Exciting news for New Zealand customers of Zendesk (disclosure – in the past I’ve done a small amount of consulting for them) who, from today, will be able to join Zendesk customers in other counties in utilizing Zendesk Voice. Zendesk voice (my writeup here) gained a lot of attention a year or so ago when it was launched as it was something of a departure (albeit a good one) for a company that had focused heavily on online support channels. With Voice, Zendesk was accepting that end users and customer still often have a preference for talking to a real live support person, and that helping to create a voice support channel is a valuable proposition for a customer support vendor.
And the Zendesk approach would seem to be right – the graph below shows the relative volume of service ticket origination for Zendesk’s own support organization – the rapid growth of the voice channel shows just how important it is for end users to be able to dial a number and talk to someone.
Over its customer base, Zendesk reports that 1695 accounts are using voice across 64 countries and that, in the year since launch, 20000 hours of call time has been made to these voice-based channels. Zendesk Voice is made possible by another one of the super stars of cloud and API driven disruption – Twilio, a company that is disrupting traditional telco providers by enabling phone, VoIP, and messaging to be embedded into web, desktop, and mobile software.
Anyway – all very empowering stuff and exciting that Zendesk’s Kiwi customers (and, from what I hear, they have quite a few) will be able to enjoy the service too. And the pricing makes it pretty attractive – Zendesk can get an as-a-service multi channel support offering with voice pricing set at $0.013/minute for voicemails, $0.016/minute for calls to an agents softphone and $0.063/minute for calls to a physical phone.
Living in New Zealand, and spending as much time as I do in the US, it’s sometimes a little depressing just how many cool services we can’t use at home (Google voice anyone?). It’s awesome that New Zealand Zendesk customers are catching up to their equivalents over the Pacific.