Customer Experience


Zendesk Crystallizes Mobile Customer Service

Zendesk has launched a new platform, Zendesk Embeddables, that allows companies to incorporate certain elements of the Zendesk product suite in mobile and Web apps, as well as games and other online mobile experiences.

Zendesk Embeddables includes a mobile software development kit and Web Widget. Using these, a company can offer Zendesk’s self-service functionality — specifically its Help Center, Chat or Tickets — through a mobile app or another online channel.

There is growing demand for this level of functionality, Sam Boonin, VP of product at Zendesk, told CRM Buyer.

“Customers want to be able to offer service at the point of interaction, in the center of the customer experience,” he said. “They don’t want their customers to have to log out of an application or game or website to seek out help.”

For certain applications, such as gaming or mobile retail, being able to offer assistance on the spot — within the app, that is — is usually key to making or breaking a customer transaction and, by extension, relationship.

“It can be difficult to convince a customer to return to that native experience once they have left to have a question answered about a transaction,” Boonin said.

Mobile Support a Growing Trend

In general some 35 percent of customer support is expected to be delivered on a mobile device by 2017, according to Gartner, a trend that will accelerate as the Internet of Things gains momentum.

Some companies already have begun offering their own variation on mobile support, most notably Amazon with its introduction of live video support for the Fire Kindle device a few years ago.

CRM vendors have followed suit;, for instance, has introduced an “SOS” button for companies to embed on their devices.

Other Advantages to Mobile Support

There are other benefits to mobile support, however — benefits vendors such as Zendesk have worked to develop for their users.

For example, Embeddables is equipped to provide service reps with the necessary data about a device to assist with the service call during a live chat session.

It also can be useful for retailers battling “empty cart syndrome,” Boonin said.

“If a customer puts items in a shopping cart but doesn’t make a move to actually purchase it, a rep could pop up to ask if he or she can answer questions about the product,” Boonin suggested. “Embedabbles is also about proactive support and developing relationships with customers.”

Basic Service Functionality – More to Come

Embeddables currently supports Zendesk’s basic service functionality.

Users can search various knowledge bases and FAQs using Embeddables. They also can check status updates about their help requests without leaving the mobile app. Live chat is part of the mix, as well as a feature that allows customers to give the company feedback.

Zendesk has plans to expand this menu of offerings, Boonin said.

“This is just the beginning of our Embeddables strategy. We want to make every element of the customer experience native to mobile,” he added.

“We anticipate bringing more releases out in 2015,” said Boonin. Likely features would include video chat and click to call.

Zendesk designed its Embeddables features so they are easy to install and eventually upgrade, Boonin added.

With a few clicks, developers can add the Web Widget to their website or app. The mobile SDK requires just one line of code. There is also a Zendesk API for companies that want to design custom integrations.

Erika Morphy has been writing about technology, finance and business issues for more than 20 years. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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