Help Desk Software Review

The Best Customer Service Software?

When you're starting and running an online business, there are two important areas you have to focus on:

  1. Making the sale.
  2. Keeping the sale.

Over the last 11+ years of running several six figure online businesses, I've learned that keeping the sale is 10X harder without good customer service in place.

Your customers need somewhere to send their questions, and relying on email with the ever-increasing strict spam filters nowadays isn't going to cut it. We've lost a ton of customers this way and it really sucks.

Not only that, but good customer service can help you make the sale in the first place, too. All it takes is answering a potential buyer's question and they'll often buy right away when they realize your solution is right for them.

(Yes, we've made $3,000 and even $20,000 sales this way.)

But what is the best customer service software to help you do this?

There are plenty of solutions on the market like ZenDesk, but these often come with a hefty price tag - which is less than ideal when you're just getting started.

Then there are the free options like HESK, but these look SO old and outdated they would make your grandma blush.

Thankfully I recently discovered a brand new FREE help desk support software that really impressed me, and thought it would be valuable to share it with my subscribers.

UPDATE: 4 days after publishing this review, they changed their pricing model to a free 14 day trial for a paid monthly subscription, instead of the "freemium" model. Congrats to those who got in before the pricing model change! (Psst, that's another benefit for being one of my subscribers 😉 )

Oh, and I don't earn any commissions from recommending this to you. We've just been using it for our clients' businesses lately and feel it's so good that everybody should use it.

Here's a video showing you how it works and how easy it is to set it up...

As you can see, the design is flawless. It's modern, clean, and looks super professional.

You can customize pretty much anything inside it in a way that doesn't require HTML or web design knowledge like other solutions.

Only one small quibble here... I do wish they'd include a color picker for the colors instead of having to find the hex code yourself via Google, but the software is still in its infancy and I'm sure that'll come with the next update.

In terms of the functionality, it includes four main areas:

1) Knowledge Base

This is where you can submit articles to be shown on your helpdesk's home page (to avoid getting repeat questions from customers).

In our business, we add articles about where people can get their login information for the products they've purchased, how to reset their password, info about our guarantees, persuasive articles to overcome common objections, and similar.

Tip: Notice here how we're not just helping existing customers, but also persuading prospects sitting on the fence. It's a sales machine, too!

Adding articles like this drastically cut down the amount of support queries we received, as customers could help themselves within a matter of minutes, instead of having to wait for a response from us.

2) Support Tickets

For any queries that can't be solved from reading the articles within your knowledge base, the customer/prospect will submit a support ticket to you using this feature.

Think of it like a private message to you or your company in a more professional way than Facebook or similar.

You're able to receive tickets via a contact form, a specific email address (i.e. all emails to this address will automatically be converted to a support ticket), a chat widget for your website, and via Facebook private messages and posts on your page.

They're all displayed in one dedicated area where you can respond to them in a few clicks, assign a priority and add a label to each. This makes it a lot easier to keep everything organized.

3) Call Center

This feature allows you to handle calls in a structured and organized way.

If you have customers calling you or your customer service agents directly, there is often very little record of the phone call and no follow-up process in place to ensure the problem was dealt with in a satisfactory way.

But when you add a phone line to this area, you can see the calls held in a queue and manage them more effectively.

For example, you're able to see the average waiting time, how many calls are currently in progress, and more.

If you're a beginner, you probably won't need this feature and will be happy with the knowledge base and support ticket features. However it's always there if you want it in the future.

4) Insights

This area analyzes your tickets and communication with your prospects and customers, and shows you analytics about them.

For example, there's a section called "Top Issues", which is a goldmine for improving your products, adding new knowledge base articles, and knowing your customers better to become more targeted with your marketing and advertising.

There's also an area which shows you how long it takes to respond to customer queries on average, which is great for improving your customer service in general.

On top of these above 4 features, everything is highly SEO optimized, which is a great side benefit.

There are a few completely optional features for the more advanced marketers which require a monthly payment, such as being able to have the helpdesk on your own domain, remove the (non-intrusive) "created with" type banner at the bottom of the helpdesk, and similar. But this upgrade is completely optional and are only necessary if you're hitting above $5k profit per month or so.

