Community Discussion: Share your ideas for improvements to the Zendesk Community

15 Comments

  • Sebastiaan Wijchers
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    First, please tell us a little about yourself:

    • Are you an account Owner, Admin, or Agent?
      • I'm an admin.
    • How often do you use the Zendesk Knowledge Base and/or Community to get answers to your questions?
      • Almost daily, not just to get answers, but keep up to date and help out others too.

    And then tell us about your experiences with the Zendesk Help Center: 

    • What works well for you/what do you like about using this community?
      • Most of the questions I have are technical in nature, I think it's great it has it's own place at develop.zendesk.com now.
      • I think Zendesk has a good and loyal community, there are a lot of regulars, community moderators and Zendesk employees that are actively helping other people out.
    • What makes it challenging? / What would make this community more helpful or more useful to you? / What would make you use the Zendesk Help Center more often? 
      • In my opinion the Product Feedback forum is a waste of time. I'd like to see a better way of suggesting new features, where your customers get proper feedback.
      • Pending Approval is annoying when you answer someone's question within an hour, but then the post needs moderation. Also a good example of valuable feedback seems to be ignored:
        https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/115007064087-Let-trusted-end-users-avoid-Pending-Approval-in-Guide
      • Most betas I have participated in received a lot of feedback from the testers, but the functionality would eventually be released out of the blue, without taking any of the feedback into account (some bug fixes maybe). Those forums would then be locked/hidden, so your feedback was lost. Not very encouraging to invest time in testing and providing feedback.
      • Then there's something I experience as an issue, but goes beyond the scope of the Help Center community. In case Zendesk comes with new functionality it's often included in an add-on nowadays, while it should be standard/native functionality in my opinion. Especially as 'legacy'-customer you're often left out. So you like to talk how relationships are complicated, but I think you're doing a bad job managing the relation with your existing customers ;). You can't really feel part of a community when you don't feel valued, unless you keep paying more.

    Might sound a bit negative, but I'm a happy customer. Better to be open and honest I guess!

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  • Nicole - Community Manager
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    Hey Sebastiaan - 

    Thanks for the detailed feedback - it's really helpful, and you've set a good example for others who respond to these questions. Most of the things you pointed out are actually things we can largely work on from a process and procedure perspective; we're also looking for any thoughts on UI/UX improvements and would love to hear if you have any thoughts on those things as well.

    To speak to a couple of points, we're very much aware of the problems with the Product Feedback topic, and that's one of our top areas to work on. Betas (which are being transitioned to "Early Access Programs" or "EAPs") are a part of that transition. 

    Really glad to hear you like the new developer Help Center, and I agree that we have a lot of great, engaged people here which is part of why we want to make it a better experience. We really value all of you that contribute. 

    I will communicate your perspective on the packaging and pricing to the team that makes those decisions as well; they always appreciate the feedback we send them from community members like yourself. 

    Thank you for all of your participation and contributions, Sebastiaan! 

    We'd love to hear from other community members as well - keep the feedback coming, all!

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  • Dan Cooper
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    Are you an account Owner, Admin, or Agent?
    I am an Admin, but I’ve been an Owner in the past as well.

    How often do you use the Zendesk Knowledge Base and/or Community to get answers to your questions?
    I use the knowledge base and community frequently. Partly for my own answers, but also to try to find questions that I can help others with in my roles as a moderator here.

    And then tell us about your experiences with the Zendesk Help Center: 

    What works well for you/what do you like about using this community?
    This may sound self serving, but having actual customers as moderators goes a long way. The fact that I’m writing this on my own accord, without the feeling that Zendesk will kick me from the moderator program is a testament to that. Zendesk is not a perfect product, but the community around it can be pretty strong at times with great tips and answers from the moderators, but in many cases, from just regular users who are passionate about the product.

    I personally, love that there is a Question & Answer section. It makes it easy to know where to post questions.

    EAP/Beta Topics are great. They provide focused discussion on new features. I see active engagement from the product teams, issues feel like they are being heard, and it’s easy to stay in the loop on what is coming and changing because the topic is so focused. I wish this sort of break out existed for other major functions of GA features.

