Chat Apps

Task management: How we improved our Zendesk tickets resolution time by 33% using WizyRoom

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Customer satisfaction is important to us at Wizy.io. We strive to answer the customer tickets we get through Zendesk as efficiently as possible.

To do this, the customer success staff works with the development crew. We’re a distributed team. Customer support is based in Manila, and the developers are scattered in Manila and Paris. To get the collaboration flowing, we’ve tried different tools.

We’ve used the JIRA integration for Zendesk, Zendesk internal notes, email and Google Groups. Although we’ve had some success, we were never completely happy with any one solution. The JIRA integration felt foreign to the customer success team. Zendesk internal notes were too static. Email was reliable, but with all the cc’s, we were flooding inboxes. Google Groups was the solution we stuck with longest, but we had to periodically remind everyone to open another tab in their Chrome browser to look at what tickets were pending.

With all these solutions, constant follow up was a necessity. There was no way to impose deadline dates for task completion.

Then we shifted to using WizyRoom’s task management features. Finally, a solution that worked!

First, we created a chat room devoted to talking about customer issues. We named this room Internal Requests. We added all the members of the customer support team and the developers to this room.

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We had already been using WizyRoom to chat, so we didn’t have to spend too much time learning how it worked.

Now when a member of customer support receives a ticket that needs a developer’s attention, he simply starts a conversation in the chat room. He creates a task as he is chatting. “Check templates issue in ticket 756,” for example. He assigns it to the right person – john@wizy.io, let’s say – and fixes a deadline – Oct. 21.

As we all work inside WizyRoom, we all almost instantly know what tasks need attention. John sees the task notification – maybe as he is looking at the conversation going on in General room – and gets to it. We eliminate the inefficiency brought on by tabs changing.

Everyone in the chat room sees what is going on, so they can chime in with their input. The threaded conversation about the task appears on the right sidebar of the chat room. This transparency also allows for maximum learning. The support team is always up to date on ongoing issues. Most importantly, they know how to help customers resolve them.

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Concrete result: From our average resolution time of 18 hours, we are now down to 12 hours.

Interested? Try the task management features of WizyRoom here.

Laurent-Casual-croppedFrom 2006 to 2012, Wizy.io CEO Laurent Gasser headed Revevol, a consultancy in Paris that he co-founded and built to become one of the most important Google Apps resellers in the world. He moved on to head the startup Collabspot, a Gmail extensions. In 2015, he founded Wizy.io from teams from the two companies. 

 

Laurent GasserTask management: How we improved our Zendesk tickets resolution time by 33% using WizyRoom
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Conversation is the key to remote work

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Slowly but surely, remote work is becoming part of the way we do business.

Futurist Faith Popcorn predicted it back in 1981, when she first talked about cocooning. It’s a trend that has people preferring the safety of their homes to the harsher outside environment. Just recently she predicted that in 2025, majority of adults in the United States will be working from their homes. That’s less than 10 years from now.

It does seem inescapable. The world has gone global. It’s about finding the best talent, wherever that talent may be. And you can’t very well expect a developer based in Manila to come work in your San Francisco office.

Add to that the fact that now making up the biggest chunk of the workforce are millennials with their demand for work-life balance and flexibility. Companies who want to keep their best employees really must offer the option to work from home.

It’s not all about the employees, of course. Remote work makes sense for companies because they end up paying less for such things as overhead and HR expenses.

How to make remote work, well, work?

We think that Brian Bacon of the Oxford Leadership Academy hit it home when he said in this article, “How a team talks together will determine how well it works.” The article talked about meetings in general, but it’s solid advice for remote teams.

When your colleagues are dispersed, team performance depends a lot on the quality of your conversations. High-quality conversations naturally lead to increased team productivity. And it all begins with a culture of trust. Our own CEO Laurent Gasser has already talked about the importance of psychological safety in this blog.

In video chat meetings, each member of the team should be given opportunity to talk. No one person should hog the limelight. For global teams, team members should be aware of the cultural factors at play. How do people from different cultures get their ideas across, and how does each one handle conflict?

On regular days, most conversation in remote teams happens via emails and on chat. It is important to get employees who can communicate their ideas well via the written word. It’s a double win: a person who writes clearly, is a person who is thinking clearly. That’s somebody you want in your team.

