Social Media Customer Service Tools - dummies

Social Media Customer Service Tools

By Marsha Collier

Social media can help you manage your customer service inquiries for your business. If you are already aware of what your company’s issues are, an online service desk can be a real boon to efficiency.

Having a platform to handle customer queries from a browser window or mobile device is a great idea. For businesses that handle many requests, help desk software can be the answer. In this way, you can respond promptly to customer inquiries, complaints, and service queries.

A few web-based help desk options are available, including the popular Zendesk. Their software suite enables those who provide customer service to receive, process, and respond to service requests in one centralized area. The platform is currently used by more than 20,000 organizations worldwide.

Zendesk facilitates conversations via web, e-mail, phone, Twitter, Facebook, mobile devices, online chat, community forums, knowledge bases, and more.

Zendesk integrates with more than 90 solutions. For example, many growing businesses integrate Zendesk support with Salesforce or Get Satisfaction community platforms.

Another popular solution comes from UserVoice. As an alternate to FAQ pages, your customers can get answers from the UserVoice widget, which is shown in the figure. A customer types a question, and UserVoice Instant Answers pulls the answer from an online knowledge base that you’ve set up. Your business dashboard shows you which answers in your knowledge base are the best-performing, so you can edit information as needed.

The UserVoice web widget can help your customers help themselves.
The UserVoice web widget can help your customers help themselves.

Both platforms provide an integrated help desk and customer support portal. Help desk software is web-based (also available on mobile devices) and covers customer support, trouble tickets, and a knowledge base.

UserVoice offers a free basic plan that includes their feedback and help desk modules for one agent as well as the Inspector, a tool that aggregates information about your customer from your own systems as well as publicly available data from social networks on the fly. This data is helpful when you have no information at hand about the person making the request.

The Zendesk starter package costs $20 per year for three agents and includes native mobile apps, such as iPad, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone.