As we’ve seen it in our previous article about customer service, providing great customer support is crucial to driving success for your e-commerce. It helps you boost your customers’ loyalty, get positive reviews, enhance brand reputation and ensure sustainable growth.
In order to provide great customer service, you’ll need to implement different strategies and use the latest tools. One of these indispensable tools is having a helpdesk.
A helpdesk is a centralized information and support management system. It is an assistance center that offers a one-stop point of contact which provides the opportunity for companies to handle and resolve customer problems, questions, and queries by automating the complaint resolution processes through a ticket management system that automates the management of customer interaction among all the channels.
Using a helpdesk can help you increase customer satisfaction as they will have their queries resolved quickly and their questions answered through the channels that they like the most. It also helps to boost your customer support team productivity since the repetitive tasks can be automated and the customers’ information is centralized and easy to access which makes the customers’ experience smoother.
To choose the right helpdesk for your e-commerce, you’ll need to take into consideration different factors. To help you out, we selected for you, the one, we feel are the most important:
1. Implementation and integrations:
Before choosing, make sure to check if the helpdesk is easy to implement in your actual setup, so:
- Take a look at the configuration and customization process and see if it's quick enough.
- Double check the structure to how tickets, emails, team members and dashboards are organized. Related tasks should be performed quickly and thus getting a solution that provides the best user experience is crucial.
- You’ll also need to see if it integrates with other software and solutions you use, while also making sure the integration of other add-ons and functionalities is quick and easy.
One software out there might be the best one for you at the moment but there’s one thing that you need to keep in your mind if you plan on still growing your e-commerce business: scalability. The solution may fit your budget and requirements for now but it has to be able to satisfy your customer service needs and deliver the main functionalities as your operations will scale. Switching plans is both expensive and tiring as you’ll need to train your team on your new solution, so making sure you choose a helpdesk that scale with your e-commerce as it grows is essential when you make your choice.
It is obvious that you will want to select the helpdesk with the best performance at the lowest price, however, make sure to know exactly what features do you want and what’s the size of your operations and team to anticipate all the possible costs before making your decision. Many solutions offer add-ons and integration and the addition of everything can be really expensive, some others have good starting packages but get more and more expensive as your company grows. Some of them offer a free trial which can be a good way to test different solutions and see which one matches best.
4. Reporting and analytics:
Once you implement your customer support processes and start working to solve your customer queries, you’ll need to monitor the performance and efficiency, Choosing a solution that helps you track your team’s and individual performance is essential to improve your processes and team’s results. Being able to track different indicators such as the number of tickets assigned, customer satisfaction, tickets type, etc. can help you note which are the problems that your customers are usually facing (hopefully not too much) and you can design the solution needed to prevent these problems from happening. Easy and detailed reporting can really help you boost your whole customer service department so don’t forget to focus on it before making your choice.
Helpdesks provide customer support on multiple channels including emails, calls, chatbots, forms, etc. Subscriptions usually escalate from a tier to the upper one in the number of functionalities, channels, and price. So make sure the channels that you’re using or intend to use are available with the plan that you choose. If your customer service department focuses on multi-channel support, you may want to choose a solution that offers a big range of channels.
6. The number of agents (or team members):
Many helpdesks base their billing sometimes on the number of agents per month, so determining it before you actually make your choice is an important step in the process. Having an exact number of agents will help you make the exact cost projection and thus will help you during the decision process. Defining your needs and your goals when it comes to your customer service and understanding these factors will give you a bigger perspective during your decision. It will help you save time and clearly erase any doubt (and if you still have some, don’t hesitate to email us).
For the upcoming paragraphs, we’ll go through 6 of the best helpdesks right now, we’ll explore their pricing and some of their key pros and cons. We’ll also review some tools that might help you boost your customer support team:
Free plan for an unlimited number of agents and includes different features such as email ticketing, knowledge base, etc. Good offer for a young entrepreneur or to test the solution before.
$15/agent/month billed yearly.
- It includes all the features included in the free plan.
- Offers other features such as automation, marketplace apps, chat and calls managing, etc.
- It is a perfect offer for small teams.
$29/agent/month (billed yearly).
- It also includes all the features in the previous plan
- New features like performance reports, time tracking, and sessions replay.
- It is ideal for a growing e-commerce with increasing operations and customers.
$49/agent/month (billed yearly).
- Same thing as usual as it includes the same features as in the previous plans
- Has an addition of features like the automation of tickets’ assignment or powerful reports with deeper insights and data.
- Suits perfectly a large e-commerce website with thousands of customers.
$109/agent/month (billed yearly).
- Offers the same features as the previous plan
- Includes new features like skill-based ticket assignment, where tickets are assigned to the agents that are most proficient in handling specific issues.
