Peloton gets the Halp it needs by integrating its service desk with Slack

Derek du Preez Profile picture for user ddpreez April 7, 2022 Audio mode
Summary:
Digitally-enabled exercise brand Peloton saw a surge in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also shifted to remote working. It needed a tool to help meet its employees where they are, for service requests.

Image of a woman exercising
(Image by Scott Webb from Pixabay )

It’s well known by now that some organizations have done very well during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those that allowed people access to services at home that they could no longer go outside to enjoy. One such brand is Peloton - where its live stream and digitally enabled exercise machines became a feature for many during enforced lockdowns. 

However, whilst Peloton was experiencing a surge in popularity, it too had to manage its own shift to distributed work and hiring, internally. This meant adopting new tools in order to manage an increase in IT, business and people requests remotely - where people were no longer able to go up to teams in the office to get answers to service questions. 

As such, Peloton took the view that it needed to simplify its service request processes and meet people where they already are. In order to do this, the fitness company has integrated Atlassian’s Halp tool with its JIRA instances and its Slack channels. 

Shyam Bhojwani, Solutions Engineering Manager at Peloton, was speaking this week at Atlassian Team 22 about how moving requests to one Slack channel, meant that people no longer had to navigate multiple portals within JIRA Helpdesk and could engage directly with service desks to resolve tickets. Bhojwani said: 

So, the pandemic was a blessing in disguise for our business. We had tremendous growth, but of course, with that tremendous growth we also hired a lot of employees remotely. We were also asking our employees to work remotely. 

Previously employees could go up to our IT service desk, ask for quick help in person to get the quick help they need. But working remotely came with a lot of challenges for us, with onboarding, off boarding, getting help from a service request standpoint, and access request standpoint. So it definitely put a lot of burden on the IT team. Not just our IT team, but our people systems team and financial systems team. 

People were asking questions via our IT Slack channel, but most of the tickets were created by our JIRA helpdesk portal.

So our main motive of getting Halp was that we are a Slack shop. Everyone loves slack here. And it was getting cumbersome for our employees to go to the portal, fill out a long form and get the right help. And the other thing is, our helpdesk portal is not just IT, we have financial systems, people systems, business systems.

Employee satisfaction is key

Prior to the pandemic, Peloton had approximately six portals that employees used to get help, where they were required to do a lot of searches and navigate a lot of forms to get the information that they needed. The idea of integrating Halp meant that employees would only be using one interface, a single entry point, so that they no longer had to switch between multiple screens.- they could just converse directly in Slack. Bhojwani said: 

The idea was we’d start with IT. Our IT Slack channel is super popular. People ask random questions: What's the WiFi password? How can I get to this system? How do I get into the office? So our IT channel is definitely busy. The expectation was, we'll give the same experience, let people ask the question to IT. So that’s what led us to looking into Halp and it was the perfect solution for our business case. 

From an experience level agreement, our CSAT score has gone up. We've been getting five stars for the number of follow up comments, and follow up tickets have gone down, so that has definitely reduced the ticket volume. And the best part is people are getting immediate help because there is no context switching. 

You are on Slack. You're getting all your questions answered by our Slack and our IT agents, they are also operating via Slack. Previously if a ticket was taking, let's say, 24 hours from a resolution standpoint - now with Halp resolution has gone down to, I would say, a couple of hours. And our employees love it. 

Peloton operates two different instances of JIRA, one in its own data center and another in the cloud. Different teams use the different instances, but for engineering the company now says that at least 85% of its tickets are being created by Slack. Equally, a big draw for Peloton to Halp was that it could easily integrate across instances and with other systems. Bhojwani said: 

I would say that's the biggest advantage - being a customer. I don't care which portal or which project I'm connecting to. All I'm doing is going to this central Slack channel and getting quick help. Our JIRA instance is huge, I don't want to get into the exact numbers, but we have a lot of projects on the cloud instance. 

So yes, as a customer, I don't care which product I'm interacting with, but I'm getting quick help. And the thing is, it’s not just JIRA, Halp also connects with Zendesk, which for us is our customer facing ticketing system. And Halp integration with Zendesk has definitely benefited our member support team. I would say the cross-connectivity with Halp between data centers, our cloud instance and Zendesk is a big motivator for us. 

A boost in productivity

Peloton adopted Halp in 2019, as COVID-19 was rapidly spreading across the globe and teams were forced to work from home for extended periods of time. The company started with IT, but this has now extended to other ticketing teams, such as finance and business. It now has almost 400 agents directly resolving issues within Slack. Bhojwani said: 

Halp gives you this interface of closing the ticket from Slack itself directly. So, they don't have to do a lot of context switching, you are in the thread, you are asking the right questions, giving the right solution to the customer, so our agents are mainly operating via Slack.

And since using the tool, Peloton has seen a huge boost to developer productivity. Bhojwani added: 

Previously, if I'm an engineer, if I need access to GitHub, or AWS, or any system, I would have to ask 10 different people: how do I open up a ticket with this team? But now they do it all on Slack. 

For us, the success is we are saving a lot of developer time. When I think about the engineering team, if you're able to save 10 to 30 minutes from a developer's day to day job, that's a huge saving for us. 

Our developer productivity has gone up. Customer experience has become amazing. People are not spending time looking at systems, asking questions on different channels. Before there were 10 questions being asked on a ticket, but now with this one on one interaction via slack thread, the comments have gone down. The feel good factor has gone up 100%. 

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