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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Opportunity: Help desk, customer support, support ticket system

If the idea is to support and engage on line customers, and you run an e-commerce (B2C) business, are there any good open source software to help you out?

A good solution will have these characteristics/features:
  • Customers can ask questions and the site owner can respond. 
  • A FAQ, report bug and "Thank you" section.
  • Business owner can make announcements. 
  • A Web 2.0 admin panel where business owner can administer the sections mentioned above.
  • Easily integrated with the main B2C website. 
  • Implementation/Integration with a ticketing system.
  • A dashboard
  • Hosted or downloaded software 
There are a few hosted (SaaS) solutions available like Zendesk, but there are some problems with such a solution like:
  • Vendor lock in. 
  • Vendor can increase the pricing; the good old ‘bait and switch’. Zendesk did it recently.
  • What happens to your data if the provider decides to shut down? 
There is an opportunity here to create a product that can fulfill these requirements and yet be reasonably priced.

Such a software would be an alternative to Zendesk/GetSatisfation/Uservoice. And if it is available under open source, that would be simply great. I will surely dedicate a blog for it!

Tags:  Open source, help desk, customer support, support ticket system

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