Zendesk — Putting Twitter to Work

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Twitter is one of those services that you wonder how you did without it once you discover it. Those 140 character rolling conversations never stop (unless the whale appears), and businesses that come up with a way to put Twitter to work for customers are smart folks. Online help desk company Zendesk is leveraging Twitter in a unique way to augment the services for its customers.

Om Malik told us to keep an eye on Copenhagen-based Zendesk, and as usual he was right on the money. The company is an online help desk support provider that brings affordable customer support to companies. Zendesk has announced an integration with Twitter that adds the following features to Zendesk customer support services:

  • Turn a tweet into a new Zendesk ticket — a twicket — with one click
  • Record threaded Twitter conversations with full audit trail
  • Combine public and private dialog while maintaining confidentiality
  • Switch a Twitter conversation into an email conversation
  • Seamlessly integrate with social media monitoring tools such as HootSuite, TweetDeck, Twitter.com, and the Twitter iPhone and Android apps

This Twitter integration adds full mobile support for iPhone and Android phone users, reaching a large crowd of users. The ability to create a conversation trail across Zendesk and Twitter makes for a seamless support system for customers and is a very smart move for the company.

Companies are embracing Twitter due to its reach in the online world. Just this week the Comcast (s cmcsa) Internet connection died in my home office. Rather than waste a lot of time on the phone to find out what was going on, I tweeted my situation to @comcastcares. Comcast operates this Twitter account to let customers notify them of service problems. In five minutes a Comcast representative replied to my tweet, asking me to privately tweet my account phone number. Another five minutes and I was informed via Twitter that there was a “partial node outage” at my location, and that techs were on site conducting repairs. My service was restored in an hour, and I wasted no time thanks to Comcast’s use of Twitter.

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d): To Win In the Mobile Market, Focus On Consumers

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Of course, there is no reason why Comcast couldn’t provide more effective support via email (which doesn’t come with artificial size limits and inherently supports the ability to include attachments).

Oh, and Comcast has network outage information online… there’s this thing called “Google” where you type in “Comcast Outage” and it shows you the Comcast URL where you can (presumably) see whether your area is affected by an outage. No need to bother another human. Much more scalable. But I guess not as “social”.

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