Enhancing Support Efficiency through Kibo and Zendesk Integration

Introduction

In today’s fast-paced business environment, providing efficient and effective customer support is crucial. The integration of Kibo with Zendesk is designed to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the support team by providing streamlined access to order details. This white paper explores the specific challenges addressed by this integration, the objectives set forth, the key features and functionalities introduced, and the substantial benefits derived from this implementation.The integration of Kibo Order Management System (OMS) with Zendesk, a leading customer service platform, is designed to address the common challenges faced by support teams, streamline operations, and ultimately enhance the customer experience.

The Need for Integration

Currently, Zendesk support teams must manually gather order details from Kibo OMS, which is time consuming and prone to errors. This manual process often results in delays and inefficiencies, affecting the overall customer experience.

To address these challenges, iResponsive developed an integration that allows Zendesk users to access and manage Kibo order information directly within the Zendesk application. This seamless integration provides immediate access to order details, reducing the time spent on manual data retrieval and improving the support team’s response times and accuracy.

Goals of the Integration

The primary goals of the Kibo-Zendesk integration are:

  • EnhanceEfficiency: Automate the retrieval and display of order information to reduce manual effort and speed up response times.
  • Improve Accuracy: Ensure that support agents have access to the most up-to-dateand accurate order information.
  • StreamlineWorkflows: Provide a seamless experience for support agents by integrating essential order management functionalities within Zendesk
  • IncreaseCustomer Satisfaction: Improve the overall customer experience by providing quicker and more accurate responses to order-related

Problem Statement

Our support team faces significant delays in gathering order details due to a manual and error-prone process of retrieving information from Kibo’s Order Management System (OMS). When customers contact support with order issues, agents must manually search for order information, extract relevant details, and transcribe this data into Zendesk tickets. This multi-step process is time-consuming, susceptible to human error, and disrupts workflow efficiency. Consequently, the prolonged response times negatively impact customer satisfaction, leading to frustration, inconsistent information, and reduced trust in our support capabilities.

Delays in Gathering Order Details

One of the major challenges encountered by the support team is the significant delay in gathering order details. When a customer contacts support regarding an order issue, agents must manually retrieve the necessary information from Kibo’s Order Management System (OMS). This manual process involves multiple steps:

  • Searching for Order Information: Support agents must navigate to the Kibo OMS platform and manually search for the order details using customer-provided information like order number or email ID.
  • Data Retrieval: Once found, agents must extract relevant details about the order, including shipping status, item specifics, and customer information.
  • Transcribing Data: Agents then need to transcribe or copy this information back into the Zendesk ticket to provide a comprehensive response to the customer.
    This multi-step process was not only time-consuming but also prone to errors, as it relied heavily on manual data entry. The delays in retrieving and transcribing order information often led to an increase in the response times, which negatively impacted customer satisfaction.

Increased Manual Effort and Risk of Errors

The manual nature of the process posed several issues:

  • Time Consumption: The time taken to manually retrieve and enter data significantly slowed down the resolution process, leading to longer wait times for customers.
  • Human Error: The reliance on manual data entry impacted the risk of errors. Mistakes in transcribing order details will lead to incorrect information being provided to customers, further complicating the resolution process and potentially eroding trust.
  • Operational Inefficiencies: The need for support agents to switch between multiple systems (Zendesk and Kibo OMS) disrupts their workflow, leading to inefficiencies and reduced productivity. Agents spent valuable time on administrative tasks instead of focusing on resolving customer issues.

Negative Impact on Customer Experience

The inefficiencies and delays in handling order-related inquiries is having a direct negative impact on the customer experience:

  • Longer Wait Times: Customers will need to wait longer for their issues to be resolved, which could lead to frustration and dissatisfaction.
  • Inconsistent Information: Errors in data retrieval and transcription could result in customers receiving incorrect or incomplete information about their orders.
  • Reduced Trust: Repeated issues with order information could erode customer trust in the support team’s ability to handle their inquiries effectively.

