Customer service platform Zendesk helps Operail to serve internal customers better

Added on 28.02.2022

Recently, the international transport and logistics company Operail built a new inquiry system on its  customer service platform Zendesk with purpose to better serve the company’s almost 600 employees. The novel solution sped up the process of responding to inquiries and made the course of responding to an inquiry visible to the employees.

In the last few years, Operail has contributed a lot to the digitalisation of processes and implementation of new, innovative solutions. One of the greatest initiatives of Operail has been creating an internal inquiry system which would enable to manage various work processes more flexibly, faster, and more efficiently.

“We chose our technological platform based on the criteria that it must be suitable for serving our own employees, quick to implement, and easy to manage and configure. The platform may not be difficult or time-consuming to use and must be equipped with a modern user interface, as well as support in different languages,” listed Julia Grobova, IT support manager of Operail.

“The platform must also automatically systematise all inquiries arriving via different channels, refer the inquiries to different employees for responding to, and archive all inquiries and responses. After conducting an analysis and comparing various platforms, we decided that the Zendesk  customer service platform satisfied our needs best.”

Inquiries were divided by sector between freight transport, safety, IT, and support services. Pre-set inquiryforms were created for each sector from which the employee can choose the most appropriate sub-form and topic and, based on the above, specific entries that makes the process of submitting an inquiry quicker. The advantage of the new solution is that the employees can use an Estonian, Russian, or Finnish languages to enter their inquiries and any work-related problems which may arise have already been described in the inquiry forms.

When an inquiry is entered, a ticket is automatically generated and sent to the responsible employee for responding to the respective issue. The process of responding to inquiries has also become quicker, as those required to respond automatically receive an email notification when a new ticket is generated.

The new system makes the process of responding to inquiries more visible to the employees

According to Raoul Järvis, head of the ICT department of Operail, the main benefit of the new platform arises from ensuring the visibility of the entire work process. “Previously, inquiries were sent to the responders’ email addresses, and from the IT perspective was not easy to monitor the inquiries,” explained Järvis. “Now, however, anyone can see the current status of their inquiry via the portal, which has increased satisfaction with the process. We also have a better overview of all inquiries which in turn enables us to optimise their resolution.”

The total annual number of inquiries at Operail amounts to 3,000 and the responses given can be conveniently searched in the Zendesk-based portal.  Also submit inquiry and check its status is possible outside officefor example, tablets are used by  traindrivers to report safety and freight transport events. The inquiry portal can also be conveniently and securely accessed by using a smart phone.

Operail took new customer service platform using the principle of moving from a smaller-scale solution to a bigger one. “As the inquiry system is used by all of our roughly 600 employees, we wanted to give them some time for adjusting to the system,” said Järvis. “The people were very sceptical towards the system in the beginning, but within few months, they got used to help arriving faster and the opportunity to view the status of the ticket at any time.”

We are next planning to add the instructions and FAQ for the employees, so that they could find answers to their questions on their own before submitting an inquiry. Using a chat bot for providing IT support is also being considered.

Innovation in the rather traditional railway sector

According to Madiken Oja, communication partner of Operail, implementation of a customer service platform is one of those solutions which has innovated the currently relatively traditional railway sector in recent years.

“Our objective is to make transport by rail more efficient and reduce the environmental footprint of the entire transport sector,” said Oja. “We have contributed a lot to the implementation of new digital solutions in recent years in order to further increase the efficiency of freight transport. For example, we are currently also  implemetinga new freight transport information system which will enable us to digitalise many operations and thereby reduce the amount of paper used in our daily work.”