Tesco’s Global Help Desk Team


Tesco’s global help desk team uses Zendesk Support to process more than 40,000 tickets each week

  • Agents 3,900
  • Light Agents 3,500
  • Avg IT Ticket Volume/Week 40,000
  • Avg Tickets Resolved in One-Touch 79%
  • Products Used

In late 2015, grocery giant Tesco—a company that serves 79 million shopping trips per week across the world—realised it needed a more efficient way to manage internal technology issues and queries for its 460,000 employees located across 9 countries, including India and Thailand.

Robert Ainscough, Head of Product for Service Desk at Tesco, turned to Zendesk at the time to improve the technology help desk experience and Tesco employees’ use of a ticket management system. Zendesk Support met Ainscough’s initial key requirements—he wanted software that was “nimble, flexible and simple”—but he could not have anticipated how widely the solution would be adopted within Tesco. Once his colleagues began using Support to make technology requests from stores, depots and offices around the world, it became apparent that Tesco could use Zendesk in other ways, to communicate more efficiently. “The internal demand has been huge since that initial deployment,” said Adam Bruce, Lead Product Manager for Tesco’s Service Desk. “Other teams have seen how Zendesk has improved service and want to start using it too.”
Tesco Cake
A little over two years later, Tesco has five instances of Zendesk Support and eight Help Centres up and running. These include handling communication with suppliers, Technology, People Services and Security Operations. Bruce, who manages Zendesk use at Tesco, oversees a lean team comprised of two product managers and six engineers, who configure and develop Zendesk as desired. “We’re starting to look at building customised apps to help service within our help desks, things that are driven by the product team, along with the users, and built by the engineers,” Bruce said. The Technology department alone handles over 40,000 tickets per week. Despite the volume, Tesco is able to manage its complex routing using Support’s triggers and macros, configured across teams to maintain a consistent experience for colleagues, no matter the type of query. “We have the vision that we can resolve any queries from colleagues or partners globally quickly, painlessly, and cost-effectively. Zendesk gives us the opportunity to be quite flexible with the configuration whilst keeping the level of consistency we need,” he said. “Zendesk is very much our preferred strategic solution. It’s a lot simpler to use straight out of the box, and simpler to manage from a central team perspective than a lot of the other tools that we might use.”
Tesco also chose Zendesk Guide for its internal knowledge management and self-service solution. Designated help centre managers across the company edit and contribute content, and the company has begun to explore Zendesk’s free Knowledge Capture app as a tool for generating knowledge content from agents from within a ticket. Bruce also appreciates the Zendesk Web Widget for its ability to surface relevant content from within any of our applications, and to raise a ticket if needed. Since rolling out self-service with Zendesk Guide, Tesco employees are actively viewing about 30,000 articles a week across the different Help Centres, a number that Bruce expects will grow. Internally, the teams also field phone calls and use Zendesk to manually record and log them to keep a complete and accurate record. In 2018, Bruce’s team are focused on bringing together the various service desk offerings within Tesco, to make things simpler for colleagues and enable them to focus more of their time in serving Tesco customers. This will also include investing in self-service, and smarter routing of tickets direct to resolving teams. Bruce said that approximately 79 per cent of all tickets are resolved by the first assigned group, without re-routing or escalation.
Although Tesco has the capability to build its own solution and apps, Bruce’s team sometimes opts to rely on Zendesk’s professional services team. “Launching a help centre for People Services was a high business priority,” Bruce said. “We needed to deliver something within a short time and needed to engage Zendesk’s Professional Services to enable us to deliver that whilst developing other systems.” Bruce’s team ensure Tesco’s success with Zendesk, but a spirit of partnership results. “We’ve recently felt like Zendesk has been taking enterprise needs more seriously, and we’ve been able to contribute to some product conversations, which has been really useful. It’s early days, but as we start to see some of these new features come into fruition, I’m sure the experience is going to be even better than it is today.”
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“Zendesk allows us to treat our colleagues with as much care as we give our customers.”
– Adam Bruce, Lead Product Manager, Service Desk