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Recommendations for Customer Support software?

Hi -- I was wondering if the Joel on Software crowd has much experience with tools for post-sales support. We have been running with Microsoft CRM for a couple months now, but have found its email integration to be less than stellar and the Service side of the application (the only side we're interested in) feels much more like it was an afterthought to the Sales side (which we don't need).

The types of system we want should track:
- customer status (current versions of our products they have, technical information to help us with support such as IP addresses of their servers, etc.)
- issue tracking (they call us, we open a ticket)
- feature request tracking (one feature may be requested by multiple customers, etc... feature requests are usually handled differently than tech support issues, so I'd expect a system like this to know the difference)
- E-Mail integration (incoming and outgoing... emails to customer X should show up in their file, if that email happens to be related to a specific case it should be linked into that case, etc. A filtering element for incoming mail [through Exchange] would be nice to associate incoming mails with cases if there's an appropriate tag in the subject or header... or even if there's a button in Outlook to click to stuff the message into the CRM system that'd be great)

Anyway, that's a quick overview of what we're looking for. We do large Enterprise deployments of our software, so there is a small number of customers but they each get a lot of attention.

I'd appreciate any insight into tools that have worked for everyone else here. Thanks!

Matthew Wilson
Friday, December 5, 2003

Maximizer 7 has great integration with Outlook. It can be setup to track a lot of your requested info on customers easily. I really like its ability to group documents for a specific customer. I used to track faxes, graphics (from digital cameras), and emails all in one place.

There are also several other CRM packages out there such as ACT!, GoldMine, and Contact Plus.

Saturday, December 6, 2003

We've been very pleased with Clientele, although we are not using the latest version (which perhaps may be even better.)

The #1 benefit we found was the ability to customize the package using its built in VB-like programming language.

Saturday, December 6, 2003

You might want to look into HEAT from FrontRange software (caveat: I used to work for them, but no financial interest). It's an application that's designed for customer assistance.

Brad Wilson (
Sunday, December 7, 2003

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