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HOW TWILIO FLEX BECAME A GAME CHANGER FOR SHOPIFY AND ITS 1 MILLION CUSTOMERS

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Shopify is an international Canadian e-commerce company that offers online merchants a range of services, including payments, marketing, shipping, and loyalty tools, to make running an online store easier for small merchants. More than 1 million companies in nearly 200 countries use the Shopify platform to conduct their business.

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Months to use the Flex solution
Developers and 2 interns built the solution
of agents working with the solution

If customer relationships are the foundation of your business, it is not just a goal but a requirement that you nurture those relationships with the utmost care.

To nurture those relationships well, the Shopify trading platform went from being an online snowboard store in 2004 to being the global trading platform of today.

Shopify offers retailers a range of services, including payments, marketing, shipping, POS features, and loyalty tools, to simplify the process of running a store online and offline. Shopify has grown and now supports more than 1 million businesses in nearly 200 countries.

This explosive growth was not without pain, however. As Shopify expanded, their old customer relationship management contact center just couldn't keep up. They were forced to use different tools in different systems and were unable to deliver the level of customer service they knew they could - and had to - provide.

So the team started making plans to build their own system. But then, in early 2018, they discovered Twilio Flex.

A shortcut to a custom solution

Chris Wilson, director of support technology, said the team realized that Flex has exactly what it takes to build a custom contact center that isn't encumbered by the limitations the previous vendor had to contend with. They didn't have to set up their own in-house contact center: Flex fit the bill perfectly.

The team took eight months to develop their Flex solution. As it turned out, it only took them four months.

Three developers and two interns were enough to get from the concept to the prototype to full implementation in just four months. The team rolled out the new Flex phone system, routing engine, skill trees and Interactive Voice Response (IVR), as well as contextual pop-ups that provide agents with contextual information about the customer they are connected to.

And the agents are able to easily integrate dozens of supporting applications and software, such as Zendesk and others, to create a truly customizable approach to each customer relationship.

Flex is changing the way we work. It allows us to shape an experience the way we want without having to change our business. We can equip Shopify with Flex instead of having to arrange Shopify around Flex.

CHRIS WILSON, DIRECTOR OF SUPPORT TECHNOLOGY, SHOPIFY

Equip agents with everything they need

For Wilson and his team, it was the ability to create a completely bespoke solution that won them over to Flex.

"Flex is changing the way we work," he said. "It enables us to shape an experience the way we want it without having to change our business.

"We can equip Shopify with Flex instead of having to arrange Shopify for Flex." he added.

That means Shopify support reps will be able to nurture their customer relationships instead of just getting along as well as possible.

With Flex, the Shopify support team can personalize the customer experience like never before. Implementation and build focused on further differentiating Shopify's unique support capabilities, rather than having to worry about the solution's core services and infrastructure.

The agents receive relevant contextual information about the customers they are related to, such as: B. Their history with the company and the issues they may have - regardless of channel - to personalize each conversation. The routing is efficient and correct, which means that traders can focus again on what they want to do: building their own business. In addition, Flex enables Shopify to tailor the way in which the information is displayed to the customer in order to avoid an information overload.

"With Flex, the greatest opportunity I have is to empower my team to try things, to create an experience for our customers that they probably always wanted to have," said Marcie Murray, director of global support team Shopify.

Inspire and encourage continuous innovation

Before Flex, the team had ambitious ideas to improve the customer experience, but no way to implement them. That has changed, said Murray.

"We used to sit in a room and say, 'Wouldn't it be great if we could try this out?

"And we said, 'Yeah ... that would be it.'" Murray went on, laughing. "And now [with Flex] it's like, 'Yeah, let's try it. A quarter of an hour, let's see how it goes.'"

That kind of flexibility and speed means Shopify can continue to focus on creating better experiences for the merchants on their platform as they grow to their next million users. They are also able to leverage their UX-focused team members to provide an even deeper insight into how the agents are using Flex to make the platform more seamless and simpler over time.

One of those experiences is the custom PIN system that the team recently developed and built into Flex. This allows dealers to call, enter their PIN for quick authorization and be forwarded immediately to the right place. This, says Wilson, can save three to five minutes per call.

The team is also working on integrating Twilio chat channels into Flex to create a true omnichannel experience for agents and merchants, he added.

"Our goal is to have all of our one-to-one messaging or all of our one-to-one conversations in Flex," said Wilson.

"The customer experience is everything to us," he added. "And Flex really gives us the ability to get where we want to be.

Flex enables us to actually get where we want to go.

CHRIS WILSON, DIRECTOR OF SUPPORT TECHNOLOGY, SHOPIFY