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Customer Service, Holistically

Two online platforms that help small businesses respond to customer commentary.

These days, customer communication comes in many forms, including phone calls, emails, and tweets. Whatever the medium, online customer service platforms make it easier to field and respond to questions and complaints. Here are two to consider.

When a customer makes contact via phone, email, chat, discussion board, Twitter, or Facebook, Zendesk automatically creates a ticket and places it in one central inbox. Multiple employees can access the inbox and respond directly to customers on various platforms. A dashboard features charts and graphs illustrating customer satisfaction ratings and other metrics. Zendesk, which has apps for a variety of mobile devices, supports 11 languages. Cost: Starting at $20 a year for three users, then $29 a month per user

Much like Zendesk, this service creates a universal inbox for comments from a variety of platforms. It also routes tickets to specific employees according to expertise and availability. On the platform, you can create a database of common responses and include photos and videos., which supports 35 languages, has an iPhone app and works in most mobile browsers. Cost: Free for one user, then $49 a month for each additional user or $1 an hour per user


IMAGE: chrispecoraro/iStock
Last updated: Feb 16, 2013

JOHN BRANDON | Columnist

John Brandon is a contributing editor at Inc. magazine covering technology. He writes the Tech Report column for

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of

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