Help desk software maker Zendesk July 13 struck a deal with Twitter to let companies monitor tweets to connect with customers over customer service questions and concerns.
Many businesses use Twitter, which has more than 100 million users, to see what their customers are saying about them. Employees have e-mailed tweets, the short message methods popularized by the microblog, into existing ticketing systems to connect with customers.
Zendesk customers can now find tweets that reference their company and use Zendesk's hook into Twitter's favorite button to answer questions or address complaints.
The integration extends to any desktop or mobile Twitter client employees use, including TweetDeck, HootSuite or Twitter for iPhone and Android.
The idea is to quickly convert Twitter feedback into formal customer support and customer engagement workflow within Zendesk, said Maksim Ovsyannikov, vice president of product management for Zendesk, in a blog post.
Ovsyannikov explained that Zendesk "listens" to, or monitors Twitter accounts Zendesk customers configure and converts key tweets into Zendesk "twickets" by favoriting tweets in Twitter. Users may also command that any Direct Messages sent to these accounts be automatically converted to favorites.
Agents responsible for converting tweets into twickets will log into Twitter.com or a Twitter client created by the company. Users and agents can decide to continue their discussion about problem resolution on Twitter, within Zendesk or both until the twicket is closed.
Users can also record Twitter conversations on a ticket and copy and consult with colleagues privately while interacting with Twitter users publicly. Users may also elect to move the conversation off Twitter to e-mail.
Once the twicket is created, Zendesk will pull in the conversation with the requester comment by comment until the twicket is closed. Users may send a tweet back from their Twitter client without logging into Zendesk, or add a comment from within the Zendesk twicket. The entire conversation will be recorded until the twicket is closed.
Zendesk customers may also turn on an out-of-the-box trigger that automatically tweets to the requester with a message and a link to the twicket. Requesters can log into Zendesk using their Twitter credentials.
If requester's Twitter account has already been associated with their profile in Zendesk, requester can also view the twicket by logging in with their Zendesk e-mail address and password.
Though just launched broadly, Zendesk's integration with Twitter sports several early participants, including HootSuite, TweetDeck, Seesmic and Twitpic.