Drizly + TaskUs + Zendesk: Meeting unprecedented demand

Handling a 500% increase in your business, nearly overnight, isn’t easy for any company to overcome. But when you’re an alcohol e-commerce provider in the midst of a pandemic, it’s essential. With Zendesk already implemented, the team at Drizly had the foundation in place to quickly scale their customer experience team with on-demand staff provided by TaskUs.

Drizly and TaskUs

"We saved hiring 50 to 100 employees by optimizing and integrating Zendesk with our other systems. I think our organization would be at least double the size if we hadn't integrated deeper with Zendesk.”

Brian White

Director of Drizly Customer Experience

"Our fully trained team went from solving 8 tickets per hour to an average of 16 tickets per hour. That's because we're tracking every single metric possible, allowing us to continuously improve our results,”

Brian White

Director of Drizly Customer Experience.

Products used

Industry

E-commerce

Founded

2012

Headquarters

Boston, MA, USA

+200%

Agent efficiency

~50

New hires saved

~100

Agents

500%

Business growth in 2020

Drizly is an alcohol e-commerce provider founded in 2012 with operations in more than 100 markets across the United States and Canada. Known as the “Amazon for liquor,” Drizly lets customers order beer, wine, and spirits through its mobile app or website. The order is then delivered via local retailers, sometimes within 1 hour. Drizly has been growing steadily—from a 10-person startup to more than 215 employees, with 100 of them now using Zendesk daily.

TaskUs is a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and consulting company and a Zendesk strategic partner with more than 20,000 employees worldwide. They power some of today’s most successful tech companies, providing backend support and customer experience.

Drizly partnered with TaskUs to help solve a very good but challenging problem: too many orders.

When businesses closed, Drizly orders surged

When the pandemic forced businesses, restaurants, and bars to suddenly close, customers flocked to Drizly’s e-commerce business. Luckily, Drizly could rely on Zendesk software, which it had first installed in 2013. Prior to that time, the support team had shared one Gmail inbox, tracked orders on spreadsheets, and used personal cell phones to contact customers.

“Nothing was tracked, there were no reports, and no data to learn from,” explained Brian White, Director of Drizly Customer Experience.

Fast forward to 2020, when everything changed with COVID-19. Drizly’s sales skyrocketed by more than 500% in some regions, which put a massive strain on their customer experience team. Support tickets from consumers, retailers, and corporate clients started to climb. Drizly needed more employees with Zendesk expertise to help manage the sudden growth.

Drizly and TaskUs—Partnering to rapidly scale operations

Prior to the pandemic, Brian had already been evaluating outsourcing firms to help scale Drizly’s operations during peak seasons—TaskUs was one of those firms.

“I had a really good feeling about TaskUs because they had so many people already trained on Zendesk and cared about their people, which aligns with our internal values at Drizly. I knew they’d be the perfect partner to help us tackle the challenges our rapid growth was causing,” commented White.

TaskUs got up to speed on Drizly processes in a few weeks. “The satisfaction scores of TaskUs agents were identical to those Drizly’s internal CX team was achieving, so that was a huge win for us and for our customers,” said White.

The TaskUs team went the extra mile–beyond helping Drizly staff up, they also helped Drizly optimize their Zendesk instance to make TaskUs agents even more productive.

Shawn Johnson, Business Development Manager at TaskUs, added, “We like to focus on the time-saving Zendesk automation features and triggers that clients sometimes overlook. For instance, we might be focusing on a client’s common tasks and realize it requires 13 or 14 clicks to complete. By changing a field or adding a Zendesk automation, we can reduce it to a five-click process. Eliminating 8 or 9 clicks may not sound significant, but it adds up to a massive amount of time saved over the months and years.”

Transforming agent productivity and elevating experiences

These optimized workflows have helped Drizly achieve a 200% increase in agent productivity. Brian says, “Our fully-trained team went from solving 8 tickets per hour to an average of 16 tickets per hour. That’s because we’re tracking KPIs that mean the most to our business, allowing us to continuously improve our results.

Drizly has also saved countless hours by integrating Zendesk into other systems and applications. “I used to download a raw CSV file from Zendesk to connect the data to our other key systems. Thanks to the flexible API that is all automated now. I’m very glad that I don’t have to do that anymore,” said White.

Not only does the integration save time, it saves mental energy because agents no longer need to exit Zendesk and switch between applications. “We saved hiring 50 to 100 employees by optimizing Zendesk. I think our organization would be at least double the size if we hadn’t integrated deeper with Zendesk.”

Expanding Zendesk Drizly-wide

While Drizly and TaskUs continue to optimize Zendesk for the CX team, Drizly is also expanding the use of Zendesk modules to additional departments, including IT and corporate account management. Zendesk is helping the Drizly IT team adapt to the needs of a distributed workforce. “Keeping track of everybody’s computers and monitors, especially in a remote environment, has been a huge win,” says White.

And, to support the next phase of growth, Drizly’s corporate account management team just started using Zendesk Sell. “We’re excited to see that usage grow. It’s a fairly new system for the team, so it has been fun to see usage grow and be optimized from the ground up— just like we grew and optimized our instance of Zendesk Support.”

Five key takeaways for digitally transforming operations during uncertain times.
According to Shawn Johnson, “Having access to Zendesk experts, like TaskUs, can really help you as your business grows. But when you’re just getting started, keep these five points in mind when implementing and optimizing your customer experience with Zendesk.”

1. Begin with the end in mind.

Be clear on what your ultimate goal is:
Do you want to automate as much as possible so you can hire less people?
Are you seeking higher customer satisfaction ratings?
Do you want to increase sales or retention?
Or some combination, or something completely different?

2. Paint a compelling vision and outcome to create buy-in.

Once you’ve decided on your vision, you’ll want to share it with other team members and share it in their language. With competition for internal resources, you’ll want to clearly communicate to leadership and influencers how this initiative will affect ROI and the bottom line, as well as how it will elevate customer and employee experiences.

3. Keep your customers at the center of every decision you make.

For example, if you’ve decided to implement a web form, you want to be sure to minimize the number of fields so customers can get to resolution faster.

4. Keep it simple.

Avoid the trap of thinking that your instance of Zendesk will miraculously do everything for everyone on day one—which usually ends up satisfying no one. Develop new features and functions in an iterative fashion, by continuously tuning and implementing small changes.

5. Play for the long-term win.

New digital solutions don’t automatically implement themselves. Plan to add new tools, resources, and budget to deliver ongoing improvements. Look for ways to integrate Zendesk with other applications and workflows. For instance, you might want to add a Jira integration or make details from Shopify visible in Zendesk. The Zendesk marketplace has a wealth of applications that you can integrate to allow Zendesk to support your organization and increase your ROI for years to come.

See the full webinar “Digital transformation in uncertain times” featuring Brian White from Drizly and Shawn Johnson from TaskUs here.

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