I’ve written many times in the past about Zendesk (see here) and have also written about YouCalc. These two companies have much in common, YouCalc founder Rasmus Madsen was actually part of an early “friends and family” funding round for Zendesk, they’re both from Denmark (although Zendesk is now based in San Francisco) and they both have a friendly, open attitude that makes people comfortable with their businesses.

Recently Zendesk and YouCalc jointly announced the YouCalc Dashboard for Zendesk and Personal Performance Widget, integrations that display Zendesk ticket analytics either standalone or embedded into a website. In a nice example of the proof of the pudding being in the eating, Zendesk themselves are using the YouCalc dashboard to track their own rapidly increasing customer base via their global support team.

The Personal performance widget is aimed at individual Zendesk agents, and runs as a widget inside Zendesk, inside iGoogle and on the iPhone, providing a personal performance overview. It analyzes tickets assigned to a particular agent and gives a graphical depiction of:

  • The number of tickets created and solved in the past 7 days
  • The average resolution time on their tickets
  • The average waiting time on their tickets
  • The number of open tickets grouped by priority
  • Ticket backlog development.

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The Dashboard for Zendesk is aimed at Zendesk administrators who need analytics across the service & support organization.

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It gives overview and insight into agent performance, ticket type distribution and resource planning issues.

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I spoke with VP of Sales from Zendesk, Michael Folmer Hansen. Michael was the first employer Zendesk took on, so has had first hand experience of the stresses caused by the rapid growth that Zendesk has enjoyed. I asked him what the YouCalc integration means to him, heading as he does the support team.

Hansen, not surprisingly given his role, was quick to complement the functionality of his own product saying;

Zendesk already has strong reporting facilities which have, with the Zendesk Plus+ release last week [see CloudAve coverage here], been significantly improved with near real-time CSV feed of ticket data including resolution time metrics and custom fields. This enables you to use a wide range of tools to do your analysis.

Realizing though that advanced analytics is not something the majority of users will want or need, Hansen was very complementary of the YouCalc dashboards ability to give a rich visual display of metrics, all with little or no configuration required;

I manage the Zendesk Global Support Team with 9 members in 7 Countries. The Team also uses Zendesk to interact with the whole company and with external partners. Our customers are simply interested in quick resolution, which I also am, but I have to provide this with optimal manning across the globe while Zendesk continues its rapid month on month growth with resulting increase in Support tickets.

With the YouCalc Dashboard I can, using 3 views, see our matrix of KPIs. In the Tickets Overview I see tickets created compared to tickets solved per hour, day, week + evolution over time – this allows me to plan the current and future manning of Zendesk Support, not just numbers, but also time zone location. In the Tickets Analyzer I can see the Resolution time and can drill down by date, type, group, agent e.g. for July 2009 the Resolution time for Level 1. tickets was under 1 hour for 44.03% of the tickets and under 10 hours for 71.13%. Under the Agent Performance view I can drill down to better understand the performance of the team and individual members – last month we had one Agent who solved 438 Tickets with an average resolution time of 51 minutes, while another Agent solved 183 Tickets with an average resolution time of nearly 3 hours. A little analysis shows that the first Agent palmed all the difficult Tickets off to the second Agent.

It’s this sort of valuable analysis that YouCalc is aiming for – it allows for in-depth analysis of a number of different applications, from Salesforce.com to Highrise, from Google Analytics to Ebay and now includes Zendesk. I was excited when I first saw YouCalc at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston earlier this year – the power of this latest integration shows why.

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Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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