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  Post #1 (permalink)   02-20-2006, 01:28 AM
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Which do you consider to be the best Live Support Help Center?

Is it open source or commerical?

Does it contain or module with some type of support tickets?
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  Post #2 (permalink)   02-20-2006, 01:40 AM
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We use an open source one, but I dont tend to monitor that my self as I work on other things. As far as I know it works well.

One I am interested in testing is the eSupport Suite at kayako.com. I believe thats a ticket, billing and live chat setup.
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  Post #3 (permalink)   02-20-2006, 01:44 AM
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My previous provider used eSupport Suite, it seemed to be okay. It has a knowledge base, file downloads, live chat and support tickets to name a few. I believe it also has a FAQ or something close to that.
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  Post #4 (permalink)   02-25-2006, 03:57 AM
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There is quite a variety of free and commercial live support centres. I can't remember the name of the free one, although a quick search on HotScripts should find it. In regards to commercial ones, a few decent include: Kayako and ProvideSupport.
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  Post #5 (permalink)   02-27-2006, 05:21 AM
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Do you actually need a live chat system ? We use a simple open source ticket system with a web form or email ticket generation. We've not had a single complaint about no live chat.

I see so many small hosts offering all these 24/7 support systems on $1.99/month accounts.

How many customers actually need 24/7 or livechat ? A good FAQ and ticket system should cover all your needs until you grow sufficiently to justify the staff to man a real live support system
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  Post #6 (permalink)   02-28-2006, 03:33 AM
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I agree with you monaghan, I do not use a live chat system but have support tickets available and have not had a problem with customers complaining about not being able to contact us 24/7. Sometimes we can use an IM client at the customers request to have a live chat if it is needed.
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  Post #7 (permalink)   03-02-2006, 04:04 AM
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24/7 is available for premium customers, We just don't offer it as standard on the budget packages. If someone's that concerned with having 24/7 support then why on earth do they host on a budget package
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  Post #8 (permalink)   03-02-2006, 04:43 AM
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Good points Alex, although in many cases clients come from all different time zones and 3am to me could be middle of business for a client based in Australia etc...

I think it all depends on who you have as clients. We often have clients email saying dont worry about a quick answer to this or that and some require responses pretty quick.
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  Post #9 (permalink)   03-02-2006, 04:58 AM
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Of course, it's all about knowing your customer and then setting & meeting their expectations. I have a consultancy customer in New Zealand we we "meet" late night or early morning. Others in the USA have a longer overlap. I have thought about an outsourced helpdesk in other time zones, but (fortunately) my current customers don't generate sufficient support requests to justify it.
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  Post #10 (permalink)   03-02-2006, 05:04 AM
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I havent been keen on outsourcing and between 2 of us we can manage to cover most hours of the day and clients know this also.

If the clients want 24/7 then we do offer a custom service and can hand out mobile numbers.

I think the key is exactly what you said... knowing the customer and setting and meeting their expectations.
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  Post #11 (permalink)   03-02-2006, 06:06 AM
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I provide support for many corporate helpdesk systems (software & database), I've seen so many systems simply neglect the fact that they could resolve most complaints by simply setting the customer expectation in the 1st place
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  Post #12 (permalink)   05-24-2006, 09:28 PM
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I find that the best tools are commercial in nature - for live chat, Provide Support is fabulous! http://www.providesupport.com.

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  Post #13 (permalink)   05-25-2006, 01:58 AM
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Will have to take a look at that. Havent used it before that I remember.
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  Post #14 (permalink)   12-12-2006, 08:10 AM
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For support tickets/FAQ I use Smarter Ticket. Seems to do everything I need it to. The only live chat system I've used is Crafty Syntax. Again, does everything I need it to. I also think MSN messenger is brilliant for live chat. It may look unprofessional to some, but it's there and free, so why not use it? I haven't had any complaints about it. Some customers prefer it.

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  Post #15 (permalink)   12-13-2006, 09:58 AM
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A number of our clients use MSN and like to contact us through there. The only thing I would recommend with MSN is to make sure you have someone available at the hours specified, if not then use it when the client requests it. Some support tickets are far easier with real time responses.
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