With Vincent Terol, Head of Customer Success, and Victoria Vergnaud, Customer Success Operations, at Spendesk
At a glance
With a mission to “help businesses spend smarter,” Spendesk uses Intercom across sales, support, and marketing to provide their customers with the help and support they need to efficiently manage their finances.
Vincent Terol, Spendesk’s Head of Customer Success, explains that the company’s mission is to make business spending easy with their all-in-one spend management platform. “Our value promise is to give visibility and control to finance teams and make expenses an easy process for employees,” he says. “Customer support is a top priority of ours, we want to ensure that our customers are maximizing their use of the platform and be there to help them on that journey.” With 55,000 users and counting, the Spendesk team uses Intercom to create strong user experiences across the entire customer lifecycle.
A single source of truth for customer conversations
Prior to using Intercom, the team used Zendesk for customer support. On the recommendation of their investors, they implemented Intercom to take a more conversational approach to supporting their customers, while still using Zendesk to host their help center. In 2020, the team made the decision to consolidate all of their customer communication and support documentation into a single platform, migrating the help center from Zendesk and adopting Intercom as their sole support platform.
“Before using Intercom, we didn’t have a single source of truth for customer contact, which is what we wanted,” says Vincent. “A key value differentiator of Intercom compared with Zendesk was its ability to offer proactive and self-serve support capabilities.”
The team wanted to be able to communicate more effectively with customers and offer them help when they needed it, which Intercom enabled them to do. Having started out using the platform solely for customer support, the team gradually expanded their use of the product. They now also leverage Intercom’s Conversational Marketing and Customer Engagement solutions to power their sales and marketing.
Providing powerful human support with automation
Victoria Vergnaud is on the Customer Success Operations team at Spendesk, driving the use of powerful automation and bots across the customer success and user care teams. Using a combination of Custom Bots and Resolution Bot, Victoria explains that customer queries are effectively triaged and routed to the right person to help them with their issue. This not only enhances efficiency within the support org, it also creates better experiences for their customers.
“Intercom’s proactive and self-serve support capabilities are really powerful for us on the customer success and care teams,” she says. “They’ve enabled us to maintain a customer contact rate of 7%. We’re also using features like Series to be more personalized in our approach to messaging our customers, which has been hugely beneficial for us.”
Providing support at scale with bots
As Spendesk continues to grow, Victoria explains that their expanding customer base has resulted in a surge of activity across their sales, support, and marketing operations. On the support side, Intercom’s bots have been invaluable in helping the teams to manage this increase in inbound conversation volume. Custom Bots are currently triaging all 1,500 monthly inbound conversations and Resolution Bot is resolving one in every five common questions that it’s answering.
“Our customer base has steadily increased in the last year, and both Resolution Bot and the Custom Bots have had a really big impact on us being able to manage our conversation volume. We’re also heavily using Articles so customers are empowered to self-serve answers to their questions, which has freed up our care team to deal with more urgent issues,” Victoria says. “In less than six months, we’ve moved from having a median first-response time of 45 minutes to just 10 minutes – an 80% reduction.”
Offering help before it’s needed
Both Vincent and Victoria point to the team’s focus on building out proactive support in the year ahead. With efforts across the company to improve smart alerting functionality in their product, Spendesk’s support team is looking to leverage these alerts to better understand where customers are running into roadblocks while using the platform and offer support before it’s needed.
“We want to be able to identify what the recurring patterns are, whether they’re transaction failures or problems within the product, so we can take action and follow up with personalized messages to customers,” says Vincent. “We’re convinced that proactive support is something we should heavily invest in if we want to maintain the highest quality of support.”
Driving better user experiences
With this sharp focus on proactively supporting their customers, Victoria explains that the customer success operations team has taken a number of steps in the past year to set their reps – and customers – up for future success. “About a year ago when we had customer issues, we weren’t immediately able to see what the issues were and what could be done. We decided to revamp our tech setup so we could better identify what the main issues are when customers write to us, and we’ve set up Custom Bots to categorize all of that information,” she says.
Armed with these insights, the customer success operations team can provide valuable data to the product team so they can improve the user experience across the entire customer lifecycle. “Collecting and categorizing this information with the help of Custom Bots is a way for us to be more proactive in addressing the difficulties our customers are facing, and we can leverage that data internally to build a better user experience.”
A better approach to customer communication
Within Spendesk, Vincent and Victoria point to the benefits they’ve experienced in being able to connect teams from across the company with their customers using Intercom. “We’ve found Intercom to be a great way of getting people from different teams involved and aware of what’s going on with our customers,” says Vincent. “We’re able to tag teammates in conversations to raise awareness of important issues, and also ensure we’re bringing the right people to the table to answer our customers’ questions.”
By assigning tags to conversations, Vincent says that the team has also been able to more effectively collect and analyze customer feedback and trends in order to help them iterate and improve on their support. “It’s really important that we can gather specific feedback about things that are happening or going wrong and tag it so we can consistently improve our communication,” he says.
Engaging customers at every stage of their journey
Outside of supporting their customers through Intercom, Victoria explains that the team is utilizing Series and Product Tours to send personalized messages to customers throughout their journey with the platform. “The fact that we’re able to integrate Intercom with other tools like Salesforce enables us to send tailored messages based on where customers are in their journey, if a specific event has been triggered, or if they’ve taken a particular action,” she says.
From the moment a user first signs up to Spendesk, the team is sending targeted messages through Intercom to guide them through the onboarding process and ensure they’re set up for success. “We use Intercom for our onboarding flows, to share announcements about new features, and to re-engage customers. Having everything centralized is really helpful because it lets us create more personalized, automated messaging flows.”
An all-in-one solution
Across support, sales, and marketing, the Spendesk team is building stronger and deeper relationships with their customers through Intercom’s conversational solutions. “I think we’re a good example of an Intercom success story,” says Vincent. “We started out using it to support our customers and progressively expanded our use to include marketing and, most recently, sales when we saw the potential the platform had to help us scale our business.”