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First response time to 250 stores improved by 73%

Learn how Forever New, an Australian fashion retailer, achieved a 73% improvement in first response time for its 250 stores with Zendesk Support.

Fashion clothing and accessories brand Forever New is an Australian business success story. From its beginnings as a startup retailer in 2006, it has grown into a leading international retail brand with 250 stores in 9 countries around the world.

Keeping pace with such phenomenal growth has been a tough challenge. Forever New’s IT team was finding it increasingly difficult to manage customer support requests from employees around the globe. The team was small and the volume of requests from disparate channels continued to grow.

When Matt Keays was appointed General Manager of IT, he identified an immediate need to reposition the role of IT within the organization. Improving internal customer support would play an integral part in this. To do so would require enhancing team workload visibility and doing a better job of keeping up-to-date on the status and prioritization of customer requests.

Keays chose Zendesk Support as a solution for three reasons: he could transition over in two weeks, because Support has strong knowledge base capabilities, and required very little training for his team.

Zendesk partner Lovestock & Leaf worked with Forever New to get the team and the business on board with the new system, helping them leverage many of Support’’s features and integrations. “What has made Zendesk Support stand out for us is its simplicity. By partnering us with Lovestock & Leaf, we could migrate our existing open calls from our previous help desk system,” said Keays.

Once live, the team leveraged key Support functionality to better serve customers. Forever New’s agents apply macro shortcuts to save time and improve productivity. Customers can also solve some of their own issues using Support’s knowledge base. “Configuration rules and custom fields in Support were a breeze. We were very careful not to introduce unnecessary complexity into our customer service processes and Zendesk Support made this possible for us,” explained Keays.

Now team planning and workload prioritization is easier than ever. The team assesses downtime on key business applications and reports on them using Support’s robust analytics. Plus, there’s newfound visibility for the management team who now has direct access to the reports.

The Forever New headquarters in Melbourne, Australia

Keay’s IT department has scaled to easily serve 400 employees worldwide. Even more impressive is how they have solved 12,000 tickets in just eight months. This is possible thanks to their ability to track and manage issues in a central system. The team can also assign tasks to specialists and third-party vendors—who also have visibility into support issues—down the support chain for resolution. This has enabled a 65 percent increase in tickets solved within six months as well as an increase from 23 percent to 45 percent of tickets solved in less than two hours.

Forever New now provides end users with a view of all of their support requests created and the current status. This has reduced duplicate follow-ups and increased customer satisfaction. First response time has reduced from around 90 hours to under 24 hours in just six months, a formidable 73 percent improvement. “Zendesk Support helps us prioritize and plan resources to better serve our customers in the Forever New stores, warehouses, and administrative offices,” concluded Keays.

“The team at Lovestock & Leaf and Zendesk have been perfect partners. They understand our business and IT processes, making the goal of full transparency within IT available at any time.”

– Matt Keays General Manager of IT at Forever New

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