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Customer Support Management is critical to any successful business, yet it’s mostly neglected or treated as an afterthought. Leveraging a toolset like Zendesk can help businesses build highly effective support teams around best practice features and tools.

Effective and Efficient Customer Support Management with Zendesk

Zendesk has invested years in focused development of deep features within best practice tools focused on providing exceptional support to your customers. Through automation, flexibility, and tools to meet your customers where and how they want, Zendesk is a solid contender for your company's Customer Support Management needs.

Supporting prospects and customers may seem like table stakes, but a surprising number of companies do not have a strategy, toolset, or official process to ensure support is accomplished successfully within their organization. Likely the reasons make sense: The topic is really broad; email and spreadsheets are sometimes "good enough" when a business is starting to scale; businesses often focus on driving new revenue, not necessarily engaging with existing customers. Whatever the reason, there comes a point in a business where effectively engaging with prospects and existing customers stops being an optional activity and becomes critical. In preparation for that inflection point, companies should be looking at Customer Support Management software to ensure they're ahead of the curve in their ability to meet their customers' needs, build and keep customer loyalty, and better understand how they can maintain and grow their revenue streams based on customer feedback. Fortunately there are many tools on the market that focus on this area, and Zendesk is one of the leaders that has done a great job of getting the tools right.

Zendesk was founded in 2007, and in the intervening years the company has made consistent progress toward developing and iterating on a set of tools that enable businesses to effectively support their customers. Grouped broadly under the category of Customer Support Management, Zendesk offers tools for support ticketing, customer self service (knowledge base), live chat for real time interaction with customers, call center functionality, and reporting & analytics. By retaining a sharp focus on the company / customer relationship, Zendesk has crafted an effective and deep set of tools that help businesses engage their customers in their moment of need. Zendesk has taken parallel paths in how their products are offered-- the all encompassing suite, or a la carte based on need. This diverges from other tools like Freshdesk that stratify their product features into tiers. Zendesk has taken a best practice approach to their support workflows and tools, making it easy to adopt into an organization, and effective in managing your support needs.

Zendesk is really well positioned in the market as an ideal option for a wide cross section of businesses, lead by a great set of features. By focusing on aspects key to a Support organization, Zendesk has been able to go deep with features, not just broad. This really comes out in components such as their core support ticketing feature. The module allows users to extend and customize with conditional and custom fields, build powerful business rules, and offer responses and solutions in the language of the recipient. Another great example is SLA visibility. These are often contractual obligations, and the Zendesk support system ensures these are easily visible so your team can consistently match their service delivery to the expectations of the customers. Zendesk is also well suited to larger enterprise needs, with scale, flexibility, and customization as core components of the application. A number of large brands already leverage Zendesk, meaning your business has a long runway to scale up and into the features and capabilities of Zendesk.

Interestingly, despite being somewhat better suited to the enterprise than other tools, Zendesk also competes really effectively at the small and mid-size business level. Pricing plans start at as little as $5/month, driven in part by the fact that Zendesk has parcelled out their offerings by module. Companies have the option to only purchase modules based on their needs, allowing them to avoid paying for features they aren't using. However, this also makes the pricing matrix more complex, as within each module there is an additional tiering of prices based on which features of that module your organization needs. This likely leads more customers to the "full suite" offering, which is heavily discounted and offers all of the features from all of the modules. It's important to note, however, that pricing at this level starts to add up, and pushes the offering more solidly into the mid market business segment. That being said, the feature set a business gets with the full suite is robust and very capable, and serves as a great platform on which a company can build a thriving and effective support organization.

The nuance of this matrix of features, packages, and pricing can be challenging to navigate, especially when comparing against other Customer Support Management software like Freshdesk or Salesforce Service. The consultants at GRAYBOX can help your team understand when it's time to make the transition into a system such as Zendesk, clearly articulate and prioritize the needs driving the decision and the success factors in the project, and wade through the vast list of options on the market that are available to potentially meet those needs. Support is a critical activity, meeting your customers where they need you in a way that works for their business. GRAYBOX takes the same approach to our consulting, ensuring we work with you to arrive at a great solution that works well for your business so you can continue to delight your customers for years to come.

Knowledge Base encourages self-support

Customer self service is key to an effective Customer Support Management solution, and the Zendesk knowledge base Guide does a great job. By providing the ability to elegantly style content, structure your data, and AI recommendations for users based on customer use, the Zendesk knowledge base is a great tool for meeting your customers when and where they want.

Efficiently support your customers

Great customer support is about more than just timely responses and helpful individuals. Zendesk offers tools for automating responses, managing status updates, and alerting users based on rules to ensure your team is effectively and efficiently supporting your customers.

Leverage Live Chat for faster service

Customers have come to expect timely resolution to their online inquiries. LiveChat allows your support organization to interface with your customers in realtime, offering the ability to resolve an issue in minutes. These conversations seamlessly flow into the support toolset, and can leverage knowledge base and other content, ensuring messaging remains consistent and your customers are satisfied. 

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