Consumer support can be messy. It can make or break an organization. Customers come running to you at the first sign of trouble. They’ll email you with complaints, and bug you with reminders. If you hope to run a successful business you’d need answer all their concerns, rather quickly, however trivial they’re, and make customers understand that you care. But as you grow, so does the number of emails you receive, and it gets incredibly difficult to keep track of all of them.
With this in mind developers have floated the web with several help desk solutions, each promising to be different from the other. But in reality most of them were mere copycats, wrapped up in a different style sheet. I was looking at a maze of apps, trying to choose the one that’d alleviate me of all this pain and I stumbled upon FreshDesk. Is it the answer to everything I need in a support system? Join me after the jump to find out.
Once you signup for your free account (1 agent free for life), you get your own nest, which will be your primary point of support for your app. You can setup your primary email address here to which users will be forwarding all their supporting queries. After FreshDesk receives the mail, it automatically creates a ticket within the system and even sends out a confirmation message to him. Sweet, ain’t it.
Your email addresses can change in the future, or you might create different mailboxes for each of your departments. This would require a huge migration effort when it comes to that. FreshDesk solves this problem out of the box. Every account gets a alias email address, which will act as a buffer between your users and the application. For example my support email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, I will be forwarding all my mails to the alias address given out by FreshDesk. So in the future, if I’m creating a new mailbox all I have to do is to map this with the buffer and FreshDesk will take care of the rest.
Offering telephonic support? Fret not. Your agents can manually create a support ticket in a quick breeze. As you type in the user’s email address, If the user is available in the Customers list, you can pick him from the Suggestions listed out, or if it’s new the system will automatically add him to your customer pool.
People, especially support agents hate Monday mornings for 2 reasons: one it is very far from Friday, and another they’ll have to swim across a huge pool of backlog accumulated over the weekend. Nothing will dampen your mood when the application gets in your way. Luckily for you, FreshDesk comes with a powerful set of filters to help you navigate through this pool. I particularly like the summary ticker on the dashboard which clearly shows the number of tickets that are overdue and due today. Another surprising feature is they automatically exclude public holidays from your SLA’s. I can hear someone partying!
Your system is bound to attract more complaints over time, and you cannot afford to waste time on the same issue are an excellent way to manage your KB. One feature which caught my quick attention is the same portal can act both as an Knowledge house for your employees, and as a self help portal for your users, without having to configure too much.
Reports are really important. Be it tracking time or customer satisfaction level, reports when done right can really help you in taking crucial decisions which could take your Organization to the next level. FreshDesk churns out some awesome reports right out of the box.
One feature which I absolutely love, in fact admire is the users get the ability to see what has happened with his ticket without having to hold for hours on call and beg the agents. This reaffirms the customer that people have taken his problem seriously and puts him in control.
The Dashboard is really, really powerful. Neatly organized in a tabbed interface, it makes it easier for your agents to traverse through the entire application. However, there is a bit of a learning curve involved there are many useful macro features. But that is only expected for an app this vast and is not a bad thing at all.
The admin tab might look simple from the outside, but don’t be fooled. Most of the application’s power is well hidden under its hood. It lets you customize every last bit of detail from the theme to the higher level SLA.
Most of the support systems that I’ve seen come up with a default set of fields and it’s impossible for you to customize them. For me it was a sweet surprise when FreshDesk wrested the control in my hands.
Another sweet feature that stole my attention is their rule based dispatcher, which automatically performs some action on the incoming tickets based on certain pre-defined rules, reducing your workload.
Support is Social
Word spreads like wildfire in today’s Social world, especially when it’s a gripe. All it takes is one angry customers random rambling on the social media to derail years of carefully crafted brand image. So, companies have started enhancing their web presence. But as you would’ve already guessed, you cannot have your regular workforce juggle between the usual email support and Facebook all the time.
FreshDesk intuitively brings brings all the major social networks within your support dashboard. Whenever some customer post something on your wall or tweets about you, a new ticket is created, and your agents can take it from there. Once you resolve the issue to your customer’s satisfaction you can even brag about it online. Now, that’s what I call converting a bad egg, figuratively of course!
Let’s face it, support is boring. But that is no reason for not having any fun. The team at FreshDesk have tried their best to make your life interesting again. It lets you run some contests among your agents. The system awards some points to the agents when an issue is resolved, and more points when a customer votes up a solution, and even unlock fun badges. This should keep your team engrossed and positively motivated. Do they send out gifts on your behalf, Sorry!
One of the best things about the FreshDesk team is they believe in giving back a lot to the community. They offer their services for free (up to 3 agents) to start up with less than a million dollars as VC capital.
That’s really generous, but this is part of what I believe to be a smartly executed business plan. Startups require a strong customer support platform in order to sustain their customer base, while mindful not to hole up their pockets. When FreshDesk helps them achieve this at cost, they’re most likely to stay with you as they grow.
FreshDesk is one of the best enterprise apps that I’ve used in the recent past. The app is pretty solid and would definitely help your product hit the desired level of customer satisfaction. With the ability to import data from other systems, and export it back again in case you wish to discontinue, the initial barrier is relatively less. I’d strongly recommend you give FreshDesk a try. Find out even more about the app here.