Customers have always sought timely responses to their questions and concerns, but the rise of social media and digital technologies has led many to expect an immediate reply. As a small-business owner, you can use your smartphone or tablet PC to stay on top of client requests, inquires, and feedback. Here’s a look at five customer service apps for mobile devices — and what they offer.
1. Zendesk (Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Windows; free trial, with prices starting at $20 per year) — Zendesk says that using its ticket-based customer service software will bring about “happier customers and more productive teams” (two goals all businesses should strive for). The company recently redesigned its interface around the principles of simplicity, speed, and beauty. The app’s framework allows for immediate responses to real-time customer inquiries, and Zendesk also provides webinar services and access to additional resources, including white papers and case studies.
2. Help Scout
(web-based) Help Scout focuses on online customer engagement through customizable email templates, simple customer profile templates, automated responses, and comment-based notes visible only to you (and not the customer giving feedback). Help Scout is browser based but integrates nicely with a suite of Android and iOS apps that deal with immediate customer responses via live chat, CRM, and satisfaction ratings.
3. Kayako (Android, iOS, Windows; prices start at $29 per month) — Kayako began as web-based software back in 2001.
The mobile app integrates customer conversations and multiuser engagement via email, group chats, calls, and self-service options. It also can automatically categorize customer issues through ticket prioritization, a filtering system, and intelligent tracking.
4. IdeaScale (Android and iOS; pay as you go, with prices starting at $15 per month; pictured) — IdeaScale uses crowdsourcing to collate customer information. Businesses can generate customer-based public forums in which the best advice is voted to the top. The app allows businesses to deploy surveys based on location and elicit feedback from customers who are attending specific events (such as product launches).
5. Tello (iOS and Android; free trial, with prices starting at $49 per month) — This app records customer opinions in real-time, with an emphasis on immediate resolutions of customer concerns to maintain loyalty. It encourages customers to provide feedback through instant notifications via email and text messaging. It emphasizes individual employee performance and analytics in a live ratings dashboard format.
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