Technology Featured Global

Zendesk acquires experience firm Momentive

United States – Global software company Zendesk, which provides software-as-a-service products related to customer support, sales, and other customer communications, has acquired Momentive, the America-based experience management firm, including its survey platform SurveyMonkey, with the aim to create a new powerful customer intelligence company.

The newly integrated customer intelligence company aims to bolster businesses’ efforts in connecting customers’ actions with how they “think and feel.” The company said the holistic view will give them the ability to truly listen to customers and develop a rich picture of the consumer.

Mikkel Svane, Zendesk’s CEO and founder, commented that they are excited to have SurveyMonkey join the Zendesk mission along with Momentive’s market research and insights products and together create a powerful new Customer Intelligence company. 

“We will deliver a rich, colorful picture of every customer so businesses really understand their customers and can build more authentic relationships,” said Svane.

Zander Lurie, Momentive’s CEO, said that they look forward to combining with Zendesk to advance their mission and accelerate their long-term growth strategy.

“Zendesk and Momentive share a culture centered around our people, our communities, and the customers we serve. The synergies between our companies are proximate and compelling. We are uniquely positioned to make Customer Intelligence a reality ​​while delivering significant value for our shareholders,” said Lurie.

Zendesk said the acquisition will see Momentive stockholders receiving 0.225 shares of Zendesk stock for each share of Momentive stock, a ratio which represents an implied value of approximately US$28 per outstanding share of Momentive stock based on the 15-day volume-weighted average price of Zendesk common stock up to and including October 26, 2021.

Through this move, Zendesk expects the combination to be growth accretive in its first full operating year and accelerate its revenue plan to US$3.5b in 2024, one year ahead of its previous target. Both companies’ respective sizable customer bases and complementary capabilities are also expected to provide significant opportunities for joint product adoption and increase Momentive’s enterprise traction, while Zendesk will reinvest savings from scale efficiencies into compelling growth opportunities to support the combination.

Technology Featured APAC

APAC businesses investing in CX 10x more likely to build resilience amid pandemic

Singapore – Businesses in the Asia-Pacific region who have invested in solutions to improve their own customer experience (CX) strategy are more likely to be more resilient 10.3x than their other counterparts amid the global pandemic, according to the latest insights from customer experience company Zendesk and research/strategy firm Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG).

The report noted that CX investment has made APAC businesses 4.7x more likely to grow their online customer base for the last six months.

Furthermore, the rate of high-maturity CX organizations has also increased from 6% to 8% since 2020, with India (16%), Australia (12%) and Singapore (9%) having the highest proportion of these organizations.. The greatest gains in the region were tied among India, Australia and Singapore, which all saw a 6% point increase from 2020. However, Singapore experienced the fastest growth, increasing the percentage of such organizations by three times in the past year, up from just 3% in the past year.

The report noted, however, that only 21% of midsize and enterprise companies in Singapore feel they have made the right CX investments to increase business resiliency, trailing behind other markets such as Australia (28%), South Korea (28%) and India (64%).

“Organizations across industries, sizes and life cycles are realizing that the customer service function is no longer a cost center, but a revenue driver, and our research with ESG confirms this. In fact, it also found that the connection between CX maturity and greater business growth and revenue remains most pronounced in APAC a year on,” said Wendy Johnstone, chief operating officer for APAC at Zendesk.

She added, “Today’s digital-first economy has made the customer service function the hub of all customer relationships, which is why continuous innovation and investment in CX must be a business imperative for long term success and growth.”

There continues to be a clear correlation between improved CX maturity and the benefits of increased customer satisfaction (CSAT), faster response times, and effective customer service. Notably, the study calls out as well the connection between CX maturity and greater business growth and revenue. 

APAC high-maturity CX organizations are better positioned to adapt and thrive in the face of change, taking roughly half the time to grow their team by 50% and onboard new hires (22 days versus 43 days for beginner CX organizations) and add a new channel (21 days versus 45 days for beginner CX organizations). 

“The findings indicate that the shift to digital and remote work during the pandemic served as a trigger for companies to accelerate their adoption of new technologies, policies, and processes to benefit from a higher CX maturity,” said Adam DeMattia, director of custom research at ESG.

He added, “Across APAC, high maturity CX organizations recognize that service excellence can be a differentiator, and are actually accelerating investment in CX projects.”

The report further noted that organizations in APAC have increased the number of service channels year-over-year from an average of 7 to an average of 7.8. In addition, many anticipate that preferences and changes will continue to shift as well: 73% of APAC organizations predict that chat and social channels will be most used by customers in the future, up from 54% who say this is the case today. 

Lastly, 57% of Singapore companies agree that chat and social channels are heavily used by customers today. This number is projected to increase to 72% in the next three years.

Technology Featured Global

Zendesk unveils new CMO, executives on global board

Singapore – Global software company Zendesk has announced a new appointment of its chief marketing officer, as well as new executives for its global board.

Alex Constantinople will join the company as chief marketing officer effective on 10 May. Meanwhile, new board members Brandon Gayle and Steve Johnson joined its board of directors, effective 31 March. 

Zendesk’s current CMO Jeff Titterton is expanding his role as chief operating officer for the company.

Constantinople joins Zendesk from marketing agency Outcast as former CEO. She will play a critical role in defining, evolving and aligning Zendesk’s strategy and its overall messaging and positioning in the market, and help the company continue to evolve its unique brand identity.

