprint into its app, so they can continue meeting the customer wherever they are.
A significant ROI and and support for expansion
“Moving to Zendesk is going to save us money in the long run,” Putnam commented. “With more repeatable processes, macros, automations, triggers, and better insights, we can reduce our incoming volume. And with the translation and localization capabilities supporting our global strategy, it will pay for itself.”
But one of the biggest benefits of investing in Zendesk has been the positive impact on Limeade’s own employees. “That’s been really important to me,” Putnam explained. “As a company focused on employee well-being, how do we make sure that we’re providing the right level of support to our agents? Zendesk has enabled us to run our own internal enablement initiatives to help develop and train our internal teams so they feel empowered and confident supporting our customers. They have the tools and knowledge they need to do a great job.”