- Has Co-browsing, where your agents can share their screen with customers to help them solve their issues.
- It is perfect for big enterprises and companies that have a huge number of customers
As you may have seen it, Freshdesk is a really flexible solution that offers a variety of plans to accommodate any type of business. When it comes to the helpdesk itself, it has a wealth of integrations, it is intuitive and its most interesting feature is the gamification one, where support becomes more exciting as your turn it into a game, while agents are completing tasks, they earn points, win rewards and thus make support more enjoyable. The interface is really easy to use and you’ll have the opportunity to create accounts or emails from any page.
Freshdesk is perfect for small teams since its first offer is 15$ and still offers all the necessary and quality of features. It is also a great fit for growing teams as it has a large number of offers with all the features that any kind of team needs.
- It is the starter plan and the most basic one.
- It offers email and social channels support, interaction history and a mobile software development kit.
- It has all the features from the previous plan.
- The addition of performance dashboards, different apps and integrations, and custom business rules.
- It includes multilingual content, customer satisfaction survey, and advanced analytics.
- It also includes the features of the team plan.
- It is the most interesting of the first ones, maybe not the best in terms of price but still worth the try.
- It has many add-ons compared to the previous plan, such as multiple ticket forms, skills-based routing, multi-brand supports, etc.
- It is Zendesk’s most expensive plan.
- It has all the features of the enterprise one.
- It offers unlimited light agents, elite support, advanced encryption and security, etc.
Zendesk Support is really easy to use and has a solid ticket management system. It takes a real marketing-oriented approach and integrates the larger Zendesk suite. Even if all the plans include a free trial for you to test the product, it still remains a really expensive solution for small and medium enterprises, especially that all the best features are only available at the high pricing tiers. The price can also escalate pretty quickly due to all the different integrations that are separated from the plan.
Despite all this, it still is the best choice for e-commerce that wants to integrate marketing into customer support.
- Up to three agents.
- Includes 15 features like an email inbox and web form, a customizable help center, a knowledge base, etc…
- It is a really good option for small e-commerce with just a hundred of customers.
- It includes multiple new features such as multi-channel support, automation, customer satisfaction ratings, advanced reports, and dashboards.
- It is the most popular plan of the three (according to themselves).
- It’s cheap and well suited for small teams.
- It is the most expensive plan of Zohodesk.
- It offers multi-brand help center, scheduled reports, live chat channel and many other features…
- It has at the same time a very good value proposition as it includes all the features to properly run a customer support team and a really cheap price compared to the competition.
When it comes to the interface, it is really easy to use, it offers an efficient ticketing system and an easy to use knowledge base. It has various reports like first response time or resolution time by teams. It also integrates with the Zoho suite that offers plenty of other apps and solutions.
Even if it lacks on-premises functionalities and language support, Zohodesk is a good fit for small businesses (we all are poor) who seek a complete solution at a really cheap price.
- It includes a shared email, chat, and social inbox.
- It has more than 600 integrations with Zapier, basic help center, insights, etc.
- It is a good fit for really small teams and not a large number of customers.
- Has all the features from the previous plan.
- Grants access to a number of interesting add-ons such as automation, customer views and reporting, multi-brand, etc.
- It also gives free access to 5 collaborators who write internal notes but can’t reply to customers.
- It offers new features like advanced workflow customization, internal help center, and Salesforce integration.
- It also allows access to 10 free collaborators.
Kayako is a functional help desk that offers a lot of different communication channels. Its chat called Kayako Messenger integrates directly with your website. It certainly lacks a few features as the voice chat which requires other solutions from outside vendors. It also doesn’t provide a proper customer feedback option. We found Kayako to be a good helpdesk for a good price. It’s best suited for businesses with an average budget and who seeks a powerful chat support.
- It comes with many features such as agent collision, ticket templates, self-knowledge base, scheduled reports, etc.
- It has all the basics that a small business needs.
- It includes all the features from the mighty plan.
- It has many added features such as customer satisfaction surveys, custom dashboards, notifications for SLA breaches, etc.
- Includes all the features provided in the fantastic plan
- New features like tasks and asset management.
- Provides reports on custom fields
- It offers a long list of integrations
- It is the most expensive plan from Happyfox.
- It has all the features from previous plans
- It offers the possibility to access the services of a dedicated customer success manager.
- It can support up to 15 different brands within a single helpdesk and offers a storage space of more than 1000GB.
Happyfox is a complete helpdesk with tons of integrations. All of the plans come with SSL security, an unlimited number of tickets, multilingual support and knowledge base. Though, it requires a minimum of 3 agents for every plan. It offers an easy ticketing system as emails can be automatically converted into tickets. It has a lot of helpful automation features. It lets you track the most popular article in the knowledge base which is helpful to better understand your customers.
