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ZENDESK RELATE 2023: Zendesk CEO Tom Eggemeier on how intelligent CX will transform businesses

Published May 10, 2023

Today I addressed more than 30,000 customers, partners and Zendesk users who attended or tuned into our flagship global conference, Zendesk Relate. Not only was it remarkable to see the power of our team come together to put on this truly global event, it was an honor to present as the company’s permanent CEO and unveil our vision for intelligent CX. I’ve admired Zendesk, its innovative spirit and passionate customers for many years. It has, and will continue to, define the customer experience (CX) category. That’s made it easy to step into the role of interim CEO six months ago, and it’s what makes it an easy decision to drop the “interim” from my title now.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been on the road talking with our customers. Every single one is grappling with similar macro and micro economic factors that are pushing them to fundamentally transform how they do business. And for many of them, this means doing more with less. Efficiency is top of mind and a top priority for business leaders more than ever before.

But change always represents opportunity. And fortunately, there’s a significant opportunity to achieve efficiency while still delivering exceptional customer experiences. This is where intelligent CX – and Zendesk – come in.

Intelligent CX blends traditional intelligence with emotional intelligence. It gives businesses the tools they need to see customers as more than one-dimensional transactions: a sale, a lead, an opportunity, a ticket. It gives them the tools to make the CX experience as efficient and seamless as possible — an ongoing conversation with a personal touch that makes customers feel valued.

Only Zendesk can deliver on the promise of intelligence CX. We have the world’s largest CX dataset consisting of decades of insights from over 100,000 brands connecting with millions of customers. Our latest AI and conversational messaging products leverage this intelligence and empower companies to make well informed and timely decisions, customize interactions, and connect across all channels. This helps businesses develop better relationships with their customers. That, in turn, increases loyalty and retention and turns support opportunities into profit.

The role of AI in intelligent CX
In the last six months alone, there have been huge advances in AI, particularly generative AI. Our team has been hard at work to ensure our customers have AI that is fast to deploy, easy to use, and immediately adds value without the need for large teams of developers or months of implementation time.

Today we introduced Zendesk AI, a new offering that combines decades of our unique data and insights with new AI technologies, including the company’s proprietary models, as well as large language models (LLMs). Zendesk AI will open up a new world of possibilities for our customers, and deliver valuable business transformation.

Available to all of our customers now, Zendesk AI will eliminate much of the low value manual workload that is also incredibly time consuming, allowing agents to spend more time creating custom experiences for consumers and addressing complex issues that benefit from the empathy of a human interacting with the customer.

Conversations, not transactions, made possible by intelligent CX
We believe intelligent CX software should also support the ongoing conversations between businesses and customers. In fact, our research shows that 70% of consumers purchase more from companies that offer seamless conversational experiences.

Today we announced our new Conversational Commerce solution, as well as expanded partnerships with Meta and Shopify, to empower businesses to create better customer experiences. Zendesk Conversational Commerce enables businesses to provide direct support, marketing, and sales all from within a conversation.

This is an obvious evolution of our approach to conversational messaging and we’re excited to see how global brands at the forefront of commerce innovation will leverage this technology.

The intelligent heart of customer experience
Not only is this our new tagline, but it’s also a commitment to deliver on the promise of intelligent CX. So, in addition to bringing great products like Zendesk AI and Conversational Commerce to market, we will transform the way we work. Today I committed to the following:

  1. Renewing our innovation focus;

  2. Increasing our focus on our own customer experience and doubling down on our commitment to delivering on being “customer first”; and

  3. Providing more expertise in CX with a point-of-view on how customers can improve key customer satisfaction metrics, specifically the ones that impact loyalty while simultaneously improving costs.

Ultimately, we want to create the best experience for our customers so they can deliver the best experiences to their customers.

I am truly excited for what’s next.

Tom Eggemeier is the CEO and a board member of Zendesk. Most recently, he was a partner at the private equity firm Permira, where he was the head of the Menlo Park office and focused on investing and value creation in the Technology sector. Prior to joining Permira, Tom was the President of Genesys, a global leader in omnichannel customer experience and contact center software. During his more than ten-year tenure with Genesys, he focused on developing and implementing strategic and operational initiatives aimed at driving value creation across the business. In addition to the Zendesk board, Tom serves on the boards of Axiom, G2, Seismic, and Mimecast.

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