Need for a Solution

To address these challenges, we are required to have a clear need for an integrated solution that could streamline the process of retrieving and managing order information within Zendesk. The solution needed to:

  • Automate Data Retrieval: Eliminate the need for manual data extraction and entry by automatically pulling order details from Kibo OMS.
  • Ensure Accuracy: Provide accurate and up-to-date information to reduce the risk of errors and improve the quality of customer interactions.
  • Enhance Efficiency: Integrate seamlessly with Zendesk to enhance the support team’s workflow and productivity.
  • Improve Customer Satisfaction: Deliver faster and more reliable support, leading to a better overall customer experience.By addressing these core issues, the integration of Kibo OMS with Zendesk aims to transform the support team’s operations, reducing inefficiencies and elevating the standard of customer service provided.

The Solution

To address the challenges faced by the Zendesk support team, iResponsive developed a specialized integration solution that seamlessly connects Kibo’s Order Management System (OMS) with the Zendesk platform. This solution was designed to automate the retrieval and display of order information, significantly improving the efficiency and accuracy of customer support operations.

Technical Implementation

Integration Overview

The integration solution allows Zendesk users to directly access and manage Kibo order information within the Zendesk application. By automating the process of extracting and displaying order details, the integration reduces manual effort, minimizes errors, and enhances the overall support workflow.

Middleware Application

To facilitate seamless communication between Zendesk and Kibo OMS, iResponsive built a middleware application using Node.js, hosted on Azure Cloud. This middleware application serves as an intermediary, handling API requests and responses to ensure secure and efficient data transfer between the two platforms.
Key Functions of the Middleware Application:

  • API Management: The middleware handles authenticated API requests to Kibo OMS, ensuring secure data retrieval.
  • Data Processing: It processes the data received from Kibo OMS and formats it appropriately for display within Zendesk.
  • CORS Policy Compliance: By acting as a proxy, the middleware eliminates Cross- Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) policy issues that could arise during direct communication between Zendesk and Kibo OMS.

Zendesk Application Framework

The Zendesk application was developed using the Zendesk Apps Framework (ZAF) and leverages React JS for the front-end interface. This application is embedded within the Zendesk ticketing system, providing a seamless user experience for support agents.

Key Features of the Zendesk Application:

  • Automatic Parsing: The application uses intelligent parsing to automatically extract order numbers and email IDs from ticket descriptions. This reduces the need for manual data entry and ensures that relevant information is quickly identified.
  • Real-time Order Ǫuery: The application dynamically connects to Kibo OMS through the middleware to fetch comprehensive order details in real-time. This ensures that support agents always have access to the most current information.
  • In-ticket Data Display: Detailed order information, including shipping status, item specifics, and customer details, is displayed directly within the Zendesk ticket interface. This allows support agents to access all necessary information without switching between systems.
  • Actionable Features: The application includes functionalities that allow support agents to edit shipping addresses and cancel orders directly from within the ticket interface upon customer request. This streamlines the resolution process and enhances the agent’s ability to respond to customer needs efficiently.

Features and Capabilities

Current Capabilities

  1. Automatic Parsing: The application intelligently extracts order numbers and email IDs from ticket descriptions, significantly reducing the manual effort required by support agents.
  2. Real-time Ǫuery: It dynamically connects to Kibo OMS to fetch comprehensive order details in real-time, ensuring that the support team has access to the most up-to-date information.
  3. In-ticket Display: A detailed overview of order information is presented directly within the Zendesk ticket interface, allowing support agents to quickly access necessary details without leaving the ticket.
  4. Actionable Features: Support agents can edit shipping addresses and cancel orders directly from within the ticket interface upon customer request, streamlining the resolution process and enhancing customer satisfaction.
  5. Improved Response Times: By automating data retrieval and display, the integration significantly reduces the time spent on manual data entry and search, thereby improving response times and overall efficiency.

Middleware Application

The middleware application plays a critical role in the integration by managing the communication between Zendesk and Kibo OMS. It handles API calls, processes the data, and ensures secure, efficient data transfer. Here’s a detailed look at its functions:

    1. API Calls and Authorization: The middleware application connects to Kibo OMS using various API endpoints to retrieve order and shipment details. It handles authentication by obtaining access tokens, ensuring secure data retrieval.
    2. Data Processing: Upon receiving data from Kibo OMS, the middleware processes and formats it for display within the Zendesk application. This step ensures that the data is accurately and appropriately presented to the support agents.
    3. CORS Policy Compliance: By acting as an intermediary, the middleware eliminates Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) policy issues, enabling smooth and uninterrupted communication between Zendesk and Kibo OMS.

