Over its five-year partnership with Zendesk, GCash has grown from 20 to 60 million mobile wallet users in the Philippines. It has also economically empowered its community and small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. With a strong focus on the Voice of the Customer, GCash continuously drives customer experience success and approaches challenges as growth opportunities, leveraging technology innovations and the power of data and insights.
In the Philippines, a day rarely goes by without using GCash. The brand has been so ingrained into local culture that it has become a verb–”i-GCash mo na lang!” (just send it to me via GCash!). As the country’s leading mobile wallet solution, GCash enables fast, easy and secure financial transactions for over 60 million users and creates economic opportunities for small businesses. Empowering such a huge user base is largely supported by strong prioritization on customer experience and trust. Likewise, GCash constantly introduces more disruptive services aimed at providing innovative solutions to widen fintech adoption.
17 years of nurturing customer trust
GCash was launched in 2004, before the advent of Android and iOS. As its user base grew and the volume of customer requests became more complex, the lack of integration across its phone, email, and chat support affected its ability to provide an excellent experience. In 2017, the search for customer case management solutions led to the discovery of Zendesk, who at that time was already a leading software provider in this space. “We were always quick to respond to our customers, but with changing customer expectations and a growing volume, we needed to have the right software that would allow us to manage customers at scale.” reminisces Joanne Avendaño, the vice president for customer experience management at GCash. Having been with GCash from day one, Avendaño is a strong advocate for utilizing technology to boost customer experience, often trailblazing for some of the best CX practices in the Philippines. Her thought leadership in the CX space was shaped partly by her remarkable experiences with Zendesk.
“Today, Zendesk powers our customer success,” Avendaño affirms. The CX platform helps GCash manage 600,000 tickets per month in Filipino and English—across chat, help center, phone, and email channels. Tickets vary from inquiries, account and product concerns and requests. Always looking for ways to improve, GCash has found that Zendesk helps provide the right tools to manage its growing customer operations, whether it’s case management, timely data analytics, or automation. According to Avendaño, “Zendesk enables us to constantly transform the way we interact with our customers, and it is our main source of customer insights.“
Scaling through data
Strategic and tactical plays are driven by data. It is the key enabler in ensuring the continuous growth of GCash. “We started engaging customers in highly urbanized areas and as we know more about them, we are able to perceive that our products can cater to a lot more people from different walks of life and curate new service experiences that are practical yet suitable to the majority if not all customer segments,” explains John Amar Castro, the head of service experience strategy and innovations.
The team also relied on the Help Center to free up agents to focus on issues that require a human touch. “We gather customer feedback not only on our interactions but our individual help center articles,” says Nikka Angeles, the head of customer experience assurance and advocacy. Side conversations further streamline the process by enabling GCash agents to give technical partners relevant information from actual customer tickets. “It helps us eliminate duplicate emails, missed escalations, and it also allows us to make documentation available and visible across teams instantaneously,” Angeles adds.
This strategy has paid off. “Our operations have been more scalable thanks to Zendesk. Response time has been reduced from 24 hours to 2 hours. Ticket resolution rate has increased from 80% in January to 92% in December 2021. Within the same period, there was a 15% rise in the CSAT score, while NPS reached a whopping rate of 79, best in class by global standards. Zendesk has kept up with GCash’s growth every step of the way. “We made so many changes so fast, but Zendesk was able to keep up by constantly providing solutions to our continuous growth,” shares Angeles.
Empowering businesses during the pandemic
The true test of GCash’s service came during the pandemic. “Nobody knew how to function. A lot of people were completely shut off from work,” remembers Castro. To help those whose livelihoods were affected, the Philippine national government started distributing financial assistance through GCash. The company suddenly saw an influx of new customers needing to adapt to the new ways of payments and transfers.
Thankfully, Zendesk’s live chat became a key channel for GCash customers in need of immediate financial assistance due to lost jobs or critical health conditions at the height of the pandemic. This allowed our customers to reach us through their mobile phones anytime and anywhere. “It wasn’t easy for our agents either but the chat shortcuts and the Knowledge Capture feature where agents could check the guide without having to leave the agent workspace aided our agents in managing up to three customers at a time. It was a difficult time for everybody, especially for our customers, but we were there for them,” recalls Angeles.
GCash also relies heavily on customer insights to overcome new challenges. “With Zendesk, we are able to pin down concerns and have a deeper understanding of customer intent. It allows us to personalize the way we engage and ensure that our services are intact and the quality of the interaction is consistent across all our channels,” says Castro.
“GCash had a tremendous impact on the society during the pandemic, sustaining the livelihood of millions. Our team was there to support new users who wanted to conduct their businesses. There was an emergence of online businesses and GCash payments were a perfect fit for them,” Angeles shares.
Innovating into the future
GCash will continue to innovate and drive customer service with agility. “We have to keep any customer concerns important and urgent. This is how we can really serve our customers and not only make them feel satisfied but further build their trust and loyalty,” says Castro. The newly integrated chatbot service powered by Ada, Zendesk’s key conversation partner, has been vital in achieving this mission.
“We want to establish deeper relationships with our customers and make them feel more involved and valued,” adds Castro. “We are setting up a touchpoint based on collective effort through Zendesk Communities. Crowdsourcing the support and concurrently learning from these interactions are pivotal in maximizing the technologies available to us. As our partner, Zendesk is helping us realize our goals in service operations and empower our teams in undertaking changing customer demands.”
For GCash, nothing can derail the company’s astounding growth as long as it is ready to innovate and take advantage of digital solutions. “Setting up a proper mindset and removing barriers to better understand the value and potential of technology-driven customer service solutions will enable a multitude of opportunities. It will allow every organization to quickly adapt and take uncharted routes with confidence, thereby expanding beyond known capabilities. Zendesk has been with us in this journey,” concludes Avendaño.