Careers at Zendesk

Mission

Zendesk aims to improve customer relations for businesses of all sizes. This is achieved through intuitive and elegant customer service software. The three core tenets at the heart of Zendesk’s mission are ‘People’, ‘Product’ and ‘Practice’.

Zendesk aims to make delivering exceptional customer service as easy as buying a product online. Communication is key to good customer relations, and so Zendesk develops software to make communications with customers as painless as possible.

Product segments

Zendesk offers one product, with many extra features available at added cost. As such, the Zendesk service is divided into four plans:

  • Essential - Fundamental services that require minimal set-up. The cheapest plan available and features unlimited email & social channels, a basic knowledge base, web widget and mobile SDK, and agent macros.
  • Team - Builds on the ‘Essential’ plan by adding a branded help center, a customer portal, business rules, employee performance dashboards and a public apps marketplace.
  • Professional - Contains all features in the ‘Team’ plan, with added community forums, multilingual content, business hours and SLAs, CSAT surveys, Insight Analytics and custom private apps. Professional also has access to extra add-ons.
  • Enterprise - Contains all features in the ‘Enterprise’ plan, with added multi-brand support, custom agent roles, ticket forms, multiple schedules, hourly insight analytics, launch success program, auditing and admin controls, as well as access to extra add-ons.

History

Zendesk was founded in 2007 by three software developers, MikkelSvane, Alexander Aghassipour and Morten Primdahl. Originally developed with next to no budget, Zendesk began in a small loft based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The three developers, also close friends wanted to make the world of customer support simpler, more elegant, more zen.

Zendesk quickly gained interest from outside investors. Christopher Janz invested $500,000 in June 2008, a year later Charles River Ventures and Benchmark Capital invested a total of $6 million. At this point, the business moved to San Francisco to establish their headquarters. They later relocated in 2011 to the historic Tenderloin community of San Francisco, an area neglected for many years. Since relocating, Zendesk has invested thousands of dollars and volunteer hours to aid the local community.

Zendesk went public in May 2014 and began being traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Benefits at Zendesk

Business model of Zendesk

Customer Segments

Zendesk targets customers from a wide variety of businesses, ranging from tiny startups to multinational corporations. As every business needs some level of customer support, every business is a potential customer.

The range of Zendesk’s customer groups are defined by price, and the service delivered for such price. This enables customers to only pay what is necessary for the efficient running of their business and no more.

Value Proposition

Zendesk aims to make customer service easier and more efficient. The unique customer service software is designed to open up conversations between businesses and their customers, bringing them closer together. Zendesk unifies various methods of communication, and streamlines their uses, ultimately making the customer service platform simpler and more intuitive.

The product allows for companies to completely customize their software, strengthening their brand and reflecting individual businesses’ values. Zendesk has introduced innovative tools to help companies understand their customers’ needs, for example the introduction of the Net Promoter Score survey, and the Zendesk Benchmark, that allows businesses to compare their performance to others in a similar field. The software is also compatible with hundreds of well-established apps, allowing businesses to integrate their favorite tools into Zendesk. Innovation is key and so Zendesk frequently adds new services and features weekly, which are announced on its website.

Zendesk has a well-defined, visually pleasing brand that was developed with long-term customer satisfaction in mind. A strong focus is made on customer evangelism, in which loyal customers are identified, nurtured and then encouraged to stimulate conversations. Strong content marketing and a well-designed website ensure that customers are quickly engaged with Zendesk at the first point of contact. Zendesk has quickly received a reputation as one of the premier SaaS (Software-at-a-Service) companies, especially for a customer service platform, and as a brilliant example of a bootstrapped startup.

Channels

Zendesk uses one primary sales channel, which is its website. Via the website clients can purchase and upgrade various software packages. Direct sales support is also available.

Zendesk is marketed through numerous means including television adverts, print adverts, its website and social media platforms. Though the marketing team focus strongly on creating conversations between customers and providing positive customer experiences.

