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DistroKid steps up agility and efficiency with Zendesk pro services

A longtime Zendesk user, DistroKid saw an increase in membership and ticket volume during the pandemic and needed to help its support team sustain growth without adding headcount. Guided by Zendesk managed services, the team upgraded to Suite Enterprise and migrated to Agent Workspace. Leveraging Guided mode, SLAs, and Side Conversations vastly improved the agent and customer experience, leading to an 81 percent quicker first reply time and SLA achievement over 80 percent.

“Using Zendesk has helped us keep headcount low as we continue scaling. It was really important for us to not rely on dev resources for our product and to be able to implement Zendesk ourselves.”

Jasen Samford

Director of Artist Relations - DistroKid

“Having a proper Zendesk admin, guiding us through many changes and updates, has helped us free up bandwidth for other things, and drastically improved the quality of our reporting, tagging system, macros, triggers, and automations."

Steve Kondracki

Manager of Artist Relations - DistroKid

Company Headquarters

New York, New York




Media & Entertainment

Started Using Zendesk



Average monthly tickets


Decrease in first reply time


SLA achievement rate


Support agents

Musicians seeking a streamlined process to distribute their music to streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Tidal, TikTok, and more now have an effective suite of tools available to them through DistroKid. Beyond distribution, DistroKid also provides artists with complimentary promotional tools such as pages to display their music, video generators, Playlist Spotlight, promo cards with album art for promoting their releases, and much more.

The distinguishing advantage of this independent digital music distribution service is its artist-centric approach. Unlike other distributors who keep a cut for themselves, DistroKid delivers creators’ music into online stores and streaming services, and then passes back 100 percent of the earnings to the artists themselves.

Following its 2013 launch, the New-York based company set a groundbreaking pace ahead of competitors and is now one of the largest companies serving artists in the media and entertainment industry.

Hitting play on a CX transformation

Steve Kondracki was working as a support agent right as the company was rolling out Zendesk in 2018, before moving into his role as Manager of Artist Relations at DistroKid. The team’s stint using came to an end when the platform was acquired by Salesforce and being sunset, which put DistroKid back on the market for new customer service software.

Zendesk made the company’s shortlist and quickly became the CX solution of choice for customer service, along with a few internal use cases. After launching the legacy Support Pro, Guide Pro, and Explore products, the team was able to migrate its full backlog of tickets and immediately found value in tools that weren’t offered by Zendesk competitors.

Kondracki soon joined management alongside Jasen Samford, Director of Artist Relations, and the two became in-house CX experts and active participants in DistroKid’s customer service transformation. “It was really easy to get things up and running smoothly with Zendesk,” recalls Samford, who led the transition. “Using Zendesk has helped us keep headcount low as we continue scaling. It was really important for us to not rely on dev resources for our product and to be able to implement Zendesk ourselves.”


A chance to optimize and increase agility

In 2020, DistroKid entered a period of rapid growth and unpredictability during the pandemic, as SLA rates dropped and first reply time slowed to 5 days. Those challenges sparked the team’s desire to explore new Zendesk optimizations and start utilizing the platform to its fullest potential.

Seeking a dedicated team of Zendesk pros, DistroKid purchased Assist managed services and upgraded to Zendesk Suite Enterprise in 2022. The subscription plan gave them continuous access to a Zendesk expert on both the advisory and technical side.

“Working with our managed services consultant has been awesome. Zendesk offers tons of self-service through FAQs, but it’s great to have a direct contact for guidance. We started on Assist Lite, then quickly saw the value and upgraded to Assist Core for additional hours,” says Samford. “Having that weekly cadence has really helped propel us forward much faster than we could have done on our own.”

That partnership with Zendesk helped DistroKid apply more best practices and take advantage of the enhanced features and functionality that Suite Enterprise offers. The team enjoyed a smooth journey migrating to Agent Workspace, implementing Guided mode and SLAs, developing policies for different ticket groups, creating custom reports and dashboards, and deploying Side Conversations.

“Having a proper Zendesk admin, guiding us through many changes and updates, has helped us free up bandwidth for other things, and drastically improved the quality of our reporting, tagging system, macros, triggers, and automations,” adds Kondracki. “We’ve seen improvements–and gained a better understanding–of just about every aspect of how we use Zendesk.”


Future-proofing as a team

A top priority was rolling out Agent Workspace to provide an optimized, 360-degree view of each customer. That visibility is crucial for the lean team of 30 support agents that handle upwards of 30,000 tickets each month.

Next, DistroKid set up custom agent roles, which gives every agent and admin access to their own custom dashboard showing live activity on team capacity, current wait times, CSAT for live chat customers, and more. This feature helps ensure that the support team does not disrupt other groups’ workflows, and it makes Zendesk accessible to even more teams, including content operations and quality assurance.

“One of our goals was future-proofing,” shares Kondracki. “In the months since upgrading, we’ve made really exciting strides with custom agent roles in the Zendesk workspace.” For example, DistroKid support has maintained an SLA rate of 80 percent or higher and a CSAT well above average for their industry sector.

Efficiency rises with AI agents and better collaboration

When it comes to omnichannel routing, Zendesk Guided mode helps the team work efficiently. Leaders can see when an agent skips a ticket, so they can provide the guidance and upskill them to solve future tickets.

In addition to using Zendesk across email and social channels, DistroKid leverages over a dozen different apps and integrations in the Zendesk Marketplace. The support team has seen a spike in ticket deflection, thanks to their robust Ada integration and Zendesk knowledge base articles. Those AI agent and self-service options free up agents to work on more complex tickets, resulting in an 81 percent decrease in first reply time, from 24 hours down to 4.5 hours on average.

Collaboration has also dramatically improved since the team started using Side Conversations with the Slack integration. “When an agent has a question about a ticket, they create a Side Conversation that allows us to discuss that ticket in a Slack thread, where everyone on the team can see it. Most importantly, the conversation is embedded within the Zendesk ticket,” explains Kondracki.

With all the optimizations in workflows and ticketing, DistroKid’s operational efficiency is at an all time high. The team is now clocking a first resolution time of 7 hours and a full resolution time of 15 hours, on average. And, there is no slowing down for DistroKid.

Next on its CX roadmap, DistroKid plans to roll out Content Boxes, Intelligent Triage, and Premium Sandbox. Kondracki envisions even more improvements on the horizon: “Now that we have access to all the best Zendesk features, we’ll be perfectly set up to shift to a more omnichannel setup, if and when we need to.”