Continued from page 1
Having an online helpdesk is also of benefit if you travel around a lot or if you are away from 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 important emails since only important emails will have made it through to helpdesk in 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 next few months, I will be phasing many of my email addresses out - I simply can't stand 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 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 installation/set up process was, how can I put this, slightly painful. It doesn't help that there is no manual for 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 company forum. That said, I am advised by software creator that a manual is in 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 publishers of 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 :-)
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