For every company service is important. Help your customers when needed, answer questions when they arise, solve problems when they occur. Happy customers are recurring customers. Recurring customers are good for business.
But service is work. Service takes time. And time is money too. Why not use the knowledge and passion of your users or clients? They know a lot about your product or tool. And most of the time they are more than willing to share that with the world. Use your online community of users or clients for a self-service helpdesk.
We love forum software Discourse for that. Bring your community together and let them help themselves. But use it for idea generation with your users as well. Or gather feedback on new tools or updates. That sort of stuff. Discourse is great for conversations around topics, great as a community tool, but is more than that because of features as:
- Vote up your favorite ideas
- Mark solutions as the official answer
- Assign topics to yourself or others
- Incoming emails create private ticket topics
- Collaboratively edit with full revision history
Lots of companies use Discourse for this. Here are some examples:
- Bubble makes building complex websites without any code easy. And has a strong community that is active in a Discourse forum.
- Mattermost is an open source Slack. And uses Discourse as a so called 'peer 2 peer forum'.
- Triggi makes smart devices smarter by connecting them to other devices, apps and services. The Discourse forum is being used for user research, feedback and support.
- React uses Discourse to talk about building apps using React, best practices, and ideas for development
- Car Talk is a radio program with a really loyal audience. In a lively Discourse forum the listeners don't leave a question unanswered.
- Codeschool brings its pupils together to discuss lessons and courses.
We love open source tools. Discourse is open source software so you can install it yourself if you like. But if you want us to do the hard work of installing, hosting and updating, get Discourse running on Stek.io. Try a month for free and after that 70 euro per month.