When COVID-19 disrupted our personal and professional lives in early 2020, Zoom instantly became a de facto tool for businesses and individuals to stay connected. Zoom usage skyrocketed overnight as hundreds of millions of people flocked to the platform.
spent qualifying leads
Sales and Marketing Automation
Automated CX (ACX)
Zoom was prepared for the challenge, having recently partnered with Ada in late 2019 to implement an automated customer experience (ACX) strategy across the customer journey. Zoom’s timing could not have been better—and it was no coincidence.
Helping every prospect and customer succeed at scale
Alicia Ramirez is a Manager of Marketing Operations and Enablement at Zoom, tasked with ensuring the marketing team is set up for success with the right tools, resources, and training. Alicia is passionate about strategic, scalable growth, and had been researching ways to drive efficiencies within Zoom’s marketing organization long before COVID-19 appeared on the scene.
Zoom had been steadily growing its enterprise user base since launching in 2013, having achieved unicorn status in January 2017 and ultimately going public in April 2019. By the end of that same year, Zoom was handling approximately 10 million daily meeting participants.
It was around this time that Alicia and her colleagues at Zoom were investigating solutions for a pressing issue in the organization: How to scale a consistent and high-quality customer experience across the entire lifetime of a Zoom customer.
Zoom was built to support the business community, but adapted with free offerings for social and individual use. The accessibility of the platform made Zoom a natural choice for the world’s population to work, study, and socialize during the pandemic. But even before COVID-19, the wide range of people contacting Zoom posed a challenge as free and paid users reached out through the same channels with both sales and support interactions.
Handling sales and support interactions is a balancing act
One group who felt this challenge acutely was the Online Account Executive (OAE) team—members of the marketing organization who are responsible for handling inbound sales interactions and securing new business accounts.
Any website visitor can engage with an OAE via live chat, powered by Zendesk. The trouble in 2019 was that OAEs would frequently handle non-sales chats, leading to lower conversion rates and longer wait times for genuine prospects - not to mention a poor experience for the customer, who had to be transferred to the support department.
Zoom’s marketing operations team wanted to intelligently route inquiries to the right department, reserving OAEs for customer acquisition efforts while ensuring that existing customers could still reach the support team. Further, the marketing operations team was in search of strategies to save time for OAEs, increase their productivity in Salesforce Service Cloud, and accelerate the buying cycle.
The marketing operations team was not alone in their pursuit of business efficiencies and improved customer experience. Brendan Ittelson, previously the Global Head of Support and now CTO at Zoom, was also investigating customer self-service options.
With 10 million monthly active users at the end of 2019, customer support at Zoom was well established on Zendesk Support and Zendesk Chat. Brendan and his team were looking for complementary tools to help Zoom’s customers help themselves, reduce effort for support agents, and improve the overall experience for free and paid users seeking support.
COVID-19 sparked unimaginable urgency; Zoom was prepared
Zoom’s marketing operations and customer support teams began a partnership with Ada at the end of 2019, mere weeks before the pandemic took hold. No one could have known how quickly and to what extent Zoom’s investments in ACX would pay off. But Zoom’s strategic planning and foresight meant they were ready to act when the pandemic began.
Zoom launched Ada to 100% of website visitors in just 30 days, following Ada’s Automated Customer Experience (ACX) framework and rolling out Ada’s conversational AI as the first point of contact across Zoom’s digital marketing and support channels.
Desiree Slagle, a Marketing Operations Specialist at Zoom, took charge of implementing Ada. With support from Ada’s ACX Consultants, Desiree was able to:
- Build top priority flows for both marketing and support use cases using Ada’s no code platform
- Connect Ada with Zendesk, setting up a seamless transition from AI to live agent when prospects and customers need more help
- Connect Ada with Salesforce Service Cloud, so Ada could qualify and generate leads for OAEs to handle
- Tap her IT team to embed Ada’s code on Zoom’s website and ensure that Zoom passed Ada a given user’s level (i.e. free or paid), allowing Ada to route existing customers to the right support channels according to their tier
After an internal testing period, Zoom was ready to launch their ACX strategy to the world. The results were immediate, and impressive.
Ada helped Zoom scale their marketing and support teams to handle growth from 10 million to 300 million daily meeting participants between December 2019 and April 2020.
Ada automated 70% of sales interactions, generated leads in Salesforce Service Cloud, and pre-qualified opportunities to reduce OAE handle time by 33%. On average, Ada saved OAEs 30 minutes per day of rote qualifying efforts, allowing them to focus on higher value sales activities.
On the support side, Ada provided instant and on-demand support to all users. Ada automated 98% of support interactions from free users, reserving human agents for requests from paid customers. Even still, 85% of paid customers were able to achieve a resolution with Ada without needing the help of a human support agent.
With this tiered support strategy, Zoom effectively scaled its support organization to handle a 2,900% increase in daily active users without compromising the quality of the paid customer experience.
Zoom + Ada
Zoom’s free offering could have been their downfall during the pandemic, inviting hundreds of millions of new, never-paying customers to their platform. Ironically, Zoom’s accessibility paired with their foresight to prepare for unimaginable scale with ACX is what has secured their position as a world leader in video conferencing—certainly during COVID-19 and, no doubt, well beyond.