In today’s business climate, there are a few good reasons as to why every small business owner should invest more time and energy into customer support services. Online tools can be integrated into your business processes to improve customer retention, satisfaction and cross-selling opportunities. Whether you outsource customer care to a call center or handle customer support in-house, here are ten tools to help you recognize the basics and provide the best customer support experience for your small business.
Help desk and ticket support software provided by Zendesk, offers a web-based customer support system to organize, prioritize and engage with others on support requests to ensure customers get accurate and timely responses.
All-in-one customer support toolkit, Assistly, seeks to help small businesses improve support and deliver better customer service ‘out of the box’ in a socially-networked world. Manage all of your customer interactions via email, phone, Facebook, Twitter, in one place — real time, 24/7.
Prioritize, manage and close customer support requests with Zoho Support — a web-based help desk software. Build and publish support knowledge bases, analyze and improve the performance of your customer support team, provide customer portals and more.
A recent industry newcomer, Freshdesk is a web-based help desk software that allows small businesses to support customers over email, phone, the web, Twitter and your company’s Facebook page.
Online community software, getsatisfication.com, claims to help brands solve problems, give a voice to champion, bring out the best ideas and drive better business. The web-based tool enables small businesses to build online communities that facilitate conversations between them and their customers, provide a more social support experience, build better products, increase SEO and improve customer loyalty.
From feature requests and feedback to online ticket systems, UserVoice’s engagement tools provide hosted feedback forums, to allow customers to create, discuss, and vote for ideas. The online software also provides support systems that allow you to answer customer inquiries quickly and with minimal effort.
Trouble Ticket Express
As is the case with chat boxes, there are free ticket tracking systems, as well. Trouble Ticket Express is installed on your web server, and offers some of the same basic functionality as ZenDesk.
Here again, the free solution isn’t as robust as the paid solution, and there’s a bit of a knowledge curve you need to have to use Trouble Ticket Express. Still, it will allow you to do most of what you want, including:
- Track customer service correspondence
- Create an answer library
- Monitor ticket statuses
- And more.
Some of the functionality in trouble ticket express requires the one-time purchase of an add-on module.