Salesforce Integrates Zendesk: Solving the Challenge with Customer Service

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Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) has integrated the helpdesk software provider Zendesk, to help their clients improve the customer service experience. Zendesk’s tool tracks how support teams interact with customers to enable businesses to generate a better picture of their customer base and improves the relationship between sales and support teams. Why is this important?

As organizations are offering their customers more and more channels for interaction, including telephone, Web, email, social media and SMS, the need to coordinate service across these channels for consistency, accuracy of information provided, and management of the customer experience is growing exponentially.

Based on findings from NM Incite’s newly released State of Social Customer Service Report, nearly half of all consumers (using social media), 47% use social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to reach out to a brand or company with a question or issue. Social care use is especially high among younger age groups, and still remains significant among older social media users. And nearly one in three (30 percent) consumers (using social media) prefer to reach out to a brand for customer service through a social channel compared to the phone, marking a dramatic shift in how people expect customer service from the brands with which they engage.

Another research, by ContactBabel (It is available free of charge from www.contactbabel.com) reveals that over 17% of interactions handled by UK contact centers are through email, web chat or social media, increasingly integrating them with traditional service channels. According to the report, web chat between customers and agents has risen from 0.7% of all inbound traffic to UK contact centers to 1.3% this year while social media appeared on the survey for the first time with 0.7% of interactions. Email saw the most significant rise, jumping from 10.4% to 15.4% of interactions in the past 12 months.

Zendesk has found that while there are software products out there aimed to improve customer interaction, many companies rely on CRM's tools which can cause problems, as this product filters information.

Zendesk says there are four things companies should keep in mind when trying to solve this problem:

  • Easy-to-use ticket management: In order for this integration approach, this customer-issue reporting tool must belong to an easy to use interface.
  • Multi-channel: In the past, customer experience was based on a phone-in customer service station, but businesses should make sure that all communication platforms are available — email, chat and phone, social media, message board and web portals.
  • Self-service: Sometimes customer problems are easily fixed by talking to other people with the same issue, so businesses should have a community forum feature.
  • Best practice workflows: This tool is used so that everyone involved is kept up to date. Tools in the workflow feature include automatic customer and agent notifications, the ability to share and collaborate on tickets and option to set service level agreements.

That’s why Salesforce.com and Zendesk are integrating and improving their products more and more, enhancing current customer service performance and being prepared for the (digital) multichannel future.


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