Article | 3 min read

Zendesk partners with BarkBox to launch the first ever “dog bot” for the holiday season

By Timothy Kua

Last updated December 14, 2016

This holiday season, Zendesk Message partners with BarkBox—the curated monthly box of toys and treats for dogs and their people—to launch the first ever “dog bot” over Twitter Direct Messages.

Pup-people with questions about BarkBox can now choose to privately and playfully interact with a dog (in lieu of a human) via direct messages on Twitter, and get information via a series of awesomely punny puppy questions that BarkBox built using BarkBox’s chatbot (or dog bot) is as quirky as you’d imagine. It answers frequently asked questions and helps customers find the right BarkBox for their dogs by guiding them through some tail-waggingly fun questions. If the dog bot can’t fetch an answer, Zendesk Message detects this and hands the question off to a trained BarkBox support agent to resolve.

Want to take this puppy for a spin? Send BarkBox a Direct Message on their Twitter account @BarkBox and find out what all the howling is about.

Early success meeting customers on Zendesk Message

Earlier this year, Bark & Co (the company behind BarkBox and BarkShop started using Zendesk Message to manage their conversations from Facebook Messenger. BarkBox’s average response times decreased dramatically—from 60 minutes to 4 minutes—even as the number of conversations doubled. Today, the company is extending their support offering to Twitter Direct Messages to reach an even bigger audience with a unique and compelling experience.

“The Bark & Co support team always strives to deepen customer relationships through social. However, with the sheer volume of direct messages coming in every day, it’s sometimes a challenge to maintain the levity and respond to customers promptly. Fortunately, with Zendesk Message and the use of a chatbot, we are able to escalate high priority conversations to our agents. This ensures that our support team can handle the more complex queries, leaving customers happier.”
— Hernán Giraldo, VP of Customer Experience at Bark & Co

Getting specific

Twitter Direct Messages has been around for years and two new features—welcome messages and quick replies—were recently released. Used together, businesses can offer even better and faster support to their customers and help guide customers to a quick resolution.

For example, let’s suppose that simple “how to” customer queries account for a large portion of your support interactions. These features allow you to handle these “high-touch low-value” queries efficiently by leveraging on automation (i.e. bots) to create predictable workflows. Through Zendesk Message, you can then define key scenarios when a query becomes too complex for a bot to handle, to trigger a “hand off” to a trained human agent to resolve. This automation and bot-to-human handover system frees your agents to solve the toughest customer problems and offer actionable support.


“While social media platforms are great forums for exchanging and airing opinions, it’s often hard for customers to get their specific needs addressed. The new Twitter Direct Messages features allows businesses to personalize experiences in an automated, interactive and engaging way. When used in conjunction with Zendesk Message to manage all conversations, businesses can be certain that no customer will get left behind.”
— Royston Tay, GM of Zendesk Message

Your customers are messaging. So should you.

Within the next few years, 3.6 billion people will use messaging apps—that’s about about half of humanity. It’s hardly a surprise that brands are scrambling to gain a toehold on these popular channels. Both Facebook and Twitter have seen the demand and they’ve recently created tools to help businesses interact with their customers more effectively over their respective apps.

Today, Zendesk Message integrates with both Facebook Messenger and Twitter Direct Messages to enable businesses to engage their customers regardless of where they are messaging from. By offering a single, unified experience to manage multiple social messaging apps, businesses can become more efficient and effective about managing their customer relationships.

If you’re an early adopter and interested in adding Facebook Messenger or Twitter Direct Messages to your support channels, register for our Early Access Program wait list at Zendesk Message.

Provide Great Twitter Customer Service

Too many brands don't know how to provide customer service on Twitter. Our tip sheet makes sure you aren't one of them.

Provide Great Twitter Customer Service

Too many brands don't know how to provide customer service on Twitter. Our tip sheet makes sure you aren't one of them.

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