7 Useful Tools To Deliver Awesome Customer Support

When your business is small, and when you have just a handful of customers, email clearly does the job of answering customer queries and complaints. But as your business grows and your operations expand in volume, things turn into a mess – can you imagine handling more than a hundred customer queries over email?

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When you support customers every day, you might have to do a lot of different things – like sharing a screencast, reusing the same responses or even reproducing API calls. These tools will help your support agents in all kinds of unique situations.

1. Screenr

An explainer screencast is always one hundred times more useful than text instructions – especially for complex problems that your customers might report. You don’t have to license an expensive program to get this done, however. You don’t even have to download an installer that’s a few hundred megabytes long.

Just hit ‘Record’ on Screenr.com, choose the area that you’d like to capture using the rectangle that pops up. You can even record voice if you toggle the microphone button from the controls bar. Once you’re done, the screencast gets its own page – you can either share the link to it with your customers or embed it using the code available on the page.

There’s also a Screenr Business account that gives you branding, analytics and other features.


2. Phrase Express

When you have even a few hundred customers using your product, the same issues crop up over and over again. More than one person reports the same incident, or multiple incidents may have the same workarounds or solutions. Agents shouldn’t have to type out the same solutions over and over again.

After installing Phrase Express, your support staff can add frequent solutions and responses to the PhraseExpress database. Each solution has a trigger word attached to it. The next time an existing answer has to be typed out, it doesn’t have to be copy pasted. Just typing the trigger-phrase will magically insert the text. Over time, this really improves the efficiency of your support staff and their quick responses would definitely make customers happy.


3. Skitch

Not a day passes by, in tech support, without an exchange of screenshots between agents and customers. Frustrated customers send in screenshots of issues that they are facing, and agents get back to them with appropriate solutions. Annotating screenshots with arrows, notes and pointers in tandem with written or over-the-phone solutions works better.

That’s where Skitch comes in. An Evernote product, Skitch allows you to grab any part of your screen and allows you to instantly add arrows, stamps or text on top of them. It doesn’t stop there – these pictures sync to your Evernote account and become instantly searchable. The next time you have to share the same solution, it’s just a matter of dragging and dropping the picture from your Evernote window.

WhatFix is a new kid on the block, and from what we’ve seen, you can use it to create screenshot-by-screenshot walkthroughs that you can embed anywhere. Every embed has a ‘run’ option that demonstrates the walkthroughs in real time.


4. LogMeIn Rescue

LogMeIn Rescue allows you to access any machine from anywhere. The best part: no tool has to be installed on the machine you use to access the remote computer – you can just use your browser. Getting access to a remote computer doesn’t require you to share a PIN or a passphrase – just the existing Windows login credentials will do.

And the best part about LogMeIn is that you can remotely reboot a machine and also reconnect with it when it starts again – whereas in applications like TeamViewer, you’ll have to request your customer at the other end for a new PIN once a session has ended.


5. Rapportive

Rapportive sits on your Gmail and gives you background information on anyone – just by using his email address. Rapportive takes any email address you hover over on Gmail and fetches relevant profile information from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social sites.

When a customer reports a problem, you can instantly see what his position in an organization is, how many Twitter followers he has, among other things. You can then allocate your resources to quickly solve the customer’s problem – you wouldn’t want someone with 10,000 followers to be dissatisfied with your service – they’d be very vocal about their frustrations.

Rapportive even works when you have the new Gmail compose enabled. It’s also available as an extension for Chrome or Firefox.


6. PostMan

PostMan is a REST client extension for Chrome. It allows you to build and pass HTTP requests with ease. You can use it to test APIs from your browser without using complex tools. PostMan keeps a record of your past requests, and thus saves time by allowing you to quickly re-send and test past requests.

You can also bundle multiple calls for an API together, which can be shared across your support team for troubleshooting. All this is topped by a powerful autocomplete feature. If your company provides an API, you can use it to reproduce API issues in a breeze.


7. Freshdesk

Freshdesk is a multi-channel, online help desk software that allows organizations to support customers over email, phone, the web, Twitter and Facebook. It brings in complaints from disparate platforms onto a single dashboard and gives an agent complete control over his helpdesk. Complete with great automations, full-fledged integrations with CRM, invoicing and even email marketing apps, Freshdesk is the best value for money support system on the market.

Freshdesk’s Forums and Knowledge Base features take it beyond just a ticketing system. Allowing customers to build a community themselves by suggesting features, voting on them and sharing tips and tricks is also one of the support system’s great features.In addition to this, Freshdesk is the first helpdesk to introduce gamification into the domain. Called the ‘Freshdesk Arcade’, it enables agents to compete against each other for points, badges and trophies, thus encouraging healthy competition in the team. Their latest features include advanced reports and agent collision detection.

Tell us in the comments section about your experiences with any of the above, or other useful tools that you might know of.

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