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Zendesk Unveils Gather and Sunshine Conversations Products

Zendesk today launched Gather, a product designed to provide customers with online community forums for collaboration with each other and to get company guidance and insight beyond that offered by a typical customer support agent.

Gather’s peer-based support provides users with help from a trusted community. Gather is designed to bring the most relevant information to the top by involving customers in the creation, ranking, and maintenance of the knowledge base.

"Customers expect relevant and real-time support, which can be challenging to provide at scale," said Shawna Wolverton, Zendesk's senior vice president, in a statement. "Gather is a way to leverage customer and product experts to provide service representing a wide variety of viewpoints. It's a place for companies to capture, organize, and share feedback for teams across support, product, engineering, and more. Using a community tool to listen to customers will improve relationships and ultimately their experiences."

"Gather lets us focus our service resources on supporting customers that need more expertise," added Sean Kinney, senior director of support at InVision. "Our enthusiastic community of designers help each other with issues that arise, and we've seen some exciting, genuine conversations happening between our customers as a result." 

Gather also does the following: 

  • Surfaces the most relevant content to users by featuring popular articles, pinning posts, and offering a single, unified search across both community posts and help center articles;
  • Empowers members to become community moderators by assigning varying levels of permissions, including the ability to flag, hide, edit, and move user posts; and 
  • Creates separate, customized communities to serve different audiences, regions, and  brands across a company.    

Zendesk also launched an API-based platform called ?Sunshine Conversations?, which enables companies to integrate messages and directly interact and transact with customers via social channels such as Facebook.

Sunshine Conversations is part of Zendesk's open and flexible CRM platform, Zendesk Sunshine, which is designed to help businesses connect customer data to improve customer experiences. Launched in November 2018 and native to Amazon Web Services (AWS), Sunshine enables companies to integrate and understand all of their customer data, wherever it lives, and enables developers to build and deploy customer apps and services more quickly.

With Sunshine Conversations, developers can also build messaging into their own apps and services to help ensure that customers can engage with companies over websites, social channels, and private in-app messaging.  

The platform is designed to enable users to unify conversations across every digital channel to ensure that key business functions, such as sales, service, and marketing, have the context needed to align on and conduct follow-up. 

"Messaging is evolving from a simple communication channel into a new interface for businesses to connect, engage, and transact with customers," said Warren Levitan, Zendesk's vice president of conversational business, in a statement. "We're excited to power the future of conversational business in which companies can extend traditional support and sales conversations into rich and interactive messaging experiences."  

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