    What makes it challenging?
    The Product Feedback section can feel like a black hole and is a common punting point for issues that users are having. It is challenging to find similar issues to what you are facing, so upvotes to a concern get spread across several posts, and it doesn’t always feel like the product team is actually watching. I feel like they should be just as engaged, if not more, than the community team within this section.

    Search falls flat as well. Many times I’m looking for a specific article or post and I know it exists, but it’s buried underneath dozens of other articles, or my keyword searches just aren’t good enough to surface it up. If feels like when I search I rarely get what I expected and there is tons of duplication and tons of very old threads that are active, but seem like dead topics.

    Email as the only notification channel, and only at the article or section level is tough. As a moderator, I’m subscribed to a lot here. When I help someone out and it may be open ended, I don’t always know that a reply comes back to me to follow up. There is just too much noise. I actually forward community emails to another email address just to try to get a handle of all the emails without hating my daily driver inbox. While I love seeing what is going on, when it gets in the way of important work/personal emails, it’s just too much. I’m an edge case because of what I subscribe to, but I’d love more granular controls including keywords, @mentions. I’m not sure if I’d need a channel beyond email, but I need a way to elevate important things to me.

    What would make this community more helpful or more useful to you?
    I really love how Microsoft does product feedback for Microsoft Teams. Show me the top voted items. Allow me to see if you are actively working on it, thinking about it, or otherwise. When I look there, I typically see my concerns in the top few items, because they are common pain points. In addition, I can quickly see those pain points and add my own commentary as needed for features I haven’t thought of, but can definitely see value in.

    Better notifications would be great. Even if they were on the site to show me @mentions or favorited comments. Threaded replies in comments would be great too. Allow me to subscribe to a comment thread so I get notified when I need to follow up on a specific comment. This could also allow for breaking a comment out into it’s own post if it’s not relevant to the original post. I see (and am guilty of) hop on feature requests that aren’t related to the original feedback. I’m sure these don’t get near as much attention from Product Feedback when they are hidden in long comment threads.

    Allow search to search multiple Zendesk help centers. At least give me an option to expand my scope outside of the help center I’m in. Sometimes I’m working on something that is API related, but not quite a developer item. I love that they are split out, but give me the option to do a search across multiple Zendesk help centers.

    What would make you use the Zendesk Help Center more often?

    • Better Transparency in Product Feedback
    • Better search that is more relevant, and can be fine tuned
    • Better notification options.

    I'm sure I could think of more things to provide feedback on, but this is where I am right now.  I'm hoping this post gets some more traction as the community is really active, and I'd love to see the tools improved to make it just that much easier for the community to talk. 

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  • Nicole - Community Manager
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    Thanks, Daniel! That is all really helpful feedback. And thank you for all you do as a moderator!

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  • Mark Fly
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    • Are you an account Owner, Admin, or Agent? I am the Owner/Admin
    • How often do you use the Zendesk Knowledge Base and/or Community to get answers to your questions? Quite often. We use the old Hub and Spoke model with 4 different products. Many times there are slight differences in how we use and present our KB and it is very resourceful to see examples etc in the community here
    • What works well for you/what do you like about using this community? The highly documented articles with screenshots are always the best for me

    • What makes it challenging? As with any community/forum it can be extremely challenging to find the right question and the right answer as there are many results when searching. The separate chat help center can be a pain as well. Having to login to support and/or chat help centers in lieu of just one.

    • What would make this community more helpful or more useful to you? Better search tools. Also a means to custom  tag/sort/organize any articles, or discussions, you follow .

    • What would make you use the Zendesk Help Center more often? As with all forum's topics and theirrespective dicsussionscan get outdated and/or no longer relevant. Perhaps searching tools like google has by filtering response, or topic dates would help in this. More videos would be great

    • What I like? A lot. Love the announcements. The EAP as Daniel mentioned previously.
    • What I don't like? Too many responses to queries I may have that are not relevant.
    • What would make using Zendesk a better experience for me? I miss the user groups. There used to be a lot of those. Not sure why this lost momentum but it was great to meet local users and share ideas, preocesses, formulas, etc. And as mentioned above better filtering options and a way to tag or organize.

     

    Thank you for listening!

