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Zendesk: How to Provide Groupon-Style Service

May 05, 2011
Forbes
by Tom Taulli

Since its launch in 2008, the growth of Groupon has been astonishing, with revenues hitting $760 million last year. The market value of the company is over $20 billion and it appears that management is prepping for a public offering.

Groupon has redefined the local ecommerce business with its enticing daily deals. But of course, there are other factors that explain the success.

For example, Groupon is highly focused on customer service. As the company faces more competition – including the recent entry of Facebook – this will become a key differentiator.

Since its early days, Groupon has used a cloud-based software system, called Zendesk, for its customer service. At its core, the platform is a ticketing system. Yet it is extremely easy to setup and use. And because it is in the cloud, there is no need for irritating updates and high-priced consultants.

To learn more, I had a chance to meet with Zendesk’s chief operating officer, Zack Urlocker. In fact, he gave me some helpful tips on how the software can allow for Groupon-style customer service:

Channels: “Enable your customers to communicate on their channels,” said Zack. So with Zendesk, you can use online chat, phone, twitter, Facebook and so on.

Love Your Help Desk: Zack believes that you need to empower your agents to make decisions on the spot. “They are the closest people to the problem,” he said. “They know how to solve it.”

Measure: True, customer surveys have low response rates. But the problem is that they often have too many questions. So with Zendesk, a survey is only about a thumbs up or thumbs down. “We find that the response rates are between 25% to 30%,” said Zack. “This is a great way to identify problems.”

Zendesk: How to Provide Groupon-Style Service

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