2 Online Tools That Protect and Serve Small Business

By Andrew Lock | Posted August 15, 2011

Andrew Lock

We've got two handy online tools to help small business owners get the job done. The first is TinEye, a site to help prevent people from using your digital images without your permission. The other is called Kayako, which can help you offer tech support to your customers.

Take a look and see if these Web tools can make a difference in your day-to-day business.

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TinEye

If you’re familiar with CopyScape.com, you’ll know that it’s a useful website to check whether someone else has stolen your written word. It checks for duplicate content on the Web based on whatever you input.

TinEye.com; Web tools, online tools
TinEye.com helps you protect digital images from unauthorized use.
(Click for larger image)
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Now there’s a similar service for images. It’s called TinEye.com. It’s free and it works like this: either upload an image or paste a URL where the image can be found.

If you use the latter method, TinEye will detect all the images from that website that you’ve selected, and then it’ll ask you to select the specific image that you’d like it to search for. If it finds a duplicate, it’ll tell you the website where it found it.

Now, the service isn’t 100 percent accurate yet because the database is still relatively small. But if you’re concerned about image theft, it’s certainly a good place to start -- especially as it’s completely free.

Kayako

If your company markets a product that requires technical support -- and what product doesn’t these days -- you probably have a technical support staff that needs help, particularly if they’re tracking technical issues on sticky notes and spending hours on the phone with a customer trying to solve a problem.

Kayako, a resource that might improve your technical support, provides a suite of reasonably priced helpdesk software solutions. The company claims that you can cut your costs, streamline your support, consolidate your e-mail and offer your clients a better service.

Kayako has been around for about eight years or so, and it says that the software is used by more than 30,000 organizations. You can license the software and install it on your servers, or Kayako can provide helpdesk hosting services.

Kayako offers three turnkey solutions: eSupport, which is a helpdesk support package; LiveResponse, which adds live chat capability; and the Support Suite, which combines the two products into one multi–stream support solution.

Features include a ticket support system that keeps track of technical issues or incoming e-mails, and an e-mail management program that extracts customer e-mails and integrates them into your trouble tickets. InstaAlert provides new ticket alerts directly to your staff’s desktops, while the Live Chat system engages your Web visitors with one-on-one or multi-user chats.

Here are a few of the things you can do with Kayako. • Create a knowledge base so that your customers can help themselves by drilling down to the solutions for their problems • Develop guided troubleshooters so your clients can answer questions that lead them to the solution • Manage downloadable software updates including pushing them out to clients with an RSS feed • Allow your customers to submit tickets, access the knowledge base and complete a guided troubleshooter all without tying up your staff

I know I’ve used this support suite as an end user for some product or another, and as I remember it worked fairly well. The pricing for Kayako software seems reasonable, and you can license it on a monthly or a year-by-year basis. Prices range from $30 or $50 a month to a few hundred dollars per year.

You can download free 30-day trial of Support Suite software so you can see if it meets your needs. Of course like all knowledge-based products it’s only as useful as the content you load into it, but it does seem like a reasonable solution and may be an alternative to outsourcing your tech support staff.


You'll find lots more small business marketing tips and resources from Andrew Lock in our Small Business In-Depth series, Lock in Your Marketing Resources.

Andrew Lock is a self-described maverick marketer and the creator and host of Help! My Business Sucks, a free, weekly Web TV show full of practical small business marketing tips, advice and resources to help small businesses "get more done and have more fun."

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