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For a long while, we have been utilizing emails to support our customers. It's a convenient way for us and for our customers, and it's a proven working method. Email support has several serious issues that caused damages to our support reputation in the past, however.
The assignment was difficult: when someone emails us for support, they either email a specific person for the support email account. Either option requires a real person to manually read the email, assign it to a support person then forward that message to the specific supporter.
Tracking was terrible: it was difficult to ensure our Service Level Agreement. Sometimes an email can be missed, a reply can be delayed for whatever reason and there was no easy way for management to notice such things before we get complaints from our customers.
Multiple channeling was a mess: we have support requests coming to us via live chat on the site, Facebook Messenger, and several other channels. There was no way to combine all these requests into a single trackable channel.
Reviewing was impossible: once a request is fulfilled, we would like to ask the customer for feedback regarding our support and see what we can do to improve our service in the future. It was possible to do so via email but it was all manual work and time-consuming.
There are quite a few solutions out there, tons of support systems such as Bitrix24, ZenDesk, FreshDesk, etc. We went through many of them but could not find anything that hit us:
Complication: some of these services offer way too much, Bitrix24 for example was a nightmare to set up properly and get used to.
Integration: we want something that can be easily integrated into our system and allow us to utilize the same customers' database.
Cost: some solutions such as Bitrix24 were completely free, but once we took into account the integration and the premium features that we absolutely needed anyway, the cost was steep.
Yup, in the end, we built our own ticket support. We have used it for several selected customers for a while, and it looks like this:
While Nilead's ticket system may not be as powerful as other huge systems available on the market, it fits the needs of SMEs well enough and is already integrated and available on your Nilead website. It's a very simple ticket system with the essential features:
Assignment: a ticket can be assigned to a supporter. The supporter is the only one who can answer the specific ticket, he/she will be notified of all customer's new replies.
Category and tag: can be used for marking the tickets for filtering and searching purpose as well as reporting in the future.
Priority: a ticket can be assigned a priority level. This priority level also indicates the maximum response time and resolve time for that ticket. Once the response time or resolve time is passed, the supporter and the manager(s) will be notified.
Service Level Agreement: the system can be configured to detect tickets that are not processed in due time and notify the management via multiple channels.
For the customers, a simple frontend ticket support system is set up. This frontend can be customized to adapt to the look and feel of your Nilead business website:
Nilead's ticket system will be available on your backend within the first quarter of 2019. Documents and training materials will be sent to you to help you utilize this system to improve your business process. If you want to use the system right now and cannot wait, please email our support team to get the early update.
We are working on multiple channeling by allowing emails, live chat, as well as Facebook messenger messages to be recorded automatically into the ticket system. Ticket's reviewing and star rating will also become available within the second quarter of 2019.
Vu Nguyen is an entrepreneur, developer, and founder of Nilead. He loves backend website development and has experience in eCommerce (owning an online store as well as being a developer), Search Engine Optimization, UX Design, and Content Strategy.
Since 2005, Vu has headed and overseen UX design teams for projects in corporations, start-ups, individuals, etc., regardless of their size. He has been involved in both the creative and technical aspects of each project - from ideation to concept and vision, prototype building to detailed design, and build-up to deployment.