Zendesk has launched a new app to help a company’s service agents better respond to support tickets. Called Pathfinder, it arms them with insights, data, and context about the customer’s “journey” on the site so agents can provide relevant information to solve problems faster.

“When you look at how customer expectations are changing, the customers expect that businesses will have the right context,” Steven Yan, Zendesk’s director of product management, told VentureBeat. “Pathfinder is the first step in a longer-step process for business to manage data-driven decisions.”

pathfinder_appIn its current form, Pathfinder is a guide displayed in any Zendesk instance. For each support ticket, an agent can see which of the help pages a customer has viewed. The app is optimized for support tickets and also tracks browsing history among pages that Zendesk hosts — which means that if you scan through other parts of a company’s website, Pathfinder will be blind to that movement.

Pathfinder displays user activity within a 30-minute window before and after a ticket is filed. While it displays the search information, Pathfinder doesn’t have an algorithm to provide suggested answers to the customer’s query. The response rests with the service agent.

Yan sees several benefits to this feature, which had been beta-tested in the past couple of months. The first is that it can lead to faster resolution times, especially when service agents don’t need to prod a customer for more information. The agent will know exactly what the customer has searched for and can then best address those concerns.

Additionally, the insights that companies receive could be useful in making their self-service help section better by understanding what specific language and words people are using when researching specific content. It’ll also expose any areas that need covering, as well as pages that need to be improved: “What articles do I have now that’s not serving the customer’s needs?”

There are long-term plans to bring Pathfinder to areas beyond the the Zendesk environment, particularly around the company’s Embeddables product that it launched in 2014. Yan thinks that there are plenty of opportunities ahead for this feature, especially if companies want to use activity to trigger different actions in a targeted fashion based on user behavior. Feedback that Zendesk received include a desire to be able to report on activity in the aggregate across all activities that customers use in order to improve the self-service model.

Only those companies using Zendesk’s enterprise plan or productivity pack add-on will be able to use Pathfinder. It’s available through the Zendesk Apps Marketplace.

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