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.
Those were heady days for me: I’d networked my way from life as a small-town Canadian, freelance copywriter and marketing 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 almost 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 the aforementioned, drooling, alien crime boss of Star Wars’ Tatooine (the real Tataouine is in Tunisia, about 300 miles, as the Blue Rock Thrush [il-Merrill in Maltese] flies, south-west of Malta, the three-island archipelago in the Mediterranean).
I didn’t know much about what I’d been hired to sell much more of, but I knew for certain that even laid-back Bermudians would only put up with so much laissez-faire service, so I signed us up for a free trial of a revolutionary (at the time) new, online, SaaS customer service tool.
Michael Hansen, Zendesk’s Evangelist in Chief, who was circling the globe schmoozing on his own dime at the time, 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.
My Zendesk-in-Bermuda experiment was about as productive as pumping petrol into 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 the Maltese Islands, ever since..