United Kingdom

  • Transformed employee experience and ensured service continuity with a robust service desk
  • Chose Freshservice due to its light, intuitive solution that could be customized to suit Ocado’s unique business needs
  • The project timeline was expedited and completed within just 1 week
  • Resulted in an improved experience and quicker resolution of problems for employees
  • Freshservice Knowledge Base to resolve mundane requests, freeing up agent bandwidth for more complex requests
  • Round Robin to help auto-assign tickets to agents based on their availability
  • Freshservice Arcade helps turn internal IT support into a fun job by integrating game mechanics with agent performance



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About Ocado

Ocado Retail is the UK’s only dedicated online supermarket, built to wow customers through an invincible combination of unbeatable range, effortless convenience and fair value. Since Ocado does not have a physical presence, its only point of contact with customers is online. With so much depending on its online presence, it is vital that the IT department and IT Service Management maintain operational excellence.

The IT Service Management Team is responsible for ensuring all IT Platforms, Services & Tools are operational, allowing Ocado’s 1035 employees to service over 800,000 customers across the UK. We spoke to Kelly Wilson, IT Service Manager, at Ocado Retail to understand how the company uses Freshservice to deliver a seamless end-user experience.

Navigating the pandemic with a robust service desk

In late 2019, Ocado Retail recognized the need for a robust Service Desk solution to improve its employee experience. As a result, in October 2019, Ocado kicked off the ‘Service Desk Project’ and conducted in-depth research into the solutions available. Based on the team’s extensive analysis, it found Freshservice to be a light, intuitive solution that had the innate ability to customize based on Ocado’s unique business needs. This cemented the decision to finalize Freshservice as Ocado’s Service Desk partner. 

In early 2020, however, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and Ocado was forced to drastically expedite the implementation timeline for Freshservice. Faced with the twin challenges of remote working and global uncertainty, the strategy shifted from launching the service desk solution gradually over time to quickly implementing and prioritizing service continuity during the pandemic. The demand for Ocado Retail’s services grew exponentially, but operational challenges proved to be a major roadblock. “We implemented Freshservice in what you could call: ‘emergency’ circumstances,” says Kelly. “The service desk project timeline was expedited and completed within just 1 week!

“Freshservice became immensely valuable during the COVID-19 pandemic as it supported our remote workforce. The solution ensured our IT Service Management team remained agile to ever-changing circumstances. The service desk team worked in tandem with other departments including Senior leadership, Operations and HR to understand current needs and cater to these ever changing needs instantly.”

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Kelly Wilson

IT Service Manager

Ocado Retail

Customizing the service portal to improve usability

One of Ocado’s main objectives in implementing a service desk was to ensure service continuity for end-users. In other words, employees should not feel like they were leaving the Ocado environment when logging into the service desk. Freshservice’s easy customizability allowed the team to modify the look and feel of the service desk, keeping it in line with Ocado’s branding. Three key projects were undertaken to personalize the service portal:

  • Personalisation of dashboard: The solution has undergone an entire rebrand to help drive engagement. Designs and icons that are in line with Ocado’s public facing website have been used. This gives employees a sense of familiarity with the solution, making it instantly recognisable and intuitive. The customization has driven greater adoption of the platform and reduced the amount of time spent training users.
  • Simplification of navigation: Ocado’s IT team found that the Service Desk had a few shortcuts and navigation icons that were not required for their operations. For Ocado, a user simply needs to be able to log a ticket or request a new service. To make this easier for them, employees were provided with a search bar directly from the service desk homepage that says, ‘Tell us what you are looking for’. This directs them to solution articles to prompt self-service. If self-service cannot resolve the issue, then a user is given the option to raise a ticket. This has helped drive ticket deflection and improve adoption of self-service.
  • Change in taxonomy: The language within the Service Desk has been ‘Ocado-ized’ to ensure the taxonomy is in line with what its employees are familiar with. For example, ‘Knowledge Base’ is now called ‘Popular Solutions’ and ‘Service Catalog’ has been renamed to ‘Popular Services’. Ocado has also improved adoption among non-IT personnel by removing standard ITIL and IT terminology. Employees can now clearly understand the difference between an ‘incident’ and a ‘service request’ because simplified definitions of both are displayed on the platform.

In addition, all service desk staff are encouraged to complete the Freshworks Academy certification for admins using the Freshservice product. This certification helps admins understand how to get the most out of the tool and navigate challenges to help scale the helpdesk.

Freshservice features used

Kelly points to three key features of Freshservice which have helped achieve Ocado’s objective of increasing operational business continuity and efficiency:

Self-service: One of the main goals behind implementing an intuitive service desk solution was to promote self-service for simple requests. This would significantly reduce the agent workload, enabling the IT team to spend more time on complex requests. The self-service portal includes common requests such as authorization for software applications and requests for new hardware. Ocado has also made extensive use of Freshservice’s Knowledge Base feature. The Knowledge Base - known internally as ‘Solutions’ - covers articles on troubleshooting common laptop and WiFi issues, setting up a VPN, guides to remote working, etc.

Service Catalog Service Catalog

Round Robin: Previously, a common situation would arise, where one agent would take on all the tickets in the morning and would eventually become overwhelmed. The Round Robin now works as a virtual dispatcher, assigning tickets to agents depending upon their availability. As a result, teams are now working on an equal number of tickets and no single agent has a higher workload. This has reduced the bottle neck and pressure on a single agent. The equitable work distribution has also promoted the spirit of teamwork within the service desk team.

Reporting with Arcade: Measuring and monitoring performance is important for each employee at Ocado to ensure that it delivers the very best to customers. Service desk agents are measured against key SLAs using Freshservice’s built-in feature, Arcade. This feature uses a gamification model to track agent ticketing activities. Ticket resolutions are awarded a point and agents get special bonuses for additional achievements like First-Contact Resolutions and positive CSATs. “We have found that this system encourages healthy competition within the team and has improved our overall SLAs,” notes Kelly.

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Measuring the impact of Freshservice

The Ocado service desk uses Freshservice’s innate reporting dashboard to measure how the service desk is performing against set objectives, and how the dashboard changes have impacted the performance of the Ocado Service Desk. In three months between August to October 2021, positive results were observed, boosting the team’s confidence in Freshservice:

  • CSAT results improved from 92.31% to 100% satisfaction 
  • Average response time for agents decreased by 15%
  • Average resolution time decreased by 28%
  • Number of ticket reopens decreased by 38% 
  • Back-log of tickets decreased by 100%.

Kelly sees this trend continuing in the long-term. She adds, “We recently introduced an organization-wide newsletter that enables our employees with key IT updates, important tips on effective use of tools as well as fun initiatives to collect feedback on the service desk experience,” she says. “This will help bolster adoption of the Service Desk across our organization, while constantly improving the experience for our employees.” As Ocado continues to set new standards for convenience and quality for customers in the UK, Freshservice will be the backbone that supports its growing operations.

“Not only do employees see Freshservice as the go-to place for IT help and support, but agents are also able to do their jobs more efficiently. This has resulted in an improved experience and quicker resolution of problems for Ocado employees.”

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Kelly Wilson

IT Service Manager

Ocado Retail