In this article, I will share with you the genesis of Zendo. What it is. How it was born, what problem we are trying to solve, why, and for who we are building Zendo.
- What is Zendo?
- Why are we building Zendo?
- What is Zendo’s value proposition?
- Why did we name it Zendo?
- Who is Zendo’s target audience?
What is Zendo?
Zendo is a platform that lets businesses handle customer requests in one place. It is not your typical helpdesk ticketing system that just serves the purpose of support and maybe answering sales questions. Customer service shouldn’t be about exchanging asynchronous tickets. The experience should be seamless and straightforward.
More and more businesses move their operations online. They need systems to not only answer customer questions but also provide them with custom work. It is tough to do that over a helpdesk. Such solutions haven’t been built for such a purpose. They do not offer payment systems, invoicing, workflows combined with automatic status changes, or custom customer profiles — all in one simple place. To achieve all this, you would need to build a custom platform or use multiple tools and work out how to integrate them.
With Zendo, you don’t have to switch between endless apps anymore. We have created a system to serve your customers not only with support and sales but also with custom services. From evaluation through payment all the way to delivery.
Why are we building Zendo?
Let’s start with who is building Zendo before we go into why. We are a company called Massive Pixel Creation. I founded MPC to sell WordPress themes & plugins over Envato Marketplace. With time, we evolved into a software house.
Over 50,000 customers have purchased our themes & plugins. I wanted to establish an additional revenue stream from custom work. That’s why we have offered a referral deal to other WordPress shops that didn’t provide customizations or custom development to their customers. We quickly signed up with more than 100 partners. With such a network, we needed to have a tool to manage all those requests. Doing this over email would quickly result in chaos.
Before we launched, we did market research to find a solution that would suit our needs. We haven’t discovered anything even remotely resembling the product we needed. So, we decided to create our very own platform called WP Kraken.
Kraken’s main goal was to streamline task estimation, payments, and delivery of custom solutions. On top of that, we needed one source of truth for a specific request. Our team agreed that the value proposition of the platform would be:
- One place for customer communication,
- Payment built into the conversation,
- Automatic invoicing upon task approval,
- Affiliate system for our partners.
We launched on December 15th, 2016. The reception of the platform was mind-blowing, and we were literally flooded with custom requests immediately. WP Kraken team was handling dozens of proposals a day. Without the platform, we would be doomed for failure. Also, there would be no way to keep track of the earnings of our affiliates. Not to mention the manual invoicing & handling payments for each request.
Our customers quickly noticed the potential of our platform. We were asked by many business owners about the solution we are using and if they could purchase a copy. Sadly, this was a custom build, and it was not for sale.
Now, this has changed. We are building Zendo to serve all those who are struggling with the same problems we did. In 2020 we created an A-team of the best MPCs to deliver such a solution to businesses that need it. We went back to the drawing board. We didn’t want to use any part of our platform as it was based on WordPress.
On December 1st, 2020, we started to build Zendo using Laravel and Vue.js.
In the beginning, the challenge we faced was the complexity of the solution we were building compared to its flexibility. When you are making a custom solution, the process is much simpler because you have just one use case. With Zendo, we had to create a platform that will suit different businesses, applications, workflows, and demographics. On the other hand, it had to be easy to use and not seem bloated.
For more details, please read: Road to MVP.
Why did we name it Zendo?
Zendō is a Japanese “meditation hall”. In Zen Buddhism, the zen-dō is a spiritual dōjō where zazen (sitting meditation) is practiced.Definition by Wikipedia.
I know. It seems lofty. But we just wanted to choose a name with meaning and not a random word or an abbreviation. Our main goal was to build something simple yet powerful. We want to bring peace of mind to customer requests, to build a solution that will provide all the tools needed to deliver customer services online successfully.
We think that the name Zendo is a perfect analogy, as this is a place for meditation and self-reflection. It’s almost impossible to achieve customer success without self-reflection, empathy, and a deep understanding of customer needs in this day and age.
I hope you like the name as much as we do.
Who is Zendo for?
Zendo is pretty much for anyone who is struggling with customer service and delivering custom work to customers. We are working on a pricing model that will suit freelancers, SMBs, and Enterprise customers. Our team frequently performs user testing with potential customers. We are constantly gathering feedback.
Zendo can be used for many different businesses, like software shops, architectural studios, digital agencies, SaaScompanies, law offices, and much more. The beauty of Zendo is that it is versatile for customer support, sales, and delivering custom solutions from one place.
I hope you found that helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments.