Disruptor of the Day: Zendesk – The Zen Masters of Customer ServiceJuly 30, 2012
by Bill Klump
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is one of those magnificent concepts that swept the business world in the 1990’s with the promise of forever changing the way businesses small and large interacted with their customer bases. In the short term, however, it proved to be an unwieldy process that was better in theory than in practice for many reasons. For starters it was simply so difficult and expensive to track and keep the high volume of records needed accurately and constantly update them.
In the last several years, however, cloud-based customer service software has come on the scene and has fundamentally changed the industry. As the price of newer, more customizable Internet solutions have hit the marketplace; competition has driven the prices down so that even relatively small businesses are reaping the benefits. The company that is leading the way in this Disruption, is our ‘Disruptor of the Day’.
It all began in 2007 in beautiful Copenhagen, Denmark where Zendesk’s three founders, Mikkel Svane, Alexander Aghassipour, and Morten Primdahl, lived and worked. Mikkel was working as a consultant charging companies large sums to install bulky, on-premise customer support software. The process was long, expensive and inaccessible for most businesses. That didn’t sit well with Mikkel.
He knew a Web-based solution would fix things, so he told Morten who loved the idea and wanted to help code it. They then recruited Alex to design it, and even convinced him to designate his small loft as their office on nights and weekends. The three toiled away, elbow to elbow in a small loft to create the first iteration Zendesk–a name that narrowly edged out “Thank You Machine”.
Their first few customers loved it, so Mikkel quit his job, became Zendesk’s CEO (and first full-time employee) and hit the road to raise capital. They soon secured funding from Charles River Ventures and Zendesk moved to America in 2009.
Since moving to San Francisco, Zendesk has raised additional funding from Charles River Ventures, Benchmark Capital, and Matrix Partners, opened offices in Australia, England and Denmark, and now includes more than 150 employees. In 2011, we moved into a new and bigger office in the heart of the city.
More than 65 million people around the world receive support from Zendesk-powered customer service departments and help desks. While industry averages point to low customer satisfaction, Zendesk customers experience positive ratings for over 86% of their interactions. Why? Zendesk is not just another help desk tool. It is the easiest and fastest way to great customer service. Their unique approach to customer engagement enables you to listen, respond, and delight your users in ways not possible before.
The bottom line is that Zendesk delivers the leading cloud-based customer service software. Slow First Response Time is the #1 leading indicator for poor customer satisfaction. With Zendesk, the product won’t slow you down. Their easy-to-use, lightning fast interface will keep your agents super productive and focused on helping customers. Also with Zendesk’s robust reporting and analytics, organizations have access to the key metrics that will help them make workflow improvements and increase efficiencies across the board.