An early-stage company, Kinsa was tracking product and quality data, including customer complaints, using Microsoft Office. As their product moved through new product development they had to implement more scalable solutions to manage this information.


Speeding Up the Customer Feedback Loop


What will the near future hold for our health? Technology is rapidly allowing companies to explore creative ways to rethink even the most ubiquitous of medical devices to improve our health and curb illness. Kinsa is such a company—envisioning ways technology may ultimately curb the spread of illness. To achieve their ambitious mission, Kinsa has taken the first device families grab when sickness strikes—the thermometer—and turned it into a support system to help keep them healthy.


With a mission to stop the spread of illness, Kinsa is led by executives with high-tech experience from companies such as Fitbit, Apple, and Netflix as well as public health organizations. The company has achieved many firsts in a short time including designing the first FDA-cleared, doctor-recommended smart thermometers and collaborating with “Sesame Street” to make the nonprofit’s first-ever connected product. Nita Nehru, Communications & Partnerships Director, shares a bit about Kinsa’s vision, “Kinsa is reimagining what health and healthcare can be like in an Internet-of-Things world, where connected products can help people and communities stay healthy and guide them toward recovery when they do fall ill.”

Almost everything about both Kinsa’s products and the way the team works echoes their passion and ingenuity in reimagining what things can be. For the product and customer happiness teams, the culture is open communication. “We are a small, flexible team; we wanted systems in place early for scalability and efficiency as well as meeting regulatory requirements,” explains Jason Howard, Director of Customer Happiness.

Like many early-stage companies, Kinsa began by tracking the product and quality data, including customer complaints, using a tool that was already installed on everyone’s laptop: Microsoft Office. But quickly, the company realized a need for more scalable solutions as their product moved through new product development (NPD) and implemented Arena for product record control and Zendesk for customer ticketing.

“We are an FDA-cleared company. Product defects must be traced from customer complaint to suppliers through to resolution.”

– Jason Howard
Director of Customer Happiness

“There was no up-front cost, and our monthly recurring ROI is approximately 900%, thanks to the amount of time Sidekick saves us. We can do more important work now and are ready for our next growth stage.”

– Jason Howard,
Director of Customer Happiness

However, Kinsa had some system proliferation and duplication. Jason shares, “When I began, we had Zendesk for ticketing, a separate system for customer communication, and another for FAQ management. It was not sustainable, it duplicated efforts, and it was inefficient.” Jason led an initiative to standardize on Zendesk, more fully implementing that solution for customer-facing operations.

Next, Jason turned to the customer complaint process, where regulatory requirements demand a high level of traceability and transparency. As Kinsa scaled, the team had also expanded the Arena product realization platform to include full quality management and training record management, giving the company the ability to manage these critical product-related processes in a single, unified system. With Arena Quality, Kinsa began tracking customer complaints through quality processes connected to the product record—which provided easier visibility than more manual processes. But, there was still a manual step between Zendesk support tickets and Arena customer complaint management.


The Arena–BrightReps Sidekick Integration for Zendesk® solved this manual challenge. Kinsa’s customer support team can now quickly escalate a ticket to a product customer complaint when needed. The integration allows customer support to create a customer complaint record in Arena from within Zendesk, where the customer support team works every day. “It is all super easy now and saves us a lot of time. It is a one-button action in Zendesk to create an Arena customer complaint object with all the relevant fields imported right from Zendesk,” says Jason.

Putting the integration in place was simple, reports Jason, “BrightReps has been excellent to work with and very responsive. The integration and the workflow process are dialed in and automated.” As a Cloud-to-Cloud integration, BrightReps Sidekick is provided as an applet through CRM app stores (currently including Zendesk and Salesforce). Customers download, configure with Arena credentials, map fields, and begin using it.

As Kinsa continues to change the world with innovative, connected products, Arena provides the controlled, scalable foundation for product and quality processes. “With Arena, we have a full suite of quality management tools in an easy-to-use interface, providing us a systematic way for handling document control, product changes, and quality reporting,” states Jason. The key for Kinsa has been to approach their product and quality management needs the same as their product—with passion, working fast and smart. As the company grows, Kinsa can rely on Arena to empower the Kinsa team to deliver life-changing products to curb the spread of illness.