a favorable review. In 2009, Zendesk continues to establish itself as a great alternative to the traditional call center experience. Svane offers some helpful tips for our ReadWriteStart readers.Few companies put as much effort into customer service as they do into member acquisition. However, in order to retain members, community-driven startups need to be conscious of the entire customer experience. No stranger to support techniques, Zendesk CEO Mikkel Svane spends most of his time perfecting the end-user experience for his clients. Best known for its web-based help desk services, Zendesk launched in 2008 and even then ReadWriteWeb gave the company
Says Svane, "The good news for businesses starting out today is that the web offers a whole host of easy, affordable tools that can help to ensure businesses have a meaningful dialogue [with their customers]." Some of those tools include:
1. Web-hosted Solutions: Rather than investing in an in-house legacy customer support service, Svane advises startups to consider a web-based help desk product to eliminate any headaches associated with security, scalability, and ongoing maintenance. Says Svane, "Keep the human touch in-house but outsource the infrastructure." In addition to Zendesk, companies can look at services like Openbravo for web-based support.
2. Crowdsource Solutions: In addition to a Frequently Asked Questions page, consider incorporating a discussion forum or dialogue tool into your website. These tools allow customers with questions to interact with your best advocates. In addition to Zendesk's forum tool, companies can also look to Get Satisfaction, FixYa or Lefora for help.
3. Social Media: When your customers or ex-customers are going to complain about your company, they'll often do it via Twitter or Facebook. Take advantage of these tools and use them to keep a positive conversation going. Having a dedicated staff person that interacts with customers to answer their urgent questions on Twitter shows how responsive and committed a company is to its customers.