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  • Jaime Capitel

Radford Software supports the fresh produce industry globally in their customers' own language



Quick facts


Products: Jira Software Cloud + Jira Service Desk Cloud + Language Translations for JSD

Customer Languages: Italian, French, Japanese, Korean, and English

Languages spoken by support agents: English

National Fruit: Kiwi


About Radford Software


Radfords is headquartered in New Zealand and has provided fresh produce inventory management and traceability software solutions for over 30 years. Radfords adds valuable operational efficiency for growers, post-harvest operators and fresh produce marketers by tracing fresh produce from orchard to market with integrated systems, optimising field, packhouse, cool storage and sales operations. Their mandate is to “Help Grow the World’s Food Basket” by providing effective, professional software solutions and support as the fresh produce industry scales to meet global consumer demands.


The Challenge: A growing international customer base


What started in 1989 developing software products for Zespri kiwifruit producers in New Zealand has grown into a global end-to-end solution across many fresh produce verticals. Radfords is rapidly expanding its footprint to companies internationally that grow, pack and sell fresh produce. And that means not only English-speaking countries like neighbouring Australia or the US. Radford’s inventory-tracking software has a strong appeal for many companies in Italy, France, Korea, and Japan.


Radfords supports its customers across multiple time-zones and now in local languages

Due to that growth, Radford began struggling to provide the timely, relatable and professional support their home customers are used to receiving via telephone, their traditional channel. With international customers generating 80% of the tickets during the Northern kiwi season between September and December, a large chunk of those needed to be translated. But without a streamlined process, communication barriers were creating issues for efficient resolution of support tickets.

Unfortunately, none of our guys could talk any foreign language, good old-fashioned Kiwis, so we needed a tool that was easy to manage for them.

The solution: Jira Service Desk with automated translations

Adam Cuming, CEO of Radfords, explains how important it is that support processes are executed well and learned from to ensure customers experience of Radfords software is continually enhanced: 


Support of our software is a continual cycle of improvement. Not only is it critical that we get customers back up and running as efficiently as possible, we also need to learn from root causes of support to ensure we prevent new tickets arising from the same source or identify areas of improvement in the software”, Cuming says.


“Jira Service Desk in the cloud has enabled us to connect our experienced support people with customers where English is not their first language. The customer portal providing visibility of tickets, with escalation options, feedback opportunities in their home language is critical in us being able to support our ongoing global journey”.  

Radford's customers are operationally focused . When they have a software or data problem, support needs to offer simple solutions.

Because of the time difference and language barriers, we need to be very careful with the language we use (we rely quite heavily on screenshots). We’ll try to solve the problems very quickly because our user is probably not a systems expert, they don’t need all the detail as to how anything works, they just need a simple solution for their problem. We do a lot of the stuff in the background for them.

The combination of Jira Service Desk with resolution’s Language Translation app offered the exact flow that Radford needed: a simple customer portal and a simple escalation process to protect the productivity of the dev team, which was already using Jira Software. Of the  alternatives considered, all needed to be able to plugin into Jira Software.


Language flows for Radfords' support team


The installation of the new Jira Service Desk was also used as an opportunity to migrate Radford’s on-premise infrastructure of Jira, Confluence and Butbucket to the cloud, ensuring the best experience for every user and at the same time eliminating the need to maintain and manage version updates.


The Outcomes


What we have now is the ability to review the season, understand trends and compare each country (they each have their own way of doing things).
  • Improved customer experience and agent experience

  • Simpler process, particularly for managing outstanding issues

  • Business insights per country

  • Easy to analyze queues per product and language

  • Focus on solving the customer’s problem quickly, no matter where they are or what language they speak


Ticket resolution example: Korean Kiwifruit pack-house


In this ticket example, it's easy to see how the language barrier between an English agent and a Korean customer is entirely removed, and how screenshots are used to help remove any ambiguities in the written content.






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