Online retailers have a rough time with customer service. You can easily spend hours flipping back and forth between emails and eBay messages, then totally forget to check Facebook for requests. An ecommerce help desk lightens the load by putting all your messages on one screen and automating your most mind-numbing tasks.
Last updated 4/26/2019.
The internet is full of more help desks than you can shake a stick at (at least without scratching your screen). A wide variety advertise themselves as ecommerce help desks. However, while they will work moderately well with a website you’ve built yourself, few work with any online selling platforms.
Finding an Actual Ecommerce Help Desk
There are exceptions to the rule. Some have integrated with ecommerce store builders like 3dcart, WooCommerce and Shopify to improve support specifically for ecommerce. Many can connect with other ecommerce systems like BigCommerce and support channels like social media.
However, four helpdesks stand above the others: Zendesk, Freshdesk, Help Scout and Gorgias. These four connect with more than just support channels for your store. They can also integrate seamlessly with eBay and Amazon.
Choosing an Ecommerce Help Desk
All four of the best help desks for ecommerce have their own advantages. Here are a few of the most noteworthy:
- Zendesk has hundreds of integrations and incredibly powerful tools, and its flexible pricing makes it a top choice for businesses of any size.
- Freshdesk is the most affordable, and you can even use it as free service desk software.
- Help Scout offers what may be the best mid-level plans of any ecommerce help desk, with more bang for the buck than any competitor, and their customer service team is truly world-class.
- Gorgias was built specifically for Shopify and has unbeatable support tools for Shopify sellers.
Connecting Your Customer Service
Another major consideration is which customer service channels you need to support. If a help desk can integrate with every system you use, it will maximize your ROI. Here are some of the top integrations, which of the four help desks offer them, and whether they’re included or need a free or paid app:
- Standard email: all four, included.
- eBay: all four, integrated via ChannelReply.
- Amazon: all four, integrated via ChannelReply.
- Facebook: included in Zendesk, Freshdesk and Gorgias; integrated with Help Scout via third-party apps.
- Twitter: included in Zendesk and Freshdesk; integrated with Help Scout and Gorgias via third-party apps.
- 3dcart: available for Freshdesk via native 3dcart integration or Zapier, or via premium Zapier integration for Zendesk.
- Shopify: included in Gorgias; integrated with Zendesk, Freshdesk and Help Scout via free app.
- PrestaShop: available on request in Gorgias; integrated via free app with Zendesk and paid app with Freshdesk.
- WooCommerce: integrated via paid app with Zendesk, Freshdesk and Help Scout.
- Magento: integrated via free app with Zendesk, Freshdesk and Help Scout.
- BigCommerce: integrated via free app with Zendesk, Freshdesk and Help Scout.
We’re just scratching the surface here. To learn what other integrations are available, visit Zendesk, Freshdesk, Help Scout or Gorgias and check out the details on their plans (for included integrations) and their app marketplaces (for both free and paid add-ons). Odds are, they’ll have what you need!
Getting Your Money’s Worth
Software is only worth paying for if you actually use it. Although exact features will vary depending on your help desk and your plan, you will most likely have the following at your disposal:
Macros / Canned Responses
Although they go by many names, macros are available in some form in just about every help desk. These are messages you write in advance so you can enter a response with a click.
On top of filling in answers to common questions, macros can automatically enter customer data. With ChannelReply for Amazon and eBay or similar ecommerce apps for store builders, they can even fill in details about the customer’s order. The result: totally customized emails with no typing!
They don’t stop there. Macros can also do things like assign the ticket to a specific agent, change its status and priority, and take all sorts of other actions so your agents can spend less time clicking the same things over and over and more time solving problems.
The auto-reply above was instantly personalized to the user thanks to ChannelReply custom fields for Zendesk.
Automatic replies let a customer know that their message has reached the right company and can reduce their anxiety. They can also help by answering common questions and explaining when to expect a reply.
Although most help desks have automated response systems for standard emails, only Zendesk and Freshdesk can work as autoresponders for Amazon and eBay.
- Use Zendesk as an eBay/Amazon autoresponder.
- See the Amazon/eBay autoresponder system for Freshdesk.
Many ecommerce help desks have powerful ways to isolate groups of messages. For example, you can choose to look only at messages waiting for replies, or only ones assigned to a specific agent, or just your eBay tickets.
These are incredibly customizable. With a few tweaks, you can easily create a view that only shows Amazon tickets with less than an hour to go before the 24-hour SLA deadline. Or, you could create one just for eBay returns, or only for messages about a certain item. You can create almost any organizational system you can imagine.
Help Scout does things a little differently, organizing tickets with a system of their own: mailboxes.
These features are just the tip of the iceberg. Your help desk will likely have tons of other powerful tools well worth learning and using!
Get Started Free
Whether you choose Zendesk, Freshdesk, Help Scout or Gorgias, you’ll get a free trial to see if it’s the ecommerce help desk you need. ChannelReply (eBay and Amazon integration) also offers a free trial—no payment info required. Give it a try and see how much easier and more affordable customer service becomes!