In 2007, three friends realized that the world of customer service was unnecessarily complicated and chaotic. Mikkel Svane, Alexander Aghassipour, and Morten Primdahl set out to create a customer support software that would be easy to work with, great to look at and would provide users with tools that ensure a seamless experience, whatever the task. The result was Zendesk, and it was conceptualized in a tiny loft in Copenhagen, Denmark that had a kitchen door for a table. Always looking to bring in a clean design philosophy to help simplify customer support processes, the three worked hard in what they believed would bring value to the customer support industry. “We succeeded because we worked hard, we cracked some problems early, and we didn’t give up when the weather changed. There is no formula for success, the world moves too fast for any formula to last,” says Mikkel Svane, Founder and CEO of Zendesk.
When Zendesk received Series B funding in 2009, it moved its headquarters to San Francisco and never looked back, acquiring companies along the way to help improve its products. Zendesk forked out $45 million in 2014 to acquire We Are Cloud, the parent company of BIME Analytics—the technology that now runs Zensdesk’s platform. What sets Zendesk apart from its competitors is that all its products and services are cloud-based, giving users the ability to store all their data in one place, cheaper and easier. Zendesk offers a complete host of customer service products and services that can tackle any customer request. These products perfectly illustrate the shift the company has made, moving from a single-user service product to a suite of unified products that has a strong focus on improving relationships with its customers.
We succeeded because we worked hard, we cracked some problems early, and we didn’t give up when the weather changed. There is no formula for success, the world moves too fast for any formula to last
It now runs a common user interface that has been developed to utilize a single login entry and a shared customer data platform.
Zendesk’s primary offering is Support—its integrated customer support system. Designed with scalability, flexibility, and simplicity in mind, Support enables users to access all their information, track customer tickets, conversations, all relevant data from a single interface. It offers true multi-channel support, bringing conventional and emerging channels together—SMS, email, social media, phone calls and chats can are all accessible from within Support’s interface. Support’s multi-brand integration adds the cherry on top, with the capability to integrate with different support channels and different rules for multiple brands through the same help desk. With the power of data-driven analytics, Support gives users clear visibility into customer interactions.
"Organizations that have critical data and know how to make sense of it will have a better understanding of customers"
If users are the self-serving type, Zendesk has got their back—Guide is a self-service customer support system that is powered by machine learning. It uses a combination of Zendesk’s API and Mobile SDK called Zendesk Embeddables, to provide users with customizable help centers, online communities, and customer portals for improved efficiency and faster resolutions. Its Answer Bot AI assistant is ideal for resolving high-frequency tickets, by sending customers the relevant articles while they wait for agent interaction. The Knowledge Capture app included in Guide includes every customer interaction as new content, and when old content is found to be ineffective in a service case, it is flagged for improvements.
This continuous stream of content as the name—Knowledge Capture— suggests, creates a treasure trove of knowledge for service agents.
Understanding the entire customer support process is important when looking for ways to improve the business and the best way to do it is with data analytics. Originally called BIME Analytics, Explore is Zendesk data analytics tool. Its party piece is that it enables anybody to create dashboards, custom metrics, and reports without SQL; giving data meaning, with easy point-and-click functions. “Ultimately, what our customers care about the most is that it just works for them and that we’re able to guide everyday business users to the kind of data dashboards and visualizations that make the most sense for them,” asserts Svane.
Customer support would be incomplete without the familiar chat and talk options, and Zendesk has this covered as well. Zendesk Chat offers live chat support that enables companies to chat with customers in real-time on their websites. Once embedded in a website’s HTML code, the users can use the dashboard to chat with multiple customers at a time. The dashboard also provides metrics on customer satisfaction, chat volumes, agent productivity, and so on. While Talk is Zendesk’s call center software that offers IVR services, group routing, and queue monitoring. Being cloud-based, users can make and receive calls without any additional hardware and, it allows businesses to create phone numbers and calls can be forwarded to phones, giving agents extended flexibility.
In a world where data is becoming the new currency for business and customer relationships, companies that have critical data and know-how to make sense of it will have a better understanding of customers. This will not only help them win more customers but will also help retain them over the years. “We’re opening the world of data analytics to anyone involved in customer service and engagement without having to change their technology architecture or spend tons of money on major integration projects,” concludes Svane.