Customer Relationships

As a software company dedicated to improving customer service experiences and strengthening the bonds between consumer and provider through communication, Zendesk strongly focuses on creating strong customer relationships.

Consistent support for clients, a clear and easy-to-use website, and comprehensive knowledgebase ensure that customers are rarely dissatisfied. An online community exists with open forums, frequently asked questions, product feedback channels, user-groups and discussions.

Technical support is available for the migration of data and in tailoring the Zendesk design for a more personalized customer experience.

Key Activities

Zendesk focuses on developing and providing software, tailored as a customer service platform. Due to the online nature of the product, manufacturing is not necessary, though continued support is available.

Key Partners

Zendesk relies on numerous partners to help guide and enhance clients’ Zendesk experience. Implementation of complex software can be difficult and so third-party businesses offer support.

Key Resources

Zendesk’s main resources are its Research and Development team, dedicated to improving current facilities and innovating new software, and Zendesk’s marketing efforts.

Providing a non-physical product, Zendesk has to focus on innovation, service, support and marketing.

Cost Structure

Zendesk has a value-driven cost structure, offering different degrees of the product for varying prices. The most restricted version of the product is the most affordable, and the most comprehensive version of the product is the most expensive.

Major cost drivers include research, development, marketing and administration.

Revenue Streams

Zendesk’s main revenue stream is generated from the subscription revenue and licensing fees of its software.

Revenue was $208.8 million for the year ending December 31st, 2015. An increase of 64% over the prior year.

Our team

Mikkel Svane,
Founder & CEO

info: Mikkel co-founded Zendesk and has acted as CEO and a member of the board of directors since August 2007. Svane was appointed Chair of the Board of Directors in January 2014. Before starting Zendesk, Svane founded and acted as CEO of software company Caput A/S. Svane received an A.P. in marketing management from Aarhus Kobmandsskole.

Alexander Aghassipour,
Founder & Chief Product Officer

info: Alexander co-founded Zendesk and has served as Chief Product Officer since August 2007. Prior to founding Zendesk, Aghassipour was a consultant for design, global strategy and recruiting, working with worldwide corporations. Aghassipour also co-founded Araneum A/S, Denmark’s largest digital media agency. Aghassipour holds a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from DanmarksIngeniørakademi and earned his Master’s degree in Information Technology from the Technical University of Denmark.

Morten Primdahl,
Founder & Chief Technology Officer

info: Morten co-founded Zendesk and has served as Chief Technology Officer since August 2007. Primdahl focuses on the technical details of Zendesk’s service, from the application and its infrastructure to databases. Before developing Zendesk, Primdahl consulted on a number of technology projects, ranging from developing software for startups to consultations for large banking firms.

Elena Gomez,
Chief Financial Officer

info: Elena holds a B.S. in Business Administration, awarded by the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. Following her studies, Gomez held financial roles at Visa Inc, and numerous other banking and financial companies. Gomez made the move to software companies in 2010, joining salesforce.com. After serving as a Senior Vice President, Gomez joined Zendesk as Chief Financial Officer in May 2016.

Bryan Cox,
Chief Revenue Officer

info: Bryan joined Zendesk in May 2016 as Chief Revenue Officer. Prior to Zendesk, Cox served as Senior Vice President of Global Customer Operations at VMware, a software company. It was at VMware that Cox also served as Vice president, Global Compliance, Online Sales, and Renewals between April 2011 and August 2015. Cox also held senior roles at Pano Logic, another software company, and EqualLogic, a data storage company.

Tom Keiser,
Chief Information Officer

info: Tom joined Zendesk in May 2016. Prior to Zendesk, Keiser served as Executive Vice President of Global Production Operations at The Gap, an apparel company. Keiser also served as Chief Information Officer at The Gap. Keiser has also held senior management roles at LBrands and the INSIGHT program. Keiser holds a B.S. in Systems Science from the University of West Florida.

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