• April 1, 2018
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

The 2018 CRM Service Rising Stars: Zendesk

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Zendesk closed 2017 having made great progress towards its goal of being a $1 billion company in 2020. This past year, the 10-year-old company grew its product line, increased market penetration, and moved upmarket. Last year also marked the first time Zendesk showed positive full-year free cash flow. And it crossed the 100,000-customer milestone; the company now counts 119,000 companies, including Box, Uber, Xerox, Vodafone, and Fossil, as customers. Zendesk also resolved 1.25 billion support tickets in 2017.

A big part of Zendesk’s success in 2017 can be traced to a major focus on mobile app development. In April, the company brought its solutions to app development platform Fabric. Zendesk had already integrated with several other mobile solution providers, including Crashlytics and Stripe.

Zendesk also integrated with Dialpad, placing a telephony and call center application inside the Zendesk web application; with SightCall, allowing agents to escalate email, calls, chats, or social interactions into video assistance sessions; and with Digital Genius, bringing an element of machine learning and artificial intelligence to customer support. 

San Francisco–based Zendesk also earlier this year joined the Shopify Plus Technology Partner Program. And Zendesk was one of the first companies to integrate with the Amazon Connect suite of cloud-based contact center services. In addition, in 2017 it acquired Outbound.io, a provider of tools for messaging customers via text, email, or push notification. 

Zendesk was also quite busy on the home-grown innovation front. In 2017 it introduced Talk Enterprise, Chat Enterprise, Answer Bot, and the Guide knowledge base, all with expanded enterprise and machine learning capabilities. Answer Bot uses machine learning to answer customers’ questions with content from the Zendesk Guide knowledge base. Zendesk Talk, which can be embedded in the Zendesk Support ticketing system, offers phone support within multichannel customer journeys. Zendesk Chat Enterprise helps businesses deliver real-time support through websites, mobile apps, and messaging channels. 

In addition to his billion-dollar aspirations, chairman and CEO Mikkel Svane has another clear mission for the company: to “rapidly build out our product family and accelerate our promise to deliver a single, seamless customer experience.”

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