     

     

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  • Morgan King
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    First, please tell us a little about yourself:

    • Are you an account Owner, Admin, or Agent?
      Owner

    • How often do you use the Zendesk Knowledge Base and/or Community to get answers to your questions?
      Very frequent, we try to focus on self-service first before the client reaches out to our support It is very frequent that either myself or our support team sends article or community links to end users to better assist them. We average about 66k views a month for a little over 4000 clients and 300 staff members.

    And then tell us about your experiences with the Zendesk Help Center: 

    • What works well for you/what do you like about using this community? 
      The voting really helps out to know what might be a common request, we use the community for our Feature Requests. I also like being able to follow different things

    • What makes it challenging? 
      Who has the ability to manage posts - we have Product Owners that are helping monitory, but without a full license they can't manage posts appropriately. However, they don't need access to tickets and we have a structured approval system for articles and giving them access to the community gives them access to all the article on the Guide.
      There is no ability to export a listing
      There is no ability to merge posts

    • What would make this community more helpful or more useful to you? 
      Ability to merge
      Ability to export a topic with comments and vote count (and who posted/commented)
      Ability to remove the voting feature for certain topics
      Ability to automatically have no comments on certain topics (only people with licenses able to make posts in those topics, but anyone with a sign in can see the posts).

    • What would make you use the Zendesk Help Center more often? 
      We also use the Help Center for our Internal Knowledge Base, we are running into an issue with people not sending us content to be posted. If there was a permission structure where we could give licenses to people and make them only be able to draft articles and then send to an approval team automatically would really help us keep up with content and empower our employees without giving too much access.

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  • Morgan King
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    For making the Help Center more used:
    Have the ability to "alert" on an article that hasn't been updated in x amount of time. We try to review articles every 3-6 months depending on the content because we are constantly changing and it is a way for us to hold the information owners accountable. However, if there was a way to automatically email someone (even if they don't have an agent license unless there is the ability I mentioned before with having people only be able to work in drafts and not publish) that their content is going to "expire" in x amount of days and provide a link for them to review. Then, if any "expired" content can go into an expired classification that is pulled out in the guide admin (like drafts, deleted, etc.). Ideally this will be an optional setting, so if there is content that should ultimately never expire, you aren't forced to put an expiration date.

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  • Sarah Peters
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    • Are you an account Owner, Admin, or Agent? Moderator
    • How often do you use the Zendesk Knowledge Base and/or Community to get answers to your questions? Monthly

    And then tell us about your experiences with the Zendesk Help Center: 

    • What works well for you/what do you like about using this community? Typically I peruse the articles casual looking for functionality and/or how-to’s on what I’m need to do. For instance, this morning I was looking to see if it was possible to use the webwidget to enter in feature request so that our customers don’t have to leave the page they are on inside our product.
    • What makes it challenging? There’s a lot of information to digest and quite a few articles to wade through. Since I’m new to the community, I’m unfamiliar with the language Zendesk uses, so it takes a bit to parse through everything.
    • What would make this community more helpful or more useful to you? Visiting more often.
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  • Dave Kaminsky
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    • Are you an account Owner, Admin, or Agent? I'm an admin.
    • How often do you use the Zendesk Knowledge Base and/or Community to get answers to your questions? 4 out of 5 days a week 

    For Product feed back, Zendesk needs to do a better job in acknowledging Feature Requests (FRs).  It is both disheartening and frustrating to see the same feature requested 5+ times over a 3+ year period, with dozens or more +1s, and no official comment or acknowledgement from Zendesk.  You may want to focus on this area of the community as it will actually make your product better and show us customers that you are listening.  O

     

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  • Nicole - Community Manager
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    Thank you for the feedback, all! Some follow up questions and comments for you: 

    @Mark - definitely hear you on the multiple Help Centers it. Fixing that is high on our priority list. As is improving search and "find-ability" of things.

    We're also putting processes in place to close and archive old or out-of-date conversations, and to encourage people to start a new thread for a new question rather than posting it in an existing one. Balancing that, of course, with keeping information about legacy systems available for users such as yourself. 

    @Sarah - We hope to see you around the community more often! Anything in particular that would help you remember to use it more? 

