support desk software

Help Desk Software For Less Than $2

Going on from my post this morning, one of the things I’ve been pursuing to stop the problem of my replies to customer support questions not being received is to install some help desk software.

Well, I’ve gone a step further than that. I’ve actually created my own help desk software.

I know this is me that’s saying this, but it really is very good.

Tip: If you want your software to be really good, use it yourself.

So, I’ve increased my range of business tools with my new support desk software. It goes into active use today, with support questions being looked after by Donna Maher (with a little help from me).

It’s very stable, very easy to use, and has been a long time in development, but I thought I’d give it a good testing out with my own business before unleashing it on the world.

So why have I gone down the support desk route rather then continue with email?

In a post I made the other day, I said that it was becoming increasingly difficult to use email for support. I thought it would be okay for a while when I started doing it, but when I look back at 2007, I must have spent hundreds of hours doing support by email

I could have cut that down dramatically if I’d started with a support desk from the beginning.

The annoying thing is, I was told this by one of my mentors and I ignored it.

*sigh*

But the primary reason I’m moving to a support desk is that email is becoming increasingly difficult to deliver.

As I said in my post this morning, I’m getting an increasing number of “second request:” emails from people. This is nearly always because they haven’t received my reply to their first email.

So with my new support desk software, that should knock that problem on the head.

So, once a ticket is raised, all a customer has to do is go check to see if it’s been answered.

The system sends out emails, but even if the customer doesn’t receive the emails and wonders what’s going on, the answer will still be there in the support thread.

So the line of communication between me and my customer (or you and your customer) isn’t cut off.

I say you and your customer, because I’ll shortly be putting my new help desk software up for sale.

As a subscriber to my blog, I’ll offer you the best deal I can come up with other than give it away.

What I’ve decided to do is price my support desk software starting at $1.07, and raise the price by 5 cents every time there’s a sale.

Yes, it’s a nickel sale…

I’ll run this for a short time before setting the final price, probably somewhere between $67 and $97. (When I do, I’ll be looking for affiliates, and I’ll be paying 50% of the sale price. Hint hint…)

The first person there gets it for a dollar and some change, in fact the first 18 people get it for under 2 dollars, but even if you’re the 400th person to get it, it’s still only going to be around $20 for software that will be at least 3 times as much when the sale is over.

Only those people on my blog notify list will get first warning of that nickel sale.

I think that’s good enough reason to be on the list, don’t you?

And that’s my way of saying “thank you” for being there.

Watch out for another post about this in a few days time, and when I’m ready, I’ll launch this sale with little or no notice.

I’ll put up a password protected post, and inside there will be the details.

If you’re reading this and you’re not on my blog notify list, then go to the home page, and look over on the top right. There you’ll see a box for your name and email address.

Fill it in, and click the button.

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business

Support – Doing It Right

In my last post – How To Succeed – I mentioned that I’d shortly be offering support using a help desk and my own support staff.

To do that, I’ll be using my own soon to be launched support software (TicketDesk Pro).

One of my regular readers, Mike Russen, made a comment about his concern that handing problems to support staff is not the same as handling them yourself.

I agree with this if care isn’t taken to do it the right way.

The issue here is, a business reaches a point where it simply can’t be a one man band any more.  In fact I’d say that if it is a one man band, then it isn’t a business.  That one man is just kidding himself.

Here’s a case in point.

I’ve just taken the first of my holidays this year (I got back late last night), and while I was away, Paul (my developer partner), kept an eye out for show stopper support issues.  Anyone else is going to have to wait for me to answer the questions shortly.

That’s no good.  That’s totally unrealistic and unacceptable not only from my perspective, but also from my customers.

That’s why it all has to change, both for the benefit of my customers and myself.  I don’t want to be tied to this business for the rest of my life, I want my freedom!  I want to know that while I’m not around, everything continues as it should.

That’s the whole point of me doing this, and the whole point for anyone else to have a serious internet business.

You wouldn’t expect to buy from Microsoft or Apple and only deal with Bill Gates or Steve Jobs would you?

Okay, that example’s a little extreme.

Here’s a thought.  If you contacted me by email, and received a reply back from me that was typical of what I’d say, and even signed off as me, would you know the difference?

For instance, if this post were written by someone else (ghost written) who knew my writing style, would you ever know it wasn’t me?

As a reader, would that make you happy or not?  I guess it depends on your perspective, and maybe not in some cases if you thought there was a chance of that happening, but that’s exactly what I’m looking to do.  I have to do it.

I will have to test a lot of people to find someone who can do it, but I think it’s worth it.  Even so, day to day support stuff will (must) be handled by someone else so that I can concentrate on growing my business.

The fact is, I have a lot of great software either completed and awaiting release, or in the development pipeline.  I can’t possibly handle all the support issues that will arise from the many products that I’ll have out there by the end of 2008.

It took me hundreds of hours last year just to handle a couple of products.  Yeah I’m pretty certain I did it all wrong, but you live and learn.

And if I do all this right, you’ll see posts on here that will appear as if they came from me.  There will be one or two people who have the skills to pull it off who will be authorised by me to do so.

When I have a good business process for discovering the right staff to do this, I’ll let you know here on this blog.

It may take a while, as it did in finding the two great developers that I have on board now (Paul and David), but it will be worth it in the end.

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business