Technical Implementation Zendesk Application

  • Framework: Built using the Zendesk Apps Framework (ZAF)
  • Library: Utilizes React JS for the front-end interface, ensuring a responsive and user-friendly experience.
    Middleware Application:
  • Repository: The codebase is available on iResponsive GitHub, facilitating collaboration and version control.
  • Purpose : Serves as a proxy application layer to eliminate the CORS policy issue between Zendesk and Kibo
  • Backend Framework: Developed with Node.js, known for its scalability and performance.
  • Hosting: Deployed on GCP, ensuring reliability and security.

How the Application Works

  1. Ticket Creation: A customer sends an email to the support team regarding an order- related issue, creating a ticket in the Zendesk Ticketing System.
  2. Description Parsing: The internal application reads the ticket description using Zendesk APIs, extracting the email ID and order ID if provided.
  3. API Calls to Middleware: The application makes API calls to the middleware application using the extracted order ID or email ID.
  4. Middleware Requests to Kibo: The middleware makes authenticated API requests to Kibo for order and shipment details.
  5. Data Retrieval: Kibo returns the data to the middleware, which then responds to the Zendesk application.
  6. Data Display: The order-related information is rendered on the application screens within Zendesk, providing the support team with the necessary details to address the customer’s issues efficiently.

Future Capabilities

The integration of Kibo OMS with Zendesk is designed with scalability in mind, allowing for future enhancements to meet evolving business needs. Some potential future capabilities include:

    1. Advanced Parsing and NLP: Utilize natural language processing for more accurate data extraction from complex ticket descriptions.
    2. Order Return and Refund Processing: Include options for processing returns and refunds, further streamlining customer support operations.
    3. Predictive Analytics: Leverage historical data for predictive insights, helping support agents anticipate and proactively address customer issues.
    4. Customer Communication Features: Integrate AI and chatbots for improved customer interaction, providing instant support and reducing the workload on human agents.
    5. Mobile Accessibility: Ensure mobile access for support agents, allowing them to manage tickets and order information on the go.
    6. Integration with Customer Feedback Systems: Link with systems to gather and analyze customer feedback, enabling continuous improvement of support services.

Customizable Enhancements

Following a “highway and exits” model, the integration provides a robust foundational infrastructure while allowing for customizable enhancements tailored to specific client needs. This approach not only meets diverse business requirements but also presents significant revenue opportunities.

Benefits of Kibo/Zendesk Integration

The integration of Kibo Order Management System (OMS) with Zendesk delivers numerous benefits that enhance the efficiency, accuracy, and overall effectiveness of the customer support team. Here’s a detailed examination of the key benefits realized through this integration:

Enhanced Efficiency and Productivity

1.Reduced Manual Effort:

  • Automation of Data Retrieval: The integration eliminates the need for support agents to manually search for and retrieve order details from Kibo OMS. By automating this process, agents can focus on more critical tasks, such as resolving customer issues and improving service quality.
  • Automatic Parsing: The intelligent parsing feature automatically extracts order numbers and email IDs from ticket descriptions, further reducing manual data entry efforts and minimizing the risk of errors.

2.Faster Response Times:

  • Real-time Data Access: With real-time querying of Kibo OMS, support agents have instant access to the most up-to-date order information. This significantly reduces the time spent on data retrieval and allows agents to respond to customer inquiries more quickly.
  • In-ticket Data Display: Detailed order information is displayed directly within the Zendesk ticket interface, enabling agents to address customer queries without switching between systems. This streamlined workflow contributes to faster resolution times.

Improved Accuracy and Reliability

1.Minimized Errors:

    • Automated Data Handling: By automating the extraction and display of order information, the integration reduces the potential for human errors associated with manual data entry and transcription.
    • Real-time Updates: Access to real-time order data ensures that support agents provide customers with accurate and up-to-date information, reducing the likelihood of misinformation and improving the reliability of the support provided.

2.Consistent Information:

  • Single Source of Truth: The integration ensures that all order-related information is pulled directly from Kibo OMS, maintaining consistency across all customer interactions. This uniformity helps build trust with customers as they receive consistent information regardless of the support channel used.

