A new book that’s destined for the best-seller list (fingers crossed)

A new book that’s destined for the best-seller list (fingers crossed)

June 11, 2014
A new book that’s destined for the best-seller list (fingers crossed)

Editor’s note: To celebrate the recent release of Practical Zendesk Administration’s 2nd edition, today we turn the blog reins over to Anton de Young, who manages our documentation and training teams, and who is more commonly found in our Help Center.

My first year at Zendesk was a Nespresso-fueled blur of heads-down writing. I was working as quickly as I could to create a knowledge base that described how to set up and use Zendesk, which involved the challenging task of extracting feature details from the heads of a couple people here at Zendesk.

Soon after I started, we hired a training services company to develop and deliver training for our customers, and that is how Stafford Vaughan became the very first Zendesk trainer. Stafford and I corresponded frequently in those days: he would email routinely asking me to elaborate on something I’d written or correcting me when he thought I’d got it wrong (certainly a rare occurrence, at least in my memory).

Then early in 2012 Stafford called to tell me that he’d been working on a Zendesk book for O’Reilly Media—the publisher of all of those great technical books with the animal line drawings on the cover (a.k.a. the “animal books”). I was a bit deflated because I had wanted to do this myself but hadn’t found the time. I was certainly happy for Stafford though and for the additional exposure for Zendesk.

The book proved to be very popular on Amazon (and other online booksellers), and it became a favorite with our customers. What made the book so compelling was that it was full of really practical advice for setting up and managing your Zendesk, written by someone who had spent many hours helping customers navigate the many administrative features in Zendesk.

Zendesk continued to evolve as a product and as is always the case with technical books, especially for SaaS applications, the content became dated and in some cases outright inaccurate. It was time for an update, and because Stafford had moved on to a new position at Apple, I stepped in to update the book, finally achieving my goal.

The new version of Stafford’s book retains all of the great advice that made the first edition so popular, but is updated to reflect Zendesk as it is today, including the many, many new features we’ve added since the first edition was published. You’ll learn about the new security features we’ve added, customer lists, ticket forms, and multiple organizations, to name just a few.

There’s also a brand-new chapter about Help Center. My goal was to both describe what its capabilities are and demonstrate the importance of a knowledge base and community can be—offering self-service support and deflecting tickets that would otherwise come into your Zendesk and need to be handled by your agents.

We like to say that Zendesk is beautifully simple, and it is. But it’s also a full-featured support solution with a lot of features. My goal with the book is to quickly explain those features, help you understand how they could benefit your organization, provide some great advice about setting up and using them. With any luck, I’ve made it easy enough that you won’t need a steady diet of Nespresso in order to power through it.

Practical Zendesk Administration, 2nd edition, is available at Amazon.com and other bookstores