What is Zendesk?
customer service software that lets customers send you requests for assistance and other inquiries. It runs in the cloud so it can be easily accessed by you and your customers from any computer, tablet or smartphone that's connected to the Internet.
What does it replace?
It’s an alternative to scrappy notes on bits of paper, lost phone messages, spreadsheets and other manual systems for capturing and, most importantly, sharing information coming in from your customers.
How much does it cost?
There's a free 30 day trial. For $20 per year you get a basic three agent license. An agent is someone who can receive and answer enquiries. You still need your own people to answer customers - Zendesk gives each of them a licese to use the Zendesk product. Prices then increase to up to $49 per agent per year where you get a whole bunch of extras including a knowledge-base, multi-label branding, enhanced security and real-time customer support.
If you have regular interactions with your customers then you need a system for capturing, managing and dealing with their queries and complaints. Zendesk is low cost and easy to set up. If you're a small business with basic needs, the $29 annual fee is a cheap way to try it out.
One of the benefits of using an organised system for customer complaints is that it's easy to extract reports that let you analyse what your customers are talking to you about. As your business grows, this can be a difficult thing to keep a constant eye on.
With social media becoming an increasingly important way for customers to talk about you, Zendesk can extract complaints made via Facebook and Twitter and add them to your call queue automatically.
In short, if you need to be more systematic about dealing with your customers, you need to put good systems and processes in place. Zendesk lets you start small and grow with a minimal initial investment.