As convenient as email seems… it’s no replacement for a solid support desk.
Having an email only system makes you look unprofessional and sets you up for management and scaling nightmares.
A good support desk will actually reduce your work-load by answering common questions BEFORE someone opens a support ticket.
It also gives you a safety net to make sure you don’t MISS an important support email – while still giving you “email piping” – which is a fancy way of saying that you can still send and receive by email if you prefer.
And it gets customers out of your direct email – where they think they have a right to copious amounts of your time without being directed to paid alternatives by your staff (even if you don’t have staff!).
For “one man shops” (with or without a VA), there is simply no more affordable alternative than the approx $20/yr “starter” option with Zendesk. However, if you either want to own your setup or have more than 2 agents, you may want to check out self hosted options.
I’ve put together a comprehensive blog post that covers all of the available alternatives for WordPress, which ones do what best, and which one I recently put into use on my own self hosted support desk that I’m setting up now.
Once you have a support desk in place… the first thing you need to do is to preemptively answer all the common questions your audience may ask.
If you are in internet (digital) marketing, there are often very common questions such as “how do I open this zip file” (if you zip up your downloadable products and “how do I send you a screen capture image of this thing that isn’t working right” (if they are having a hard time explaining the problem).
So today, when I found a new white-label help desk (support) tutorial (Q&A) pack from Brad Gosse’s team, I was thrilled to have a bunch of work saved for me. (I wouldn’t recommend buying the upsell.)
Check them out here: http://just-ask-kim.com/recommends/helpdeskvids
I bought this pack for myself – and will be including them in help desk installations I do for clients – and I thought you might be interested in them too.
I just uploaded them to my site and you can see they do a nice job of making the knowledgebase/FAQ section look HELPFUL!
Save ya a bunch of time!
You can check out the support and invoicing portal I’m building myself here: http://askforbizhelp.com/ (We also build these for clients.)
Give some real thought to improving your professionalism (and how you appear to others this year) while at the same time reducing your headaches by implementing some sort of help desk this year.
With 2014 just around the corner it’s time to put the polish on so you are set for for an amazing upcoming year.
~ Kim ~
Simple Tech Tips For Marketing
PS: If you have a use for them, grab those help desk videos now, while they’re super cheap, as they are on a dime-sale and only going to get more expensive!