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Snapchat Marketing Insider: Zendesk

As attention became a new ruling currency in marketing paradigm nowadays, customer retention along developing branded communities of true advocates and evangelists have gained a new meaning for companies. To manage these customer behaviours, they have to take advantage of dedicated tools. One of them is (of course) Snapchat.

To date at “Snapchat Marketing Insider”, we have learnt about the unique approach and experience in interior design business delivered by Italian brand, Moroso Spa. Earlier, the owner of a family business from Oklahoma, Journey Jewelers, shared with us his afterthoughts on how building relationship with early adopters is important for small businesses. Another chapter, so along another fascinating thoughts shipped from California.

Despite this remarkable transition - from being a startup to turn into over 1000-employee global SaaS company - Zendesk philosophy remains the same: customers and community at first. And this approach was also genuinely incorporated to marketing operations on Snapchat. It is one of a kind, definitely more than just “behind the scene” outlook. Connecting community on Snapchat really happens!

We spoke to Snapchat enthusiast Kayla Schmidt, Snapchat Channel Manager at Zendesk. You can find this IT business from USA on Snapchat as zendesk. Enjoy the read!

Why did you get your business on Snapchat?

Kayla Schmidt: At Zendesk, we make software to help organizations build the best customer experiences. Because customer service advocates are the ones actually using our product, we’ve always had a lot of fun highlighting daily life for the typical customer support agent. Snapchat provided a fun, unique and relatable way to do so. I used to work in customer service at Zendesk, or customer advocacy as we call it, and would snap fun things happening on a smaller, internal Snapchat handle specific to our office. We used these smaller handles to communicate with other Zendesk offices around the world as a way to stay connected to other employees.

We wanted to keep that community feel with the external Zendesk handle, while focusing our snaps more on the customer service industry as a whole.

Customer Service on Snapchat by Zendesk

What’s the role of Snapchat in your business?

KS: I would consider Snapchat a primary tool for speaking directly to customer service agents. To engage with them in conversations, to build community and to highlight the best, quirkiest, most innovative customer service teams around the world. We don’t use it to sell products and we avoid overt plugs. We differ from most branded Snapchat channels in that way. Our stories aren’t “buy this product from Zendesk” or “show me why you love Zendesk.” For example, we have a recurring segment called “Will it Panini?” where I take a random food in our kitchen, put it in our panini press and then have people around the office taste test it.

One of my favorite aspects of the job is going out and visiting our customers and highlighting their own support teams. A customer spotlight usually includes taking a tour of their office and meeting their support team, maybe checking out their city or grabbing a beer together. Snapchat is a completely different way of communicating with people who follow our brand - it’s personal.

Zendesk visits its partners (Slack, 99Design) on Snapchat

What’s the main advantage you’d like to take of this mobile app (brand awareness, sales boost, customer service) and why?

KS: We use it to build relationships with people who feel connected to our brand and highlight the customer service industry, an industry many people stereotype as big call centers of sad people who do nothing but answer phone calls all day. Even if you don’t use Zendesk and are just connected to support in some way, we hope you would still be able to watch the stories on Zendesk’s Snapchat and relate to them. After all, great customer service is the key to making any business a success.

What are the major challenges in Snapchat marketing?

KS: Growing a following is a slow process compared to other social channels, along with the fact that Snapchat natively doesn’t provide metrics that we can use to learn more about our followers and content. We try to fight that challenge in one way by driving content generation and growing followers at the same time by visiting our customers.

So what should Snapchat improve immediately?

KS: Comprehensive metrics and easier publishing options for stories would be great. When I visit our customers, I’ll hold off posting some stories until weeks later sometimes and have to use a third party publishing software to post the stories. Having the ability to do that simply in the app would be amazing!

Should Snapchat remain the Gen Y focused mobile app or should it rather try to attract broader audience?

KS: If I had a nickel for every time I heard “I’m too old for Snapchat!”

I have met people young and old working in customer support, so our audience definitely goes beyond Gen Y. I think the recent redesign Snapchat released was meant to provide an easier way of navigating the app, but users are definitely still getting accustomed to the change, myself included! It will probably take some time to get used to, but I hope it does bring in broader audiences in the long run. For everyone thinking they’re too old for Snapchat though: I taught my mom how to use Snapchat in a day, and now she’s a pro.

Kayle's snaps at Zendesk

What’s your favourite Snapchat feature?

KS: I recently started using Spectacles and it’s been really fun experimenting with the different video format. Many people don’t realize when you’re watching a Spectacles video, you can physically turn your phone to watch from a different angle. So it’s always fun to turn your phone to see a sticker or some text that you may not have noticed at the normal vertical angle.

What, following the launch of Spectacles, should Snap roll out next? A smartphone, Spectacles 2.0, a flying car?

KS: An easier way to build awareness for your channel! For example, easier ways to link Snapchat to your existing social channels.

What’s your favourite Snapchat character: pug dog, dancing hot dog or something else?  

KS: I went as the dancing hot dog for Halloween last year, so I think that answers that.

What could Snapchat do for your business?

KS: At Zendesk, Snapchat gives us the ability to connect with a community of people with similar experiences and engage with them. We get to show people a glimpse of what our company is all about, tell entertaining and inspiring stories of other advocates in the support business and not take ourselves too seriously in the process.

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