Three Models for Customer Engagement

May 18, 2010

Love your help desk.

That’s been the Zendesk tagline since day one. Phrased by my co-founder Alexander, it really nails what Zendesk is all about: After so many years of bad customer support experiences, we wanted to give the world an opportunity to get great service experiences. From the receiving side, from the providing side, and from any other side involved in using, operating, maintaining and paying for a customer support solution.

Case Management and Ticketing: One-to-one support

Our initial focus was on the one-to-one support experience; a customer contacting a company through a direct channel and the company dealing with the customer directly. Requests spawned a so called ticket, also referred to as a case, and the entire conversation and business rules, was then logged in the ticket trail. We’ve always offered forums and the ability to push tickets to a forum to build up a solution base, but the focus was clearly the one-to-one aspect. Until today. Today we introduce new features for crowdsourced support, communities and knowledge base sharing, enabling one-to-many support and many-to-many support.

Knowledge Base: One-to-many support

The new knowledge base features make it easier for you to provide relevant knowledge to your customers before the interaction turns into a one-to-one support request. You can guide your users to your knowledge base articles before they reach out for support, make your knowledge base easily available when they search your support site, and help them qualify the content by voting it relevant or not. Making your own support resources available in a structured and ranked format to all of your customers when they go to your support site is as relevant as providing exceptional one-to-one support. In many instances people prefer to solve things themselves rather than reaching out to support directly.

Community Support: Many-to-many support

Community support is all about empowering your customers to engage and help each other. Your new abilities to create groups where your customers can help each other, submit feature requests, and vote on most relevant questions to answer, will help you create vibrant communities. Customers and users will then naturally gravitate towards these communities to have their questions answered and issues solved — joining pleads to have popular changes implemented and crowd source new and relevant content. Why not harness the power of an engaged community and promote your most active users to be moderators?

There’s a lot more to the new knowledge base and community support features, and you can read more about that elsewhere. Our ambition with Zendesk was to build a lean, agile, instant-on support system, that provided its stakeholders with an unprecedented level of transparency and customer empowerment. Today, we believe we have taken that vision one step further — delivering an out-of-the-box system that caters to all three support models needed by businesses to fully engage with their customers.

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