    @Dave - Yes, Product Feedback has been a problem for a while. I took over managing this topic about a year ago, and prior to that there was no single point person responsible for ensuring that everything received a response. So some threads had great engagement from PMs, while others were effectively invisible. Now we have a good process for me to alert the product teams to the conversations that need attention, but it's only one small step in the right direction - we recognize that there are deeper process issues that have to be resolved with the various product teams and how they take in and use the feedback provided here. We will be changing the process for collecting feedback and how product managers engage with customers over the next several months, and hope to make it a significantly better experience for all involved. 

     

    This is a really helpful conversation, all. Keep the feedback coming!

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  • Steve York
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    First, please tell us a little about yourself:

    • Are you an account Owner, Admin, or Agent?

    I am an agent currently coming toward the end of a Support Pro and Guide Pro trial.

     

    • How often do you use the Zendesk Knowledge Base and/or Community to get answers to your questions?

    I have been using it maybe four or five times a week whilst trialing ZenDesk. 

     

    And then tell us about your experiences with the Zendesk Help Center: 

    • What works well for you/what do you like about using this community? 

    The broadness and scope of knowledge available to quickly find similar scenarios out there and align the solutions posted with what I am trying to achieve works well (usually)..

     

    • What makes it challenging? 

    When there is no answer to my question, the tech support chat however is usually quite good.

     

    • What would make this community more helpful or more useful to you? 

    Can't think of anything

     

    • What would make you use the Zendesk Help Center more often? 

    If the tech support chat wasn't so quick to respond (which they usually are in fairness) then the Help Center would be my next port of call for sure.

     

    Tell us what you like, what you don't like, and most importantly, what would make using the Zendesk a better experience for you. We look forward to hearing from you! 

     

    Right, ZenDesk for me from the outset appears to be a very flexible, fast and convenient solution. We are currently using a ServiceDesk from a different supplier but want to use ZenDesk, Our current solution is very outdated, basic and needs replacing. 

    My gripe with ZenDesk is what I would perceive to be a massive fundamentally basic thing that is missing. When, in our current solution a customer logs in to the ServiceDesk with SSO, they are immediately shown a list of their current requests in an overview style table. They can instantly see whether they have reported a fault / request already or not.

    This saves them from creating a new request for something they have already reported.

    They can also click a button on this same screen to "Create a new Request". - ZenDesk doesn't have this functionality to view current requests on the homepage, and from what I have been told by support staff, cannot be implemented even at Professional level of Support / Guide.

    Really?? 

    Instead, a customer would have to click their name at the top, then click My Activities to see this. I cannot believe that this is not even considered as an option within ZenDesk and users have to click twice just to see their current, outstanding requests. 

     

    Has anyone got any reliable code to implement the requests page table to the homepage to enable this? Our trial ends in 7 days and I am told by our account manager that this will not be extended so I only have 7 days to configure, test and gain approval from my manager to progress with ZenDesk before we will be forced to look for another solution which would be a massive shame in my opinion.

     

    Thank you,

    Steve

     

     

     

     

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  • Chris Bulin
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    First, please tell us a little about yourself:

    • Are you an account Owner, Admin, or Agent? I'm the Owner/Admin but I also do the some of the same work as our agents.
    • How often do you use the Zendesk Knowledge Base and/or Community to get answers to your questions? At least once per week I am searching (usually starting with Google since I generally have better luck finding what I need) for answers to my questions. I also review the System Updates section for the Community Roundup.

    And then tell us about your experiences with the Zendesk Help Center: 

    • What works well for you/what do you like about using this community? I do like the amount of interaction with other admins/owners. Often they will have suggestions that can be very helpful for finding solutions. I like being able to vote up comments, but it is often unclear whether that makes any tangible difference. I think the devs who work on third party apps are pretty great. They have all been super responsive both in the Tips space and when we have questions.

    • What makes it challenging? Finding content can be a challenge. This is especially true when I am trying to determine if an issue exists or if I should be creating a new post. I really dislike that I have to have a separate account to log into this community compared to my own. It seems like I should be able to have all of this information in one place. I understand why it is not that way, but it is still annoying. There is no way to see what other admins on my team have reported on or voted up, so we keep a list in Trello with links so we all know what to keep an eye on if we have an admin leave.

