Zendesk, Inc. has announced Sunshine Conversations, an API-based platform that allows businesses to integrate messaging via today’s most popular social channels and directly interact and transact with customers. Additionally, developers can build messaging into their own apps and services to ensure that customers can engage with companies over websites, social channels and private in-app messaging.
With Sunshine Conversations, companies can also unify conversations across every digital channel to ensure that key business functions such as sales, service, and marketing have the context needed to align on and conduct follow-up.
“Messaging is evolving from a simple communication channel into a new interface for businesses to connect, engage, and transact with customers,” said Warren Levitan, Vice President of Conversational Business at Zendesk. “We're excited to power the future of conversational business in which companies can extend traditional support and sales conversations into rich and interactive messaging experiences.”
Sunshine Conversations is part of Zendesk’s open and flexible CRM platform, Zendesk Sunshine, which helps businesses connect customer data in order to deliver the best customer experiences. Launched in November 2018 and native to Amazon Web Services (AWS), Sunshine allows companies to integrate and understand all their customer data, wherever it lives, and gives developers the ability to build and deploy customer apps and services faster.
“Communicating via messaging platforms has become part of our day-to-day lives, particularly in digitally-savvy Singapore, where 92% of internet users are on messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat and Telegram,” said Abhishek Deshmukh, Managing Director of Singapore and Vice President of Engineering, Zendesk. “It should be natural for brands and consumers to engage over these channels too, however conversing with customers at scale can be challenging. That’s where Sunshine Conversations comes in, to give brands the tools to seamlessly integrate these channels into their customer experience strategy.”
According to Gartner (report available for subscribers), "By 2022, 70% of customer interactions will involve emerging technologies such as machine learning applications, chatbots and mobile messaging, up from 15% in 2018.” Sunshine Conversations allows businesses to maintain one continuous conversation while engaging on every channel, including popular messengers such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, LINE, WeChat, Telegram, Twitter DM, Viber, Kakao Talk, SMS text, RCS, and through native web, iOS and Android apps. The platform allows businesses to elevate their communication beyond texting to engage with customers, including:
- Integrating bots and AI services to deliver personalized interactions and seamlessly hand-off conversations between bots and humans.
- Building rich, interactive conversational experiences like browsing products, booking reservations and making payments directly within the messaging interface.
- Sharing conversational data across the business so everyone has complete customer context to serve customers better.
“At Four Seasons, our people are the most important element of the guest experience. We therefore look to leverage technology in a way that lets us get more personal,” said Marco Trecroce, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Four Seasons. “When it came to building a global messaging solution that would connect guests with our colleagues on property, we wanted to ensure that our guests had the ability to message us on their preferred channel and in their preferred language. Sunshine Conversations was the only platform that met all of our global requirements, and allowed us to provide a truly personalized service that is safe and secure.”
Beyond social channels, Sunshine Conversations’ SDKs make it possible for modern messaging to be customized and integrated natively into businesses’ websites and mobile apps for a truly tailored brand experience. For example, Sunshine Conversations allows businesses to seamlessly transfer conversations from the web to any mobile messaging channel in order to meet the customer where they are, while retaining all context in one continuous conversation.
Sunshine Conversations was built from the platform acquired from Smooch Technologies Holdings ULC earlier this year.