Knowledge Nuggets

Kayako Whackers : Who Is A Help Desk Designed To Help? You? Or Your Customers?

by Jeff Rhys-Jones on 9 June 2016 16:00pm : 891

Above: ACC Yottas New Kayako HelpDesk enabled us to launch website live chat, ticketing system, knowledge base, news and troubleshooting solution in just a few days

Supplier: Are Your **Sure** You Meant To Buy Our Software?!

We get calls from suppliers and wannabe suppliers all the time, and quite frankly, although I do my very best to be as polite as possible to them, if they repeatedly cause annoyance by insisting on ‘reaching out to me’ – they do get phone slammed (funny how you are a bit more careful with phone slamming when your phone is VOIP and you know it costs £200). But I had an amusing call from one supplier – Kayako just the last week – the call went something like this:

My direct line rings.....

Me: "ACC Yotta good morning!"

Caller: "Hi, I’m from Kayako, we are calling because we think there has been some sort of mistake"

Me: "Oh yes? What might that be?"

Caller: "Well, it seems that your company has bought a subscription of Kayako Fusion from our website today, and we think this was done in error?"

Me: "No it was not."

Caller: (Now slightly confused) "Err – you actually meant to buy the subscription?"

Me: "Yes we did."

Caller: (Now almost defiant) "How can this be!!?!? You did not register for support, we have no record of any tickets / discussions / questions about your Fusion deployment?"

Me: "I know, isn't it great? We've already rolled it out, our customers are extremely positive about it."

Caller: "Oh. Well. That’s great. So. Urm. I guess, I’ll be off then…"

Helping Them, Helping You, Helping Them

I know what you are thinking – but ACC Yotta do not sell / resell Kayako, so there is no vested interest here, but I just wanted to get the word out there that Kayako is an extremely impressive product and it seems from our point of view, after having evaluated *many other* competitive solutions from FreshDesk, FocalScope, User Response, Vision HelpDesk, Teamsupport, Net Help Desk and Samanage – the folks at Kayako have ‘got it’ in that their software is designed with the actual end user in mind, rather than simply the help desk owner. So they are thinking about the very same people we care about most, and who this help desk if ‘for’.

What do I mean by this? Well let me explain....

Here's the context. A company (let’s call them a-supplier.com) is using a Help Desk system to support their end customer (a-customer.com) Someone at a-customer.com suddenly needs to create a ticket, so he / she does that. Then someone else in the same team, working at a-customer.com raises a different ticket. The manager at a-customer.com wants to check out both of these tickets, and from other software we have tried out, doing this was a real headache. Many Helpdesk packages we tried didn't even have to concept of a customer ‘company’ – everyone that sent in a ticket was seen as an individual user so there was no way for people working in teams at customers to check on tickets as a group. If someone loses and email, or goes on holiday, basically, it’s a major struggle just to find out what on earth is going on. For every single ticket!

Enter, Kayako Whackers

When researching software, we used a number of resources, one of which was www.capterra.com who list pretty much all the main players in their ‘Help Desk’ section. In here was a rather unflattering entry for Kayako from a user comment perspective:

http://www.capterra.com/help-desk-software/spotlight/80775/Kayako/Kayako

Only two reviews, 1.5 out of 5 overall. That’s pretty – err ‘whack’. So whack that we actually overlooked Kayako on our first pass because of these. I'm glad we came back in the end, but let’s look at these two comments in more detail:

Jake Skeens at Voip Supply Co, is shown as calling the Kayako "Horrible", stating: 

We tested this system as we were referred to them from a partner of ours who apparently loves it. I still can't figure out why. It is easy for a customer to create a ticket, but as far as the backend goes, it is very outdated and to make one change, it has to be done in several locations within the system.”

What I love about Jakes comment here is that he can’t figure out why a partner really liked Kayako, but  he then immediately states why perhaps his partner liked it – no doubt answering his own question: because it’s easy for a customer to create a ticket! Now, we at ACC Yotta can admit to everyone - we tried and spectacularly failed in the past to implement a help desk system, one which almost felt like having to ‘inflict’  on our customers. In the end - it was simply too ‘difficult’ to force people to go through signup, registration and actually use the system. We learnt the painful way that anything more difficult than sending an email or making a phone call, was just not going to fly. So hence as Kayako is…. just as easy as sending an email (including registration) this is why the system actually works for our customers now. Do not underestimate this fact when evaluating help desk systems!!!! Remember if customers don’t use your help desk, and choose to phone / email you directly instead, then you don’t have a help desk. And I have no idea why Jake thinks things have to make changes in multiple places. Certainly not something we have had to do.

Tony Ortiz , Network Administrator at Golden Valley Health Centres, is shown to say that Kayako has a "Klunky, Cumbersome Interface". He went on to say: 

“Creating tickets is crude. Very difficult to follow. Although creating a ticket if you are an end-user seems simple enough, managing the details of a ticket, its status, searching for it if you don't know the ticket number, creation of custom detail screens, etc., is horrible.”

“Although creating a ticket if you are an end-user seems simple enough…“ Again here we have a comment which laments that Kayakos system is great for end users! Surely not someone to ignore when choosing a help desk Tony?  For the record we find that tickets when they come in, are really clearly laid out and easy to follow – using either the portal or email. There is a really good search bar at the top of the interface, in which you can type in anything about the tickets contents, or the users name. What more could you need here!?

Forget The End User At Your Peril - Remember They Pay The Bills!

Certainly I admit that there is no one type of help desk system that fits everyone’s needs. A big company help desk system might be focused on supporting internal staff only. Another company might need very tight integration between other systems (ERP/CRM for instance) and might be better off choosing something built on a similar platform to ease integration and make better use of internal developer skills. A large supplier of consumer goods direct to end users may not need to care about the linking of people to organisations – although I would say that the modern consumer help desk system should have a concept of households with linking of emails, social media accounts for all of those in the family. Very few, if any packages did this.

Therefore I am not saying that Kayako is the best at everything, but in our view it’s the only one we found that appeared to be designed for their customers customer. 

So if you are searching for a help desk system and have come across this blog - please don’t be so quick to give Kayako the whacko – your customers will thank you for it!


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