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These 9 Cloud Applications Help BetterCloud Deliver Unmatched Customer Service

David Politis

August 16, 2014

5 minute read

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Two years ago we launched FlashPanel in the Google Apps Marketplace and just eight months prior, we founded BetterCloud. Over the past two-and-a-half years, we’ve grown to a team of 75 and have built a customer base of more than 40,000 organizations spread across the globe. Throughout this rapid growth, we’ve never lost sight of our mission – always put the customer first. To thank our customers and emphasize this mission going forward, blog content over the next month will focus on our commitment to providing a world-class customer experience. To keep up to date, be sure to subscribe to the blog and follow us on Google+.

Cloud stock imageBetterCloud has prided itself on running completely in the cloud since the very beginning. We’ve also made it our mission to provide the best customer experience possible. As such, we not only run our business on Google Apps and build FlashPanel on Google App and Compute Engines, but we’ve also come to rely on 9 cloud applications that allow us to marry our passion for the cloud with our commitment to customer service. So when it comes to supporting our customers – all 40,000 of them – here’s how we do it 100% in the cloud:

1. Zendesk

Zendesk is an obvious choice when it comes to customer support and it’s absolutely instrumental to our support process. It serves as the primary hub for all customer support tickets and easily integrates with many of the other support services utilized throughout the company. The service, which runs completely in the cloud, is easily accessible from anywhere and allows our support agents to track tickets, communicate with customers and resolve issues in a timely manner.

Zendesk also gives us the ability to build a completely customizable knowledgebase, which houses hundreds of support articles. The knowledgebase has proven extremely valuable and allows customers to self-resolve issues, rather than opening a support ticket – something that keeps the support team running efficiently.

2. Olark

Olark, which is fully integrated with Zendesk, is a live chat solution we’ve implemented not only in our support site, but also inside our product and on our product website. The tool provides in depth statistics on chats per week, agent first response time, total chat time, what website or product page the chat starts from, how many chats each agent takes, time of day the chat occurs and more. The tool also gives us the ability to separate incoming chats. For instance, Olark chats coming from our product site go to the sales team and chats coming from within the product itself or our support site are sent directly to support agents. And, Olark allows the customer to share their screen with a support agent, which makes the agent even more effective at problem solving.

Olark also provides an API that can be used to pull information about the customers agents are chatting with. For example, we pull data on account size, product version and company name to provide a more personal, tailored experience. We love Olark’s customizable interface, which makes the chat widget feel more integrated with our properties. And finally, Olark’s XMPP compatibility allows agents to use their favorite third-party chat services like Adium, Trillian and Google Talk.

3. Jira

While Zendesk and Olark are primarily customer-facing applications, Jira, which also integrates with Zendesk, serves as a great way for the support and engineering teams to communicate. When a customer opens a ticket in Zendesk, a support agent can quickly create an item in Jira, which is passed along to the engineering team. Once in Jira, support agents can track issues as they’re worked on by our product developers. Jira also offers Kanban boards to help prioritize issues and ensure the most urgent matters are tended to first.

4. Snagit

Snagit is a free screen capture and annotation Chrome extension installed through the Chrome Web Store. The product is extremely easy to use and allows agents to add callouts and text annotations. It also automatically stores images in a Google Drive folder entitled “Snagit” and let’s agents share instantly by auto-copying the image URL to their clipboard.

Our team uses Snagit constantly to quickly illustrate to customers certain areas within the product. Our agents find that being able to visually represent a task or action eases the support process.

5. Google+ Communities

Since all of our customers are Google Apps users, we’ve found many are active on Google+ for both internal and external use. But, social media in general is a great way to provide real time, engaging support, so it’s just about finding the platform where your users are the most active. Through an active FlashPanel User Community on Google+, our Support and Product teams regularly engage with community members through feature sneak peaks, real-time support, office hours, when responding to feature suggestions and much more. Google+ provides a less formal means for our team to interact with customers and most importantly, it gives our customers a way to communicate with and help one another.

6. Google Apps Script

Google Apps Script allows us to automate tasks across Google products and third-party services. When it comes to supporting our customers, Apps Script serves as a bridge between Zendesk and our CRM, Salesforce.com. For instance, when a customer opens a ticket in Zendesk, the script automatically pulls information from Salesforce.com, which alerts our Customer Success Managers to let them know one of their accounts has opened a support ticket. This helps us provide 360º support and gives the customer a  more personal experience.

We’ve also leveraged Apps Script to create a custom ‘round-robin’ ticketing system within Zendesk. So, rather than having support agents pick and choose the tickets they’d like to answer, the script auto-assigns tickets based on topic tags. You can learn more about how we built this system here.

7. Hello Bar

Hello Bar is a great support and marketing tool. The product simply adds a callout to the top of a desired web page and can be used to notify customers of any product issues or to highlight new features or campaigns. Hello Bar is fully customizable and allows us to track clicks and views. We can even A/B test different messaging.

8. SurveyMonkey

While not typically considered a support tool, SurveyMonkey, the web survey development platform, has enabled us to quickly garner feedback on our product. We’re able to ask what features and enhancements customers would like to see added to the product and tailor our long term roadmap to better fit the needs of our customers.

9. GoodData

Last but not least, GoodData serves as the support team’s data warehouse. Using GoodData our support director can create graphs and custom dashboards displaying crucial statistics in one easily digestible format. The product serves as a great solution for tracking support statistics like the number of tickets opened over a period of time and how that relates to agent first-response time. We can also track relevant numbers to ensure our team is meeting key performance indicators like SLAs and an average satisfaction score of at least 96%. And best of all, GoodData integrates directly with Zendesk, so agents can not only view and resolve tickets from one platform, but also survey their progress and measure their success.

Final Thoughts

We’ve worked hard over the last two-and-a-half years to bring our customers the best experience possible and the cloud helps us deliver. Not only do all of the above mentioned products serve a specific need in our support channel, but because of the cloud’s flexibility, we’ve been able to create a highly integrated support system in which each product communicates with the others. We’ve worked to ensure data flows seamlessly between these SaaS products and we’re always striving to improve upon our existing system by deepening integrations, adding more automated workflows and opening up new channels of communication and support.

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