Once upon a time it was simple to answer questions from customers. They called or they walked in. They asked their question, and went away happy. Today those questions don’t only come in on phones and face-to-face, now customers can get in touch with you through Emails, Tweets, Facebooks, Instagrams, and even #hashtags.

Some days it seems like a new communication form is invented every 30 seconds.

How are you expected to keep up with all of the places people can ask you questions? If you miss something, you can look like you’re out of touch or even worse, that you simply don’t care.

Luckily we’ve been there, and we can help you with a low cost, but simple solution which will keep all of your communication in one spot and make it easier over time to answer questions.

How I Got Into Help Desk Software

In 2005 I co-founded All New Comics — Canada’s Online Comic Book Superstore, we were Canada’s first exclusively online comic book store. In the early years we had a lot of problems with our servers going down, so we opened up a Zendesk account. Zendesk is very simple help desk software. Our thinking was that having a communication tool on another server would give us options if the site went down. It would be easy enough to point users to the help desk where we could post updates on the server.

We also opened up Twitter and Facebook accounts to give us other ways than just emails (which would often be down when the server died) to communicate with our customers.

Almost immediately people started asking us questions on Twitter, wondering if we had a specific issue in stock, or what the status of their order was. Shortly after that we started getting questions from Facebook.

On top of our regular email questions (which were now coming in through the help desk), we were losing communication. People would special order something on Twitter, and we’d lose the order in the flood of Tweets.

A Problem Gets a Solution

Zendesk's Agent View

Zendesk’s Agent View

Around then Zendesk offered a feature where you could connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts to your help desk.

Suddenly all of our customer communication became incredibly simple. To us every question or comment came into the system, we would get a notification, and when my partner or I responded, the system would change the status, and let us know. If we saw a technical issue, my partner could assign it to me, if it was a product issue, I could assign it to him.

We weren’t tripping over each other, and every single request, no matter where it came from would get answered.

On the customer side, they could ask their questions however they wanted to, and answers would come right into the system. Those questions get answered quickly, and they can go back and check on the answers in the future.

The Choices:

There are a lot of different solutions out there, but I’ve tried three of them and can recommend all three as possibilities.

Customer Service & Ticket Software with Zendesk Support:

Zendesk is what I got my start with support software, I found it easy to configure, but their latest interface is a little confusing. They have incredibly affordable pricing, and I find the $5.00 per agent pricing is right for All New Comics.

They also have simple add on’s like a knowledge base (where you can store frequently asked questions), and phone support if those are things you need.

Their pricing comparison chart show you the different services you get at the different price points.

Simple Online Help Desk Software by Groove:

Groove is a great company, not only do they have one of the best blogs on the planet, but they’re small and agile, and they care about supporting you. They charge $19/month per agent (that’s the people answering the questions). They are a little more expensive, but I found set up to be the easiest with Groove.

Help Scout | Simple Customer Service Software and Education:

Help Scout is dead simple to set up, and has pricing starting at $8/month. Setup is a little more complicated than Groove, but they have the best interfaces of the three products. They don’t specifically mention Facebook or Twitter support in their documentation.

The Conclusion

Help desk software changed the way we communicate with our customers and gave them a much better experience. In today’s 24/7, always on society, you need to be where your customers are, and using help desk software is a great way to make this happen.

Another Way to Make Your Store Better

A modern comic shop needs modern tools to survive, and setting up a help desk is just the start of it.

Manage Comics increases your revenue by giving you a subscription tool that is easy to use, allows your customers to adjust their orders, and gives you better insights into customer buying patterns.

We’d love to show you what Manage Comics can do, download the “Getting Started with Manage Comics” guide today. It’s a 32 page guide that will walk you through exactly what Manage Comics can do for you.