Not a lot has changed since we last reviewed Cayzu (whose Basic plan begins at $4 per user per month). Small companies looking to strengthen their customer service presence will find it a worthy choice in the cloud-based help desk arena, not only because of its low price but because of its ample third-party integration options. On the minus side, its lack of big-business capabilities such as change management, workflow automation, and advanced reporting keep it behind the competition, especially our four Editors’ Choice winners—HappyFox, Freshdesk, and Zoho Desk and the more enterprise oriented Vivantio Pro.
Setup and Getting Started
As with most other products, signing up for a Cayzu trial is as simple as providing a primary name, email address, and phone number and a name for the helpdesk. A system-generated email lets you get the administrator account configured, after which you’re presented with a dashboard and a to-do list to continue setup. The additional configuration steps are optional, but they include important items such as adding agents, configuring branding, and adding topics to the self-service portal.
Cayzu handles branding in a slightly different way than other helpdesk tools. Each additional brand or product you configure is treated as a separate instance of the app, with separate URLs, email addresses, and design elements. Each brand instance is still fully manageable from a single helpdesk view, however. This is an easy way to segregate your agents to handle tickets only for specific brands. You can also emphasize this separation further by using IP whitelisting.
Cayzu offers several tools for efficiently handling common tasks, which can save customer service agents time and your business money. Tickets can be initiated through a web form, customer email, or even through social media such as direct messages (DMs) to your corporate Twitter account. The system will help you configure these social channels to properly route such requests so they don’t overtake any social media marketing you might be doing. Once a ticket has been generated, Cayzu can automatically route it to the proper group or individual by using assignment rules created by using a single-page form. These can perform specific actions (e.g., assign to agent or set group, status, or priority) based on a set of conditions (such as brand, product, or source).
Cayzu lets you build and manage multiple custom forms for helpdesks that deal with numerous request types such as technical support, billing, or sales questions. One-click tools allow admins to add custom text fields, drop-down lists, checkboxes, and more, quickly and easily creating forms that match the specific needs of a particular product or service. These forms help ensure that support staff gets the appropriate information to assist the customer.
You can also define quick responses which let agents provide standard answers to common questions. The company also recently integrated the agent portal with the knowledge base so agents can more quickly find useful resolution information.
Cayzu offers a lot of features for managing difficult tickets on the fly. Customizable ticket fields aren’t an ad hoc feature, but they can help with handling difficult products or situations. The ability to split cases or merge conversations can make handling unusual cases easier. Like Freshdesk and Freshservice, Cayzu offers agent collision, which lets you see when someone else is looking at the same ticket as you.
Standard automations, such as closing tickets when they’re resolved or when they’ve gone without a response from a customer for a specified period of time, can be enabled or disabled with a click. More complex automation actions are somewhat limited. The company has recently let clients use assignment rules in conjunction with custom fields to enhance automations, but you’re still not getting the level of automation you’ll find in tools such as Freshservice and HappyFox. For companies content with basic automations, Cayzu will work well, but it’s something to investigate via the free trial before purchasing.
A Plethora of Portals
Customer self-service is a key strength for Cayzu. The company offers support for multiple user portals, each of which can be configured for a different brand or product. User portals support ticket creation, FAQs, news, and knowledge base articles. Any of these options or categories can be disabled or hidden from the user portal. You can even configure who can submit tickets through the user portal, meaning whether users must be logged in, if users or their companies must already be defined within the system, or even whether users can log in using their Google, Facebook, or LinkedIn accounts.
One additional feature that makes Cayzu’s user portal a killer feature is its integration with Google Analytics (GA). The de facto standard for web analytics, GA can help you track which knowledge base articles are providing value to your customers and which areas need additional attention. And if you’ve got code-capable IT staffers on hand, Cayzu offers a Representational State Transfer (REST)-based application programming interface (API) that lets you build data exchanges with other business analytics tools as well. The latest release has greatly expanded the API to add more functionality.
Reporting and Analytics
Cayzu offers 14 canned reports, spanning everything from tracking your helpdesk workload to getting statistics about your FAQ utilization or viewing ticket submissions by contact or company. While each of these reports provides insights into key areas of your customer service business, Cayzu’s reporting functionality does suffer from some limitations, although the company has addressed some of our previous complaints.
The latest updates make it possible to schedule a report to run automatically and export reports to Microsoft Excel. Report customization is still a minus unless you count the ability to add custom fields. For large organizations with advanced customer service and helpdesk needs, the lack of customizable reporting could be crucial. But for smaller operations, Cayzu’s reporting library probably has you covered. Many helpdesk services, including HappyFox, lack custom reporting for just this reason, so again, Cayzu isn’t alone in this regard.
Another area in which the product’s not alone (witness Atlassian’s Jira Service Desk) is its touting the ability to serve as an asset management platform in addition to its primary helpdesk mission. While Cayzu has an asset manager, it’s still a tracking solution bolted onto a ticketing system. That may be fine for some, but if asset management is critical to your operation, it’s another thing to check during the free evaluation period.
Integrations and Extensions
In addition to its close ties to Google Analytics, Cayzu supports a large selection of out-of-the-box integrations with popular business web apps such as FreshBooks, Microsoft Skype, Salesforce, and just recently Microsoft Teams. These are all available for easy implementation right off the Cayzu website once you’ve configured your primary instance of the product (no coding required).
Cayzu also easily integrates with social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Integration with customer relationship management (CRM) solutions including SugarCRM and Zoho CRM is also available, as are several chat options. Cayzu can even leverage LogMeIn Rescue to remotely view your customer’s desktop for improved troubleshooting.
For more advanced users, as mentioned, Cayzu offers a REST API, as do numerous other helpdesk contenders. Whether that adds any value to your business depends on how much customization your process requires and if you have the in-house coders to make use of it.
Pricing and Plans
Cayzu pricing has not changed since our previous review. The Basic plan costs $4 per user per month (paid annually) and offers email and social ticket management, a basic knowledge base, and a web widget. The Team plan costs $9 per user per month and adds assignment rules, app integrations, time tracking, and custom branding.
The Pro plan costs $19 per user per month and adds reporting, asset management, custom fields, Single Sign-On (SSO), and more. The Enterprise plan costs $29 per agent per month and adds the REST API, portal customization, and custom agent roles. The Enterprise Plus plan costs $39 per agent per month and includes IP whitelisting and a 99 percent uptime service level agreement (SLA).
Cayzu offers some key functionality over and above competing helpdesk platforms, notably around branding and customer self-service. But it also has some shortcomings, especially when it comes to automation and custom reporting. As always, the key to deciding whether it’s the right tool for your business is determining which features are most critical for you; if providing self-service tools for multiple brands is essential, Cayzu could be right up your alley.