Is Zendesk the Future Solution for all IT Service Desks?

ZendeskThe answer to that you’ll come to by yourself at the end of this synopsis, but the message from the company itself is a big fat, yes – that is if you want to tap into the communication trends of the next generation.
Zendesk speak about the “customer awakening,” and what that translates for businesses is that in order to stay in the race or stand any chance of peaking, you must respond to your customers using methods they like and understand. In their words, not ours, “businesses must respond to modern communication channels and offer customer support through multiple communication vehicles.” (Report: An Enterprise Guide for 21st century engagement, June 2012)
So let’s decode: Facebook, Twitter, Skype, online chat services and forums are what we’d class as 21st century communication channels. Accessed more frequently through portable handheld devices, (vehicles) like smartphones and tablets, than it’s somewhat less trendy counterpart the desktop PC, this is where and how the majority of conversations take place. By opening your company up to the opportunities that these multiple communication platforms present, you also unlock their potential in making your customer support and service operations more efficient and in tune with the current market.
While a portion of consumers use social networks to pass the time, the large proportion are using it to discuss and rate your company and in the likelihood of any issues – whether good or bad – they expect a personal response. Almost 20% of people using Twitter seek customer support from a business each month, while 61% seek information about products and services. As Zendesk point out, opening up new communication vehicles with customers can seem risky, but it’s a greater risk to not offer them at all as you stand to lose out on customers.
It’s all about true customer engagement and offering customers the freedom of choice to interact with a service in the way that most suits them. Older channels like phone calls and email customer support won’t be replaced by emerging technology, but there’s no doubt that the predominance of these conventional methods are decreasing. Cue companies like Zendesk whose cloud-based customer service software enable businesses to ultimately reach more customers.
Weighing in at over 15,000 customers worldwide and 5,000 in Europe, the UK is Zendesk’s second largest market, boasting clients such as Adobe, Sony and Groupon. They claim to have seen some of their clients get 95% more mentions on Twitter than they get email requests, but how do they do this? Quite simply, with an innovative, tech-driven approach to customer service.
Most recently, Zendesk added an addition to their ‘Zendesk for Facebook’ app involving private messages. It’s already possible to turn a wall post conversation into Zendesk ‘tickets’ allowing agents to respond to tickets as Facebook wall posts without having to log into Facebook. Zendesk have now extended this feature so customer’s private page messages can also be translated into a ticket. The support agent’s response is relayed back to the customer as a Facebook message so they’re none the wiser, while you help to ensure their privacy and overall satisfaction.
One of the best things about Zendesk tickets are that it captures each customer interaction as well as their entire support history, allowing you to refer back and easily pick up where you left off. There are also features such as Zendesk’s Customer Satisfaction Index and analytics tool which give you the data to inform your organisation’s customer service strategy and monitor its effectiveness. All in all facilitating better customer service based directly on their needs.
Would you use a company like Zendesk to manage your customer service and support processes? Is this the future for IT service desks or can companies do it better by themselves? Share your thoughts and experiences with us on our blog or post your views on the transcosmos Facebook and Twitter pages.