Zendesk and JIRA: How Jumia Makes Communication Between Customer Service and Engineering Seamless

Labored or inefficient communication between customer service and engineering is one of the most common roadblocks to providing the best customer service experience. Carlos Santos, the team leader of the launches and support team at Jumia, had been looking for a solution to this problem for a very long time: “When I first joined Jumia, this problem immediately came to the forefront. We tried many other providers and were never entirely happy. So we gave Workato a try and it’s paying off.”

Now, Jumia uses Workato to connect JIRA and Zendesk to automate their ticketing management, as well as JIRA to Google Sheets and JIRA and Zendesk to Slack for auto-reporting.

Jumia’s Customer Service and Engineering Workflow

Jumia is Nigeria’s number one online retailer, with warehouses in 11 countries. They operate several Ecommerce platforms that they develop in house with distributed teams in Paris, Germany, Portugal and throughout Africa. With so many platforms to maintain under the umbrella company, Jumia has its own internal branch of Customer Service that takes care of any issues each platform might have. “We’re like customer service but for the shop’s staff. We liaison with development and make sure they tackle any problems,” explained Carlos.

Carlos integrates two instances of JIRA with Zendesk so support tickets will be automatically updated with the engineering team’s status. He also sends information from JIRA and Zendesk into Google Sheets and Slack to report on progress and KPI’s. “Workato is a great, central place to have all your applications  communicating with each other and the interface is like I’ve never seen – it’s brilliant,” said Carlos. “We can  make things really easily, really fast and make it as complicated as we want to. We can do conditional statements – a feature I couldn’t find in other solutions and we checked several other well known solutions.”

Carlos has several recipes to run all of the automations Jumia needs, completing 3 processes:

I. Syncing Multiple JIRA instances to auto-update Zendesk Tickets
II. Auto-Reporting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the Development Team (JIRA to Google Sheets)
III. Seamless Ticket Reassignment using Zendesk and Slack

“We use several apps but our  main apps are Zendesk and JIRA. Zendesk is used to handle all the conversations with  the shops through support tickets, which can escalate to JIRA when dev work is needed,” said Carlos. “If we can handle it 100%  then it stays in Zendesk. If  it requires development, then we escalate the issue to JIRA.”

I. Syncing Multiple JIRA instances to auto-update Zendesk Tickets


When a shop employee submits a customer service ticket in Zendesk that requires development work, the team can automatically escalate the ticket to JIRA using an out of the box connector. However, once the Zendesk ticket has synced with JIRA, there is not way to get an update on the progress of the ticket without manually logging into JIRA and then manually adding information to Zendesk. To further complicate matters, Carlos and his team use two different instances of JIRA, each for different types of projects, but they need both instances to sync with Zendesk.

Carlos created Workato recipes that close this information gap and allow the person who submitted the ticket to check on the status of the dev team without any human intervention. When a JIRA ticket is updated, Workato checks if there is a Zendesk  ticket associated with the ticket and moves the relevant information fields from JIRA into the Zendesk ticket. This eliminates the need for the customer service team to manually ask the development team where they are on an issue, and by making the ticket available to the customer, also eliminates the need for the customer to ask the customer service rep.

“Before the integration, support would get asked, ‘How’s ticket x, what state is it in? What’s the ETA? Is someone working on it? etc.’ and answering these questions  wastes valuable time because we’re not in charge  of the dev team’s timeline,” said Carlos. “We used to say, ‘Give me a minute, I’ll go check the JIRA ticket and get back to you.’ Now we don’t have to. We have Workato to watch for updates in JIRA and then update the information into the corresponding Zendesk ticket so the requester can see the updates themselves. This gets rid of the need to have human interaction with the inquirer. We only close the Zendesk ticket when the JIRA ticket reaches the final stages.”

Another recipe, injects comments into the Zendesk ticket letting the inquirer know the JIRA ticket has gone from stage A to stage B. The customer never has to ask what stage the issue is in development because they can see it themselves in both the comments and in the customized fields in the Zendesk ticket. This saves everyone time and provides a better experience for the customer, who will have updates in real time.

“Having the updates from JIRA automatically go into Zendesk has had two effects: ETA requests from customers have completely stopped; they know that the fields will get automatically updated in their ticket and now they don’t need to ask. The second effect is when we inject comments in the Zendesk ticket, it indicates to all the stakeholders in the ticket that it’s ready to move into release or whatever status. Zendesk sends emails to everyone on the ticket which forces everyone who is involved to look at the status. This lowers delays as everyone is informed on the status. The process is much faster because people are reminded that something has changed. People really appreciate that and because it has a direct relation to one of our KPI’s which is resolve time, everyone is happy.”
– Carlos Santos, Jumia

II. Auto-Reporting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the Development Team


Carlos spearheaded the use of Workato in the company and soon the management team started using it for reporting as well. Different teams have different Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) used to measure their progress and they come from the app they use the most.

