Picture this — a new Zendesk ticket comes in from one of your customers. She wants to disable a premium feature that she no longer needs and cancel any future charges. You think through what needs to happen next: canceling the subscription payments, disabling the feature for the customer, and then updating the customer that their request has been handled.
You can use Zendesk to communicate with the customer, but canceling the subscription payments and disabling the feature won’t be as easy — it’s a brand-new feature, and engineering hasn’t had the time to retool the internal tools you use. In the past, you would have been stuck waiting for engineering to update your internal tools, but with the recent rise of no-code platforms (like Internal), this is beginning to change.
By combining simple visual components with business logic and an array of integrations, no-code platforms enable everyone to build the software and tools they need. “No-code” is incredibly exciting because not only does it reduce dependence on engineering, but it also enables the users of software to take part in its creation. If you’re a customer service professional, you’ve probably got dozens of ideas for new internal tools or capabilities you want to add to existing tools. By eliminating the code barrier, no-code platforms give you the power to realize those ideas yourself.
I want to show you 3 customer service tools that I (as a non-technical person) was able to create in Internal, in 10 minutes or less:
1 - Customer Lookup Tool / Data Viewer
Every customer service professional needs a lookup tool — a way for them to access the information in your company’s database so they can then relay it back to a customer. Whether it’s a question about their order status, or payment charges, these informational inquiries are common throughout customer service.
Creating a lookup tool with Internal takes almost no effort, as views of your data are automatically created as soon as you connect it to a data source. This means you can start using Internal to view, sort, and filter your data immediately — no lengthy configuration or set-up required.
In the example below, we’ve connected Internal to our company’s PostgreSQL database, and we’re looking at a particular record (“James Houston”) within our Customers table. We can see the record details (like the customer’s email and registration date) in Basic Info. You can also view a full history of changes to this record, which can be very useful in resolving complex customer queries.
With a little bit of extra configuration, we can add even more to this tool. One of the most useful things you can do is to embed related records coming from other datasets. You’ll notice that “Orders” and “Zendesk Tickets” have their own section on James’s customer record — this is data coming from the Orders table and data coming from Zendesk, respectively. Since it is related to the customer (James), it is displayed here, allowing for easier cross-referencing and more context.
2 - Address Change Tool
Of course, customer service requires more than simply looking up information. You also need the ability to take action and make changes to resolve requests. For anyone who sells products online or services on-demand, a very common customer request is to change the address on their order.
Let’s take a look at quickly building a tool to edit addresses. First, we connect Internal to the company database that we want to work with. Let’s say it’s a MySQL database and it contains a number of data tables, including Customers and Orders.
Next, we’d create a new Space for our Address Change tool. We’ll use this to set up and configure the tables and forms for this tool. We’ll also add a table to display our Customers and then another table for Orders. We can set a filter so that whenever we click on a particular customer in our Customers table, the Orders table will be filtered to only show that Customer’s orders.
We can then add in a form allowing the user to input the new shipping address. To determine which order the new shipping address is for, we can link the form to the Orders table. This makes it so that when you select a row in the Orders table and use the Address Change form, it will update the shipping address for that particular order. We’ll add in two text input fields for Street Address and Zip Code, and create a dropdown field to select a state.
Once we save this tool, we’re finished: our new Address Change tool is live!
3 - Refund Tool
By connecting Internal with your business apps and company APIs, the tools you build in Internal can be set up to perform just about any action you need. Let’s look at a more advanced tool — this tool refunds customers by connecting with Stripe to execute payments and also hitting a company API to send customers a notification. Like the previous tool, the refund tool has its own dedicated Space and is made of three components: the Customers table, Payments table and Refund Notification form.
Like before, the Payments table will be filtered down to the selected customer’s payments when you select a row in the Customer table. We’ve added in-line buttons to the Payments table that will allow you to refund that particular payment through Stripe. The Refund Notification form calls a company API that will send a notification to the customer, letting them know the updated status of their refund. One cool thing to note about using APIs with Internal is that once an engineer hooks up the endpoint (which also takes just a few minutes), it becomes a reusable function that anyone can use in other Spaces.
Tools in Internal can work across a number of different business apps and services, in addition to databases. Internal can connect to apps like Zendesk, Salesforce, and Google Sheets, as well as hitting your company’s API endpoints to perform more complex actions.
Want to get the full details on how we set up each of these tools? Or curious about how Internal can help you build the tools you need? Give us a holler here. You can also try it free by signing up below.