IT Manager Steven Juanes struggled to get a bloated ticketing system like Freshservice to work for his agile, growing startup. With Spoke, he discovered simpler ticketing and AI-powered automation that gave him more uninterrupted time to work on his big projects.
Steven Juanes, the IT Manager at Pantheon, struggled to get his support ticketing system, Freshservice, to work for his situation at a growing startup.
“We’re a startup, so a lot of things change constantly. It was really difficult to tune Freshservice to the needs of the organization. It was a lot of manual work, and created headaches for me and for the end users. There was a lot of overhead to make sure the ticket was properly tagged and tracked.”
Freshservice just didn’t make sense for a small, scrappy IT team trying to execute quickly.
“It’s meant for a team of IT people and we don’t have a team here. There’s just me.
So all the bells and whistles weren’t necessary. All the extra features that Freshservice offered weren’t actually being used, so we were paying for things we’re not using.”
Unused features included Freshservice’s knowledge base, which proved to be yet another headache.
“I tried to use the built-in Freshservice knowledge base, but it was a pain to maintain.”
Pantheon’s employees, Steven’s customers, weren’t interested in adopting Freshservice, either. Instead, they’d send their requests to Steven, directly.
“I wish people would have used Freshservice’s service catalog to request things, but it never really found adoption.”
As demands on Steven’s time and attention grew–exacerbated by Freshservice’s heavy workflows–he looked to automate many of the rote, repetitive tasks taking up his time, including answering very simple questions.
“I wanted to automate a lot of what I did because one guy doing things manually to support a company of 120 doesn’t really scale.”
Plus, given employee dissatisfaction with their Freshservice experience, he wanted to put more of an emphasis on customer satisfaction.
“My focus shifted to the end user experience. To provide better support. Given the limited manpower on IT, I’d like to get people help faster without my needing interact for simple requests.”
Steven came across Spoke and thought it might be the perfect solution for adding automation to his workflow, providing better service for Pantheon employees, and simplifying support ticketing workflows.
“I thought the AI aspect of Spoke was really interesting. I signed up for the demo and immediately saw the potential. We evaluated it, we tested it, and got people jazzed about the AI. The rest is history.”
“I pivoted to Spoke because the AI in a sense was like adding another body to the IT team. Or half a body, if you will, to be able to process the more mundane requests. What’s the Wi-Fi password? How do I set up Zoom? Things like that that I was constantly having answer that aren’t ticket-worthy in Freshservice.”
“Spoke offers a better user experience for the end user. Obviously with the AI built in, that helps a lot. But being able to quickly respond in a very simple interfaces is awesome.“
“Spoke is really simple. At the current state of the organization, it makes sense for us.”
Getting up and running on Spoke was painless, as it fit seamlessly into Pantheon’s existing habits and workflows.
“A ticket that can be replied to either by email or in the portal was really important because our users were used to replying by email. I didn’t have to change my support email address to get going. Slack integration is a nice addition, too.”
Plus, change management ended up being easy. Steven had no problem getting employee buy-in and adoption.
“If anything, our help desk got more usage in the beginning of adopting Spoke. People realized it was a resource they could use and it became a normal thing. They know Spoke is the way to get help.”
“People are already invested in Slack, so that was an easy transition for people. For folks not on Slack, they can use the email that I had set up for the previous help desk.”
“It was the simplest way of creating an IT Help Desk that I could possibly have thought of.”
So has AI-powered automation paid off for Steven in the way that he’d hoped?
“Now that people know Spoke exists and that they can get their answers from there, I get a lot fewer walk-ups. That’s extremely helpful considering I’m the only person doing my job here. It’s given me a lot of time back to be able to take on bigger projects. People know that they’re going to get answers immediately.”
And the process for handling service requests has become a lot more lightweight thanks to Spoke’s simple ticketing workflows.
“Spoke will reply automatically with, We’ll get somebody to get help for you. And we’re able to typically respond pretty quickly. It’s a lot faster than it was with Freshservice.”
“I got a lot of time back, which is great. Maybe conservatively about five minutes a ticket, and I get maybe 30 a week. So about an hour and half a week. And fewer common questions are asked, which is great.“
Not only that, Steven’s finally been able to enjoy the benefits of a knowledge base that’s actually flexible and easy to maintain.
“We never really had a knowledge base. We have information in Confluence, Google Docs, and everywhere else. We wanted to be able to put links in Spoke from everything that we had. Having a place to go and pull answers from is really key in speeding up the support path. So that’s been really nice.”
Spoke has been such a success for the IT team that other teams in the company have decided to adopt it for managing requests, saving Steven from even more distractions and giving employees a one-stop-shop for support.
“Importantly, we were able to bring in our office operations and HR staff on it. So questions that would maybe come into the IT Help Desk that weren’t related to IT don’t get lost in translation. I don’t have to forward a ticket or create another thread. It was really nice to be able to put everything under one roof.”
Would other support teams have been able to use Freshservice to manage employee requests?
“Freshservice is meant for IT. It doesn’t play well for HR questions.”