What would you ask before hiring a helpdesk and communications platform?

I'm deciding on a universal inbox (including whatsapp, bots and ai) and helpdesk platform. Would like to have a all in one solution, but never worked with cs before. What questions are important? What are common problems in B2C companies with customer support and omnichannel experience that I should be aware of?

- Can we have an integrated view of the lead? Easily see previous customer interactions across channels?
- Are the conversations assigned to agents automatically or manually?
- Can I organize queues?

maguay's avatar
almost 2 years ago

This is a great time to do the research as you’re starting fresh and don’t have any existing expectations from your team for what your product needs.

More than talking to the company providing the customer support tool, the big thing I’d recommend is thinking through what your team needs from a customer support app. Do you want to have a built-in documentation tool, or do you already have a tool to manage documentation? Would you want to integrate the support tool with your internal software and existing customer data? Do you want to let everyone answer any emails, or auto-assign emails based on certain criteria? Or would you rather something simple?

Our team recently wanted to have an inbox for team emails and SMS messages (via Twilio), and settled on Front for our team. It’s more like your standard individual email app, with an inbox and tags and keyboard shortcuts for replies—and fewer of the customer management tools you might find in a more detailed support app. What it does well is that it’s easy to use and didn’t require much setup, lets you add notes about conversations then assign them to others to pass things off, and let us manage SMS as easily as email. And if you take the time to add people’s emails and phone numbers, you can at least tie conversations together no matter which medium they come from.

Are there any platforms you’re considering right now?

2 points
lorena_alvarez's avatar
@lorena_alvarez (replying to @maguay )
almost 2 years ago

Thank you for your reply and questions @manguay! What I'm really trying to figure out is if they're questions I haven't asked myself, since I haven't worked with customer service before it's hard for me to predict what our team's need will be.

First, answering your questions: A built-in documentation tool is not a priority for us. We want to integrate the support tool with your internal software and existing customer data. We would like to auto-assign emails based on certain criteria.

Our requirements are:


  • Universal inbox
    • Support email, whatsapp (native integration if whatsapp, if possible), chat (web and maybe also in app), social media posts, social media direct messages, app store reviews and phone.
    • Integrated view of the lead/client: All the information we need on the same screen (customer profile, previous interactions, etc)
  • Chatbots with AI to automate (native if possible)
  • Queue management - automated ticketing
  • Canned responses
  • Knowledge base/FAQ
  • Dashboards
  • Open API
  • Access to raw data
  • Workflows: Ability to create workflows for taking actions automatically or manually, such as adding tags, assigning to the right person, or setting priorities.
  • Ability to assign conversations so that a conversation that requires a particular person’s skill can be clearly allocated to them.
  • Ability to tag/label conversations (for later handling and reporting)

Nice to haves

  • Automated ticket assignment: automatic categorization, prioritization, and routing of tickets to the correct teams, so customers can immediately be connected to the agents best able to resolve their issue
  • Custom Fields, to capture useful information in a structured way about the request or the customer.
  • Teams so that each group in our organization can see the conversations most relevant to them.
  • Feature of suggesting combining identities if you see the same name

The solutions we are considering is using @Botmaker with HubSpot 's Service Hub or Freshdesk combined with other solutions from the Freshworks suite.

1 point
NBNite's avatar
@NBNite (replying to @lorena_alvarez )
almost 2 years ago

Running through your lists above, I'm confident that Hubspot's Service Hub can accomplish the majority of what you're looking for, as well as provide your team with the ability to scale across other areas of the business if needed.

The other question in all of this is price - Hubspot isn't always the cheapest option but if you have the budget, the platform should work!

3 points
lorena_alvarez's avatar
@lorena_alvarez (replying to @NBNite )
almost 2 years ago

Thank you! We decided to go with Botmaker, I found out it addresses all our need in one platform.

1 point
navpar's avatar
almost 2 years ago

Depending on the site traffic, you might find better suited to B2C (unlimited members and visitors).

Another option is I am currently evaluating their "zapier-like" option for a client. But they have an interesting chat product as well. Not sure about the pricing though.

2 points
lorena_alvarez's avatar
@lorena_alvarez (replying to @navpar )
almost 2 years ago

Thank you! We decided to go with Botmaker, I found out it addresses all our need in one platform.

1 point
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