Recapping Our Zendesk U Training

This article originally appeared on the FCR Blog. I thought it to appropriate to share here for any folks who might use Zendesk. Click here to read the original. 

Two of my esteemed colleagues, Travis Wild and Doug Gaskell, recently had the opportunity to attend the Zendesk U Live training on November 9 at the Zendesk headquarters in San Francisco, California. Zendesk is an increasingly popular customer service ticketing system that many of our clients at FCR use. The system is known for its ability to scale as your customer service team grows and touts a variety of integrations, making it simple to add phone, chat, social media, self-help, and SMS (Text) as support channels.

Travis and Doug returned from the workshop with volumes of notes and a certain glow about them that said they had been inspired. I wanted to find out more so I sat down with them to hear what they learned.

Before we talk shop, take a moment to introduce yourselves.

Travis: My name is Travis Wild. I’m a Project Specialist at FCR, working on a variety of initiatives including managing our process for onboarding new clients. In my seven years at FCR I started as a frontline colleague but have held positions as a supervisor and program manager before moving into my current role.

Doug: Hi, I’m Doug Gaskell. I’m a Reporting Specialist on FCR’s Operations Reporting and Client Analytics Team (ORCA). I’ve been with FCR for a year and a half and also started out on the front lines. I’ve always had a knack for numbers and coding, which is why I was excited to move into a Reporting Lead role before ultimately joining the ORCA team.

Ok, so what was the coolest thing about visiting Zendesk?

Travis: I totally had a Doctor Who moment when we were finding the office in San Francisco. We actually completely missed the office, walking by it on the first pass. It turned out that the office has a tiny door on the main street, but when you walk in, it opens to a gigantic reception area.

Doug: Not to pick the same thing as Travis, but that was definitely the neatest thing about visiting Zendesk. The office space inside was a stark contrast to the street on the outside. The outside was old and a bit grungy whereas the inside was modern, clean, and full of bright colors.

 What were your 3 biggest Aha moments during the session?

Travis: Alright! You asked so here they are:

  • My biggest AHA was learning that enterprise subscribers can utilize business roles to get agents to use the Play button. This creates a playlist of tickets for agent to work through as opposed to picking and choosing the cases they want to work on.
  • Over the course of working with multiple clients on their configurations, I originally thought that Zendesk had different levels of admin permissions. Depending on the client, I was only able to access certain sections of the admin panel. During this training session I learned that depending on the subscription, administrators have different levels of access. This can be tailored specifically to each account which could give the impression of different admins levels.
  • Tags don’t work great with reporting. This is actually something that was used back in the day. Zendesk instead recommends using custom fields for better data integrity.

Doug: This one is a little tough because I already had a pretty good working knowledge of Zendesk going into this, but here are a couple:

  • You can integrate the Zendesk knowledge base directly into Google Analytics to get more robust analytics regarding the usage by your website visitors.
  • You can set business hours that will make it so tickets that come in over, say the weekend, do not affect your SLA till your next day of business.

Based on your experience, what’s one thing most users or organizations should do differently in Zendesk?

Travis: Like Doug already said, it’s really important to connect Zendesk to Google Analytics to get insights about the visitors to the knowledge base. Only by understanding how your customers utilize your site can you create a great self-service experience. Google Analytics is a great complement to Zendesk reporting. Zendesk reporting gives stats about customer service performance, while Google analytics gives insight into the performance of the knowledgebase itself.

Speaking of self-service, Zendesk has forums which you can open up to the community to help each other. The company can moderate those discussions.

Doug: Ok, I have a few things to say on this one:

  • A great way to get the most out of your reporting is to start utilizing groups and organizations to segment agents and users. Remember that they can be connected to multiple groups at the same time.
  • As Travis mentioned, it’s best to move away from using mass amounts of tags to categorize tickets, and instead use ticket fields. This is another great reporting power tip.
  • Finally, utilizing the knowledge base will really harness the power of self-help. Zendesk actually surveys your knowledge base users to gauge whether the article solved their problem so you can measure the effectiveness of your content.

Anything else you think is really important to share?

Travis: I thought it was cool that Zendesk went away from the platform itself and talked for a while about engaging your support team. They talked about using your key performers to help write knowledge base articles, moderate forum content, become subject matter experts in an area, and train others.

Doug: Not really. I thought it was a great training!

If you’re a Zendesk customer or are considering it for your customer service operation, feel free to reach out to us with any questions you have. And if you have any Zendesk pro tips to share, please leave us a comment.

Jeremy Watkin is the Head of Quality at FCR, the most respected outsource provider. He has more than 15 years of experience as a customer service professional. He is also the co-founder and regular contributor on the Customer Service Life. Jeremy has been recognized many times for his thought leadership. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.

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