Enhanced Customer Experience

1.Ǫuick and Accurate Resolutions:

  • Streamlined Workflows: The integration simplifies the process of retrieving and managing order information, allowing support agents to resolve customer issues more efficiently. Ǫuick and accurate resolutions lead to higher customer satisfaction and better overall support experience.
  • Actionable Features: By enabling support agents to edit shipping addresses and cancel orders directly from the ticket interface, the integration empowers agents to take immediate action on customer requests. This capability enhances the customer experience by providing prompt and effective solutions.

2.Increased Customer Satisfaction:

  • Improved Response Times: Faster response times contribute to a more positive customer experience, as customers appreciate timely and efficient service.
  • Reliable Information: Providing customers with accurate and consistent order information helps build trust and confidence in the support team’s ability to handle their inquiries effectively.

Access to Zendesk Customers and Prospects

1.Expanded Market Reach:

  • New Opportunities: Integrating Kibo with Zendesk opens opportunities to tap into Zendesk’s extensive customer base and prospects. By offering a seamless integration that enhances support capabilities, Kibo can attract new clients who are looking for robust order management solutions within their existing support framework.
  • Cross-sell and Upsell Opportunities: The integration allows for the identification of client and end-customer opportunities directly from Kibo applications. This expanded reach facilitates cross-sell and upsell opportunities, further enhancing the business potential of both platforms.

Operational Efficiency and Cost Savings

1.Streamlined Processes:

  • Efficient Workflows: The integration streamlines the workflow for support agents by providing direct access to order information within Zendesk. This efficiency translates to cost savings as agents can handle more inquiries in less time.
  • Reduced Training Time: With a more intuitive and integrated system, the time required to train support agents on using multiple platforms is reduced. Agents can quickly learn and adapt to the integrated system, leading to faster onboarding and reduced training costs.

2.Improved Agent Productivity:

  • Focus on Core Tasks: By automating repetitive tasks such as data retrieval and entry, the integration allows support agents to focus on more critical aspects of customer service. This shift in focus can lead to improved agent productivity and a more effective support team.

 

Revenue Growth through Customizable Enhancements

1.Custom Solutions for Specific Needs:

  • Tailored Enhancements: The “highway and exits” model of the integration allows for the development of customized features tailored to specific client requirements. Clients can request additional functionalities beyond the core integration, which iResponsive can develop for an additional fee. This approach ensures that unique business needs are met while generating additional revenue opportunities.
  • Revenue from Customizations: By offering bespoke solutions, iResponsive can cater to a diverse range of client demands, creating new revenue streams through the development of customized enhancements. This flexibility and adaptability make the integration not only a powerful tool for improving support operations but also a significant driver of business growth.

Future-proofing Support Operations

1.Scalable and Adaptable Integration:

  • Foundation for Future Enhancements: The integration provides a robust foundational infrastructure that can be easily expanded with future capabilities. As business needs evolve, additional features such as advanced parsing, predictive analytics, and customer communication tools can be seamlessly integrated.
  • Continuous Improvement: By continuously enhancing the integration with new functionalities and improvements, the support team can stay ahead of industry trends and maintain a high standard of customer service.

2.Preparedness for Evolving Needs:

Flexibility and Scalability: The integration’s scalable architecture ensures that it can adapt to the growing and changing needs of the business. This flexibility allows the support team to handle increasing volumes of customer inquiries and manage more complex order-related issues efficiently.

The integration of Kibo OMS with Zendesk has brought significant benefits to the customer support team, transforming their operations and enhancing the overall customer experience. By automating data retrieval, reducing manual effort, and providing real-time access to order information, the integration has improved efficiency, accuracy, and

productivity. Moreover, the customizable nature of the integration opens new revenue opportunities, ensuring that iResponsive can meet the diverse and evolving needs of its clients while driving business growth.

Conclusion

This integration addresses the key challenges faced by the Zendesk support team, streamlining processes, reducing manual effort, and improving response times. By automating data retrieval and providing real-time access to order information, support agents can now deliver faster and more accurate resolutions to customer inquiries, significantly boosting customer satisfaction.

iResponsive Solutions and Korber WMS