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Awesome Tools for Small Business: Customers First with FreshDesk

Small businesses often suffer with customer service, whether they realize it or not. Clients quickly learn that the best way to get a response is by identifying one person who always help them individually or, worse for everyone else, having the president's direct number on speed dial.

There are lots of tools out there that help resolve this. They handle customers in a variety of ways - it might be a CRM app or explicit help desk software. I remember fifteen years ago, a lot of companies had sprung up offering these services but they all cost money and when you're a small shop, it was often better to build it yourself.

I switched recently to FreshDesk. 10 Reasons why:

1. Growth path - their pricing models allows unlimited agents in their "sprout" plan. Many systems offer trial periods or limited number of users. Freshdesk offers strong functionality and then added features as you pay. In short, their cheapest plan is "free" with GREAT functionality.

2. Knowledge Base Portal. While you can put a lot of content on a web site via blogs and documentation searches (thanks Rick and West-Wind for that), the knowledge base portal is a critical part for customer self-service. While it's not completely configurable in the free edition, it's a great start.

3. Grouping. It's super easy to get support groups, even for sales purposes and then route tickets to

4. Basic Ticket escalation. Even in the sprout plan, you can easily identify tickets where problems may be starting and escalate those tickets.

5. Personalized URL. Your URL is your company.freskdesk.com. Your support email now becomes support@company.freskdesk.com.

6. Email handling. Forward an email to your Freshdesk support email and Bang! Ticket is created. When clients reply to that email, it is automatically added to the ticket.  If clients create multiple tickets because of the way they reply, you can easily merge tickets.

7. Customer / Contact handling. Freshdesk offers both Contact and Company grouping for clients.

8. Mobile app. The mobile app offers notifications when you're on the go. You're always in the loop.

9. Status handling. You can mark a ticket as Resolved which lets the customer know you plan on closing it soon. They can then choose if they want to re-open it.

10. Awesome premium features: satisfaction surveys, live chat and more.

Some of my small clients used to be spending $80 a month per user for just a portion of these features. While customers love the feature, it became very expensive to continue offering it. FreshDesk offers a great way for smaller companies and start-ups to be AWESOME.

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