Is Zendesk taking Artificial Intelligence seriously?
I should start off by saying that I have been a big fan of Zendesk and its products, but have had some concerns recently when it comes to the future of Zendesk, its ideas, and the product release timelines I am seeing. Some examples include the advertisement and subsequent release of Sunshine, the promise of proactive tickets, event management, and even basic items that have been promised forever such as the ability to report on agent availability.
More recently with the advancement and adoption of LLMs and AI in general, I am starting to have serious concerns about Zendesk's vision compared to direct competitors such as Salesforce (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAsKRxXdyj0), Intercom (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjUuOdt94Xk) and HubSpot (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fayBEXSKyoI) who are all implementing state-of-the-art systems that will improve our workflows, augment agents, and provide better self-help options for customers. These are true plans that are grounded in reality and are believably future-proof.
On the other hand, articles like this https://www.zendesk.com/blog/ai-customer-experience/ from Zendesk are incredibly misleading or are straight up out of touch with what is happening in this space.
I have seen Messaging and the current state of Answerbot (flow builder) and even if these items were 'feature complete' (which they are not) and released in full today, they would be years behind the capabilities of these other tools. When you see what GPT can do for Microsoft office (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7xTBa93TX8) and what the next Google Workspace looks like (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DaJVZBXETE), and when you see what other CRMs are doing to augment the emails we write, the reports we have, the ability to summarize information rapidly, and to dramatically improve self service Zendesk appears to be very very far behind.
I don't really want to be left behind with it, if this is the case.
I keep waiting to see a big announcement from Zendesk to address this new reality. So, what is the plan?
Edit: After Zendesk Relate 2023 they announced Zendesk AI and a partnership with OpenAI. This appears to be a step in the right direction: https://www.zendesk.com/newsroom/articles/zendesk-openai/
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