Are Google Apps (hosted gmail/groups) enough for early stage customer service?


1

We're currently building a small e-commerce product that involves recurrenct billing (think of domain registration).

As the 'tech guy' I don't want to set up a full blown ticketing system at this time before we even know the product is accepted by the market. As we consider google apps (free) for our corporate mail services we consider the commercial version to get the google groups services, too.

My plan is to handle support@domain.com requests via a group and everyone of the team is able to respond and see the responds made by other team members. Afaik this is not possible in the free version of google apps.

(If everything goes really well, we might consider zendesk or another crm/cs solution, but it's too big for the early stage)

What do you think?

Customer Support Infrastructure Email Customer Service

asked May 9 '10 at 00:37
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Roland
33 points

5 Answers


3

I am using Google Apps for email and documents and think it's excellent value for the mail alone. It's all integrated via my domain so looks very professional and works well.

I am using ZenDesk for support and ticketing. It's just $9 per month for one agent and is a really, really well implemented product and fairly lightweight.

I would give ZenDesk another look personally.

answered May 9 '10 at 02:08
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Benjamin Wootton
1,667 points

1

Another way to do tech support is have the support@ address go to a real account, then have folks log into that account to respond.

That way all the threads are visible to everyone, and you can see whether something's been answered or not. Use "archive" when you think the thread is finished.

That works with the free version.

answered May 9 '10 at 06:48
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Jason
16,231 points

1

At first you could just do it the old-fashioned way; as Jason says with a shared login for support@ , or by making support@ a distribution list and require everyone on the team to BCC support@ when they reply (this will also work with the free Google Apps edition).

If you're willing to pay money, then why not get something more long-term right away? Most hosted helpdesk solutions can interface with your email via plain old POP3. You could just set up support@ as a regular user, and have the hosted helpdesk app log in to fetch & send emails. This will take just minutes to set up. You can then add richer helpdesk functionality (hosted support pages, FAQs, symptom trees etc) as needed later on.

answered May 9 '10 at 10:00
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Jesper Mortensen
15,292 points

1

My plan is to handle support@domain.com requests via a group and everyone of the team is able to respond and see the responds made by other team members. Afaik this is not possible in the free version of google apps.

I think this can work. Make sense to me, really does. And I think it will be possible even with the standard edition (free version) of Google Apps.
answered May 10 '10 at 10:47
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Srirangan
111 points

1

Check out the marketplace, there are some great add-ons to google apps for group collaboration, email marketing, and even support!

http://www.google.com/enterprise/marketplace/

answered May 10 '10 at 13:19
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Rj Johns
11 points

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