    • What would make this community more helpful or more useful to you? It would be great if it didn't feel quite so much like shouting into the void at times. As others have noted, feedback on betas is particularly bad. It would be great to know that at least those have been seen. Having some organization that points at the most upvoted or most commonly searched items would be nice.  

    • What would make you use the Zendesk Help Center more often? I loved the interactions I had at a training day in May. It would be great if we could create more opportunities like that either here or in meatspace. I got a lot from talking to others that have similar struggles or have come up with interesting workarounds.
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  • Nicole - Community Manager
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    Thanks for that great feedback, Chris! I'm happy to hear that the Community Roundups are useful. 

    I also really appreciate the comment about "most upvoted or commonly searched items" - one of the features we're working on could help with that, and we've been looking for ideas on what kinds of categorization would be useful 

    Interesting about the Trello board. RE: votes, they DO matter quite a bit in Product Feedback. Product Managers look at number of votes more heavily than number of comments. In the rest of the community, it currently just functions as an indicator of what users find helpful. However, we are looking into some UI changes that would allow us to flag specific comments in a thread as "best" or "verified" answers, to make it easier to find those. 

    Keep the feedback coming, everyone! This is incredibly useful and your suggestions and ideas are directly impacting our ideation and decision making. 

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  • Maggie Ungerboeck
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    Are you an account Owner, Admin, or Agent?

    Admin

    How often do you use the Zendesk Knowledge Base and/or Community to get answers to your questions?

    As needed - sometimes it's a few times a month, sometimes I may not need it for several months.

    And then tell us about your experiences with the Zendesk Help Center:

    What works well for you/what do you like about using this community? 

    I like that there are more than just Zendesk employees answering questions. Moderators seem really engaged in the community and jump in to answer questions regularly and are always very helpful. I feel confident that most of the time if I post, someone will respond.

    What makes it challenging? 

    Searching is difficult. I may know that something is out there but finding it is a whole different story. Takes some trial and error on search terms and looking through lots of content before I can sometimes find things. 

    What would make this community more helpful or more useful to you? 

    Looks like this is in the works for the Product Feedback side but it think it would be helpful to have the main community forums also be product specific. I am the admin for the Help Center part of the Zendesk product so I'm mostly interested in posts related to only the Help Center. I actually don't subscribe to any of the Zendesk forums because the posts are for anything and everything which clogs up my inbox. It's part of the reason I'm not as engaged in the community as I'd like to be - I think I'd participate a lot more if I were able to only follow forums related to the Help Center.

    What would make you use the Zendesk Help Center more often? 

    See above. 

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  • Mary Paez
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    Mary Paez, Knowledge Manager, Veeva Systems

     

    Are you an account Owner, Admin, or Agent? 

    Admin/Knowledge Manager

     

    How often do you use the Zendesk Knowledge Base and/or Community to get answers to your questions? 

    Very often.  Try to stay updated as much as possible.

     

    And then tell us about your experiences with the Zendesk Help Center: 
    What works well for you/what do you like about using this community? 

    Great place to get information, post simple questions, make product suggestions, and get help from other customers.

    What makes it challenging? 

    Product Suggestions - When we use this on our site, customers complain it's hard to find what they are looking for since it is a large bucket of hundreds of requests.  We need to use visible tags (based on each product area) that categorize the types of questions for each topic.  Or, provide sub-topics to allow this (like in Guide, customers can browse category/sections to find a list of articles per section). Allow tags to be used to help with organization.  The tags list should be visible on an A..Z scale to allow user to click on the tag name. This takes the user to a list of posts that use that tag, so customers can see each post in the list and a badge to show it was responded to (status).

     

    Allow users to subscribe to the tag or sub-section so they get notified when a new post is made.

    What would make this community more helpful or more useful to you?   

    Make it fun to use - use gamification to reward users for #posts & # responses.  Provide great metrics to report # posts & # responses, breaking it down to all employees.  Also would like the ability to customize text, badges (with icons), and tags list.

    What would make you use the Zendesk Help Center more often? 

    Knowing that we get pretty prompt responses helps ensure I will use the site.  

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