It is a very easy way to understand what issues a customer has, what the status of that issue is, who had it, what is the history of the effort on the customer's behalf and who has done what so far.
- Gives a very good report on an individual level of what is being done for a customer or corporate issue.
- Easy to understand who has what, what the tickets are about, how long they have been opened and how many times the customer/employee have gone back and forth with each other.
- Nice dashboard view.
- I personally find the reporting a bit difficult. We are on an older version of Kayako and I am told that reporting on the new version is much improved.
- There are some things missing in the new version that we were used to in the older version. Not sure how they came about what to keep or get rid of. Some of them are quite missed.
- Would like to see reporting done in a way that you pick what you want to report on and hit generate. No special "Language" skills needed.
- Kayako's chat system is very easy to use and set up. It integrates well with their control panel and organizes customer data.
- Kayako makes it easy to communicate with your customers.
- The built-in reports that Kayako provides are a good start to being able to monitor the work performed by staff.
- Departments need a bit of work. Even though you can have multiple departments, the only changes that can be made are globally. If you want independent queues within the departments, you have to do a lot of work that can be very confusing.
- Survey system is not up to speed. Kayako really needs to add Net Promoter Score into their system. Also, if a staff user removes their name from an incident ticket, it removes them from the survey so you really can't even get a good estimate of how well your staff is in the eyes of the customer.
- Very difficult to implement when you already have a customer base. Setting them up in organizations is difficult. Also, the sign-up for new customers is quirky. If you send an email to Kayako, it will say you are not an authorized user, however, it will store your email address. If you try to send an email a second time, it will go through. This is one of many reasons why we decided to move from Kayako to Oracle Service Cloud.
- Automated workflows. The workflows and email parser rules in Kayako are versatile and easy to set up, and saves you the trouble of having to create reoccurring tickets and manually assigning technicians for each ticket.
- Custom fields. Without custom fields there would be no way for us to effectively keep track of our 30+ different client companies. They can be added on the fly as well so you'll never feel 'trapped' within the set fields that come with the program.
- Reporting. The report builder that uses 'KQL as a query language (based on SQL) is easy to learn and allows you to pull relevant information/statistics from your help desk using specifications that you set yourself -- and ties back into automation via scheduled generated email reports.
- Custom fields. Although we love the custom fields in Kayako there is still some room for improvement regarding them. For instance, while browsing tickets, you cannot sort/search display columns via custom fields you have created. You can only sort/search by pre-programmed fields in Kayako.
- Email parser rules. This ties back to some of the limitations with custom fields. At the time of this writing we cannot create email parser rules using custom fields we have created as a criteria.
- The built-in chat feature. While the chat feature is great for interfacing with outside customers, it could do better in terms of being more convenient for internal staff. We wish we could have a 'technician group chat' that stays open on a continuous basis so that our technicians can communicate via Kayako more effectively. But at the moment, when you close a chat, it stays closed and you cannot 'reopen' it.
Kayako has an API that allowed us to build tools to interface and expand Kayako's functionality. We used the API to build a website that would show how many tickets were in queue and would alert the help desk to new tickets from a large display with an audible noise that had the website up 24x7. This allowed for us to have very quick response times to new tickets that came in as they had to be acknowledged to make the loud beeping alert stop.
Since Kayako runs on an open source database (mysql) and we had control of the infrastructure that it was hosted on, it allowed us to directly interface the database to further expand functionality. We built a billing module outside of what Kayako offers for billing that allowed us to pull the specific data we needed to bill our customers. This gave us the capability to apply different rules to customers and how they were billed based on defined rules we setup. The custom interface also put data in a format that was easier to work with for our billing department.
From a technical standpoint Kayako is versatile, but there are some oddities to the way they track certain things that may require internal business rules. For instance, they have the time worked and time billed as separate fields on a ticket. This can be very nice if used correctly, but seemed redundant to employees and sometimes they would not input data correctly. This was another reason we elected to write our own billing module so that we could have more insight into what data was pulled and highlight areas that may have been worked but not billed so that the differences could be investigated.
Kayako stores almost everything in the database. This is very nice for modifying things and not needing permissions on a bunch of directories for configurations and file uploads. For our organization (less than 10 users) this worked great and we never had any problems. I did worry about what response times would be from the database and if it would slow down in the event we were to have a large number of concurrent users. Every page load had numerous queries to the database. I would think it could benefit from memcached to assist in scaling to larger environments.
File attachment storage location was a configurable option as to whether they were stored in the database or on the file system, so that gave the option of keeping the database footprint much smaller.
Backups of Kayako were very straight forward. We backed up the directory for the webserver with rsync every hour, and the database was backed up daily with mysqldump and we also stored incremental backups every 15 minutes from mysql's binary logs.
Overall we were happy with how Kayako performed. It is not the cheapest system we evaluated, but it did work better than many of the open source solutions we evaluated.
- Kayako handles email integration through pop very well
- Kayako is very configurable
- Kayako's API was well documented and easy to implement custom scripts against.
- Kayako has a large number of queries to the database for each page load. This is fine for small installations, but I would think it could become a burden in large instances (this is for self hosted version only)
- Kayako allows for so much information that it can take awhile to get it configured to just ask for what you need and not overwhelm you with options
- Not necessarily a Kayako issue, but we ran into a problem where a ticket was "stuck in the queue" It turned out that there was an attachment larger than what the php was configured to support, so the ticket would be created, but because the attachment would fail to upload correctly, it would not remove the item from the pop mailbox and it would download it again and again and again until we figured out the issue. If they were to wrap the ticket creation into a transaction and not create the ticket prior to fully processing the message they could then check the error response code on file upload and maybe create a single message that indicated the real problem.
