• Inadequate reporting capabilities
  • Lack of performance visibility
  • Expensive
  • Inability to automate manual processes
  • Scaling service desk operations
  • Automation
  • Reporting
  • Gamification
  • UI

Case summary

Hamleys of London Limited is the finest toy shop brand in the world. With a rich legacy of over 250 years, Hamleys is known for its toys, entertainment, and service. The company is owned by C. Banner, a large Chinese fashion wear conglomerate. The flagship store of Hamleys is set in Regent Street, London and has over seven floors, with more than 50,000 toys on sale. It is considered one of the city's prominent tourist attractions, receiving around five million visitors each year. The chain has ten other outlets in the United Kingdom and also has more than 60 franchises worldwide.

Head of Customer Services at Hamleys, Vaughan Potter, took the decision to move away from their existing customer support tool, BoldChat, to a more versatile solution that would be fit for purpose as the level of customer service expectation increased, and the customer service operation scaled up.

hamleys photo hamleys photo

Why Hamleys chose Freshdesk

Vaughan and his team oversaw the new tool selection process. In order to bring customer support operations under a single umbrella, Hamleys needed a solution which was adaptable and easy to use. Therefore a cloud based delivery model was decided as a way forward to solve existing challenges and meet the company’s changing needs.

The level of after sales care that customers of Hamleys expect, coupled with the ever-growing competition of the retail industry, meant having an easy-to-use solution was imperative. This ensures support teams could get up and running quickly, and service levels are also maintained and exceeded. In addition to these factors, Vaughan also had wanted the new support tool to meet the following criteria:

  • SaaS-based solution: That Freshdesk is a cloud-based customer support solution by Freshworks, a Google-backed software company
  • Ease of use and intuitive UI: Which was seen to be “cleaner and less clunky” than competitor offerings
  • Automation capabilities: Automating manual reporting tasks frees up time for the team to focus on other deliverables
  • Reporting capabilities: Freshdesk gives the team access to vital real-time data like SLA adherence and overdue tickets via the dashboard, something the previous tool did not offer
  • Built on the cloud: By hosting its platform on AWS, Freshworks is able to focus its resources on developing an easy-to-use and intuitive product while leveraging a proven, reliable cloud infrastructure. With Freshdesk on AWS, customer support agents can instantly access customer data from anywhere.
  • Scope for future: Hamleys are confident of their ability to add more channels and more advanced automation workflows within Freshdesk as their support operation grows
  • Increased return on investment (ROI): Hamleys were able to make a cost-saving of 50% by switching to Freshdesk

“We began looking for a new tool in autumn and were keen to get one in place and optimised ahead of the Christmas peak period. Freshdesk ensured that the implementation process was as smooth as possible, and the team were up and running within 48 hours.”

Vaughan Potter

Head of Customer Services


One of the biggest benefits of moving to Freshdesk has been the reduction in costs. “The reduced license fee and overall package cost has worked in our favour, but the biggest benefit has been the increase in agent productivity which has enabled our team to provide exceptional customer support”, admits Vaughan.

Key successes with Freshdesk

After the quick implementation of Freshdesk, Hamleys could effectively optimize the customer support operations.

Since going live with Freshdesk, workflows are much more streamlined and efficient. By reducing manual efforts for agents, SLA adherence has improved. With admins spending less time on manual reporting tasks, this has freed up time for management to think strategically about their customer service, which is starting to impact positively on customer satisfaction levels.

Speaking specifically about agent performance, Vaughan states, “agents are now able to measure themselves and see how well they are doing, that gives them a boost.” Even the gamification of the helpdesk has helped boost overall employee morale. “With gamification, our agents are able to see each other’s scores. This has created a healthy competition among the team and their feedback about this has been very positive”, says Vaughan.

“Now that we have statistics and can see agent performance scores, that encourages our teams to provide even better customer service. My agents are happier now.”

In terms of quantifiable benefits, Hamleys were able to see a 50% reduction in cost as a result of switching to Freshdesk.

Reduction in cost
Implementation time
Less than 48 hours