Why RentMoola moved all support channels under one roof

By Emily Vince

Published June 9, 2016
Last modified June 9, 2016

What’s your largest monthly bill? Chances are, it’s your rent or mortgage. Whereas paying a mortgage is pretty straightforward, renters may deal with an individual landlord, a rental management company, and have to deliver a personal or cashier's check. The rental process is anything but modern.

That’s where RentMoola comes in. The company, headquartered in Vancouver, offers an easy payment platform for property managers that allows renters to pay by credit or debit card, track payments, and even to automate monthly payments. What’s more? Renters can reap the benefits of earning credit card points and take advantage of “MoolaPerks,” which are deals on travel, shopping, and more offered through the platform. All around, the process is easy, and everyone wins.

From a customer service standpoint, there are some inherent challenges. RentMoola’s customer base reaches across all demographics and levels of technical prowess. And given the cyclical nature of the business, the lean team of four, managed by Ari Diamond, Vice President of Customer Success, routinely sees their volume double for two weeks of every month, from 250 to 500 tickets.

We sat down with Laura Cowin, Manager, Customer Support, and her boss Ari to learn why a modern payment platform also requires modern, flexible, multi-channel support—including the good old fashioned phone.

You started with Zendesk Support in 2012 and had since upgraded your plan and opened new channels through Zendesk. But to go back to the beginning, why did you initially choose Support?
Ari: We wanted to provide an easy way for people to access us when they’re navigating the site. We also wanted to use Zendesk Support as a product development tool. It helps us to know if we have recurring issues so that we know what we need to do with our product to drive down the number of inquiries and quickly resolve any bugs on the site.

After offering email and self-service support through Support and Guide, you added live chat. You also offered phone support, but through a different, separate system. Can you tell us more about your channel mix? What’s the most popular channel?
Ari: Two-thirds of our inquiries come through live chat. Live chat is right there where our customers are using the platform, and we like the visibility—being able to see what page someone’s on and what step of the process they’re in. It’s also a great channel for product development and getting feedback on the user interface.

Of the final third, there’s a 60/40 split between email and the phone. Talk drives the lowest volume, but it’s always been an important channel for us. The phone is a comfort thing, for people who are more used to calling customer support, and also sometimes for parents, maybe paying a student’s rent through the student’s account.

Why is the phone an important channel for RentMoola?
Ari: We realized that sometimes people want that comfort of picking up the phone and giving us a call. We’re very cognizant of the fact that, for many of us, rent is our largest monthly expense. And also that not all of our tenants grew up with a computer or Internet banking. Our customer is anyone who rents—that’s everyone from the 90-year-old grandmother who’s lived in the same building for 30 years to the 18-year-old student whose parents or student loans are paying the rent. The world is fast-moving for Millennials but many people still like the phone.

What led you to adopt Zendesk Talk and integrate your phone support?
Ari: We had everything integrated into one place, and everything was generating tickets except for the phone. Often, the place where you need to be the most accountable, and where you’ll have the most personable interaction, happens on the phone. So we realized we needed to make sure our voice support was integrated. We looked at TalkDesk and Zendesk Talk, and we chose Talk for its integration—we love that fact that it's built right into Support and tightly integrated with all our other channels.

How has your support changed now that you’ve been using Talk?
Laura: We like to keep notes and follow each customer all the way through their experience so that we have a good idea about what’s happening with them. That’s really important to us, and I was finding that there were holes when we didn’t have our phone support integrated, especially when customers reached out to us using more than one channel. We were keeping great track of email and chat interactions, but until we integrated phone support we didn’t have this nice cohesive story that we have now.

Now that your support channels are integrated, what about the team? How are they segmented?
Laura: Any customer support representative can be on all three channels. They also work across both tenants and renters. That’s again why it’s great to have so much information in one place. One day I may speak with a tenant, and another rep will speak to the same tenant the next day, so there’s lots of sharing between the team.

Integrating our Zendesk channels has helped us to track our customer interaction from start to finish, no matter how they reach out. In turn, we’ve been able to better understand customer needs, identify trends, and adjust our product as required. Zendesk has been a huge help to RentMoola’s customer support, and we’re looking forward to leveraging it even more as our department grows.

Interested in following RentMoola's lead? Learn more about Zendesk Talk.