To facilitate everything, technology in the form of communication systems must be installed. Then their adoption must be ensured.

This article presents a very candid account of how Automattic, makers of WordPress, went through a process of trial-and-error before settling on their present system that involves the chat app Slack, an app they developed called P2 for more in-depth discussions, and Zoom video conferencing.

Paul Farnell, says of how they manage it in his company Litmus, “Edits go in Google Docs, status updates go in Basecamp, files go in Dropbox, meetings happen on Blue Jeans.”

In our next blog post, we’ll be talking about how we at Wizy.io have adopted our new chat app WizyRoom to improve the quality of the conversations in our globally dispersed team.

To sum up: Get team members who know how to communicate, nurture an environment for healthy conversation, and provide the right tools to get that effective conversation going. You then have the makings of a killer remote team.

 

Gilles Meiers croppedA strong entrepreneurial spirit and a love for challenges define Gilles Meiers, Wizy.io’s Growth & Marketing Director. A transplanted Frenchman, Gilles was previously with Paris-based Revevol and Global Innovation in New York.

Gilles MeiersConversation is the key to remote work
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Why did Google fail to invent Slack?

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Before the wildly popular chat and collaboration app Slack launched in 2013, there was Gchat. As Slate’s Lily Hay Newman said, “(It) archived chats, made them searchable, allowed for group chats, and facilitated media transfers.” Gchat, she maintained, was Slack.

A more bare-bones version of it, for sure, but Google had it back in 2005. They could certainly have launched a robust variety way before Slack came along eight years later. Google, however, did not develop Gchat.

Why? The innovation methodology of Google is simply not suited to business IT.

Its strategy of 10x thinking lends itself superbly to big and bold endeavors. So you have Google building a robot army, joining the space race, even attempting immortality.

It’s a mindset that’s great for solving big problems and for changing the world, but it is a way of thinking that is not compatible with the development of enterprise applications.

Business IT is not about the big and the bold. It is about the slow and the sure. Enterprise technology has to figure out ways to best serve the business; and the people in the business organization have to catch up.

Certainly, every 10 years or so, there will be a big breakthrough and 10x thinking kicks in. Examples are the invention of the cloud with Amazon Web Services, which is now critical for the success of enterprises; and the creation of machine learning, where Google played a central role. The rest of the time, business IT moves forward in  increments. And this is exactly how Slack was developed.

Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield and his colleagues at the failed startup Glitch built it as a chat tool. They had a small and very specific problem: How can their remote team communicate effectively? They used internet relay chat technology, tweaking and refining as they worked. Slack was built in bits and pieces over many years. The methodology was 10%, not Google’s 10x.

You could, of course, argue that Google came up with Gmail, a game-changing enterprise application. But Gmail was born from the 20% free time allocated their developers. The other products that make up Google Apps were merely acquired by Google. Google Docs originated from the product Writely  from Upstartle, bought by Google in March 2006. Google Sheets came from XL2Web by 2Web Technologies, bought in June 2005. Google Slides came from the company’s acquisition of Tonic Systems on April 2007. Google Sites was from Jotspot, bought in October 2006.

Gchat was not big enough an idea for the innovation junkie that is Google, and neither is a product like Slack. Despite all the added functions and its success, Slack is still essentially a small product answering a specific need.

Last May, Google launched two new messaging apps, Allo and Duo. The two are powered by machine learning. Allo, for example, offers Smart Replies that enable you to reply without typing. It adapts and gives more intelligent suggestions as you use it, aided by Google’s astounding search capacities. These new apps reflect the corporate strategy of thinking 10x. Allo and Duo fit in with the company’s vision of a future made bright by artificial intelligence. They are bricks in Google’s grand vision of organizing the world’s information and – ultimately – they are tools in controlling how we use that information.

Maybe it’s time for Google to buy Slack.

Disclosure: I have been working for 10 years in the Google Apps ecosystem, and my latest company Wizy.io is launching a team messaging solution for Google Apps customers.

Laurent-Casual-croppedFrom 2006 to 2012, Wizy.io CEO Laurent Gasser headed Revevol, a consultancy in Paris that he co-founded and built to become one of the most important Google Apps resellers in the world. He moved on to head the startup Collabspot, a Gmail extensions. In 2015, he founded Wizy.io from teams from the two companies. 

Laurent GasserWhy did Google fail to invent Slack?
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