zoho_logo_2010.jpgZoho's (news, site) latest launch brings support and help desk to the masses, even if it's already a pretty competitive market.

Need Help?

Zoho is rapidly building a fully-rounded offering for enterprises. Its newest addition, Zoho Support, is sure to please Zoho's current three-million strong userbase who may be struggling with an ad hoc help system. 

Raju Vegesna, product evangelist at Zoho, took us on a tour of the new product that has been tested on Zoho's own support system for the last three months. Starting up, users can create multiple support portals for different product lines or departments -- or however their company structure is built -- and import clients from Zoho CRM.

A-Team Not Available?

Support queries can be dealt with by phone, with details manually entered on the customizable forms by email, with some automated data capture or by web form, where all the data is directly captured into the support system.

Support contracts/levels/charges can be set up to create a full accounting system for service-level agreements (available in the Enterprise version). When dealing with a customer, full records of contacts and status can be kept.

Zoho moves into the support space with a well-crafted product

Simple or common issues can be solved with reference to the solutions module that acts as a wiki for known issues. A self-service portal can also be created, allowing users to help themselves through accessing provided information on common issues.

Self Support?

Deeper into the product, workflow rules can be set up to guide queries in the right direction, so your higher-value clients get priority treatment, for example. Each agent can view their working History/Approvals/Resolution/Tasks/Attachments through tabs, so they are never more than a click away from where they need to be.

There is a lot of competition in this space, but Zoho has the advantage of lots of experience with other apps and is working hard to tie them together. Perhaps Zendesk looks sexier with its mobile apps, but Zoho knows how to get web apps working in a plain and simple fashion that speaks volumes to typical end users, of which the company already has plenty.

Zoho Support is available for enterprises or larger support organizations with paid plans starting at US$ 12 per agent, per month. Unlimited plans are available for SMBs, with up to 200 support tickets per day. In addition, Zoho Support offers a free plan for one agent handling up to 25 queries a day for smaller companies. There is also a 15-day free trial to take Zoho Support for a spin.