Now these features are great... But when a software has a lot of features, it usually means it can be fairly complicated to use.

That's where Wix Answers really saves the day.

They've used their click-to-edit technology from their website builder to make this helpdesk SUPER easy to use.

You can see in the video above that I was able to set up the helpdesk in a matter of minutes, instead of spending hours (or even days!) customizing it to how I'd like.

So if you're complete technophobe, this will be a breeze for you.

In summary, Wix Answers is the customer service solution I wish I had 11 years ago when I first got started, as I'd still be using it today.

Go ahead and grab it. It has a free trial, and will help you to close more sales, reduce refunds and increase repeat purchases.

Let me know what you think 🙂

Enjoy!
- James Francis.
Founder & CEO, Digital Prosperity.

Keep Your Customers In Mind

Are You Really Keeping Your Customers In Mind?

When most people start an online business, they have one thing in mind – to make money.

In fact, some unethical people will stop at nothing (even if it means screwing up their customer’s life) to make as much money as possible.

But this “let’s make money” mindset is the biggest mistake newbies make, and is often the reason why they fail to make any money for many years…

… Because their focus is on their desires and how they can make money, NOT on how they can help the customer solve their problem.

Or in other words, if you’re currently struggling to make any money, you may be focusing too much on yourself, and not enough on the wants of your customers.

Let me explain…

In any industry, your business exists solely to provide a solution to your customers.

If you give them that solution (for a price), you earn money.

That’s how a business works.

But many people in this industry set up their website(s) in a specific topic because they want to, and the content is all about what they want – without even thinking if it’s actually what the CUSTOMER wants.

Here’s a great example…

I was chatting to a guy a few months ago who had yet to make his first $100 online for over 2 years.

I asked him what he’d been implementing since he started, and he sent me a link to his website.

He called it an “information hub”, and it was a website containing e-books, articles, videos, and just about everything you can think of, for every niche under the sun.

… On one website.

And better still, he said it still wasn’t finished! After 2 years!

When I asked him how his customers reacted to the website, he said he hadn’t done any proper research and hadn’t started to drive traffic to it yet.

In other words, he presumed that a customer interested in Internet Marketing would also be interested in weight loss, golfing, building muscle, flower arranging, dog training, knitting, gardening, and so on.

He didn’t have a clue if this was actually what the customer wanted.

(And his lack of earnings showed it)

The moral of this example is this…

If you want to set up a website for your own interests, that’s a hobby – not a business.

You’ll struggle make any money from it.

Instead, you should do your research to find exactly what the customer wants, and give it to them.

It’s that simple.

Find out what the customer wants, and give it to them.

Just spend 60 minutes browsing a popular forum in your niche, and write down 3 things which people frequently have questions about, or have problems with.

Then dedicate your online business to solving those problems through information products (yes, even as an affiliate) or services.

And I’ve already said this once, but I’ll say it again…

The way you make money in any business is to always be focused on (and appealing to) the needs and wants of the customer.

Read it again. Understand it. Write it down. Think it over. Make a plaque of it. Burn it into your brain.

The way you make money in any business is to always be focused on (and appealing to) the needs and wants of the customer.

Because that’s exactly how a successful business is made.

So right now, think to yourself…

Are you running your business for your customer? Or yourself?

Is what you’re offering actually what the customer wants?

Or is it purely based on your OWN wants and desires?

If the answer is a negative one and you need to re-focus, do some research as outlined above, and you’ll be sure to get much better results.

I can guarantee this shift in mindset will skyrocket your income online – but only if you take action on it.

Talk soon!
- James Francis.

P.S. What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below 🙂

Good Customer Support

The Importance Of Good Customer Support

Within any business, customer support is your lifeline to not only keeping your potential and existing customers happy, but also instilling trust in you and your services so they’ll buy again in the future.

Without it, you’re practically dead in the water.

