The importance of good customer service online
Selecting a customer service management software that offers your company a full-service solution can be the difference between growing business or losing clients. A customer impact study notes that 89% of customers refuse to do business with a company that provided poor service, meaning that every mistake can cost you in the future. New customer acquisition is much more costly than maintaining a current client, so an investment in customer service is always one that should be carefully considered for a variety of reasons. Luckily, there are two companies that provide full customer service platforms, while both including Salesforce integration.
A survey from Upstream Commerce shows Customer Service is the most important piece of customer acquisition and retainment in online business.
The Customer Service Provider Options
While there are various “helpdesk” options that offer a simple online chat service or basic service options, there are two companies which give you the full gamut of solutions in advanced backend platforms. Each company has its unique perspective on what a customer service solution should be and what it should offer in order to serve its target audience.
Desk.com is actually owned by Salesforce after being purchased in 2011 and is geared towards small businesses with its simple and easy-to-use interface. SupportBench is a recently launched support company that focuses on scalability for growing companies or already-established medium to enterprise organizations. Both companies grew quickly after their inception and offer professional, in-depth customer service management software solutions to the market.
What does it cost you for customer service?
Most service companies follow a standard charge-per-agent structure and Desk.com is no different. Their plans begin at $25/month per agent for the Standard package. This includes the base features offered, while the second-tier of pricing is $75/month per agent and at $125/month you receive their full offerings. SupportBench has a different approach, as it offers one package with all their features at $20/month per agent for the first 14 users, then escalating the more agents you add.
Each company has month-by-month payment plans (prices shown above) and also annual billing, which reduce the monthly cost by roughly 15%. You can also try both for free with a 14 day trial that can be arranged within minutes through their respective websites.
Dashboard setup and usability
A fast and easy setup is something that all businesses look for when choosing any customer service management software provider and both companies offer that. SupportBench provides clients with an “on-boarding guru” that walks you through every step of the setup, helping you with data migration, user registration and more. Desk.com uses a traditional approach via a self-guided tour, explaining everything agents need to know to sign-in and navigate the interface within minutes.
SupportBench’s one window view lets agents navigate through all case information at once.
Desk.com’s platform is simplistic and easy to navigate, with information laid out in a clean manner for the agents. Users are able to understand the system quite quickly, yet there are a lack of options for agents to retrieve in-depth information on cases. SupportBench’s innovative platform uses a one-window view, in which the agents can see all the case, timeline and workflow information. This provides users the ability to navigate through tickets directly from the home screen and easily view their open cases.
The Knowledge Base system
With 51% of customers seeking help preferring the Knowledge Base option, it is evident that clients often like to look for help themselves before engaging an agent. Offering a comprehensive self-service platform will take additional stress off of your personnel and can satisfy clients with instant information.
SupportBench has a customer portal that leads to both a knowledge base and messaging forums. The portal includes full branding for companies that can customize the screens from which customers get answers, while posts from the forums can be directly accessed by agents to resolve as tickets. Desk.com also offers a customer portal that is branded to each business, with a simple copy-and-paste style knowledge base that allows you to update answers easily.
There are no forums or message boards in the customer portal, only pre-loaded answers to frequently asked questions.
Insert answers into Desk.com’s Knowledge Base easily, without need for an IT expert
SupportBench bills itself as a customer service tool for companies that are already established or ones that believe they will grow quickly. Their product offerings support this ideology, with various features that can be used by small businesses and are necessary for larger ones. Their System Segmentation offers the ability to let different sections of your business use the dashboard, while building invisible walls that divide data from various departments. The SLA management and policy offerings let managers define important process response times and monitor them to ensure a seamless workflow for agents. Finally, a comprehensive customer feedback area with survey creation helps businesses understand what they are doing right and what they need to improve on, an important aspect for any customer service management solution.
Desk.com has a less-is-more mentality towards its functionality, as it is directed at small businesses that require basic functions that anybody can use. The options to customize dashboard layouts, run interactive backend platforms and to chat with customers are available. Keeping with the basics, Desk.com wants everybody to use its solution no matter their level of technical expertise.
Integrations and Add-ons for increased services
With the ever-changing technological climate of customer service, the platforms need to be able to adapt quickly to changing trends and customer needs. Both services allow users to upgrade the base solutions, Desk.com through its Add-On Hub and SupportBench with custom-built integrations.
Desk.com’s Add-on Hub is filled with a who’s who of 3rd-party upgrades from big name companies such as Mailchimp, LiveChat, Shopify and Slack bots for increased service. Simple to upgrade, with a few clicks you can quickly have a brand new set of functions in the dashboard. They also offer the ability to build your own add-on with the REST API, perfect for developers who can identify and create a way to make the service better.
SupportBench’s system has no traditional app additions, however it does include full-scale integrations. By teaming up with big-industry players such as Twitter and Jira, SupportBench increases its workflow by allowing for cases to come from direct messaging or receive updates directly from JIRA.
Integrate your Salesforce data directly into Desk.com and SupportBench’s platforms
For clients currently using or about to rely on Salesforce as their CRM, being able to integrate it with their Salesforce customer service management software is extremely important. Taking the vast information stored in Salesforce and migrating it into the customer service dashboard saves time, money and lets your agents offer customers a much better experience. With 42% of customer care agents unable to provide timely and helpful service due to disconnected interfaces or multiple solutions, unifying the information in one easily accessible interface can help you keep clients.
Being a Salesforce owned company, Desk.com provides users the ability to transfer case information, contacts and company data right into it’s backend from Salesforce. The process can be somewhat convoluted, but it does get the job done and all the data is easy to access once it is in the system.
SupportBench also allows all the same information to be synchronized from Salesforce and displayed in its system. An additional option it includes is creating workflows based on the information when synchronized, as well as identifying which contacts should be updated upon migration.