Slice Serves Up Automated Workflows with Kustomer
Headquartered in New York City, with offices in Macedonia, Slice provides a digital platform for local pizzerias and Italian restaurants in 2,000 American cities. The company’s goal is to provide independent pizza shops with online ordering, supply chain and customer analytics, and email marketing tools so they can compete with chains, says Zach Goldstein, product manager at Slice.
Founded in 2011, Slice was ready to expand its operations by late 2016. But first it had to alter its approach to customer support tickets. The nine operations teams, located in Macedonia, were using homegrown systems to manually review each incoming order and customer complaint. The technology didn’t have a notification system, so users had to use messaging system Slack to alert team members to the issues that needed attention. “Way more often than I’m comfortable admitting, we had our order processing reps and customer support reps reaching out to the customers placing orders and shops receiving orders,” Goldstein recalls.
To gain insight into team member performance, the company built an administrative tool to create tickets that agents could be prompted to view, which solved an initial challenge, as it reduced the number of communications required to complete each task. But the tool couldn’t track the tickets; the system enabled users to store details of each case only in a single cell within an SQL table. The captured information was difficult to analyze and draw conclusions from. As a result, the teams weren’t learning anything useful about what reps were doing to support customers.
Goldstein began shopping for a more robust ticketing and communication solution in late 2016. “One of the things that makes us unique is that we communicate internally and externally,” Goldstein says, with some team members communicating only with colleagues and others communicating with colleagues and customers. “We were looking for a tool that was able to support the dual-sided marketplace and give us flexibility to both service our internal and external communicators and customers.”
Slice settled on Kustomer, whose technology integrates data from events such as transactions and conversations that occur across channels, including text and email, into an actionable platform.
The technology was deployed in December 2016, as data from Slice’s homegrown system was imported and matched with Kustomer’s APIs. Goldstein reviewed the support teams’ various responsibilities and corresponding functions to figure out how to optimize workflows. “We realized we could use Kustomer to automate things that were formerly manual,” he says.
According to Goldstein, Slice automated at least 100 workflows using Kustomer’s Smart Workflows. “We were trying to create a self-cleaning oven, so that when certain issues or tickets came up, they are auto-transferred to the [appropriate] team, and the team wouldn’t have to think about where it goes next,” he says.
For instance, if a customer places an order with instructions to add extra chicken, the shop might charge extra for it, but the price difference might not be listed on the menu. With Kustomer, a rep from the order processing team can click a button to transfer the ticket to customer support, enter the reason for the transfer, and create a ticket for the support team, who can then input details on what they’ve done to fix the problem, adjust the menu, and categorize the case.
The company also has better insight into various channels’ staffing requirements at certain times of the day. For instance, using Kustomer’s Timeline, the company can see the historical volumes for chat, SMS, and Facebook Messenger to see how staffing needs change on an hourly basis. “That’s been a major help in terms of informing our staffing and making it a lot more painless than it would be otherwise,” says Rich Lorenzo, Slice’s customer experience manager.
“We’re looking at 2018 planning and talking about fairly major changes to our process flows and even how our teams are organized, and the thought about how Kustomer is going to accommodate this is never something I’m concerned about,” Lorenzo says. “The flexibility is such that we can make it do whatever we possibly ever need it to do.”
Since implementing Kustomer's support platform, Slice has been able to:
- automate more than 100 workflows, a significant time saver;
- improve cross-team communication and collaboration; and
- better monitor changing staffing needs across channels, optimizing employee productivity.