AskPat 346 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 346 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week. We have another question today from Butch, but before we get to Butch's question, I do want to thank today's sponsor which is FreshBooks.com.
If you go to GetFreshBooks.com, you can try it out for 30 days for free and join over three million other small businesses that are using it to help manage their finances, their income, their expenses and also their invoicing. So go ahead and check it out. Go to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us” section.
Alright, let's get to today's question from Butch.
Butch: Hello, my name is Butch Gibson from Cincinnati, Ohio. I had a question for Pat. It has to do with WordPress logins, and without getting too specific or deep, maybe I should though, I'm looking for a plugin that would allow me to, from my website which runs WordPress, is to be able to take or accept like a Help Desk software, something that would allow visitors to come to my website and fill out some forms, some information that would provide me with their information, all their contact information . . . which I guess that would be a custom form and be customized inside the plugin itself, but basically looking for some sort of Help Desk type of plugin or some sort of ticketing system. I don't know if you've dealt with that kind of thing before. And I get how Speakpipe can record a message and it sends an email or whatever, but I was looking for something that would offer some additional fill-ins to allow me to obtain some information from some folks and to be able to either, at that point, provide a quote, or really to be able to create tickets, trouble tickets. Like if you're having a computer problem or something like that, that you could come to my website, fill out a form, and it would in turn send me an email and let me know that someone has been there, with all their contact information, and then I could log in and visitors could also log in and track the progress. Anyway, just a thought. Don't know if you have any experience in that area, but if you would, if you could, let me know. Thanks.
Pat Flynn: Hey Butch, what's up? Thank you so much for the question, and you know, it's pretty cool that you're asking about ticket supporting software because you know it can be difficult sometimes to get back to people who really need the help. Getting questions on social media, getting questions on the commenting systems on your blog, and even via email, it's really easy to miss the ones that come in, and so having a little bit of a more robust system that people can use to send in their inquiry and also have you make sure that you answer people before those kind of tickets disappear is a great way to manage it.
Now there's a lot of different kinds of software out there that can help you do this and they all have different price points. Some are free, some are paid, some have you know all different there's all different kinds of features. But for the basic features that you're looking for, there's a few I'll recommend. But I'll share with you we're actually using one right now called Help Scout at helpscout.net, and you can go to helpscout.net/features to check out kind of what's involved with that, but we love Help Scout because there's a lot of different features that we enjoy, such as just the interactions between having multiple people, with being able to have multiple people on our team answer and filter out those questions and answer them on the go. You can even mass answer questions if people have asked the same question which is kind of a cool feature if you get a lot of questions coming in. And we also have a page on Smart Podcast Player.com which is where we're using this. Again, this is HelpScout.net and our software at SmartPodcastPlayer.com, we're using this as our ticketing engine. And it's really cool because you can also set up a page that allows you to have a lot of frequently asked questions and answers to those frequently asked questions, so that people can see their answers for questions that are most common before having to send in the ticket and having you take away your time to share something that has potentially already been answered there on that page, which is really cool. So, HelpScout.net is one, and these are the paid ones as well, although Help Scout has a 15-day free trial that you can get set up in just minutes if you wanted to try it out.
I've also had experience with RhinoSupport.com. That is one that was recommended to me by Stu McLaren, the former owner of WP WishList which is a really great membership WordPress plugin, and Stu recommended this to me because it was one of his own companies as well and it was great. We still use it actually over at CreateaClickableMap.com, and it does a lot of the things that HelpScout.net does as well, and again, you just might want to check out and compare the different features. This one also has the ability to have instant live chat and those kinds of things if you wanted that, although we don't use that at Create a Clickable Map. That was actually a feature that was added on afterwards but we never really needed it. So you could check that out, again, RhinoSupport.com.
There's also a popular one called Zendesk. What's really cool about Zendesk is it integrates nicely for WordPress. There's a WordPress plugin called Zendesk for WordPress, and it seems to be pretty reliable of having you be able to go into your WordPress account and your dashboard and answer from there. Now there's also this one that I found that I haven't used, I don't have experience with, but there's over 2000 plus active installs, it seems to be completely up to date and it's got 58 five star reviews out of 62. So there's quite a bit of good things to say about this one, and this is a WordPress plugin specifically it's free, it's called WP Support Plus Responsive Ticket System. So WP Support Plus Responsive Ticket System. And again, for everybody out there listening, if you aren't sure exactly what the ticket system is, a ticket system is a way for people to send in a question and make sure that they are really gonna have a better chance of getting it answered because it creates a ticket and is assigned to somebody, the person who owns the site, or whoever gets that message based on the type of question that's asked. And it also allows users who ask the question to see the status of those particular questions to make sure that it maybe hasn't been read yet, or it's pending, or maybe that it's closed or it's open, or if it's a high priority or a low priority or a medium priority, and those sorts of things. You can create different kinds of priorities for these tickets as well and have people fill that out, and then you can answer the high priority ones much quicker and faster because they are high priority. And so you can read all about this in the WordPress Plugin Repository. It's again called WP Support Plus Responsive Ticket System.
But there's a lot of great features here. You can also do the live chat things as well, and there's translations and all sorts of great things that you can do to customize it for your own WordPress site as well. So, those are the ones that I would recommend, and if anybody else out there has any helpful suggestions for Butch as far as customer support ticket systems, especially for WordPress, head on over to Twitter and use the #AskPat346, for episode 346, and we can kinda see if anybody else has any suggestions from their . . . perhaps you're using one or you have been a user on the other end of one, and you had a good experience with it, share that cause there's a lot of options out there. And, you know, sharing as many as we can so we can find the one that works best. And what works best for one person might be different for another, so the more out there, the better that we can check out, and again I'd love to see your recommendations. #AskPat346.
Butch, I hope this was very helpful, and I wish you all the best of luck. Thank you so much for the question. We're gonna send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. And for those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, head on over to AskPat.com and you can ask it right there on that page thanks to the widget from Speakpipe.com, which like you said in your question, is another great way to take questions, although it doesn't have a ticketing system, it doesn't allow people who call in to see whether or not I listened to it or not, although that could be a pretty cool feature. Actually, I'll message that to them later. But Speakpipe's great, and that's what allows me to capture these voice mails, put them as MP3s into the audio file so that we can play them here for you and again, thank you all so much for the questions. AskPat.com, that's where you need to go.
Also, you need to go to GetFreshBooks.com and you can get FreshBooks for 30 days for free if you go to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us” section. You can check it out and join over three million other small businesses that are helping themselves by using the easiest to use cloud accounting solution. They also have an award-winning mobile app so you can check the life of your business on the go, and they also make invoicing super professional and easy so that you can get paid faster and then spend more time worrying about what you need to worry about in your business instead of ripping your hair out because you are trying to manage your finances in Excel like I used to, so don't do that. Go to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us” section.
Alright, thank you so much for your time and attention today. I really appreciate it, and I look forward to serving you in tomorrow's episode or whatever episode you listen to next. In the meantime, I love to end with a quote, and this one is from Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, I think I pronounced that right, probably not, but his quote is, “No plan survives first contact with the enemy.”
Cheers. Take care, and I'll see you at the next episode of AskPat.
AskPat listeners get a 30-day free trial to their software when you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.