Company acquires Smooch to expand Zendesk’s omnichannel leadership; launches new WhatsApp and Slack integrations
Zendesk, Inc. (NYSE: ZEN) today announced it acquired Smooch Technologies Holdings ULC, the Montreal-based company behind Smooch, a platform connecting businesses with customers to power more personalized and human conversations. The acquisition marks Zendesk’s next step in delivering the best omnichannel experiences by connecting conversations between businesses and customers on any messaging channel–from websites and mobile apps to the world’s leading messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
“We live in a messaging-centric world, and customers expect the convenience and interactivity of messaging to be part of their experiences,” said Mikkel Svane, Zendesk founder, CEO and chairman. “As long-time partners with Smooch, we know first hand how much they have advanced the conversational experience to bring together all forms of messaging and create a continuous conversation between customers and businesses.”
More than 75 percent* of all smartphone users now use messaging apps such as WhatsApp. Smooch is one of the largest providers of WhatsApp Business integration, and through Zendesk’s early access program, companies can now reach WhatsApp’s 1.5 billion users to manage service interactions and engage with customers directly through Zendesk Chat. This marks the continued expansion of Zendesk’s integration with the WhatsApp Business API into The Zendesk Suite.
Create a consistent conversational experience
Businesses struggle to manage the rapidly increasing number of customer inquiries across a variety of disparate channels. Smooch is the only messaging solution pulling in all customer conversations across web, mobile, and social messaging into a cohesive interface no matter what the channel is. As an API and SDK-based development platform built on AWS, Smooch’s acquisition furthers Zendesk’s commitment to an open, flexible CRM that businesses can harness to build and offer differentiated customer experiences.
“With their launch of Sunshine last year, Zendesk took the bold and disruptive step required to compete for and win the future of CRM,” said Warren Levitan, co-founder and CEO of Smooch “The decision to combine forces with Zendesk and help further their CRM strategy will allow us to supercharge our existing mission for building the best customer experiences. We are thrilled to be joining the entire Zendesk team, so many of whom we have had the pleasure to work with over the past three-and-a-half years.”
Together, Zendesk and Smooch will drive the next wave of connected conversations on a variety of messaging channels, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, LINE, WeChat, Telegram, Twitter DM, Viber, Kakao Talk, SMS text, RCS and through native web iOS and Android apps. For example, with these expanded capabilities, an online retailer could seamlessly manage an issue with an incorrect shipment or return that starts on social messaging like WhatsApp and shifts to its own native messaging experience in one continuous, informed thread within Zendesk.
In addition to product enhancements, Zendesk announced a Conversation Solutions Team, which will support businesses seeking to leverage Smooch’s best-in-class conversation platform to craft personalized messaging experiences. This team can deliver customized messaging applications such as a global hotel brand that provides customers with a premium, omnichannel guest experience through the ability to message hotel staff on property in real-time for any needs across a range of messaging platforms.
Empower a collaborative, cross-functional team
Businesses know that the need to connect and collaborate in real-time is critical, and Slack is the preferred communications channel for business. To provide the best experience and service, customer-facing employees need the ability to pull in subject matter experts quickly and easily. Zendesk today announced the general availability of Side Conversations for Slack. Side Conversations empowers teams to work seamlessly together with other departments or partners outside the company without leaving Zendesk. This is especially critical for sales and support who frequently work together to solve and prioritize customer issues. With Zendesk Sell and Support integration, service and sales teams can quickly partner to develop joint solutions with full customer context.
Suite expansion with new integrations
To make great customer experience accessible to everyone, Zendesk launched The Suite in 2018, and it quickly became the company’s most successful product launch ever, driving a 400 percent increase in our customers adopting omnichannel solutions. A core part of The Suite’s success is its robust and growing Zendesk Marketplace, which is expanding with the addition of new Suite Ready partners including Atlassian, Lessonly, Maestro, Stella, Tymeshift, Geckoboard, Statuspage and Ada. These integrations help businesses improve their customer experience (CX) operations in a variety of ways, including training and managing their workforce, tracking KPIs and goals, and monitoring their tickets for quality assurance.
Smooch’s messaging solutions will continue to be supported for all current customers and available directly to new customers. To find out more about our Conversation Solutions Team or to sign up for the WhatsApp EAP with Zendesk Chat, please visit www.zendesk.com/message.
*eMarketer: Messaging App Usage Worldwide: eMarketer’s Updated Forecast, Leaderboard and Behavioral Analysis. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.