How GoCardless Achieved More With Less: Scaling Customer Operations Without Driving Up Costs

February 6, 2023

GoCardless’ challenge:

When Daniel Mooney joined London-based fintech company GoCardless as Director of Customer Operations, his challenge was clear: Help a startup-sized customer service team of 10 scale rapidly and efficiently, while keeping headcount roughly the same. GoCardless was experiencing explosive growth, jumping from 50 to 450 total employees in a span of three years, and Mooney’s small-but-mighty team now needed to serve businesses of all sizes in 31 countries — and counting.

GoCardless was quickly becoming a global leader in recurring payments by helping businesses large and small set up repeat payments from online customers, rather than using their credit and debit cards. Because customer tickets involved matters of finance, which are critical to the businesses using GoCardless, team members were spending most of their time on the phone in reactive support conversations — a process that was fundamentally unscalable.

“In the customer support world, people often love the customers so much they almost feel their pain themselves. (…) It’s my job as a manager to oversee that function and channel that passion, but also to make gains.”

– Daniel Mooney, Director of Customer Operations at GoCardless

Unbabel’s approach:

After watching and learning, Mooney’s team first implemented Zendesk, followed quickly by the Unbabel integration. A year later, the customer service team had added only one employee, despite their customer base doubling in size, along with headcount across the rest of the company. What’s more, team member engagement and satisfaction had skyrocketed, while turnover had decreased. 

With Unbabel, GoCardless successfully:

  • Automated 28% of customer inquiries

  • Saved 284 hours of manual labor 

  • Achieved a consistent CSAT score of 92%

It will continue to rely on Unbabel as it reaches customers in every corner of the world. Here’s how.

Using technology to create happier, more engaged employees

GoCardless’ first step was to collect data in order to automate as many tickets as possible. Within a few weeks of using Zendesk, they had enough information to automate the most common inquiries and persuasively advocate internally for product changes that would ease other pain points. As a result, they quickly diverted 25 percent of demand from the customer service team — allowing employees to focus on higher-touch, more challenging tickets.

“By using technology and automation, you free up your employees to have much more engaging, meaningful days at work. Someone can feel really proud that they’ve solved a tricky issue, kind of like a mini-detective, rather than providing hundreds of the same answers in a day.”

– Daniel Mooney, Director of Customer Operations at GoCardless

To further free up the team and increase scalability, the team next turned their attention to GoCardless’ Help Center. Now that they had robust data, they could systematically create self-service content addressing the top categories and issues in multiple languages that could be sent to customers via human or bot.

“We went from having 11 articles that customers could find to having over 900 articles in multiple languages, which is where we are now. (…) We managed to create this huge amount of self-service.”

– Daniel Mooney, Director of Customer Operations at GoCardless

Using Unbabel also enabled GoCardless to serve customers in all new priority countries where they onboarded customers instantly, without leaving customers waiting for responses or seeing a decrease in quality. This enabled their team to support the expansion efforts of GoCardless into new territories, without compromising on service quality, and ensuring all of their team could support these customers.

Evolving from multilingual to truly borderless

Using Unbabel for Zendesk, GoCardless quickly transformed its customer service operation, laying a strong foundation for future growth. But as Mooney tells new hires, it’s important to never get comfortable or too attached to business as usual in the customer world, which is constantly changing and increasingly crucial to beating the competition.

As the goalposts continue to move, the GoCardless team is now preparing for not only a multilingual future, but a borderless one. The past few years have seen a focus on international expansion, making the company the first truly global recurring payments solution. They’ve onboarded companies such as DocuSign, TripAdvisor, and Logmein that serve customers all over the world, requiring service that’s both tailored for businesses ranging from small to global enterprises and scalable at every step.

Key to meeting this challenge is an ongoing evolution of GoCardless’ Help Center to become a Customer Hub, what Mooney calls “a help center on steroids.” To effectively serve customers with in-house native speakers, Mooney says he would have to hire a minimum of three full-time employees in each country where they have a presence. This wasn’t efficient when they initially expanded just to France, Germany, and Spain, and is patently impossible with GoCardless’ current reach.

Instead, the team is building a robust Customer Hub, where customers will have access to everything they need to maximize the value they get from GoCardless. The Hub will include a deep library of content in multiple languages, along with options to access personalized content that’s tailored to their particular business and place in the customer journey.

“We can now onboard customers from all across the world and support them seamlessly. (…) We’ve just protected ourselves on the language side incredibly effectively. This is the future.”

– Daniel Mooney, Director of Customer Operations at GoCardless

Looking to expand across markets or optimize your multilingual operations without pushing up costs? Unbabel can help.

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Unbabel’s Content Team is responsible for showcasing Unbabel’s continuous growth and incredible pool of in-house experts. It delivers Unbabel’s unique brand across channels and produces accessible, compelling content on translation, localization, language, tech, CS, marketing, and more.