Managing customer support can be tricky; it takes the right amount of stern execution and cheeriness to be effective. If you offer fairly complex online or offline services, without a clear system, customer support requests can go on for hours and even worse, days. Even if what you’re offering isn’t that complex, it is important to have a detailed and efficient way to handle help requests so no one feels like they fell through the cracks. Maintaining a detailed system can also help you handle feedback internally and find ways to improve. Below are five options to help you manage these issues.
1. Get Satisfaction
Get Satisfaction made a big splash when it first launched, and since then has had its share of bumps in the road. That said, it’s still a pretty solid ticketing system for help requests, provided you’re actively managing those requests. Get Satisfaction offers help in a twofold manner. If a customer has a request you can refer them to both a support person and your existing customer community. Essentially, Get Satisfaction is an online help forum and is designed as such to offer a reply in the fastest way possible be that another user or a customer service agent. This is also where things get a little tricky if your customer service agents are slow, or answer incorrectly, because the user community can also chime in, in real time.
There are some many benefits, however, such as the platform allowing for customers to give praise or share their own ideas about your products/services. Both of these options can help you learn more than just what’s going wrong.
Get Satisfaction was and still is popular with tech startups that want to integrate CRM with their social networking management. This is also a solid option for brick and mortar businesses or individual service providers, because it can help you raise your profile on social networks, and make you appear more dynamic as an organization. The company also offers marketing help, and has an integrated marketing module. Depending on how you set up your account, you can handle customer support, marketing, and even some focus group like tasks with Get Satisfaction.
Overall, for a social ticketing system the platform is robust, but you’re going to pay for it. $1200/mo, billed annually, for the professional version. They also offer enterprise grade integration for larger organizations, at a custom rate.
ZenDesk is rapidly growing in popularity as a customer support platform that gets customers where they already are. As a help ticketing system, customers can engage with your business either through email, mobile, chat, or social networks. Each of these engagements is recorded as a ticket, just as if they’d filled out a standard contact form or called the help desk. ZenDesk also has features like the “Knowledge Base” which will let you pre-create frequently asked questions, tutorials, and other resources that can help customers answer their questions themselves.
ZenDesk also integrates with some project management software, and CRM systems like InfusionSoft or Salesforce, so you can deal with support requests alongside your other customer interactions without losing data. On the customer side, everything is presented as one unified front for service. On the agent side, customer support professionals are given a ticketing dashboard that tracks how requests have been handled, and what, if any, follow up is still required. For managers, the system offers a number of robust analytics to help you break down requests coming in.
Like Get Satisfaction, there is social networking integration so agents can respond to tickets through that channel if appropriate.
ZenDesk is quite a bit cheaper than Get Satisfaction, offering tiered plans that start at $1 and go up to just under $200. As you would expect, each tier comes with different features, $1 gives you the opportunity to do ticketing and basic support, while the most expensive tiers offer all of the integration mentioned above.
Desk (a Salesforce company), offers all of their project management/CRM know-how in a handy help desk solution. Desk offers ticketing, and all of the basic functions of a help desk along with some of the best features from the project management software, like universal inbox, mobile apps and integration with social networks.
Desk also allows users to sign into their own CRM profiles (what the agent would normally see), so that they can follow their own requests and make any changes. Like ZenDesk, there are also knowledge base options for self-service, and a universal agent dashboard to track requests no matter how they come in.
Desk also tracks the analytics of your support requests and can provide detailed aggregate reports for managers. Unlike Get Satisfaction or ZenDesk, Desk is pretty cheap- $3/mo for the basic version, $29-39/mo for all the bells and whistles. Notably, you can also purchase flex-hours if you need to bring on more agents or other support episodically. This can be ideal around a new product launch, or major product change. If you know an episodic spike is coming, Desk also offers discounts on bundles of hours purchased in advance.
If you don’t need a full blown ticketing system but still want to gain feedback, Temper may be your option. Temper allows you to put feedback questions anywhere you want to in your website or other online communications and start getting a temperature check instantly.
Temper lets you set up simple ratings based questions, pop them in next to your text, and then the software will track that feedback overtime. The questions show up with a red, yellow and green happy face under them. Just like the stoplight system, green is good, red is bad, yellow is neutral. Internally, feedback is stored in a dashboard that will generate analytics based on the responses.
Temper is very basic, and the reports reflect that, but the questions can also be a great place to get feedback without those irritating “Rate Us!” stars that pop up everywhere. Over time, users become blind to or annoyed by common ratings systems, and Temper aims to make it easier and fun. Ratings can also be made public if you want to share feedback with other users.
In terms of pricing, Temper offers tiers starting at $12/mo up to $199/mo. The principal difference between them is how many individual user ratings each account type stores, and whether Temper integrates into your existing branding. At $12/mo you get 100 ratings and not much else.
CustomerSure is the most traditional feedback option. The service provides email surveys and tracks the responses. As you might expect, these are full blown customer surveys that marketers have used for eons to get user feedback. CustomerSure also offers a Google-friendly star rating system for users who want to rate what you offer. The star-system is trackable in Google and a number of mobile apps that look at reviews.
On the help desk side, CustomerSure offers ServiceDesk, which handles ticketing, although again, from a more traditional perspective than some of the others mentioned in this article. The ServiceDesk feature allows ticketing to be managed from email, which can be helpful but lacks a few of the other CRM components like social network integration and the knowledgebase.
Pricing is tiered, based on the number of users and what you’d like to do. You can pay for additional surveys, or the ServiceDesk component and either 2, 5, or 10 users. The cheapest plan is $49/mo for 2 users and 1 survey. The middle tier is $99/mo and the priciest option is $449/mo. CustomerSure customers can work with a sales agent if they have unique needs or what to do both surveys and help desk ticketing.