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See how Animoto leveraged light agents and a knowledge base to scale support

See how Animoto leveraged light agents and the knowledge base to scale their support with Zendesk Support.

“Zendesk Support has completely transformed the way we handle customer service.”

- Chris Korhonen

UX designer/developer at Animoto


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Animoto is a web-based video creation platform that lets anyone quickly and easily create professional-quality videos from their own photos, video clips, music, and text. The ease of their service led to Animoto adding one million users within one year.

The company’s founders share a passion for helping people better express themselves through online media by innovating technologies in the field of video production. Founded in August 2006, the company is based in New York City and has an office in San Francisco.

When Animoto added one million users within a year, the company quickly realized it had outgrown its email-based customer support process.

Animoto’s support email account was a repository for all types of inquiries to the company. The company’s CEO monitored the account for business development opportunities while the support staff checked it for incoming support tickets.

Meanwhile, Animoto hoped to let customers solve the most basic support issues by themselves with FAQs on the website. Yet as the company’s user base grew, so did the demand for new FAQ content. Maintaining this content took development resources away from Animoto’s core product.

“We needed to make sure that we were driving issues to completion, not just waiting for customers to follow up with us,” said Chris Korhonen, a UX designer/developer. “We started looking for a solution that would keep track of all conversations and also make it easy to manage our online knowledge base.”

“With Zendesk Support, we realized we could run our entire help desk and knowledge base without pulling development resources away from our product,” Korhonen said. And they found the software was competitively priced.”

Animoto also appreciated the ability to set up business rules for routing tickets and to tag tickets by category for more granular reporting.

“Zendesk Support is as powerful as it is user-friendly,” explained Megan Etzel, a customer relations coordinator at Animoto. “We can set up routing rules without involving a programmer. Within a day, we were already using the Support iPhone app, which enables us to stay on top of tickets at all times.” Tagging by category also allows Animoto to quickly spot current user pain points and potential problem areas.”

Support has allowed Animoto to give its customers the tools to help themselves. Intuitive navigation and powerful search features help users find answers without contacting support. Since Animoto went live on Zendesk, traffic on its knowledge base has increased by 300 to 400 percent, and inbound emails and tickets have declined.

“When you have a diverse base of users, you have to give them options for finding answers,” Korhonen explained. “Zendesk delivered the tools we needed right out of the box.”

“Zendesk Support makes it easy to present our users with a logically-organized support forum,” added Etzel.”Whether you’re an ordinary person making your first video, a member of the education industry, an Animoto affiliate, or even a developer, you’ll know exactly where to go to find highly relevant support topics.”

Once they reach the right community forum, users can post questions or vote to indicate that they have the same question already posted by another user.

“Zendesk’s forums have let us turn support into a community activity,” said Etzel. “By tapping into the knowledge of our user base, we can provide the right answers sooner, without increasing our headcount.”

Support’s automation and flexibility also help streamline daily tasks for Animoto’s support team. By implementing macros, support agents can send automated responses to common issues. With triggers, they can prioritize tickets and provide a higher level of service to Animoto Pro customers. In addition, Zendesk’s single sign-on integration with Animoto’s login system lets the company pull up each customer’s account information and review their support history at a glance.

“Zendesk Support has completely transformed the way we handle customer service,” Korhonen concluded. “It seems that as soon as we need a feature, it’s added to the product a week later. We’re already looking forward to getting our ‘One Million Support Tickets’ birthday cake!”