Zendesk’s new AI-powered knowledge management product looks set to power their next stage of growth

Zendesk Reception

At the beginning of April, Zendesk announced that they had just hit an annualized run rate of $500 million.

Now, whilst it took took them seven years to reach $100 million in revenue, it has only taken them four years to reach the $500 million annualized milestone.

That rate of growth puts them firmly in the category of being one of the fastest, if not the fastest, growing dedicated customer experience platforms on the market right now.

Adrian McDermott, President of Products at Zendesk, explains that their recent growth has been driven by two things: 1. Their continued focus on keeping their software both easy to use and configure, and 2. Their increased focus on larger enterprises and the development of a set of products that address their particular needs.

However, the area and product that Adrian is most excited going forward is their new product: Guide Enterprise, a smart knowledge management application.

They believe that ‘knowledge’, how you capture it, nurture it, develop it and make it available to both customers and agents, particularly in large global enterprises is a big opportunity.

Now, you might be saying…..’knowledge management’ that’s great but not new. And, you’d be right.

However, what is new and interesting about their application is an element called Content Cues, which uses artificial intelligence and supervised learning to proactively identify gaps in existing knowledge and identifies where new content needs to be developed.

Adrian explains

“We have built this multidimensional concept space where every article we’ve ever written and every ticket we’ve ever seen is indexed so we can see what are the concepts that overlap. What you’ll find in that index space is that there are gaps that no article matches. So, what the Content Cue technology does is say ‘Okay, you need to write an article about……. ‘Ukrainian returns, say’’. The system will actually prompt you to write those articles and will tell you how important those articles are.”

Recent research by Eptica would suggest that Zendesk are onto something and ‘knowledge’ is an area where there is a lot of customer frustration and huge room for improvement.

According to Eptica’s 2018 Knowledge Management Study, they found that consumers have rising expectations when it comes to getting information and answers from brands and that many companies are struggling to meet their needs. Here’s some of the headline findings from the study:

  • 91% of customers report that they become frustrated if they are not able to find the answers they are looking for online quickly.
  • 75% of customers report incidents where agents haven’t had the right or sufficient  information to be able to answer their question.
  • 70% say that they often experience in inconsistent answers between channels.
  • 94% of customers say a high quality response makes them more loyal.

Whilst access to the right knowledge at the right time is often a frustration for customers around the world, global organisations face a complex set of factors keeping their knowledge bases up to date including diverse product and service sets, multiple geographies, languages and teams as well as dispersed content creators and contributors.

Therefore, a piece of technology that takes much of the manual work out of content curation and knowledge management but that will, ultimately, make the lives of both customers and employees better feels like a good bet.

I wonder how long it will be before others try and follow their lead.

Also, let’s see how it helps them along the road towards reaching their next milestone: $1 billion in annualized sales in 2020.

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This post was originally published on Forbes here.

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