Mobile Club has automated customer interactions within their product by building Zenaton workflows. The workflows trigger actions and communications based on customer behaviour and history - and automate internal processes so that they can provide the best level of service.

Using Zenaton has allowed us to quickly iterate on each process to better suit our customers' needs and add new ones as new problems became apparent.

For the tech team, Zenaton workflows have made it easy to iterate on custom rules within their application and react to customer needs and trends without wasting time on maintenance and troubleshooting. This has freed them up to work on new features and core logic.

Mobile Club offers iPhone rental contracts starting at 19,90€ /month, and allows users to shop, order and exchange phones online.

Challenge

Automate backend processes spanning the customer journey from order & payment to follow up and product support by writing custom rules and integrating third party services - all without accumulating technical debt.

Why they love Zenaton:

  • Allows developers to easily build custom rules for each customer interaction using external events and data within their code.
  • Quickly iterate and improve processes to fit business needs
  • Create workflows that send customers communications at the right moment in their product journey - improving their customers’ overall experience.
  • Tech team can focus on building features instead of managing infrastructure
  • They have been able to quickly optimize processes for customer service and support

Meet Mobile Club

Mobile Club is disrupting the mobile phone rental market by offering no-hassle, month-to-month contracts for iPhones starting at 19,90€ /month. Customers can shop for, rent, and exchange phones through the Mobile Club website and receive and exchange their phones by mail.

Mobile Club was created by two veteran software developers who had previously built SAVE, a fast-growing startup that offered mobile repair stores. At SAVE, the founders built their infrastructure quickly to keep up with demand and built up technical debt over time that was difficult to maintain and make changes to - especially with turnover on the tech team.

Initially it was easy, we used conditionals and dependencies to create tasks. But as our business evolved and we continued to add on to it, it became more complicated and we started to have problems. We got to a point where it just wasn’t functional and it created a lot of technical debt. Also because the system had evolved over time, the documentation was poor and it was hard to read and trace the events that were happening

Why Zenaton

When they started building Mobile Club, they knew they wanted to build a sustainable code-base and stay focused on customer needs.

They used Zenaton to build a series of workflows within their application along each step of the customer journey which allows them to create custom rules for processes based on customer behaviour, provide personalized communications and automate internal operations to respond to customer needs.

Zenaton Implementation

You launch a new Zenaton worker on your machine, create a new environment, and boom it appears in the interface. You can start running your test jobs on your machine and see the results very quickly. It's nice to not have to set up an entire entire ‘job and queuing system’ and just run it in your dev environment on your machine.

By writing all of the logic for a customer process as a workflow (instead of distributing it across multiple tools), Mobile club has been able to implement new workflows quickly and exactly the way that they want. This is particularly helpful with workflows such as the parcel return and customer communications that involve many different variables and custom rules about what information to send - and when. The speed of iteration on this logic allows them to see what is working and what needs to be changed and then they can quickly update the workflow logic.

Implementing Zenaton was as easy as implementing Stripe or Algolia The code is easy to read and understand what is happening. Its just like reading a chart.

Customer Processes Implemented

A few examples of workflows that Mobile Club has implemented.

  • Request Review: Send customers an email via a third party rating site 7 days after they have completed their order - if there haven’t been any complaints or claims. If there have been issues, then wait 7 more days and check again before requesting a review.
  • Payment Deposit: Hold customer payment details for up to 7 days while waiting for the customer to complete enrollment paperwork. Then charge the customer when the paperwork is received or after 7 days to avoid losing the card information.
  • Product Return: Automated product return and exchange process and communications by building a workflow that records the reason for the return (phone swap, damage, cancellation, etc), creates a parcel return tracking number via chronopost API, sends a personalized email to the customer with the details of how to complete the shipment and then tracks the parcel to make sure the customer has sent it. If not, then they send a reminder to the customer. This was previously done by customer service operators and they can now focus on higher level tasks.
  • Automated reminder emails to customers when they have cancelled their account but have not returned their phone yet.

The Impact

Workflows that are built with Zenaton are easy to update and easy to monitor so that developers can spend time on new features instead of maintaining infrastructure.

We focus on the business and the functionalities that need to be developed. We no longer think about the infrastructure behind the business.

Using Zenaton means Mobile Club can devote less resources to maintaining backend infrastructure like queuing systems or special servers to run cron jobs - which all need to be monitored. The tech team can focus their energy on new features that advance the business.

By writing the logic directly into their code using Zenaton functions their developers have the versatility to write the custom logic that they need and easily make changes to it as the needs evolve.

The management of wait and recurring workflows is always a challenge in a basic job or queuing system and being able to just do a Wait().days(7) is really cool.

The Zenaton dashboard shows the sequence of tasks advancing, which keeps the whole team up to date on what’s really happening. Instead of looking at each tool individually and hunting through log files when something goes wrong, the team just checks the Zenaton dashboard, which shows the process end-to-end.

When there is an error it is really cool to be able to see all of the logs on the dashboard and we can just retry tasks with a single click.

dashboard

Zenaton saves us a lot of time upstream and its a lot cheaper than hiring another developer. Instead of creating distributed logic and having to install a queuing system we just write the tasks and workflows. We don't have to set up and maintain the infrastructure - that is where you save so much time.

Overall

It was a good experience. With the evolution of the product, it will be even more fun.

A deeper look into Mobile Club Workflows

Each of these processes is written as a Zenaton workflow.

Request Customer Review

  • The workflow begins as soon as a customer completes their order.
  • Wait 7 days
  • If there haven’t been any warranty claims or other issues, then trigger an email via a third party reviews site requesting a review.
  • If there have been some issues, then relaunch the workflow so that it will wait another 7 days and then try again.

Each night, they also run a recurrent workflow to fetch any new reviews on the review site and parse and save them to their database.

Capture Payment

Customers are allowed to cancel their order within a few days before a phone has shipped so initially they were charging the card immediately and were having to pay refund transaction fees if a customer cancelled their account. Most of these cancellations occurred in the first 24-48 hours.

So they created a workflow that when a customer places an order:

  • Capture the payment details using a third party payment gateway but do not charge the card yet.
  • Wait up to 7 days (the maximum amount of time they are allowed to hold payment information without charging) to give the customer a chance to fill out their paperwork and any other changes that may cancel the order in which case they can cancel for free.
  • If the customer completes the paperwork, charge the card.
  • After 7 days if the customer has not yet completed the paperwork, charge the card to avoid losing the information and give the customer more time.

Automated Parcel Return

Customers can return their phones for many reasons including exchanges, account cancellation, warranty, etc. Previously customer service representatives were taking the information from the customers and creating the parcel order in Mobile Club’s system, creating a mailing order on the Chronopost website form and then sending the customer a personal email with the PDF or QR code to print out and use to send back their phone.

Now they have a workflow that starts when a customer fills out the return form on the website:

  • Creates the parcel in their system and records the reason for the return or 'status'.
  • Creates a mail order via the chronopost API and get the QR code.
  • Send an email to the customer with a personal email depending on their reason for sending in their phone and the details of their phone and attach the parcel return PDF/QR code and return instructions. (there are 12 different variations for this).

Late Parcel

When customers cancel their subscription, they have to send back their phone before their account can be closed. Previously their customer service representatives were calling customers to remind them to send back their phones.

Now they have a workflow that sends regular emails to the customer if they haven’t sent back their phone yet and then triggers a notifiation to a customer service representative to reach out if there is not a response.

Automating the emails has allowed them to send more frequent and more rigorous communications and receive the phones back faster and freed up their customer representatives to focus on other tasks.