If your system is better and work fast , and you support it well, authors will pay resonable price for it ( monthly cost).
But free plan with limitation is aways best way to start buisness.
Zendesk is really amazing piece of software, I cannot argue with that. I switched to it and we are satisfied with it.
But the problem is that it is not what we, Envato authors, need. At least not all of it.
We would need something that works pretty much the same as Zendesk, but it is very straightforward to setup and use. Most of the features there are a huge bloat and it really takes time to setup everything. Plus there is no integration with Envato. They have the APIs, but as far as I checked it will not allow to simply implement the purchases code checking.
So based on the terrible experience with the Ticksy and not-so-terrible-but-i-can-do-it-better experience from Zendesk I am developing a realtime nodejs app that takes best from the both spheres and that I believe will be the ultimate tool (not just for support) for Envato authors, at beginning especially for the ThemeForest as I am scratching my own itch
Some features that are already implemented or in-progress:
- trully realtime experience, no more browser refreshing, something like Zendesk is – or even closer to Trello boards (which I am huge fajn of)
- editing in Markdown, both for clients and agents
- option to verify the ticket AND optionally kind of ‘punishment’ for the clients who don’t verify, like the unverified tickets will be shown with 3 days delay to answer (to softly force the verification)
- all tickets are public, with optional (limited in characters) field for sensitive data like wp of ftp access
- very very powerful search
- all categories automatically synced with your items via Envato API
- automatically created tickets from the comments on the themeforest (author will just click to create a ticket and paste back on original comment on themeforest the link to asnwer)
- profiles with signatures
- internal comments for correspondence among support agents that are visible only to agents
- knowledge base
- auto-suggested answers when wiring ticket from the knowledge base
- macros for agents
This is planned for v1.0.0. But there is more than just support system in plan. What I also have in plan to add to the system is:
- automated system for split the earnings based on % per each item when working in teams
- keyboard shortcuts
- dropbox integration (like Trello)
- inside-ticket invoices – when the client will ask for customization, the agent will be able to create the invoice on-the-fly with link sent to client to pay it (Stripe | PayPal | ...)
- voting system for the features in products – the clients can suggest the features for the items (moderated by admin) and with the voteups the other clients can vote for the next features implemented – very powerful for the authors to see what is most desired in the items
- social engagement – suggest client to tweet/like about your brand when the ticket is successfully closed
- automatic replies to email out of the predefined working hours
- optionally paid support for example after 6 months after the purchase of the item (we cannot provide forever free support for $40 a piece)
- option to import/export in standard formats the whole DB of ticket and KB articles – if you find a better solution elsewhere or something happens to me or the project, I don’t want you to lock in our software
I would love to hear your thoughts about this.
I am not sure yet if that will be opensource project or SaaS. Maybe both. At least I think that for 1 user it will be free, for more it will be paid. Or something like Ghost, free if you want to host it yourself, paid for SaaS.
I have the first VERY alpha release online already, everybody interested in for being alpha/beta testers, let me know somehow!
Alpha version works already, but very few things are implemented already, and there is no design applied to it and no UX done for better usability
But if there will be huge demand for the app and that would somehow pay for itself, I could speed up development.(As you can see from when this post is pusblished) for now I am spending some Saturdays developing this system, but if you guys are prepared to somehow ‘fund’ me or provide some kind of assurance that would be prepared to pay (and how much) for this kind of ultimate solution, I can devote more time to it.
How can I try this? I’m interested
I been searching for a support plugin for 4 months but didn’t find anything that great on codecanyon or wordpress that fitted my needs. I came across a premium wordpress plugin that is a support ticket & knowledge base system called sonicreply by Andrew Hunter which has the best functionality I’ve seen with the best metric breakdown and analytic displays. There’s a 12min video that explains the plugins features.http://jvz8.com/c/252459/114742