Home Zendesk Offers New Tools to Help Companies Help Twitter Complainers

Zendesk Offers New Tools to Help Companies Help Twitter Complainers

Help desk SaaS provider Zendesk announced new Twitter integration features today, including the ability to create new Zendesk tickets directly from Twitter, record Twitter conversation as part of a ticket, and share relevant Twitter conversations with colleagues across internal platforms. Zendesk users will also be able find mentions of a brand on Twitter, and prioritize responses based on the follower count of individuals criticizing a brand.

A recent Harris Poll released earlier this month found nearly 2/3 of its US-baed sample use social media. Out of all respondents, 26% use social media to complain about a brand or product and another 23% use social media to talk about a brand or product they like – 34% total had used social media to express satisfaction or dissatisfaction with a product or company. Nearly half (45%) said they were influenced by testimonials on social media by people they know – approximately the same number that say they are influenced by newspaper or magazine articles (46%).

Given those numbers, companies are right to take social media more seriously than ever. And integrating social media directly into customer service software is a logical move. According to Zendesk, users will now be able to:

  • 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

Because the creation of tickets will be based on the “favorite” button, the integration won’t require special plugins for existing Twitter client like TweetDeck or HootSuite. However, Maksim Ovsyannikov, VP of Product Management at Zendesk, says some developers may add Zendesk buttons their clients.

Here’s an example of a Twitter conversation in Zendesk, along with an internal notes:

Ovsyannikov says Zendesk has chosen to focus on Twitter first, even though Facebook has more users, because Twitter has more business relevance. Twitter is also one of Zendesk’s biggest clients, so the two companies were able to work together closely in creating the integration.

Ovsyannikov says businesses monitoring and engaging Twitter currently e-mail tweets into existing ticketing systems. “But e-mail isn’t a workflow tool,” he says “So we’re bringing Twitter directly into businesses’ workflow.”

Zendesk offers tools for integrating its software with Salesforce.com, SugarCRM, Basecamp and many other platforms. These tools can act as bridges from Twitter to other parts of the enterprise. Ovsyannikov hopes Zendesk will bring customer feedback directly to C level executives. Given some of Forrester’s recent research on the lack of cohesion between different departments’ use of social media to communicate with customers, Zendesk could provide the glue necessary to combine disparate social media projects enterprise-wide.

As we’ve reported, KickApps is also working to integrate social media across multiple enterprise platforms, although in different ways.

And if you haven’t seen it before, be sure to check out the FM3 Buddha Machine Wall on Zendesk’s site.

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