Zendesk announced today it appointed Craig Flower as its new Chief Information Officer. Flower had been working with Zendesk in an advisory role. Previously, Flower drove business model innovation, and IT and product transformation as CTO at TriNet and CIO of HP.
Flower’s arrival at Zendesk comes at a time when the company is poised for new growth as a result of the rapid adoption of AI and other new technology benefiting employees and enabling the best customer experiences. Flower explains his decision to join Zendesk, vision and thoughts on the future state of technology.
Zendesk is in a position to revolutionize customer experience (CX) with AI, building on its market leadership in this field. Over the last several months, I have experienced the strength of Zendesk’s culture of putting our customers first in everything we do. After working with the Zendesk executive team behind the scenes, it was a clear choice for me to come on board full time. We have an opportunity to redefine the CX category. With AI as a foundational enabler, we are focused on integrating all the channels and touchpoints required to deliver the best experiences and outcomes throughout the customer journey. We see the same opportunity with the employee experience (EX).
What are your focus areas as CIO?
IT is a critical enabler to, and integrator of, all aspects of our business. As I look ahead, we will focus on a few key areas to support Zendesk’s growth. We will focus on ensuring Zendesk delivers the best experience to our customers and also on providing the best employee experience. More broadly, we will evolve digital capabilities across the company and enable access to tools that run the business, deliver information and insights, and serve customers better. AI and ML are foundational technologies we will apply to accelerate progress in all these areas.
When you think about the future state of technology, what excites you? What shifts do you see?
Further automation and AI are key enablers to delivering more meaningful and personalized interactions to our customers and employees. It’s never been more important to capitalize on these opportunities and get new solutions deployed. However, these solutions must deliver a seamless experience across multiple channels, AI must be implemented in a responsible way across the business, and our CX / EX platforms must integrate seamlessly with the rest of our technology ecosystem. The CIO organization plays a key role in charting a path forward that helps the business grow while delivering a better, more streamlined customer experience.
How do you think about employee experience (EX) as part of your team’s responsibility?
Zendesk is already the leader in providing CX solutions, and we’re extending that to the employee experience. Employees want the same seamless, integrated experience that we aim to provide customers. We enable our employees to work more productively, and this has a positive impact on our customers’ experiences. In fact, data shows there’s a clear correlation between companies providing the best employee experiences and those which have high customer experience scores. When a company is able to continuously improve the employee experience, areas like customer satisfaction and revenue see improvements as well.
To learn more about Zendesk leadership, visit our management page.