If you are an instructional designer then you may have a variety of clients or customers.
If you are selling courses, then the support you provide for your customers is perhaps different than the support you would provide if you are designing custom elearning solutions.
In either situation most people start by simply using email, but this solution isn’t really scaleable. You may be able to get away with adding certain labels to incoming messages and filing them accordingly. However, as time goes on this becomes quite inefficient.
Depending on the type of elearning work you are doing, here are some tools you can use to make your job easier when it comes to client and customer support. You may even use a combination of all three!
Option #1: HelpScout
Consider HelpScout “email on steroids”.
We use it ourselves and find that it provides enough extras but without going over the top. Other popular solutions include full-blown help desk software like Zendesk. This might be another viable option, although the learning curve is slightly larger.
HelpScout has a basic free plan for up to three users. Their premium plan comes with more reporting and additional bells & whistles worth checking out.
If HelpScout isn’t for you, then another similar (and well reputed) solution includes Groove.
Option #2: Project Panorama
If you’re doing custom development work for clients, then Project Panorama is a nifty solution is budget friendly and does a great job at communicating status for you (so that you can focus on other tasks).
It’s not complicated like Basecamp and it’s easy for both you and your clients to understand. You can create an unlimited number of projects, make status updates, and your elearning clients immediately are in the know.
This WordPress plugin comes in both a free version and a premium option.
Option #3: Community Forums
Community forums are also a nice option for providing support. You will be surprised that people will use them not only to ask questions but also to help others.
What’s more, the forum threads can be searched and act as a great source of information documentation. You essentially are building an asset without even trying!
bbPress is a free plugin for WordPress that makes it easy to create community forums.