PromoFarma: how to demonstrate your obsession for the customer by using the right technology
Spanish marketplace PromoFarma’s primary objective is to offer the best purchasing experience. Zendesk has been helping it to achieve this over the last eight years by enabling fast, simple and transparent management.
“This project enabled us to make immediate improvements: a single profile for multi-brand agents, more comprehensive reporting, better tracking despite the scale-up of tickets and minimisation of external tools. With all of this, we have achieved better productivity.”
We send orders to
28 European countries
PromoFarma, part of the Zur Rose Group since 2018, has a catalogue of more than 180,000 products and over 7,000 brands. Its differentiating offer, which it has maintained since it first appeared on the market, is a combination of economical pricing and optimum customer service, not only for consumers but also for the more than 1,000 chemists in Spain, France and Italy that the company works with.
The company’s Operations department plays an important role in designing this value proposition. Its task is to ensure that retailers (chemists) and consumers can finalise the transaction quickly, easily and transparently.
A well-organised team
In terms of its structure, the Operations department is divided into three sections: the Sellers Success Team, the Customer Success Team and the Delivery Team.
Sellers Success Team. Operating on a managed marketplace like this means needing to give retailers access to a personal back office, where each of them can perform all of the necessary tasks in relation to managing their sales. With this in mind, the company offers them a help centre, which incorporates both a free telephone line and a chat tool.
Customer Success Team. The people who work in this team are responsible for supporting and guiding customers in matters relating to their use of the website, the purchase process, delivery information and how to handle returns and incidents. Some of the team members also provide advice about the products themselves.
All of these pre and post-sales services are available via telephone, chat, email and social networks, in English, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese, for users from 28 countries across Europe.
Delivery Team. This is the team that takes care of maintaining a close relationship with all of the courier companies they work with. They monitor these companies closely to ensure compliance with the SLAs agreed with each of them, which in turn ensures that PromoFarma complies with its own delivery commitment (the “PromoFarma Brand Promise”). This role involves keeping an eye on order preparation time, pick-ups, transit and deliveries.
Digitalisation in the health industry
Structuring the Operations department in this way makes an important contribution to ensuring that the marketplace functions properly, but this alone is not enough. After all, according to Beatriz López, Operations Manager at PromoFarma, the brand’s motto is “obsession about the customer”.
As well as this, as Beatriz López adds, the health crisis brought about by COVID-19 has laid bare the fact that telemedicine and the digitalisation of health services are challenges that require solutions. “That’s why at PromoFarma and Zur Rose we’re working towards that aim, our goal being to turn the whole company into a health platform in order to help people to manage their own health optimally and with ease, by using digital products and solutions,” she explains.
Zendesk has been playing a key role in this for eight years now, since the start of its partnership with PromoFarma. “Zendesk was chosen because of the suitability and easy implementation of the tool. We started by working just with the Support tool and now we have the complete Support Suite Enterprise solution with all of the integrated channels: the Zendesk Chat solution, the call centre software Talk, the knowledge base and smart self-service tool Guide and the analysis and reporting solution Zendesk Explore. Personally, I feel very comfortable with Zendesk. I’d say I’ve reached an advanced level in using it,” Beatriz says.
The importance of the chat channel
If there’s one channel that deserves special attention, it’s perhaps chat. At this point, it is worth pointing out that about 50% of the queries made by PromoFarma’s customers are about how their website works and the service they provide, for example they ask about everything to do with deliveries (where the products are sent from, which countries they deliver to, prices, how long it takes etc.). As a result, the inclusion of Zendesk Chat has been extremely useful. After seven years of usage, the volume of contacts coming through this channel has increased by 20%.
So how did they achieve this increase? “Initially, to get our customers used to it, what we did was to gradually add chat to our website’s various landing pages. We started on the landing pages with fewest visits and gradually added it to the other pages until finally we included it on the home page,” Beatriz explains. “I assigned agents to work exclusively on covering chat. That way, they could devote their full attention to this channel. Over time, we created shortcuts and macros to deal with the queries more smoothly, gradually increasing the number of simultaneous chats per agent,” she adds.
The most recent improvement to this channel was applied a few months ago and consisted in the incorporation of a chatbot which now resolves 30% of the queries. The goal is to increase that figure to 50% over the next few months.
This was part of the company’s latest, recently completed project, which took place over a few months and was implemented with the help of a local Zendesk partner, redk.
“As well as including a chatbot in Zendesk Chat, we’ve merged three separate organisations into one, creating different brands, and we’ve incorporated the IVR (interactive voice response) system,” says the PromoFarma Operations Manager.
Thanks to redk’s expertise and in-depth knowledge of Zendesk’s products and PromoFarma’s business, they were able to apply best practices for both the configuration and the UX. Their approach has benefitted both agents and consumers, and consisted of the following:
- Unification of three separate organisations – PromoFarma, Doctipharma and PromoFarma Sellers (chemists) – into a single multi-brand organisation.
- Configuration of their telephone numbers for the organisation and of the notifications made by the various brands (as the notifications are different from one another), while maintaining the flows and thereby avoiding triplication of the business rules.
- Specific development for managing chats with users who have already explicitly approved the use of their data under the GDPR.
- And lastly, the configuration of dashboards and specific reports in Explore.
“Our idea is to offer the same service across all channels, without losing sight of the most important thing, which is that the customer gets the answers they are looking for without needing to contact an agent. For that reason, we’re aiming to integrate all of the social network channels and WhatsApp into Zendesk.”Beatriz López , Operations Manager at PromoFarma “This project enabled us to make immediate improvements: a single profile for multi-brand agents, more comprehensive reporting, better tracking despite the scale-up of tickets and minimisation of external tools. With all of this, we have achieved better productivity,” Beatriz says.
Over the course of this year, the company wants to incorporate the social network channels it uses into the Zendesk solution, thereby aligning all of the channels of communication with its customers. Soon, it will integrate WhatsApp into Zendesk to offer it as another channel. “Our idea is to offer the same service across all channels, without losing sight of the most important thing, which is that the customer gets the answers they are looking for without needing to contact an agent. For that reason, we’re aiming to integrate all of the social network channels and WhatsApp into Zendesk,” Beatriz explains.
PromoFarma has also invested a lot into its self-service offering. This has involved the development of three different help centres. At two of these – dedicated to the PromoFarma and Doctipharma brands – users can resolve any doubts they may have about the purchase process, use of data, delivery times etc. The other centre is aimed at retailers. It offers them explanations of how they can use the platform to manage their product catalogue and sales. It also gives them tips on improving their catalogue and strategy. To improve things even further, the customer service department’s internal knowledge base is being incorporated through the Guide module.
The PromoFarma team is fully focused on optimising the Zendesk solution to the maximum extent possible. “We want to develop a widget of our OMT and incorporate it into Zendesk. Our goal is to integrate our email marketing tool so that we can visualise all of our customers’ touchpoints. Right now, we are working closely with the Zendesk team to keep getting maximum benefit out of the tool,” Beatriz concludes.
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