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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    47

    Recommended Support (automated, etc.)

    Can I have some opinions on the best support solutions, as advice on automated support and mostly paying for real, phone, email, IM, etc. support with companies like bobcares.com.

    All info is appreciated,

    Thanks
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,750
    Its best to provide a range of solutuons for customers, Both live support and real time phone support when you can. Of course IM support can also be useful to some customers. Maybe support forums too?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Flint, Michigan
    Posts
    5,765
    What is your target market?
    Mike from Zoodia.com
    Professional web design and development services.
    In need of a fresh hosting design? See what premade designs we have in stock!
    Web design tips, tricks, and more at MichaelPruitt.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Butler,TN
    Posts
    2,413
    Hi!
    Well...it depends on many things. I think the most important first few thing to consider is:

    1)How many customers do you have now?
    2)How are you supporting them?
    3)Do you really need overnight support as well as normal daytime hours support?

    I hate chat...I'm not taking any new clients with chat. 95% of the problems I've had people come in to chat to deal with would have been better and easier to deal with via a nice ticket system.

    It has been my experience that the best level of customer support can be done through the exclusive use of:
    1) a good forum board
    2) a good FAQ (Not Kayako's knowledgebase thing)
    3) a good manual
    4) a good ticket system

    I got a second line thinking more people would want at least to forward a number for honest emergencies. Nope..no interst at all.

    The problem I have with that knowledge base is simple: It is not easy to use. I don't like using it..it takes too much time. My thinking is: Well...if I don't like using it...there's a darn good chance the customers don't like using it either.

    Those flash demo things seem to help many...esp the real green customers who have few clues. As long as they are not too big..even the dialup customers can use them. You can either make your own or buy somebody else's...just do a search on google.

    I think it is amazing that more clients don't spend more time honestly evaluating a outsourced support person/company.
    This is not a casual affair...you are trusting someone with your lifeblood..your customers...most just trust me.

    As far as pay goes...well....you'll see all ranges there. I think the critical thing is what level of expertise do they bring to the table with them? Can they do the job? Can they be curtious even with the ones that aren't so nice? Will they stay over a little waitng for a customer to respond? This is a little thing that is a big thing...knowing that if I don't deal with it...this customer may have to wait a few hours for a response.

    It takes a very unique person to do this job well. Good luck of finding who you need.

    Bryon

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    47
    No client base, no company yet, I'm just giving myself some hypothetical questions so I can get realtime answers and suggestions from you guys.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Butler,TN
    Posts
    2,413
    Hi!

    Ok..to start...I wouldn't even bother with chat. If you are a one person operation..most people will understand that. Phone support is not an option either...I would advise against it. No..go ahead and see how much kayako wants for the helpdesk software. It is the best and..speaking from a person that does this everyday...it's a must have.

    Perl Desk just isn't as good...or as easy to use. I think those two things are where people miss out...especially when they design manuals, FAQs and setup Forum boards. You can have every answer a customer could possibly ask on a board or in a frequently asked question section...but if it's not well-organized and easy to use...people simply will not use it. Starting out...it is critical to keep people off the helpdesk...the flash demos, a good manual and a deccent FAQ can be the difference.

    Oh! another critical component...A decent welcome email. Put some time into it...it can make a big difference.

    Sure...it's a lot of work...but look at the alternative.

    Bryon

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    47
    A lot of work is an obvious factor. Heh, what about whoiscart as a support system?
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  8. #8
    I would suggest Craft Syntax live support, you don't need to be on it for 24/7, just get online as often as you can.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    India
    Posts
    911
    In the early stages you can build up a good FAQ (consisting of basic questions and their answers) and you can always login and get the clients queires resolved.

    If you are not much familiar about the server side problems, then you can go for a reseller account from a good reseller hosting provider.
    This will make your servers issues to be taken care by your reseller host and in the mean time you will be aware of the general questions and their answers.

    Once you have grown to a considerable client strength, you can outsource your support to various support companies avaiable here on WHT.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    47
    I guess I'd have to make a real good FAQ if I wouldnt be on 24/7 or initially have a support staff team...I couldnt garauntee 24/7 support and that would probably scare a lot of clients away. I guess I could go with the money back garauntee and the garauntee of the state-of-the art FAQ over 30000 pages long. (haha).

    ThinkSupport, what kind of companies are here on WHT?
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2,493
    Regulator, if you are looking for 24/7 Support (If you don't have you will scare customers away), I reccomend Etechsupport.net

    I believe it is $2 a ticket, and they have something like 20 minutes response time. If you have enough money go with them, but make sure you have some great FAQ's and flash tutorials so you don't waste to much money on tickets

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    47
    Eh, two dollars a ticket is a little pricy. I'd do it if it was 50 cents... Hmm, thanks for the link I'll look deeper into it. But you said WHT has many support companies...what others are there?
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  13. #13
    I never ceased to be amazed how few hosts use knowledge base tools. Once is enough to answer any standard question. Twice is money down the drain.

  14. #14
    Each customer is different. People learn in different ways. So you need to provide support options that cater to any learning style. (i.e. Some people call even if you send them a "123 howto email right to their desktop"....."how do I do this?")

    Phone support: I believe the customer almost demands this at this point. Even if you use an answering service to take messages for you....people want to know there is someone behind the scenes and talk to them.

    Support Tickets: Customers NEED to know you received their email for help, the ticketing system should automatically issue a ticket ID and response. We use E-support from http://www.kayako.com/

    Knowledgebase: (built in above, you can build your knowledgebase using previous support tickets with the above system)

    Downloads: Tutorials, articles and paper documents that show users how to setup their system. They can print it and distribute it to their workstations/employee's. (also built into Kayako)

    What sold us on http://www.kayako.com/ ? When a user sends an email, it scans the message for "keywords" and gives suggestions of possible solutions from previous tickets right in the auto-reply. Our support load has gone down 80% sence we started using this system over standard email. (no no no, I'm not a sales rep for Kayako )

    Good Luck!
    Kenneth R Taylor
    Inet7 Internet Serivces
    Web & Application Hosting Services
    http://www.inet7.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    India
    Posts
    911
    Originally posted by TheRegulator
    I guess I'd have to make a real good FAQ if I wouldnt be on 24/7 or initially have a support staff team...I couldnt garauntee 24/7 support and that would probably scare a lot of clients away. I guess I could go with the money back garauntee and the garauntee of the state-of-the art FAQ over 30000 pages long. (haha).

    ThinkSupport, what kind of companies are here on WHT?
    I remember few days ago few fellow members like Steve from rack911 and boochan had listed a BIG list of various such support companies.

    You can do a search to find that list.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    In my imagination
    Posts
    193
    A range of support options are always good as some users dont certain things like telephones or email support or vice versa.
    Michael Copeland
    WebLyte - We Make Establishing Your Web Presence Easy!
    Over 6 Years In Business! We're Here To Stay!

  17. #17
    For such thing you can take one of follow companies:
    Bobcares.com
    Helpspeed.com
    supportresort.com

    You should contact each of those and see which one able to provide you with the service you need at the best price and quality of service.

    Matt.

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