Zendesk Has a Twicket to Ride Twitter

7/13/10Follow @wroush

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“tag” a tweet with additional information. The function has now been appropriated by Zendesk as the marker that a customer-support conversation has begun.

“We configure certain Twitter accounts in a company that are allowed to convert tweets into twickets,” says Ovsyannikov. “They can continue using any Twitter client, and the second they mark a tweet as a favorite, Zendesk will listen for that and pull that into a twicket in the workflow, and then the entirety of the conversation gets recorded.” The recording continues until the conversation is marked as resolved.

According to Ovsyannikov, the new Twitter features help to broaden the scope of Zendesk beyond the simple tracking of customer-support requests. Anyone whose Twitter account is properly configured can turn a tweet into a twicket that’s then seen by others in the company. This means, for example, that a CEO who sees a negative comment about his or her company on Twitter can flag it for follow-up by the company’s marketing or sales staff.

“At the end of the day we are interested in any possible way to intensify the relationship that our customers have with their customers,” says Ovsyannikov. “How can we get into the middle of these conversations and anticipate their needs? Listening to their feedback on social channels anticipates the needs.”

At least one early user is raving about the Twitter feature. In Zendesk’s press announcement today, Beth Halel, a support manager at San Francisco-based mobile phone payment startup Square, calls the Zendesk-Twitter integration “pretty much the best thing that’s ever happened to Square support…It gives us a chance to use Twitter the way it was meant to be used, by allowing us the chance to give real shape to Twitter support requests.” (Square was founded by Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey.)

Zendesk was founded in Denmark in 2007, moved its headquarters to Boston in early 2009 after winning funding from Waltham, MA-based Charles River Ventures, then moved to San Francisco in late 2009 after winning more funding from Menlo Park, CA-based Benchmark Capital.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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