The growth of mobile use among its customer base has led Zendesk, a maker of cloud-based customer service software, to launch a native version of its iPad application today.
Zendesk estimates about 60 percent of its customer base has a mobile service app downloaded on at least one device, double the percentage from two years ago
When it comes to individual support agents that are on Zendesk, J.D. Peterson, Zendesk's vice president of product marketing, says "it’s pretty staggering."
"Almost half—47 percent of them—actually are using a mobile application, which surprised us. We didn't think it was going to be quite that high," he admits.
With other customer service software companies eyeing mobile customer service delivery, Peterson says Zendesk wanted to differentiate its own offering by developing native apps customized for each mobile device and form factor rather than relying on HTML5.
One of the benefits of developing native applications, Peterson says, is the ability to tailor the agent experiences to each device's inherent capabilities. For instance, a support agent using Zendesk for iPad can swipe and scroll through tickets—gestures unique to the device at hand—or take a circular pie graph and rotate the interactive dial to see agent response times.
Another new feature, the Agent Dashboard, gives agents access to a comprehensive reporting dashboard designed for the iPad. Here, an agent can view metrics, such as customer satisfaction, response times, and solved tickets. A leaderboard lets support managers see which agents are responding the fastest and the number of touches each agent is having with particular customers or cases.
Through a new ticket View capability, agents have a snapshot look into all of their tickets in a format similar to the playlist function of iTunes, Peterson says. There, an agent can drill in and filter tickets around use cases, such as tickets that haven't been assigned yet.
Also new are Customer Profiles, which provide access to past interactions and key information about customers that have reached out previously to a company using Zendesk for support.
Although Zendesk's launch today plays on the agent side, Peterson says this past fall the company introduced several customer-facing improvements, like a mobile-optimized self-service portal.