[CUSTOMER VOICE]: Customer Care at Kolesa Group

How we provide support in Kazakhstan's largest IT company
About the company
  • Industry
    Online classifications
  • Clients
    Users who submit private ads for the sale and purchase of cars, real estate, goods and services in Kazakhstan and job seekers
  • 9 Сhannels
    to communicate with clients
  • 20,000 Tickets
    per month
  • 15 People
    in the support team
  • 8 Million
In March, our favorite clients from Kazakhstan spoke at the support event for Sasha Shiryaeva. Nigara Kamerdinova, head of care service at Kolesa Group, spoke about how to help maintain high-quality support in a company with eight million users, how support affects the product and how, in six months, support began to respond six times faster.

We offer a free transcript of her speech. Enjoy!
What is Kolesa Group
Kolesa Group is five products. In other words, it's five classified services.

kolesa.kz is the number one auto resource in Kazakhstan. Here you can find everything related to cars. Sell, buy, exchange, and so on.

krisha.kz is the most up-to-date real estate database in Kazakhstan, where we can rent, buy or lease, everything you want to do with real estate.

And market.kz - this is a classifieds site in Kazakhstan. Here you can sell and buy everything that did not fit into the previous two sites.

Iagent.kz, is a business assistant for realtors, a database of listings that they use for their work. And our fifth new product, which was launched very recently in October 2018, is Avtoelon.uz. We opened it in Uzbekistan. It's analogous to Kazakhstan's Kolesa, but only in Uzbekistan.

We have 8.5 million users. For reference, in Kazakhstan, the population is the entirety of Moscow, 17 million. Therefore, almost every other resident of Kazakhstan uses our products every day. Using our resources, you can find 2.5 million ads. The support service receives 20,000 calls per month. There are 300 employees in the company, and 15 of them are support employees.
Why do users need support?

You could say that everyone uses classifieds. The housewife wants to sell her old refrigerator to the big real estate developer, who wants to sell his real estate on our site. For example, you want to sell your car, you come to the Kolesa site, submit your ad, it goes through moderation, and, voila. You no longer need to interact with this product. But there is a nuance: we have manual moderation and it is very fast: 15 people sit and hand-check every ad. The wait time for each check is seven minutes.

Nevertheless, 80 percent of the inquiries that come into support are questions about moderation. As it turned out, people did not understand why their ad was removed, why it did not pass moderation, which criteria are consistent with the rules. Slightly less often, people ask how to submit an ad oe how to edit or delete it. And there are very few technical questions, such as why the payment didn't go through.
How support affects the product

In my opinion, support for classifieds handles two main tasks. The first is taking care of the user. Of course, why else would it be needed? The support service takes care of users, answers their questions, helps them with any problems and so on. This is undoubtedly important. But there is one more point that is very important with classifieds — the impact of improving the products.

Communicating with users in support is a small cast of devs. By communicating with the user, you understand what they like and dislike, and in this way, you can influence product improvement. A year and a half ago, we got a very cool tool called Usedesk. It helped us categorize the requests. We began to label all the requests by categories: calls, requests from social network tickets and so on. Every week, we looked at the statistics, did an analysis and understood how the figures were changing, what causes were increasing or decreasing. Then we discuss this with the product managers on a monthly basis. They know that if users ask you about it, it means that they don't like something. For example, it's uncomfortable to submit an ad, okay, let's revise it. They tested and changed something and the number of queries started to decrease. So customer service is a potent tool to influence and improve the product.

Here's a real-world example of how support helped with one of the product's pain points:
We often get calls from users when they can't find their ads on the site. You submit your ad, and then you're like, where is it? And those requests suddenly increased in August of last year — 3,136 queries per month. This happened after the law on SMS authorization was passed in our country. We had to introduce it on the site, and it turned out that users were re-authorizing by phone number but forgot about their old account, which had ads, money and so on. They logged in using their phone number, but it was empty because it was a new account. And that's when we got a whole bunch of these queries in August. We figured it out, passed it on to the product team and started working on it.

As a result, you can see on the graph how this figure has decreased. At the moment, it is one thousand and a half. We merged accounts and just enabled email authorization so that users could find their account. In the end, support launched new product solution and helped make users feel good : )
How support works from the inside
A year and a half ago, we had a technical support department - only three people. They processed only calls, no written requests, instant messenges or social networks. There were no metrics. We didn't measure anything at all. They just received calls and told customers how to place an ad, why the ad was removed, and that's it. No tools whatsoever. There was only the telephone and the administrator. No structure in the department. A few people just sat there and answered the calls. Whoever's phone rings answers it.
What we have managed to set up in a year and a half. Now we are called "User Care Service." Because for us, it's not just a tech support department — it's a department that cares about users. For me, there are two main criteria when selecting candidates for the department — empathy and understanding of what a VAU service is. We don't just promote what we love and care about our users. We have a mirror on every agent's desk, for example. There's a theory that when you talk on the phone, you should look in the mirror and see yourself and smile at your reflection. The user feels it, the conversation becomes more positive and problem solving becomes much more comfortable.

Now we respond to all requests on all the channels through which we take them — calls, emails, instant messages, social networks. We also respond to app store reviews on Google Play and the App Store. We have tools, yes, Usedesk for helpdesk, Line24 for telephony and Youscan to track social media mentions.
How to measure user satisfaction
Taking care of users is simple. For measuring it, turn on CSI, and everything will become clear. We measure CSI using outbound calls. We have a whole call center of 20 people. The team gets a hundred unique calls. When agents finish, users rate the call on a scale from 1 to 5. All data is loaded into a regular Excel file, and we have an analyst in the department who displays the average score. Unfortunately, we have fewer reviews on tickets. At the moment, the CSI is 86.5 percent. For support done in a year and a half, I consider this a more or less good result.
Results of changes in figures
Once we began to measure the numbers, we realized that things were terrible there. In the March, the average response time to tickets was 50 minutes. We set ourselves a goal of 20 minutes, and over the year, we got it down. Now it's 8.5 minutes. That is, if you write to any of our product email addresses, you will get an answer in 8.5 minutes.

First of all, it has to do with the transition to the new Usedesk ticketing system. What has it given us? Transparent and straightforward reporting and statistics for the agents themselves. Auto-answers, automation rules, templates, all information about users in one place, as well as the ability to answer calls from all channels (calls, email, instant messenger, social networks) and a cool categorization.

Second, instead of a single flow, we distribute tasks in lines, and each group handles its queue of tickets.
Speaking of calls, as you can see, it's not a pretty graph. The goal we had was six seconds.

Six seconds, we thought, was better than the shortest amount of time a user should wait on the line before picking up the phone. But in July, August and September, something went wrong. The problem was people: we had to say goodbye to someone, some processes were changed, and as a result, we now have six seconds of waiting time on the line, but that's not the limit. The goal for the 19th year is four seconds.

Every three years, our company draws a picture — these are the plans and development goals that we adhere to and want to achieve, what we want to be in three years. The company also has its mission, its values and every department also has its mission. Our department's mission is: "We care about the users and help to improve the products in our ecosystem." : )
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