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Answering support emails is far from the only thing you'll need to do to keep your customers happy today. Whether you ask for it or not, people will reach out on social networks, want to jump on a phone call, and find ways to discuss your service with others. That's what they ask for today; who knows what they'll need tomorrow.
Zendesk is ready either way. It's a help desk designed to make support less stressful—perhaps zen-like, even—by focusing on helping your users help themselves. Build a support center and a discussion board, fill it with answers to your most common questions and the problems you anticipate people encountering. Then, whenever someone has a problem, they'll search for info your help center first, and Zendesk will try to suggest a solution for them.
If that's not enough, your users can then send you an email, and that's when Zendesk's help desk takes focus. You'll see customer's emails right along with new discussions in your user forum, social media messages, and more all together, so you can respond to everyone's problems from one place. Open multiple messages in Zendesk's tabbed interface. And if you need to call your customers, Zendesk has full phone support for incoming and outgoing calls. You can get a support phone number and call customers right from Zendesk.
Or, you can add live chat with Zendesk Chat (formerly called Zopim). It's an extra chat service that you could use on its own, but it's also deeply integrated with Zendesk. You can chat with customers from a widget inside Zendesk that hovers over your inbox and support replies. If you’re away, chats will come in as traditional support messages; if chat’s not enough, you can jump on a call with customers in a click.
Chat is only one of the many features you can add to Zendesk. There are dozens of other apps you can add to Zendesk, from integrations with other popular software to new features that add conditional ticket fields, let you bookmark cases, and much more. If there's anything your Zendesk experience is missing, there's likely an app for that—or at least, you could make your app to add the features you need to Zendesk. That's what keeps it future-proofed; it can always work with the latest ways to support your customers with just a new app.
Zendesk also lets you embed your support center inside your apps, so your customers can get help without even having to visit your website. Its embeds work in iOS and Android apps, perfect for your mobile app projects. And, its reports will help your support team know how they're doing at support, and where they should improve.
If you're looking for a flexible support center that can grow with your team and automatically add the features you need over time, Zendesk is a great option. It's simple to use, and just as simple to tweak into the perfect help desk for your needs.
Originally published July 30, 2015; updated July 6, 2018 with new features, pricing, and screenshots.