Let us create a 3D eBook for you!
Let us create a 3d Digital eBook for you! DigyCat.com

Automating Your Customer Support


My regular readers will know that one of the things I highly recommend doing with any online business is automating as many of your day to day tasks as possible.

From a personal point of view, one of the tasks that takes up a lot of my time is answering emails. It isn't just answering email that eats up the hours - sorting through and deleting spam and junk mail absorbs a lot of time too. In the good old days, I used to get a couple of spam emails a day. Now it is closer to 1000 a day!

In fact, when you look at it, email isn't always the best form of online communication. Not only is there the junk mail issue to contend with but also the fact that email is not 100% reliable. Emails do 'go missing' far more regularly than you might expect. Often this is simply because the recipients email software has decided that a particular email is junk and has transferred it directly to the 'Delete' folder. Other times it may be because the recipients ISP has decided that the email is junk and deleted it BEFORE it has even been seen by the recipient! (Yes this really does happen - imagine if your postman sorted through your mail and made the decision of which letters you want and which ones he should throw away?!)

One way to help avoid the spam problem when dealing with customer support enquiries is to make use of a contact form on your website instead of posting an email address. This will certainly help to cut down on spam but it still means that you have the problem of emails not getting to their destination (and when you have a frustrated customer waiting for assistance this is not ideal).

Therefore, probably the best option on the market presently is a full-blown helpdesk system. Setting up a dedicated helpdesk is a superb way of automating your customer support and speeding up the process of dealing with enquiries and support emails. Not only that but if you use a system that allows customers to create 'tickets', you don't have to rely on email as your customers can login to a special web page and view both their tickets and your replies online.

Another feature of many helpdesk scripts is an 'FAQ' or 'Knowledgebase' section. This is simply a collection of the most frequently asked questions/queries/problems along with answers and solutions. This means that customers can search the knowledgebase and hopefully find the answer to their question without having to contact Support at all.

Some of the more advanced scripts will even scan the customers support ticket prior to submitting it and then list a few possible answers to their questions just in case they didn't read through the knowledgebase before typing the ticket out - very clever stuff.

These scripts are also very powerful in terms of how they can benefit you. Just think how much time you could save if, say, 40% of your customer support emails just stopped coming due to the fact that your customers were now able to find the answers to their questions automatically.

Having an online helpdesk is also of benefit if you travel around a lot or if you are away from the office on vacation etc. Instead of having to take a laptop loaded up with previous emails from customers, you can simply login to your helpdesk admin page and all of your previous correspondence will be online and at your fingertips. It also means that you won't have to spend hours in an Internet cafe deleting a days worth of spam at a time just to get to the important emails since only the important emails will have made it through to the helpdesk in the first place.

As with most things, setting up a customer service helpdesk is one of those tasks that is always better done when you first start your online business. That said, it is fairly easy to integrate such a feature into your existing set up and that is exactly what I have done for all of my websites...

Over the next few months, I will be phasing many of my email addresses out - I simply can't stand the spam any more! With immediate effect, all customer support issues for all of my products and websites will be handled via a central Customer Support Helpdesk.

I am confident that this will improve the overall 'support experience' for both my customers and me :-)

If you are interested in installing a similar helpdesk on your own website/s, there are numerous options when it comes to suitable software. I chose a product called eSupport (link below) and whilst this is a very powerful script, I am hesitant to give it my full recommendation since the installation/set up process was, how can I put this, slightly painful. It doesn't help that there is no manual for the software which means that new users are left to figure out how it works by trial and error or by trawling through hundreds of posts on the company forum. That said, I am advised by the software creator that a manual is in the process of being written and will be available soon. As I say, an excellent and powerful script once installed and configured but definitely not for those lacking patience (and indeed, some computer knowledge). If you opt for this script, my advice would be to get the publishers of the software to install it for you. You can find out more about eSupport at: http://www.kayako.com

Other alternatives (neither of which I have tried myself) include Perldesk ( http://www.perldesk.com ) and Cerberus ( http://www.cerberusweb.com ). One advantage of Cerberus is that there is a free version :-)

Copyright 2005 Richard Grady

Richard Grady has been helping ordinary people earn online since 1998. He writes a free newsletter which is published every two weeks. To subscribe (and claim your free gifts), visit: http://www.thetraderonline.com/newsletter.html


MORE RESOURCES:

Customer Service - Google News

This RSS feed URL is deprecated

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Busse: The intersection of customer service and social media - Long Island Business News


Long Island Business News

Busse: The intersection of customer service and social media
Long Island Business News
randi-busse If you're a regular social media user, you're probably familiar with people using these channels to make complaints, praise companies, start a discussion, or indulge in a mud-slinging match. Online social media communications have changed ...

55% Of Consumers Welcome Customer Service Chatbots - Retail TouchPoints


55% Of Consumers Welcome Customer Service Chatbots
Retail TouchPoints
Chatbots — AI applications that simulate human conversation — are becoming more pervasive in online and mobile customer service, and acceptance of them is growing: 55% of American consumers, and 65% of Millennials, report that they want chatbots ...

Joseph E. Huerta: Not pleased with Comcast's customer service - Longmont Times-Call


Joseph E. Huerta: Not pleased with Comcast's customer service
Longmont Times-Call
I continued to view charges on page 3, listing "Your new charges" in detail — bundle, additional services and equipment, and then the red flag, "other charges and credits," including a broadcast TV fee (paid in TV starter) and regional sports fee (no ...

Exceptional Customer Service And Low Cost Are Not Mutually Exclusive -- Here's How To Achieve Both - Forbes


Forbes

Exceptional Customer Service And Low Cost Are Not Mutually Exclusive -- Here's How To Achieve Both
Forbes
Singapore Airlines (SIA) cabin crew undergo some of the most rigorous service training in the industry, instilling a business culture that is exceptionally customer-centric. As a result, it is regularly voted one of the best airlines in the world. Yet ...

These Two Customer Service Formulas Can Improve Employee Performance By 100% - Forbes


Forbes

These Two Customer Service Formulas Can Improve Employee Performance By 100%
Forbes
Even the most engaged, best-intentioned employees (and their managers) can benefit from knowing a couple essential expert formulas that will improve their customer service performance day in and day out. Today I'll share two rules of thumb how to ...

MTA, union deal will create hundreds of new 'customer service ... - New York Post

Seven Customer Service Practices That Will Help You Win Over Clients - Forbes


Forbes

Seven Customer Service Practices That Will Help You Win Over Clients
Forbes
Back in the mid-90s when Amazon was first starting, I felt that Amazon gave me the best customer service and best customer experience. Instead of jumping around different websites, I had everything in one portal. In Amazon I found a company that gave ...

Why is Customer Service in Asia so Terrible? - Forbes - Forbes


Why is Customer Service in Asia so Terrible? - Forbes
Forbes
Asia's service sector is booming. This article takes a closer look at how this lucrative sector is developing. Don't miss out on the investment opportunities that are ...

and more »

Telefonica suspends customer service operations in Guatemala after killings - Reuters


Telefonica suspends customer service operations in Guatemala after killings
Reuters
GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - The Guatemalan unit of telecommunications firm Telefonica SA suspended its customer service operations and closed its shops over the weekend after three of its employees were shot to death in the Central American nation.

and more »

LargeFriends.com - the best dating site for plus-sized singles!
SuccessfulMatchCentral.com - the best dating site for plus-sized singles!

PreLaunchX

AusTrade Domain Is For Sale - $15,000 For Enquiries eMail Us

© www.AusTrade.biz - 2012

home | site map | links