Speaking on his appointment, Constantinople said, “I’m thrilled to be joining the Zendesk team, and to lead a marketing organization that is known for building and delivering brand experiences their customers love. There’s so much opportunity ahead for the business to keep shaping the future of customer service, particularly as it builds off last year’s $1 billion revenue momentum and history of continued high, long-term growth.”

Meanwhile, Gayle is executive vice president of revenue, brand and communications for Spurs Sports and Entertainment, which owns and operates the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs. Prior to his current role, he had worked with Facebook and Instagram as director and head of global sports partnerships respectively, and previous stints at Groupon, the New York Jets, and as a consultant at Bain & Company.

Lastly, Johnson is a user experience executive who builds, mentors and coaches creative and diverse organizations that design thoughtful products. He is currently the vice president of user experience at streaming platform Netflix, and prior to this has designed experiences for Electronic Arts, Adobe and LinkedIn. Johnson’s focus on reflecting the unique perspective of a target audience through design will be key as Zendesk continues to expand its business globally.
“As we move into this next growth phase at Zendesk, it is going to be more important that we build a sense of purpose and long-term vision into our product, team, customers, and communities. We’re excited to have Alex join our leadership team, and Brandon and Steve join our board on this journey,” said Mikkel Svane, CEO, chairman and founder of Zendesk.

Technology Featured APAC

New Zendesk Suite now includes comprehensive messaging solution

Singapore – Global customer service software company Zendesk has unveiled its new Zendesk Suite by including access to Zendesk’s comprehensive messaging solution, as the package brings together all Zendesk’s service capabilities into one complete offering that brings ease of use to the enterprise software space.

Through the new added feature, businesses can now communicate whether customers want to text, chat on their computer, reach out over WhatsApp or through connected conversational experiences across web, mobile, and social channels. Zendesk’s messaging solution also offers advanced capabilities including proactive notifications, enabling specialized third-party bots, and allowing customers to transact directly within the conversation when browsing products, reserving seats, or making payments.

The new messaging solution inclusion coincides with a greater need for messaging solutions for enterprises. According to a CX report by Zendesk itself, 2020 saw a 117% increase in the use of social messaging in APAC, while 69% of consumers in the region said they tried a new way to get in touch with customer service, with messaging and bots as the leading choices.

“Today’s customers demand real-time experiences at a level and pace we’ve never seen before. Companies cannot take customer loyalty for granted, and using outdated, expensive enterprise software that takes months to get up and running is a thing of the past,” said Adrian McDermott, president of products at Zendesk

“Businesses need the best possible technology to remain agile and face customers’ ever-evolving needs. Within hours, Zendesk can help businesses deliver great customer experiences, with messaging front and center,” added McDermott. 

For Kyle Jenke, partnerships director at WhatsApp, the Zendesk messaging solution integration speaks to the fact that more than 175 million people across the world are already messaging using a business account on WhatsApp every day.

“People today want to connect with businesses the same way they chat with their friends and family — with personal messaging to get questions answered and receive support quickly and conveniently. Through partnerships with companies like Zendesk, we’re making it easier for businesses to shift their operations online during the ongoing pandemic so they can stay close to their customers even when they’re physically apart,” said Jenke. 

Zendesk was one of the first SaaS companies to democratize the way businesses offered email support, and with its new Suite, is now leading the shift to messaging-driven relationships. 

Main Feature Technology Southeast Asia

2021 sees Singapore businesses more focused on CX improvement, says report

Singapore – Businesses in Singapore have shown a greater interest in improving their customer experience (CX) through various strategies, despite 2020 being a disruptive year for far-reach transformation, new report from customer relationship management Zendesk shows.

According to the Zendesk Customer Experience (CX) Trends Report 2021, Singapore businesses have witnessed a 22% increase in average weekly support requests, and nearly half of customers or49%, in Singapore say that experience is more important to them now compared to a year ago. Meanwhile, 77% of local companies – the second highest in the APAC region – say their organization prioritizes CX more than they did a year ago.

“We’ve seen companies in APAC embrace digitalization at an incredible speed this year in response to the dramatic shifts in the operating landscape they’ve had to navigate. Customer experience has never been more important, and we think this accelerated adoption of technology is likely to continue in 2021,” said Wendy Johnstone, chief operating officer for APAC at Zendesk.

The study’s recent statistics support data from IT service management firm Gartner that 91% of organizations said that CX was one of the primary goals of their digital business transformation efforts.

“Organizations need to ensure they have the right strategies, processes, and technology in place to empower customer support teams and drive business success,” Johnstone added.

Additional findings among Singaporeans include half of customers preferring to use embedded messaging when they engage with businesses, such as on websites or mobile apps, while one out of five managers (21%) and one out of four (27%) of agents state that they don’t have the right analytics tools to measure success for remote teams and work with it. 

In addition, 81% of Singaporeans are willing to spend more with a company that offers a good customer experience, which is the highest in the region. The report also shows that 83% of Singaporeans will take their business elsewhere following bad experiences.

“Facing continued volatility, service, and support, organizations must find ways to keep up with their customers. Customer experience leaders cited the ability to quickly adapt to the evolving needs of customers as their biggest challenge in 2020 and the highest priority going forward,” said Zendesk.