“We can get most of our KPI’s from Zendesk, but we need KPIs for the dev team and devops teams and the information for those KPI’s needs to be extracted from different apps in different ways. Some of them are gathered from observing the comments in JIRA, which is what our Workato recipe extracts for us,” said Carlos. “The recipe provides us with the information we need to measure how well the ticket did with Quality Assurance (QA).”

The QA team reviews development upgrades to make sure it meets the needs of the customer. They can review a ticket and approve it or reject it. If it is rejected, they will review it again when it is fixed. The Workato recipe watches in JIRA for updates to tickets with specific status’ and goes through all the comments in the JIRA ticket looking for specific text patterns that indicate that the QA team has gone through the ticket and approved it or not. This triggers an update in the Google Spreadsheet. Jumia can process those events later and gather statistics on how many times the ticket has gone through approval or not.

“This recipe provides us with the information to tell us who was reviewing the ticket, how many times the QA team approved the ticket or rejected the ticket, and then approved it again. We need the code to be as perfect as possible and we want the tickets to have as few rejections as possible, so we measure this rate,” said Carlos. “The QA approval rate is a helpful piece of the puzzle for evaluating the company. Without Workato, the management team didn’t have an automatic way to get this information and now they do.”

III. Seamless Ticket Reassignment using Zendesk and Slack


Sometimes tickets need to escalate to other teams outside of the customer service and development teams and simply reassigning the ticket in Zendesk or JIRA does not provide a real-time notification to the team who needs to take care of it.

“The launches and support team may only handle 50% of the ticket then move it to another team for completion. In the past, we would reassign the ticket to the other team and have to manually notify them on Skype or getting up to physically tell them saying, ‘Hey, we reassigned the ticket to you, here’s the situation, please take care of this,’” explained Carlos. “Now Workato can make this exchange automatic. Whenever we reassign tickets to other teams, our recipe realizes the reassignment has happened and launches notifications into their specific team channel in Slack to let them know they have a ticket. The launches and support team no longer has to manually let the other team know. If we do it manually it’s tedious and a waste of time.”

“This integration is exciting for us as most of the existing Slack integrations are very limited. There wasn’t much room to use those tools in the way that I wanted. The out of the box connection from Zendesk and Slack can only be opened or closed, you can’t say – ‘Ok I want to send a notification, but only if the Zendesk ticket has been closed in the past 24 hours.’ That’s why I need Workato. Plus, I really don’t want to use one provider for this, and a different provider for that. Workato can do everything from one place,” said Carlos.

Staying Focused for an above 95% Approval Rating

The main KPI for the support and launches team at Jumia is the Customer Satisfaction rating, which indicates if the different shops are happy with the support they are getting. Their approval rating is very high, in part due to the efficiency brought by their integrations.

“We consistently have an above 95% approval and Workato has allowed us to concentrate on what we should be doing to keep that approval rating high. Our recipes have a significant positive impact. Everyday, in the day to day work of the agent, they really notice the difference. They can concentrate on the problems that are reported and they don’t really have to remind themselves to send notifications to this team or that team. The agents feel they can concentrate on the issue at hand without any distractions,” said Carlos.

Thanks to the integration between JIRA and Zendesk, there’s no intervention from Carlos’ team required once a ticket goes to the dev team. Customers no longer need to inquire about the ETA of a project as they can see the updates themselves and people are reminded with an email when the status automatically changes. This lowers delays because everyone is informed and helps Carlos keep a great rating on the KPI of ‘Resolve Time.’

“Basically, Workato allows me to eliminate tasks and bridges two completely separate applications – JIRA and Zendesk – with not only one another, but Slack as well. If we didn’t have the ability to gather information from one to the other we wouldn’t be able to be as efficient. It keeps my team focused on exactly what they need to be doing instead of wasting time with manual notifications. Having these things automated saves time for my team and lets us concentrate on real issues,” said Carlos.

“Workato really is lightyears away from others. The interface rarely breaks, which is brilliant, and I’ve been able to do pretty much everything I need to do. Not only is it easy enough for someone who is not entirely related to programming, but it does allow for some programming which I’ve been able to take advantage of,” said Carlos. “When the recipe is on, we don’t have to think about it – it just works and making changes is very easy as your company grows.”


Want to connect your Customer Service and Engineering teams like Jumia?
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About the author
Kristine Colosimo
Kristine oversees Workato's content and works with awesome apps like DocuSign, Zendesk, SurveyMonkey etc. on great automation content.