But for some reason, in the “Internet Marketing” / “Make Money Online” industries, having good customer support is actually a rare occurrence…

Many people don’t deliver what they promised, reply to your emails, or answer your questions… and if they do, it takes them forever to do so.

This not only means their refund rates are sky-high (meaning they actually keep very little of what they earn), but they gain very little repeat customers, so they’re always in the “churn and burn” cycle.

Personally, I always strive for the best customer service possible, hence why we answer all of our support queries within 3-5 working hours.

Because of this, my refunds are super low, my existing customers are happy to keep buying time and time again (because of the positive experience), and I have a good reputation in the industry.

In fact, I’d even go as far as saying that without my good customer support, I wouldn’t be as successful as I am today.

Here’s how you can do the same…

Before you do anything, you need to understand what good customer service is.

Firstly, it’s all about being professional. No matter how annoying a customer is (or how wrong they sometimes are), you are running a business, and you need to be courteous to them at all times, empathizing with them as much as possible.

In other words, see things from their perspective.

Are they emailing you five times in 10 minutes because they’ve been screwed over before, and are worried about the same thing happening again?

Are they being aggressive because they’re totally frustrated with not being successful?

As a person, it’s a natural reaction to get annoyed and want to respond with your side of the “argument”. But never give in to those temptations, as your main aim is to provide a solution to their problems – not make things worse.

If you’ve tried doing your own customer service and this is a real problem for you – or you just don’t have the time to do it yourself – hire someone else to do it.

Lastly, you need to have the necessary methods available for your customers to contact you…

1) Support Desk

As email is so unreliable these days, our replies often get lost in cyberspace somewhere (or usually go right into people’s spam folders), resulting in our audience thinking we never replied to them.

To fix this problem, you should always have a support desk installed on your website (don’t worry, there are paid and free versions).

I’d recommend registering a new domain name like www.YourNameSupport.com (e.g. JamesFrancisSupport.com), or if your budget is tight, use a forward slash on your existing domain, e.g. www.YourWebsite.com/support .

That way, your customers always know where to go if they need help, and there’s a much higher chance they’ll actually receive your replies.

The best paid softwares available to accomplish this are:

… And if you’re just starting out, I’d recommend going for a free alternative:

Either will do fine – just be sure you have one available to use.

2) Email

Although you already have a support desk, you should also have an email address dedicated to your support queries. This will also be the email address you use within your support desk.

And no, we’re not talking about using your “sexytigerchick1958@hotmail.com” email address, either! :-D

Instead, create a “support@yourwebsite.com” email address within your cPanel (instructions here).

From now on, use that email address as your “From” email when communicating to your list, and for talking to your prospects and customers (no using it to opt into other people’s lists!).

3) Phone

Although this isn’t something widely talked about in the Internet Marketing niche, we’ve recently started doing it, and it’s working amazingly.

When our customers join our programs, we collect their phone number upon member registration, and then our customer support manager, John Coates, phones them up (at a time convenient for them) for a quick chat – not to sell to them (like most other people use it for) – but to check they accessed their members area correctly, and answer any questions they may have.

Over the past 2 months when we’ve had our “introductory call” implemented, we’ve plummeted our refund rate to record lows – meaning we actually get to keep a lot more of what we earn.

All because of following up with our customers and being as helpful as possible to them.

So to recap:

  • Create a professional email address to use with your customer support
  • Install a support desk and use the URL everywhere
  • When you’re more experienced, phone your customers (or get someone else to do it) to check if everything is going well for them
  • Be professional when answering your support queries, being as empathic as possible

If you do this, your business (and your income) will grow faster than ever –
I guarantee it.

Talk soon!
- James Francis.

P.S. What do you think of this? Do you have any questions? Leave a comment below!

Do You Know Your Customers?

Do You Really Know Your Customers?

When most people are just starting out with any kind of business, they often have the “shotgun” approach to finding (and dealing with) customers.

In other words, they’ll try to communicate with everybody, in the hope that one of their messages will hit the right customer.

For example, you may have heard these phrases (or even thought them yourself)…

“If I can blast my advertisement to a million visitors, I’m going to get at least one of them to buy!”

“I need traffic, and LOTS of it!”

