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[INTERVIEW] "MUZTORG": ABOUT CENTRALIZATION OF CLIENT SERVICE, REGULATED PROCESSES AND WORK IN A TEAM OF MUSICIANS

Alexandra Shiryaeva
Customer Comfort Manager of Usedesk, author of a blog about good support
About the company
Industry
The largest music store chain
Clients
Musical instrument buyers
6
Communication channels
>180
Dialogues per day
5
People in the support team on one shift
43
Russian cities are covered by Muztorg
On duty, helping "Muztorg" as our client to deal with Usedesk questions, I drew attention to how support agents communicate with customers. They are always polite and accurate, ready to understand even the most subtle nuances, and in the end, they are also so friendly that hands themselves reach to order something.

And looking at how such an impressive chain of stores maintains such a decent service level, we could not help but talk to them and find out how it all works from the inside.
Maria Sinotova
Head of "Muztorg" contact center
SASHA:
What volume of requests do operators process per day and through what channels? Which channel is the most popular?
MARIA:
Now we have up to 180 dialogs a day, and this number is growing every month. Usedesk gets requests from the widget, various forms of feedback, social networks, feedback threads, and if possible, we connect the chat. Plus, we are constantly surveying the quality of service, and negative results are also sent to Usedesk.

The main load is on the widget and feedback forms, after them - the social networks.

Statistics and our experience show that more and more customers want to communicate via text channels rather than phone. It's quick and convenient.
SASHA:
And how many operators do you need to cope with such flow?
MARIA:
While there are three operators in the shift - one advises on goods and services, executes orders, and two works with problematic situations. We plan to expand up to 5 people because the number of requests increases significantly with the chat's introduction, and the response time in this channel should be the shortest.
SASHA:
Surely order and understanding of how this should work did not come at once. How did you handle requests before Usedesk? Were there any challenges?
MARIA:
Before Usedesk, we communicated with clients by mail and kept statistics on problem situations in Excel. Many people will understand me: it was convenient to analyze such statistics, but it was difficult to work together.

The big problem was that the correspondence with the client was not transparent. For instance, if an employee suddenly went on sick leave, the communication could simply be interrupted until his return, and this was not the level of service we wanted to provide.

And the more we paid attention to customer service, the clearer it became: we needed a specialized tool that combines everything.
SASHA:
Did anything qualitatively change after you switched to the Helpdesk system?
MARIA:
With the connection of Usedesk, our support center finally became truly centralized.

I was looking for a product that would not only allow me to communicate with customers in different channels. Still, I would also unite the sales department's communication, customer service, and employees of other departments in one place. Allow for internal discussion and access to the entire history of work with the client. The entire history of communication - both internal and external - is concentrated in one place and can be accessed by any employee.

Moreover, after the implementation of Usedesk, the sales department was able to track dialogs and pick up customers without losing time or data. SLA (Agents Response Rate) and CSI (Customer Satisfaction) reports, subject statistics, and load dynamics became available. The ability to track conversions in the text channel is now available. Well, when you have data and statistics, you can develop the department efficiently, not blindly.
After implementing Usedesk, the sales department could track conversations and pick up customers without losing time or data.
SASHA:
It's true. You can't do anything without numbers. Now you have more than 40 stores in different regions of the country, how do you manage to keep everything in order and establish such an elaborate support network?
MARIA:
It is again a matter of centralization. All appeals flow into one system, and it is convenient to work with them. With the help of automatic rules in Usedesk, they are distributed to those in charge, priorities and deadlines are assigned. Templates for agents, a convenient and straightforward knowledge base also make life easier.

It has also affected the amount of negativity from clients. I can proudly say that now we have well-developed business processes and good communication with branches and partners, so there are not many complaints. There was a time when we were putting out fires, but then we started working with each problem systematically - we identify pain points and work through the weak issues in the processes.
SASHA:
How do you measure such successes and achievements of the support department? What are the most critical indicators in your field?
MARIA:
Speed and quality of response - both parameters are included in the KPIs and participate in the motivational scheme.

At the same time, the rating on Yandex.Market is significant for us as a store. In most cases, feedback on the Market is a way of getting through to the store—a kind of leverage when the store doesn't want to solve a problem. And if our client has made a complaint to the contact center, it usually does not come to this - we quickly resolve the issue and help the customer.

But, of course, some go straight to the Market without hoping that the seller will respond at all. And here we have a chance to change that opinion. Usually, after the problem is solved, the client changes his rating to positive and recommends us as a reliable and conscientious seller.

We also add manual work to the reports. For example, the supervisor and I randomly check dialogues against our standards, review customer reactions, and give feedback to employees - it's still one of the best ways to improve the quality of support.
SASHA:
Instruments are not an easy commodity; how do you handle difficult situations with customers who have something wrong with the instrument during delivery or are unhappy with the quality?
MARIA:
We are a very loyal company; most issues are resolved in favor of the client, even if the law does not oblige us to do this. The reputation and loyalty of clients are more expensive.

In general, I am convinced that there are at least two solutions in any, even the most complicated situation, so you should not dwell on the most obvious.

The main thing is to understand what the customer wants. Listen to the client, find out what his central pain is, make it clear that we care, and, if possible, eliminate this pain.

We are a very loyal company; most issues are resolved in favor of the client, even if the law does not oblige us to do this. The reputation and loyalty of clients are more expensive.
Customers probably often ask consultants about something specific, such as the difference between two similar guitars - do all employees know this by heart and understand everything, or are there any secrets?
SASHA:
We have an internal training platform, most questions are answered there. Besides 95% of our staff are working musicians, they work with the equipment and know all the nuances.
MARIA:
We have an internal training platform, most questions are answered there. Besides 95% of our staff are working musicians, they work with the equipment and know all the nuances.

In this respect, as a highly specialized store, we are lucky to recruit a team of eager, interested guys. And we don't even have to look for them on purpose - Muztorg is on everyone's radar.

There is no need to go far. For example, I, as a teenager, came to the "Muzztorg" as a museum. I admired the atmosphere and the instruments. And, of course, as soon as I saw a suitable vacancy, I came here and was surprised at how unique this company is.

On the flip side, with creative people, it can sometimes be problematic in terms of discipline, but we are long past the stage where we turned a blind eye to that. You want to be part of the team; you have to fit in. It works.
SASHA:
I'll be honest; it's even touching. And it's great that it all came together like that. And share any particularly memorable case from the other side - from the life of support and clients. I remember once a massive rebar was thrown at me, and since then, I try to resolve conflicts before they grow.
MARIA:
I can't recall the story, but there is one case I cherish. One evening a man called our sales department. He said that he was on the Chinese border: he was all alone and had no one to talk to. He told us how he once ordered a master bass through us and how much he loved that guitar. A very heartfelt conversation turned out. At such moments it becomes obvious why and for whom a good service should be made.
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