Recommend helpdesk solution for chat and e-mail support with ticketing?
June 4, 2014 8:06 PM   Subscribe

I work for a small eCommerce company that provides customer support via live chat and e-mail, and relies heavily on it. The people who chat with the agents are not necessarily people who have bought or sold anything or even used the site yet, so being able to ask questions in real time could help them decide whether to use our site. We would like to implement a helpdesk solution that does chat very well and can provide good analytics so that we can assess agent ratings, why the customer contacted us, and issues that are driving up volume. It also has to be a third-party cloud-based solution because we don't have the resources to set it up on our own system. Do you have any recommendations?

We are supposed to provide 24/7 chat and e-mail support, and 9-10 agents will be using the system.

Ideally, we'd like to have the following features out of the box:

- Chats and e-mails are converted to tickets
- Pre-chat survey that requires mandatory details from the customer
- Customer survey (either immediately after the chat, or via e-mail) that asks them to rate the service they received
- Ability for the agent to categorize what the chat issue was about (via post-chat survey or the ticketing system)
- Ability to search tickets by customer details (without a CRM, since most chats are from new visitors who haven't used the site)
- Ability to track whether the ticket was resolved on first contact, or whether it needed to be escalated
- Ability to track handle time
- Ability to tack on deadlines to ticket

We are currently using Comm100 and are not happy with it. I know the company has used LivePerson before, but may have switched due to costs. I am currently looking at Kayako Fusion and Zoho, but we can't seem to configure the chat support features to do what we want.

Is this too ambitious? If there isn't a way to do all these things with one comprehensive helpdesk software, are there good plug-ins or apps that can work with one that does offer almost everything we need?
posted by Lush to Work & Money (5 answers total)
I'm pretty sure ZenDesk has everything you need. The downside to ZenDesk is that it has a kazillion features and not the best UX, so there can be a steep learning curve. They have a free trial so you can check it out first.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 9:12 PM on June 4, 2014

An alternative to Zendesk that I really like is Desk. It's now owned by Salesforce and probably has some interesting integrations that you might find useful. At the second level it includes chat but can also be enhanced with chat apps and other integrated apps. Likewise with Zendesk (I see 13 apps for chat alone).
posted by Dansaman at 11:29 PM on June 4, 2014

I have experience with Desk and Zendesk. Since you want really good analytics and you don't care as much about matching your tickets up with your CRM, I think Zendesk would be a good choice. At the more expensive tiers you get Advanced Analytics through GoodData, where you would be able to setup customized metrics and really dig in where you wanted to.

Feel free to MeMail me if you want way more detailed information than belongs in a single comment. I recently evaluated Desk vs. ZenDesk vs. Salesforce Service Cloud and I learned a great deal about their strengths and limitations.
posted by reeddavid at 12:24 AM on June 5, 2014

Full disclosure: I work for Desk.

It can handle all the things you're looking for (which honestly I think are pretty basic requirements). There's a reporting tool to help you analyze agent performance.

Salesforce is seriously investing a lot of resources into making sure Desk is a success. There's an entire team of engineers dedicated solely to working with clients to implement specialized features, write custom scripts and reports, etc. So if you have a question or think a feature is missing, let me or a rep know. We release new versions multiple times a day so turnaround is very quick. Of course, I'm biased.

Desk is also flexible with regards to cost if that's an issue.
posted by rq at 12:58 AM on June 5, 2014

Response by poster: I tried Zendesk, and it's perfectly lovely and seems easy to use, however it doesn't offer chat support out of the box. I signed up with Zopim, which integrates with it, however it doesn't seem to be able to provide the reports that we would like. At this point, signing up with GoodData means replacing our current tool with 3 (and paying 3 separate companies) so it doesn't seem like the ideal setup. It also doesn't appear to convert chats into tickets automatically.

Desk seems really interesting. The standard plan seems like it will be able to do what I need, so I'll give it a test drive!
posted by Lush at 8:59 PM on June 5, 2014

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