… But the established online marketers know this simply isn’t the case.

Instead of using the “shotgun” approach, you’ll always get a lot more results from narrowing down onto your ideal customers.

The more specifically you can target them, the better results you’ll get.

It really is that simple.

But to do this, you need to know exactly who your customers really are.

Firstly, you need to figure out “what are the needs of my customers?”. “What are their actual desires?”. “What precisely are they struggling with?”.

If you can figure out the answers to these simple questions, you’ll already be one step ahead of most people out there who are struggling online (as they often never think about it).

And if you’re wondering, you can find the true answers to these questions by:

  1. Typing in “[your niche] forum” into Google.com (obviously replacing [your niche] with whatever niche you’re currently in), then browsing the most popular section of the forum to find the most talked-about issues, problems and topics. Forums are great for this, as these communities encourage free speech.
    - Estimated time: 10-15 minutes.

  2. If you have any kind of email list containing any amount of subscribers, send them a quick survey actually ASKING them upfront, using a free service such as SurveyMonkey.com. If you’re in a “brick and mortar” business, you can even do this by asking them in person.
    - Estimated time: 15-30 minutes.

As you can see, this really doesn’t take that long – especially considering it’ll save you many years of headaches and frustration from having a “disconnect” between your marketing and your customers’ requirements.

Then once you’ve found exactly what your customers are looking for, you need to ask youself, “is what I’m currently doing right now actually satisfying my customer’s needs?”

If your answer is “no”, then change your marketing (and even your business) to a method, product or service which actually DOES satisfy these needs.

If your answer is “yes”, ask yourself (or your customers), “what more can I do to keep my customers happy?”. “What can I do to really over-deliver?”.

This is one of the important things that separates the people who struggle in business, from the people who create six and seven-figure businesses easily and routinely.

Then once you’ve matched your methods, products or services to your customers needs, you can increase your results by being even more specific.

Remember, you aren’t marketing to a crowd – you’re marketing to a collection of individuals.

Each one of these individuals has different ages, genders, affluence, ethnicity, personality traits, feelings, wants, needs, dislikes, and more.

In other words, they’re actual living, breathing people – not just numbers.

This is why it’s usually best to aim your marketing to a specific person, or an “avatar” of your average audience.

Offline, this is pretty easy, because you can actually see them on a daily basis.

But online, we often have a bigger problem with picturing our average customer and relating to them, as we only see what goes on virtually, via the Internet.

So head over to Quantcast.com, type in the web address of the most popular website in your niche, and scroll down into the “Demographics” section to find out your audience’s average age, gender, feelings and other factors – and have an image of that person in your mind.

Whenever you speak to your customers, that’s the person you’re speaking to.

This will make your audience able to trust you more easily (as they’ll feel as though you’re talking directly to them, and you actually understand them) – thus increasing the amount of positive results you’ll get.

It’s all about creating that empathy between you and your customers.

If you can do that (using the methods I’ve outlined in this blog post), you’re on the first step to the road to success.

From the on, it’s all about having regular contact with your customers (emails, blog posts, and more), and improving your business through constantly gathering feedback (both positive and negative).

Talk soon!
- James Francis.

P.S. Do you do any of these things yourself? Or have you learned something here? Leave a comment below!

Setting Up Amazing Customer Support

Setting Up Amazing Customer Support

As you may have already experienced with other marketers, customer support is one of the most neglected areas in this Internet Marketing industry.

Just because we are working for ourselves, most people think they don’t need to bother with customer support…

… But that’s completely WRONG.

You should always be looking after your customers as amazingly as possible (even if you’re “just an affiliate marketer”) – not just because it’s ethically correct, but also because a happy customer will buy time and time again.

And this video tutorial will show you exactly how to do just that.

It’s a direct “copy and paste” of a step-by-step video tutorial taken from inside my upcoming coaching program – the “Online Income Masterclass”, so you can be 100% sure it’s “no fluff” high-quality content, created just to help you out…

Watch it here…

 

 

Enjoy!
- James.

P.S. What did you think of this video? Feel free to leave a comment below…