Great CX, implementing Zendesk and the power of WFM for going remote: Adelante’s Tamir Bashkin sits down for a chat

Many people know that one of the most exciting tech scenes in the world right now is Tel Aviv. And right at the centre of it, you’ll find Tamir. As the CEO and founder of Adelante, Tamir is one of the people who really gets Zendesk. In fact, Adelante’s main promise is: they’ll help you set up your Zendesk in less than 7 days. Even if you’ve tried before and it didn’t work out.

Lately, Adelante is making inroads into new markets. And to follow their exciting developments in North America, Tamir has been on-the-move lately from partner to partner, customer to customer, and state to state. We caught up with him recently for a quick Q&A on the future of CX, WFM and all things Zendesk.

You’re one of the people we know who’s most outspoken about delivering an outstanding customer experience. Why is this something that matters so much to you?

TAMIR: My story with CX started in 2016 when I wanted to get customer service under control to keep managing our marketing and sales in the family insurance business. However, as I dived in, I quickly realized there’s more to CX than just ‘getting done with customer requests.’

I saw the power of automation and operational processes in CX and how easy it is to create great customer experiences if you put in the thought. After seeing this firsthand, I realized more companies might find this helpful and went on to form Adelante.

As someone who sees the CX world from the inside both in Israel and the States - how do they compare to one another? Are they similar? Are there any key differences?

CX is more advanced in the US than in Israel, but we are catching up there. One crucial difference is how much trust a brand has in its customers. US brands focus on customer relationships, while Israel is still mainly transactional.
In the US, relationships and trust are more established. The economy's sheer size also allows brands to pay less attention to edge cases or customers taking advantage of their products and focus on serving their good customers.

In a sense, many brands in Israel are playing defense in their customer service department.

I hope this will change.

What is it about Zendesk that you feel the most passionate about?

From a general perspective, I believe companies should focus on the right tool for the job- the tool itself is not an objective. I started the journey with Zendesk because it had the best UI and was the easiest to get up and running fast.

Zendesk excels in making it easy for companies to kickstart their CX journey because it just works. It’s easy to get started, it’s easy to grow with, and it’s easy to customize in all areas.

The fact it works well technically, and you usually don’t run into issues is also a huge plus: both for companies that need reliability, and for us as a consultancy because we know it’ll work out well for the customer.

What is your number one tip for someone implementing Zendesk today?

When implementing a new Zendesk instance, it’s essential to understand that the CX organization is your customer. They will be using it eventually, so treat them as your end-user: ask for feedback and iterate on their requests to make the platform work for them – instead of making them work for the platform.

If you have a game plan, you can get the team working with you. It’ll help you motivate the CX team and create clarity and confidence around the positive things this change will bring.

When/Why do you recommend a WFM solution to your clients/partners?

We generally see companies looking into WFM when their teams start growing remotely. They want to bring order to the chaos and ensure they accurately schedule agents to handle the flow of digital interactions.

Before looking into WFM solutions, we see companies struggling with scheduling, staffing, and generally making sure they know how many people they need to have in place to respond to customer requests.

WFM solves that, so when we see companies ‘spiraling’ up and down with hiring, hiring temp agents, and generally just feeling in a chaotic situation about their staffing, we know it’s a good time to introduce a WFM solution.

What can you tell someone who’s looking for a WFM solution about Tymeshift?

Historically, it was easy to do WFM for contact centers –  a single agent can only handle one inbound call at a time, so if you know how many inbound calls you get and how many an agent can respond to during a shift, you’ve pretty much solved the main problem.

In digital interactions, agents handle several customers simultaneously with different needs.

That means companies have to define their KPIs based on their data and decide how they measure success before choosing a WFM solution.

Data is always tricky, and most companies have technical limitations around pulling it and making meaningful decisions.

That’s where I believe Tymeshift comes into play. The tight integration with Zendesk allows it to uniquely build its solution around the way Zendesk handles agent performance data, and it helps managers running on Zendesk accurately understand their agents’ performance and forecast their future needs.

What are 2 things that, as a customer, you see and equate with outstanding CX?

As a customer, I really enjoy CX experiences when I see that the other side ‘gets me.’ Whether that’s a fast response time, an easy way to solve my issue, or a well-thought-out solution presented at the right moment.

The other thing I appreciate is standing behind your product. You can see brands standing behind their product, saying things like, ‘if you don’t like your experience, we’ll give you your money back.’ That’s just one example - offering free trials or freemium versions is another.

They’re easy ways to promise and deliver for a brand, making the customer feel trust and safety in transactions. The moment you offer a guarantee, you’re outperforming 95% of the competitors who don’t feel confident enough to stand behind their product.

And finally: what are 3 big trends you’re seeing in the Zendesk marketplace/ecosystem that you’re excited about?

First, from Zendesk's side: we’re looking forward to seeing if the private equity acquisition will bring more innovation into the Zendesk product and help it advance into a bigger market share.

Secondly, from the ecosystem side: I think we’re going to see an increase in Customer Experience emphasis: how do we make it easy for the customers to do business with us and make sure that their experience is positive from the start?

Thirdly, I think this will push for a shift in support: from reactive to proactive, so brands can take control of the experiences their customers have with them – offering them what they need before they even have to ask for it.