Customer support is far from the easiest job. If you create a product that’s successful at all, you’ll need to respond to your customers’ emails about your product. They’ll write with complaints and complements, feature ideas and bug reports, and you’ll need to keep on top of them and rapidly respond to make sure your customers know you’re actively supporting your product.
HappyFox is a nice web app designed to make supporting your customers simpler than ever. There’s tons of support web apps, each of them with their own take on how you should do support. Let’s take a look and see if HappyFox has the combination of features that your team needs to support your customers.
A Full Support Package
As you would expect with a help and support system, HappyFox is primarily built around email. It includes a number of features to help you reply to emails as fast as possible, and then lets you build a knowledge base from your replies so your customers can help themselves. Best of all, it’s very attractively priced for a full-featured support system. HappyFox is free for up to 2 support agents, and then starts at $39/month for teams of 3 or more. Compared to Desk.com at $49/agent/month or Zendesk starting at $24/agent/month, it’s definitely a good deal if you’re looking for basic email support and don’t need any of their fancier features.
That said, HappyFox holds its own quite good in the fancy feature department. It first makes it easy to get started by giving you a unique @happyfox.com email address that you could go ahead and use to try out the service. Or, you can use your own email addresses, such as firstname.lastname@example.org and just forward your emails to your unique HappyFox email address. That way, it’s easy to setup, even if you don’t know much about setting up email systems.
Once you start getting support tickets, HappyFox makes them easy to answer. You can quickly see each of your messages in their own descriptive box on your tickets page, which show the title and first bit of the email, along with info about it. You can type out a Quick Reply right from your ticket dashboard just by clicking the curved arrow on the bottom left of a message. This is just as handy as it sounds, and if you’re used to using quick replies in Sparrow on your Mac, you’ll feel right at home. You can also add a quick internal note, star the ticket as priority, assign it to others, set its priority, or put it in a different category, all without having to actually open a single email ticket. This alone should make it much faster to sort through your daily support load.
The only thing that didn’t work great about quick replies is that you can’t mark a ticket as completed or pending without fully opening the ticket, which takes a bit of the shine away from quick replies. That said, if you really want to keep from opening tasks, you can select tickets from their left checkbox, and then quickly bulk-change those tickets’ status, move them to another category, or delete them. This way, all of your work with your shortest tickets can be done 100% from your dashboard.
Make Replying Even Quicker
It’s surprising how many customers will write in with the very same questions or complaints, no matter how many support articles and blog posts you write. Even if your customers don’t seem to be able to find the info they need on their own, and can’t figure out how to do things you’ve explained a million times, you don’t have to keep explaining. Instead, you can create a canned reply in HappyFox that you can use to reply to a support request in only a couple clicks. You can turn existing email replies into canned responses, saving them to reuse later, or you can write your own unique canned replies and set the ticket properties and status you’d like these cases to have once you’ve responded.
Another nice feature is the Categories, which let you automatically file tickets based on what email address they were sent to. You can add a description and a unique email signature for these tickets, to save you a bit of typing when responding to them. The only problem I hit with these is that if you don’t set a unique email address for the ticket category, then emailed responses to HappyFox won’t come through for those tickets. That’s not going to be a problem, though, if you’re using it to work with specific support email addresses you’re already using with your team.
Even with all of those features, you’ll still need to dig deeper to get to the bottom of your most tricky cases. HappyFox gives you all the tools you’ll need from your individual cases page. You’ll see every message in the conversation in a collapsed conversation view that looks similar to Gmail’s mobile view on the iPad. You can then include extra info, such as attachments, or cc other people on the email, just as you’d expect. Most interestingly, you can add custom fields to save more private info about complicated cases or any type of internal reporting you’d like.
Make Support Less Work
Digging through your queue of support emails can be a lot of work, and it can be frustrating to end up having to resolve a half dozen minor cases before coming across a major case that you should have tackled earlier. HappyFox tries to help by letting you customize your own queue. You can choose what order your cases will be in when you open your account, and can set, say, emails in a certain category to open first, while unassigned, uncategorized tasks will be put at the bottom. If an arrangement doesn’t work for you, you can always come back and change it later.
Then, you can help cut down on the number of support tickets you get every day by making a Knowledge Base that your customers can search and learn more about your products and services without having to send an email. You can create Knowledge Base article right from your email responses, or you can write them up on their own. You can’t style your support center right now, which makes the support centers look less integrated with your service compared to apps like Desk.com, but it still works nice enough for most purposes.
HappyFox stuffs quite a few features under an unassuming interface, and it’s a surprisingly nice way to manage your support emails. Whether you’re looking for a better support solution, or are trying to find the first support app for your new app or service, it’s definitely an app you should try. I was impressed with the quick reply and category tools that made it so much quicker to respond to tickets compared to other support systems I’ve used on a regular basis. It’s not perfect, but at its price, it’s definitely one of the nicest support apps you could find.