What is an Internal Support Plugin?

Internal support blog

You may have seen the term “internal support plugin” used by us or another company. But what exactly does that mean? Simply put, an internal support plugin is a piece of software that helps a customer success team use their existing software better. These plugins can have a variety of functions from bringing up ticket details in chats, to assigning tickets to the right people. There are plugins available for most apps used by customer success teams, ranging from Intercom, to Slack and even Jira.

Why Plugins?
Another question that might come up is: why use plugins? Why not just build all this functionality directly into the customer success software? The answer to this is three-fold. Users are given a choice, they can more easily connect the different apps they use, and they don’t have to learn new software.

Not every user needs all the features of every plugin. The amount of plugins for certain customer success suites is astoundingly large. If all these plugins were incorporated into the suites themselves, they would become bloated, confusing, and unusable. By having these features split into plugins, users can pick and choose the features they want.

This extensibility ties into the second reason to use plugins. Plugins allow different customer success technologies to connect more easily. They can be installed on two or more different platforms (such as Slack and Jira), allowing them to interact. This interaction lets customer success teams enhance and connect the different parts of their workflows. The result is time saved for both the customer success agent and the customer.

Finally, plugins minimize the learning curve needed to use a new feature. Suppose that instead of offering a feature through a plugin, another company developed a separate app. This app would have to incorporate the feature and the existing functionality of the old app. Any user who wants the feature would have to learn a completely new interface and workflow. Depending on the complexity of the software, this could take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Additionally, this puts the feature out of bounds for companies that are hesitant to switch apps for the sake of a single feature. Plugins allow complete avoidance of situations like this.

All in all, plugins can play a big role in customer success. They not only offer choice, but are also easy ways to enhance a workflow.

How We Use Internal Support Plugins
The team here at SkillsHawk is embracing internal support plugins. We’ve developed our own skill tracking plugin for Slack and Jira to keep track of our team members’ skills. Our plugin helps us assign tasks to the team members best suited to handle them, all without needing to manually track skills. It only takes a single Slack command to find the most qualified team member for a job.