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Zendesk – our new ticketing system

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Michael Bellears
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Providing high quality support to customers is essential for maintaining long-term relationships. At GCOMM, we have been using Zendesk for the last 6 months and I wanted to provide some insights into its performance, how we use it and some of the features. I will also explain how it is helping to deliver a more rounded support to our customers.

Firstly, migrating from our old ticketing system to Zendesk was something I was quite concerned about. Support is at the heart of our operation and ensuring it was completed without complication or noticeable interruption was of utmost importance.

Fortunately, the migration was made simple through extensive testing, configuration of our customers within the system and training of the support team. We also connected Zendesk via API to our Salesforce platform in order to provide transparency from tickets to CRM.

Zendesk is a cloud based ticketing system. The company is large, well organised and most importantly, focused on ticketing systems. As it’s built with integration to third party applications rather than part of an all-encompassing ERP style system, it does the ticketing part really well.

Packed with features

Straight out the so-called “box”, Zendesk has a lot of great features. There are too many to mention but I will refer to a few of the basics that we use all the time.

History of cases – It is critical for us to be able to search on historical cases and easily find connections between similar tickets.

Customisation – We modified the CSS so that we could rebrand the standard interface and also modified the outbound emails. For GCOMM, we find it important to deliver a consistent brand.

Feedback – We implemented the customer feedback feature which allows customers to quickly give us a “how did I do” option. Statistics gather over time, which helps us focus our attention on where we can improve.

Security – We implemented SSL so that the communication between our customers and GCOMM was made over a secure connection. (If you want to know more about SSL, check out this article I wrote)

Groups and queues – We implemented teams so that first level support events could be easily kept in one queue and more advanced technical tickets could be made in a second group. Tickets can easily be transferred from one queue to another or between agents for that matter.

Advanced reporting – We are able to get great reports and information straight out of the GoodData business intelligence system that’s included with our Zendesk edition. You can really find out anything you want to know.

Customised content – As we have a combination of direct and wholesale customers, there is different content provided to each group, targeted specifically to them.

Mobile access – Zendesk comes with an Android and iPhone application, which means we can access the database, log tickets and update support when we are out of the office.

Group login by domain – Because Zendesk uses a domain name as the primary differentiator from one company to another; it means that customers can configure access for their own users. It’s useful in situations where more than one person working at the customer site logs a ticket for the same event.

Zendesk editions

There are a few different editions of Zendesk that range from a relatively simple feature set to a very advanced edition that enable multiple brands to be external facing to the customer, yet supported by the same support agents. All the pricing and plans can be seen here http://www.zendesk.com/product/compare. We use the Zendesk plus edition, which for now suits our requirements.

The future

It’s hard to believe that a ticketing system can offer so much capability, but Zendesk certainly does. Our next step will be to integrate it to the website. There are prewritten API modules designed for WordPress and Drupal, the CMS platforms we use. We will also look to further enhance the service level agreement component to provide an even better service to our customers.

Summary

I am really pleased with the results of Zendesk to date. It’s been a welcome upgrade from our previous ticketing tool and with continuous work it will get even better. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

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About Michael Bellears

Michael Bellears
Michael has been working with GCOMM since 1999. He has always enjoyed using computers and was accepted into a Computer Science degree at Deakin University. At GCOMM he is now responsible for the management and operation of GCOMM’s WAN network. He has travelled extensively throughout Europe and Egypt. He is married and has two young children, his “greatest accomplishment”.