April 4, 2016
When it comes to customer service, there is no greater example than Zappos.com. The online shoe giant has become notorious for the company culture and its legendary consumer support methods because of its CEO, Tony Hsieh’s, philosophy: “Branding through customer service over the years, the number one driver of our growth at Zappos has been repeat customers and word of mouth. Our philosophy has been to take most of the money we would have spent on paid advertising and invest it into customer service and the customer experience instead, letting our customers do the marketing for us through word of mouth.”
Customers are what drive your business and, without a way to service these folks, operations can come to a screeching halt. You can juggle all of the e-mails, calls, and social queries for a little while, but eventually someone will slip through the cracks. There will come a point where it is imperative to implement tools that will help you ensure your customers are tended to in immaculate fashion so that your business can continue to grow.
I have just the solution.
Check out these five amazing customer service apps that could be your business’ life-saving software.
Zendesk is a cloud-based customer service support platform that is extremely easy to use and is massively popular with businesses of all sizes. With more than 40,000 clients across the world already using Zendesk, the company offers loads of customizable features, including the option to construct your own Zendesk app.
This service not only provides support tools like chat and SMS integration, it also promotes customers to help themselves by providing customized articles to help cut down on repeat questions and keep questions low. Additionally, customer service efforts can be monitored and improved through a net promoter score survey located at the bottom of customer communications.
Help Scout is another cloud-based service, but this one focuses on e-mails and conversations more than anything else. The Gmail-like interface provides a sense of familiarity while managing e-mails. Help Scout allows users to employ as many inboxes as needed to support customers, each with separate addresses, and then helps to refine organizational details with various folders and categories based on the rules set in place.
Help Scout provides a plethora of useful features like real-time reporting, automated responses, an integrated knowledge base for articles and tutorials to be generated and housed, and so much more. Additionally, if two team members are working on the same ticket, Help Scout will send an alert to notify the individuals so there is no confusion on the customer’s end. When e-mails are opened, Help Scout also offers up previous conversations from that customer and social media information so that each e-mail can be personalized, creating that company-to-customer connection.
Developed by Salesforce, Desk.com brings everything from e-mails to phone calls, social media, and more to the center of attention. This multi-channel service allows for numerous tickets to be opened and worked on simultaneously; a great solution for when there are minimal tickets to begin with. For those that are already Salesforce users, Desk will provide CRM data next to the tickets, as well as log any support issues from the individual’s profile in the CRM so as to keep a full contact log.
The dashboard provided by Desk gives users a complete overview of customer service operations to help identify areas that are in need of improvement. Additionally, as you do improve on those areas and the company begins to expand, Desk is capable of scaling up to accommodate as many customer service representatives as needed. This is a great tool to have for a growing business.
UserVoice is currently employed by more than 160,000 different brands, and it combines customer support with project management features and a forum so that feedback can be leveraged to improve your customer service abilities. Customers have the power to provide business ideas via public or private messages that can be responded to from a single dashboard. But it’s not only the customers that provide tips on how to improve — UserVoice provides customer satisfaction ratings from the past 30 days and doles out advice on how to bring fulfillment levels up.
The software is capable of integrating with various CRMs, Internet-connected phones systems, social networks and more so that you can help services customers from any direction. One really cool feature of UserVoice is that the system watches everything and combines the acquired information with public features to assemble a project management queue for your company to utilize.
Let’s face it, customer support can sometimes be a boring and monotonous task. Answering angry e-mails with cookie-cutter responses can be rather humdrum, and ineffective. Freshdesk takes a fresh approach on this issue and eradicates the problem completely. This customer service application serves employees just as much as customers with its gamification features. With the Freshdesk Arcade, employees are incentivized through a points system based on fast resolutions, service levels, customer satisfaction ratings and more.
For the customers, Freshdesk provides various channels of contact; be it e-mail, social, live chat, or mobile, this software covers all the bases. Additionally, built-in service level agreement policies allow you to prioritize support channels and users the way you see fit. Freshdesk even offers a range of customizable features that allow users to brand support portals with company logos and themes to help ensure that your company image is always on point.
Customer service is the heart and soul of your business. Without customers and people to service them, you have no company. Take a page out of Tony Hsieh’s book and put customer service at the forefront of your operations and you are much more likely to amass legions of devoted followers and customers for life
What is your favorite customer service application? What is an area of customer service than many companies overlook?
Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach. Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. Visit My Google+ Profile