Back in the days when Zendesk’s logo featured a stylized lotus blossom, and was accompanied more often than not by a Buddha-like character (who looked disturbingly similar to Jabba the Hutt), I was the newly-anointed Group Marketing Counsel for three water- and beverage-focused companies in Bermuda. I signed us up for a trial of this revolutionary new online, customer service tool.
Michael Hansen, the Zendesk evangelist who was circling the globe at the time — on his own dime — e-mailed me to ask if it would be okay if he mentioned us, their first account in Bermuda, on their website, and included his personal mobile number — I kid you not. Those were heady days for me: I’d networked my way from life as a small-town Canadian, freelance copywriter and ad manager, to a jet-setting-monthly-to-an-island-paradise counsel of I barely knew what.
Those were also the islands’ peak economic heydays: if you were a Bermudian with any kind of a pulse, or an expat who’d wrangled any kind of a work permit, you probably had a job with a salary beyond your wildest dreams and a customer service philosophy not unlike that infamous, drooling, alien crime boss of Star Wars’ Tatooine (the real Tataouine is in Tunisia, about 300 miles, as the crow flies, south-west of the Maltese archipelago, my home away from Canada since 2011.)
My Zendesk-in-Bermuda experiment was about as productive as pumping gasoline into a the tank of a diesel vehicle, but my passion for great customer service; a penchant (and some talent) for copywriting and creative direction; something more than a modicum and less than a full stack knowledge of WordPress, WooCommerce, themes, plug-ins and DNS; and no small measure of serendipity, have allowed me to work, mostly remotely, for definitely dozens of, and probably creeping up on a hundred, SMEs, NGOs and NPOs, in Canada, Bermuda, Grand Cayman, Denmark, Australia, and here in the Mediterranean.