Taking into consideration all these factors, Happyfox sits as one of the best helpdesks for any type of business as it is really flexible and affordable.
$50/month with 2 months off (when billed annually).
- It gives access to an unlimited number of agents.
- It lets you handle 500 tickets per month and offers 7 integrations.
- You’ll have to pay $12 for each additional 100 tickets.
$166/month with 2 months off (when billed annually).
- It also gives access to an unlimited number of agents with 2000 tickets per month included.
- It has 15 integrations and it costs $10 for every 100 additional tickets.
$416/month with 2 months off (when billed annually).
- It still gives access to unlimited agents.
- It covers the handling of 6000 tickets per month and has 30 integrations.
- You’ll have to pay $8,3 for each additional 100 tickets.
- This plan gives the opportunity to have a dedicated automation specialist with unlimited integrations and agents.
- The ticket volume is custom and you can have a volume discount on them.
The specificity with Gorgias is that it is designed especially for Shopify stores, so it perfectly integrates with it. It offers a complete multi-channel experience as it connects all of your support channels. Gorgias is easy to use, set up and offers easy solutions for interaction with customers. It lets you set up automatic answers, tags to sort tickets in your custom views. You can design email templates which is a true time saver. Since Gorgias is a new product, there are many small bugs and glitches, but as they have great customer support (would have been funny if it wasn’t the case, right?), these small problems are fixed quickly. The only matter can be in its price structure as it is based on tickets handling rather than the number of agents, which can make it hard to compare with other helpdesks. So before you choose make sure to know approximately (we hope you do know… exactly) the number of tickets that you’re handling at the moment.
Gorgias is a really interesting solution for Shopify shops as it has all the features and integrations needed for growing businesses.
Having reviewed the 6 helpdesks that we believe are the most interesting ones nowadays, you have a clearer idea of which one is better for your e-commerce and business needs.
Adding to that we also wanted to quickly review some other solutions and tools that can help you boost and optimize your customer service processes and here are 2 of them:
Front is an email management software that helps you manage private and team emails as well as other communication channels such as chat widgets, social media, or SMS. It helps you manage email addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org in an organized way. It also provides the opportunity to automate your workflow. It offers different insights on message volumes, response time, or team performance. It offers plenty of integrations such as Hubspot, Slack or Salesforce.
When it comes to pricing, it offers 4 different plans:
- It includes individuals email inboxes, 3 team inboxes (only email), and 3 basic workflows.
- It offers everything in the starter
- It includes 10 team inboxes with email, social and chat.
- It provides unlimited basic rules and 3rd party integration.
- Has all the features from the Plus plan.
- It also has 25 team inboxes with all types of channels.
- It offers pro rules and integrations and also has deeper analytics reports.
- It offers enhanced admin controls and security settings suitable for large organizations.
- It grands the possibility to manage multiple team workspaces in one account with unified billing.
According to your needs and the size of your e-commerce, you can choose the plan that best suits you to boost your interactions with your customers and optimize your processes. The only matter is that all these add-ons can be pretty expensive at some point for SME.
Anyway Front, remains an interesting tool that can help you take your interactions and communication to a whole new level.
Botmind is an hybrid chatbot solution that easily integrates with customer service tools to automatically answer the frequent questions of your customers. It automates to some extent your customer support live chat. It is primarily targeted for e-commerce owners in order to gain time and decrease costs. The solution can help you automate 40% of your chat support by answering questions like: where is my order? or I want to change my delivery address, how can I do it?
The solution basically uses all the data available to answer the possible questions and if the answer isn’t available would automatically forward it to one of your agents. Botmind has a large offer of integrations to different CMS, live chats, and helpdesks
Talking exclusively to Botmind’s co-founder, Jonathan Kam, he revealed to us that today, the tool answers up to 50 questions and is expected to reach a number of 90 questions in the near future and instead of covering just 45% of live chat automation, it will reach about 65%. Talking about his vision of the customer service industry nowadays, Jonathan summarized it really well:
“The only real boss is the customer”.
Botmind’s prices aren’t displayed on their website which doesn’t give us an idea on how much would its usage cost. It also has the main limitation that any AI-powered tools face, which is the inability to answer questions that need empathy. Despite these small disadvantages, it still remains a really interesting tool, especially for an e-commerce website where live chat is core to their customer service.
Now that we’ve covered what does good customer service mean, that we listed all the factors you need to take into consideration while choosing a helpdesk, that we reviewed the best helpdesks available and showed you some interesting tools that can help you boost your processes, you’re ready to design a kickass customer support strategy to enhance your customers experience and increase their satisfaction.