- It creates an easy interface for answering tickets from a regular computer screen.
- It allows you to categorize well, so that you can create reports of common problems.
- You can customize support ticket issues to get more detailed information.
- Kayako needs to make it easier to use our ticketing system on the go. It is very difficult to use on an iPad or iPhone, for example.
- They could make the system a little less clunky, and easier to manage from the Admin side.
- I'd like to feel like the system is more up to date with other software out there.
- It is flexible to allow multiple departments to use Kayako for their own needs such as a Help Desk for our IT department and Workflow/Case Management for our Admin and Calculations Departments. It also allows permissions to be set to allow employees access to only their departments information or it can allow an employee access to multiple departments.
- Kayako will allow our SQL program access to develop reports that KQL is unable to do.
- Kayako is cost effective for our needs at this point and appears to be able to accommodate our future needs.
- I have not tried to use the actual Workflow function for awhile so this issue may have been resolved. When we tried to use it, it was cumbersome and did not offer much flexibility as to meeting the needs of different departments.
- This may no longer be an issue but if someone was knowledgeable about KQL and knew how another department was set up, they could write a report accessing their data even though they do not have permission to view/edit that departments data.
- Perhaps adding the function of "Read Receipts" to end-users when opening a ticket.
- When a ticket is closed, automatically include information from the initial creation of the ticket so the end user knows at a glance what issue has been resolved without looking up the Ticket ID.
- Over the years they've continued to enhance the product and user experience on all fronts. Changes have always felt well thought out and purposeful and the UI has only gotten easier to use over time.
- Kayako's mail parser allows you to easily sort, prioritize, and present the information needed by your staff to easily tackle an onslaught of customer tickets.
- The system has scaled very easily over the years. We use it for one of our Retail sites that has anywhere from 10k to 15k unique views a day and it has never felt sluggish or degraded even under a heavy load.
- Adjusting the templates can be very tedious as each update includes a manual reversion process. While it isn't a big deal if you're using a mostly vanilla design I can imagine it would become tedious for a more involved UI change.
- The update process is easy enough but could obviously take some pointers from Wordpress in terms of making them more streamlined.
- The price has gone up substantially since we originally bought in, while I feel that we'd still have gotten our money out of it either way it is definitely much more of a hurdle than it used to be.
- The amount of technical talent you have in house will likely need to be factored into whether or not you buy into the SaaS or Self-hosted packages that they offer.
- The Self-hosted variant allows a lot more customization but will require at least a familiarity with Linux and the LAMP/LEMP stack to get the application performing the way it needs to.
- There are multiple editions, Fusion, Engage, and Case. You will need to look carefully at how each offerings features aligns with your needs as you may be able to save money by using one of the two pared down versions.
- There is no official Kayako Desktop client for OS X or Linux which is unfortunate as it is a much more cohesive experience for the Customer Service Reps to use.
With Kayako all those pains are gone. We love Kayako!!!
- Work with multiple team members at the same time on multiple chains of communication.
- Keep on track of daily duties.
- Stay organized.
- They really do everything that we need. I know we don't take advantage of all the features that they offer.
- Easy to learn
- Tons of features
- Good support
- SAAS went down on us a handful of times but I hear servers are stronger now
- Ability to call and talk to someone. Mostly all email and chat
- Custom builds for you rather than all self programmed
- Customer service while installing and troubleshooting the application was excellent.
- Plenty of customization options while still retaining a simple to use and easily understandable UI for the end users.
- Very fast and reliable response time from the application.
- Customizing the UI is difficult to accomplish.
- The transition from SupportSuite to Fusion was difficult for the users initially, even though Fusion is the upgrade for SupportSuite.
- Learning curve was a bit steep for non-technical users.
- Organization of workflow
- Easy and concise communication
- Reporting is accurate and easy to use
- Search capabilities for tickets and users is less than appealing
- Merging users with more than one account could be easier
- Easy to use ticketing system for support requests.
- Easy ticketing tracking system for our support techs to monitor and assign tickets as needed.
- Nice knowledge base for self support documentation.
- Easy to tag self support documents, however not clever enough to bring most used documentation to top of search list.
- We have not found a way to get numbers on most searched tags.
- Inexpensive compared to other knowledge base platforms.
- Great visibility as far as how old a ticket is and how urgent the issue is. This aids in prioritizing.
- The search engine could use improvement, it's very difficult to find things using the search engine.
- The ability to switch between the desktop app and the web-based app is nice.
- The call and chat function of Kayako is pretty useful
- The ability to define categories, and subcategories, and exclude them from general search criteria is a nice touch
- The Desktop app constantly loses contact with the server, requiring multiple logon requests.
- The search parameters are overly sensitive, and I was unable to see any defined wildcard characters.
- The section for defining user permissions has some pitfalls that need to be addressed when setting up a new user.
Kayako Scorecard Summary
Feature Scorecard Summary
Kayako is a help desk / ticketing product and is available is both SaaS and on-premise configurations. Is is built in PHP and uses my SQL. The product competes with HelpSpot, ZohoSupport, Freshdesk and Zendesk.
The Kayako Engage edition may be deployed as a live chat system without ticketing at a reduced cost, featuring click-to-call and site visitor monitoring for customer targeting and engagement.
Kayako Technical Details