No time for downtime—Weatherford uses Zendesk to keep oilfield operations running
In the 24/7 world of oil and gas drilling and production, Weatherford International uses Zendesk to keep oilfield operations running smoothly. The team responds in less than 60 seconds and earns a 97% CSAT.
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In the 24/7 world of oil and gas drilling and production, optimal performance is critical. There’s no time for downtime when production and profits are at stake.
That’s where Weatherford International, one of the largest multinational oil and gas field services companies, with operations in more than 90 countries, comes in. Name any national or large independent oil company in the world, and its more than likely that they turn to Weatherford services and technologies to address their business challenges.
Among the tools these industry leaders rely on is sophisticated production optimization software that provides real-time monitoring and data, helping to reduce failures and maximize performance from the well to the processing plant. This software is used by operators and highly technical, experienced petroleum and software engineers and administrators whose support needs are rarely basic: They want to know how to use a particular software function, fix a bug, or request an engineering analysis before resolving an issue.
Customers look for the same high performance from their support team that they expect from the company’s products. Sam Govindaswamy, Global Director for Services for Production Software at Weatherford, explained, “In the drilling environment, they want to address any issues immediately, in real-time. So at the end of the day, we want at least 99% customer satisfaction.”
Focusing on delivering exceptional customer support also helps Weatherford stand out from the competition. The company spends at least three to six months training members of the three teams Govindaswamy manages: a delivery team responsible for deploying software solutions at customer sites, a software product support team handling customer inquiries, and a training team that educates customers to use Weatherford software products. Some products are so rich in functionality that it can take a year or more of training for an agent to become fully competent.
Once trained, agents offer English and Spanish language support from locations in India, the Middle East, and the United States. They work from 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and use an answering service after hours to provide 24/7 global coverage. Customers can contact the support team via email and phone, or use a secure login to the support portal to submit a ticket and get information about software products from a knowledge base that’s powered by Zendesk Guide.
The company implemented Zendesk Support and Guide in 2015 for those supporting its real-time drilling and optimization software, and those handling questions about its production engineering and optimization solution.
“Our software group was put together through several acquisitions and we were trying to consolidate into a more optimized, streamlined operation. We needed a customer-facing portal that included self-service and information about all of our products. We wanted a single portal where our customers could have a consistent experience and get exposure to other products they could potentially use. That was one of the key reasons we went with Zendesk.”
The Weatherford support team worked with Zendesk Professional Services to implement Zendesk in under three months. During this period, they received guidance on industry and Zendesk configuration best practices, they migrated data from previous systems, and decided between a multi- or single-brand support portal.
This move has made a major impact on their ability to meet even the most urgent needs of oil and gas drilling and production. Govindaswamy’s team has achieved a near-perfect 97 percent CSAT score. The 50 agents providing software maintenance and support services also have a first response time of 60 seconds or less for the highest priority requests, and typically resolve issues on the first touch 90 percent of the time.
The minimal time needed to train the team to use Zendesk was another factor in their decision. Govindaswamy estimates that it took no more than a week to train his internal team. As for getting customers up to speed, he noted, “We wanted them to be able to go in and submit what they need in a very short period of time, without a lot of training. We went with Zendesk based on the simplicity and ease of use for end users. That’s one of the advantages of Zendesk.”
Govindaswamy appreciates that light agents also have access to Zendesk. More than 100 internal users collaborate with agents to provide customer support and guidance when needed, helping Weatherford meet SLAs based on the severity and priority of tickets.
The company leverages Zendesk Guide and the Knowledge Capture app to increase the value that the support team brings to customers and the company. With the Knowledge Capture app, the team can publish articles and user documentation in the help center directly from tickets to help drive self-service. The company’s product, marketing, and training teams all contribute to this content, and Weatherford also uses the help center to solicit product feedback from their customer community.
An integration between Zendesk and JIRA allows that customer feedback to become an immediate action item for their development team. The company uses the JIRA integration to synchronize information about the status of development items, which helps meet product management team—and customer support—priorities.
“We want visibility into what’s happening on the development side, so that integration is very important,” said Govindaswamy.
By having the support channels and integrations they need in one place, the team at Weatherford has been able to meet and keep up with the demanding needs of a high-pressure drilling operation.