Zendesk is easy-to-use, Cloud-based customer service software. According to Zendesk.com, 25,000+ businesses around the world including Disney, Groupon and Xerox use it. Features are designed to make online help desk ticket management simple and efficient for companies of all sizes and industries, even if they’re processing thousands of help requests a day.

Key Features of Zendesk

Meet customers where they are -- Tickets can be created within Zendesk, on your website, by sending email, from chat and smartphones, or from Facebook, Twitter or Wordpress posts. Support agents can post and follow through social media straight from Zendesk, without logging in to the relevant social network. In Twitter, you can conduct high-powered searches to find conversations, and save the searches for later review.

Zendesk supports popular Twitter clients like HootSuite and TweetDeck, and can be integrated with major blogging and forum platforms. Blog writers and forum facilitators can reward their loyal participants by providing in-depth, offline follow-up on their comments.

Screencasting and remote diagnostic support through LogMeIn Rescue allow customers to share their screens or help desk techs to make the necessary changes to customers’ systems for up-close-and-personal assistance.

Adding Zendesk Voice creates call center capabilities without adding expensive hardware. Customer support representatives can answer inbound or make outbound calls from landlines, browsers or mobile devices. Voicemail messages are recorded and transcribed, then converted into tickets. Queue activity metrics like the number of calls waiting, wait times, and agent performance provide the necessary insight needed to identify trends and plan for future demand.

Be consistent - Through its extensive list of API and Javascript/CSS widgets, Zendesk can be customized to provide a seamless transition from your website to the customer-facing Web interface, even when you have multiple brands. You can set up more than one location with different languages and times, too. Your brands will always greet your prospects, customers, clients, partners and vendors.

Zendesk Enterprise version allows you to have multiple Zendesk instances, customized to a specific brand or brands, all automatically sharing tickets with a central Zendesk hub.

Get the bird’s eye view -- Related tickets coming in from different channels are compiled into conversations within Zendesk for easy management, or can be manually combined to your preference. Make data-driven decisions via more than 20 ready-to-use dashboards and reports, or slice and dice data by creating customized reports (with the free GoodData integration if you have a Plus account), then embed the results on a website or send them by email, PDF or CSV. There are Zendesk apps, and third party apps like TwicketTM for Twitter, for iPhone, iPad and Android, for easy access on the go.

Be visible -- Permissions settings allow sharing of project status updates and help requests with customers, agents in other departments and vendors. Companies that use Zendesk can connect to share customer support tickets, making sure that help requests are handled by the best subject matter expert for the issue.

Automate repeat tasks -- Group rules and macros can customize the automated workflow to handle common tasks, such as answering frequently asked questions. Create knowledge bases and public or private community forums within Zendesk to allow self-serve customer service and provide help desk rep resources.

Enjoy hassle free implementation, maintenance and expansion -- Integrating with existing business systems is easy through Zendesk’s API, and there are no annoying updates to worry about. Zendesk is Cloud-based SaaS, with more than 100 integrations through third-party apps such as MailChimp and GoogleApps. For example, you can manage your Zendesk tickets from within Wordpress.

Connecting your contacts with support tickets through SugarCRM and Salesforce, so that you can view and update customer profiles while managing tickets, can improve communication between departments and facilitate thorough follow-up. You can use pre-built and custom Salesforce reports to analyze Zendesk ticket data. This way only one customer database is necessary for both sales and support.

Raise the roof on customer satisfaction and team morale -- Where Zendesk really shines is in how it can help you increase and improve the quality of your interactions with customers. For example, once a service request has been resolved, Zendesk can automatically follow up with the customer to request feedback. Use business rules to flag negative ratings so agents can immediately put out fires. 

Customer ratings can be used to assess overall customer satisfaction and interpret ways to convert engaged users into long-term advocates. There’s no training necessary for new agents to hit the ground running with Zendesk, so support team productivity has unlimited potential.

Zendesk Pricing

Monthly subscriptions to Zendesk start at $20 per year after a free trial. The starter plan allows three agents, and the entire fee is donated to Charity: Water. Other plans are priced per agent per month, at $24, $49 and $99. The more expensive the plan, the more extensive the features.

How has Zendesk improved your workflow? Post a comment below...


Ellen Berry is Content Director for Myndbend. Her background is in website development, graphic design, career development, project management, entrepreneurship, technical writing, and journalism. She has worked for small start-ups, Fortune 500 companies and nonprofits, in fields including biomedical research and development, IT, finance, telecommunications, publishing and digital media. Her articles are frequently published on high profile websites such as USAToday, ScientificAmerican, TechRepublic and MonsterWorking.