The Government Digital Service (GDS) has selected cloud-based software provider Zendesk to provide the customer service platform for its GOV.UK website.

Currently in beta, GOV.UK is an attempt by the GDS to create a single domain for central government. Ten government departments are currently taking part in the beta, which aims to give all departmental homepages a uniform appearance, with common formatting and navigation tools.

The GDS chose Zendesk's helpdesk software because of its collaborative features and because it has an open API, allowing it to be customised. Mikkel Svane, CEO of Zendesk, said that this would allow the GDS to deliver a personalised experience to customers.

Zendesk brings together customer conversations from multiple channels, including phone, email, VoIP, instant chat, and social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. All interactions are recorded, allowing customer service representatives to track an issue through to its resolution.

The GDS will use the company's ticketing system to alert the GOV.UK team to inbound customer enquiries, and allow it to deliver support via social media channels, according to Zendesk.

“By empowering our customer team to identify and resolve service issues using a single platform, we’re putting the emphasis on the customer experience, regardless of the communication channel used,” said Mike Bracken, executive director of the GDS.

“We recognise that to support our mission to improve access and satisfaction for our customers, we need a solution designed specifically for the internet that can integrate with social media channels”.

The deal is a significant customer win for Zendesk, which recently announced its 5,000th European customer less than a year after opening its European headquarters. The company's other customers include Adobe, Sony, Yammer and Groupon.

The company also recently announced a two-way integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, which will allow customer service agents to access Microsoft Dynamics CRM customer data from Zendesk and vice versa.

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