Collecting feedback from customers and delivering excellent online support for your clients should be a top priority as a small business owner. Gaining valuable insight about how customers view your products and services through various feedback tools can help you increase sales and improve customer satisfaction. If your customers are in need of assistance while using your product or service and you can’t deliver quality support in a timely manner, they won’t be inclined to stick around very long. To make sure your delivering top notch customer support and gathering information on how best to improve your product and services, check out the list of online feedback services and web based help desk software we’ve listed below. Most of these online help desk services offer free or trial accounts that you can use to test their software before committing to a payment plan.
Tender Support – A hosted web application service that helps you deliver quality support to your customers in a timely fashion. Tender Support offers a 30-day free trial that allows you to test all the features available. Monthly paid accounts range between $19 and $199. Depending on which package you choose you can add your own logo, modify the look and feel of your site, and upload files. Each account includes your own site’s knowledge base, a forum, auto suggestion responses for support inquiries, automatic logins, widgets, and the ability to use your own email address.
UserVoice – This web service allows you to setup your own public and private forums where customers can submit feedback and feature ideas to your team. It’s a very simple yet powerful way to gain valuable insight about your product from the people that use it the most. A 15-day free trial is available with no obligation to continue using UserVoice after the trial period ends. Free accounts are also available and they include one public forum. Paid accounts start at $19/month and go up to $589 per month depending on functionality you need. Features for paid account include single sign-on access for your customers, SSL encryption, email support, commercial API, white label design, domain aliasing, moderation tools, and the ability to export data to Excel.
Get Satisfaction – Another web based system that offers a lot of tools that business owners can use to handle customer support issues. Get Satisfaction provides free accounts and paid accounts starting at $19 per month. Features include moderation tools, custom branding, widgets, multiple login options (Facebook, etc.), Zendesk integration, Salesforce integration, email support, SSL support, statistical reports, and the ability to easily add or remove users or employees to your support site.
Ideaffect – As a fairly new competitor in the online support and feedback industry, Ideaffect offers lots of features that the larger players like UserVoice and GetSatisfaction deliver. Ideaffect’s pricing list is very competitive with other web support services starting at $19 for their least expensive plan. Features include idea submission, voting, comments, tags, graphical reports, export utilities, private label branding options, widgets, moderation tools, geo-location tracking, single sign-on, SSL support, email marketing service integration (MailChimp, Vertical Response, etc.), bug reports, private messaging, and page ratings.
Zendesk – One of the most popular web-based customer support software services that’s available. Over five thousand companies use this software as a service (SaaS) solution to handle support inquires for their customer base. Zendesk has applications for all the top mobile platforms (Android, Blackberry, iPhone) and their API permits you to integrate other popular online services with ease. The service plans start at just $9/month/agent but for $49/month per agent you can get everything (analytics, data portability, etc.). Agents represent your team members that handle the support requests from customers. A 30-day free trial gives you access to all the features without requiring your credit card number.
Zoho Discussions – Zoho is a well known provider of many online B2B software services. Their Zoho Discussions application integrates many helpful tools that enable business owners to engage their clients and provide excellent customer support. Notable features include private forums, a web chat interface, user profiles, private messages, built-in search, RSS feeds, custom domains, widgets, custom branding, login options, question and answer submissions, voting, sticky posts, announcements, post to forum via email, user management, and much more. Pricing starts at $12 per month but there’s also a free account available that includes two private forums.
UserEcho – A web-based customer feedback service similar to UserVoice where customers can submit input and ideas to business owners about a product or service they’re using. Members can vote for ideas, submit new features, ask questions, answer questions, and report bugs. Notable features are comment voting, nested comments, open id, comment tagging, https support, feedback tagging, and widgets. UserEcho offers a free account and paid accounts begin at $15 per month.
IdeaScale – A customer feedback and crowdsourcing mashup that attempts to harness the collaborative spirit of your customer base and transform it into a workforce for your business. IdeaScale has integrated tools like wikis to promote user-generated support indirectly. Users can submit feedback and ideas, leave comments, and vote on submitted feature ideas. IdeaScale is competitively priced at $15 per month for their basic plan and $99/month for a custom branding option that includes a few more bells and whistles.If you liked this article, please take this time to share it with your Facebook friends using the Facebook button (see Facebook post button to the left) or retweet it using Twitter (see retweet button to the left). You may also want to follow us or subscribe to the site to stay up-to-date with this article. If you'd rather follow us from your Facebook account, join our Facebook fan page or subscribe to our NetworkedBlogs profile.
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