11 Customer Service Tools to Use for Excellent Customer Experiences

By Jared Cornell August 22, 2021

The post-COVID market is more competitive, more volatile, and a daunting maze to master!

While brand distinction still remains a business agenda, the customer experience, and customer service override it.

They emerge as the key brand differentiators, and the job cannot be left to the manual capabilities of your service staff.

Your business needs to curate seamless customer journeys with guided milestones.

Further, the customer expectations are touching the skies, while delivering faster, better, and transparent services is becoming challenging.

So, if you have been thinking about customer service automation, now is the time to embrace innovation and technology.

In this blog, we will discuss 11 kickass customer service software that you can leverage for delivering fantastic customer support and delightful experiences.

What is Customer Service Software?

The customer service software is a business application that helps you cater to all kinds of customer communications and tasks.

You can capture all the incoming customer messages in one place, assign unique IDs to them, process them, and automate query resolution with it.

The customer service tools come with various smart capabilities, such as live chat integration, surveys, reports, canned responses, and more.

So, customer support software is just like a super-gadget that equips your staff with numerous functionalities to deliver awesome support and delight to your customers.

How Does Customer Service Software Work?

Customer support tools come with many smart and intuitive features that help you offer comprehensive and delightful service.

While the support features vary across all the tools, some of the basic functionalities remain the same, such as:

  • Gathering customer queries from all the channels, such as SMS, emails, social media, chats, and converting them into support tickets.
  • Ticket operations, such as tags, urgent, and closed.
  • Canned responses for repetitive queries.
  • Knowledge base for self-service.
  • Surveys and live chats.

A customer service software can sit as a widget on your website that offers query-based or FAQ-based support or as an AI or ML-based interactive support. It can also be a live chat system or an online call center to cater to your customers.

As you never miss any queries and resolve them at a fast pace, your customers feel valued, and your support staff can work more effectively.

Why Do We Need Customer Service Tools?

As per the stats, 95% of customers say that customer service is important for brand loyalty.

Also, 84% of the customers want to buy from some brand they know and trust!

Hence, the service tools!

Customer support tools empower you with three crucial things:

1. Communication

Using a customer service tool, you can manage, organize, and respond to all types of customer service communication.

You can track all types of customer requests or issues and maintain all the communication history in one place.

Further, you can allow multiple agents to work on shared email inboxes such as support@, info@, returns@, billing@, etc. Multiple departments can collaborate to ensure the right response is always shared with every customer.

As every member of your team has a direct view of real-time customer communication and history, there are no lags anywhere, and no time is wasted on contextual information.

2. Intelligence

Customer care software gathers, processes, and presents the customer data such that you can make the most of it.

You can conduct various surveys, such as CSAT, NPS, polls, and collect feedback from various channels.

Also, you can see and analyze the customer activity, behavior and motivation while they are interacting with your brand, such as using your website or purchasing your products.

This intelligence helps you “know” your customers and:

  • Curate personalized offerings
  • Optimize your online presence
  • Decode their happiness and satisfaction

3. Data-Driven Actions

Using customer service applications, you can take your customer service one step ahead and offer guided customer journeys.

Support tools with advanced analytics discover hidden trends and patterns and help you in:

  • Sending product recommendations
  • Decoding customer intent
  • Predicting churn well ahead of time and tackling it effectively
  • Turn the existing customers into brand advocates

Types of Customer Service Software

Every business has unique customer service needs that might scale or evolve in the coming years.

Hence, it is important to choose a support software that is a perfect fit for those customer service needs.

Before we start discussing the top 11 customer service platforms, let us take a quick walk-through of various types of customer service tools.

This will also help you in identifying your service needs and choose software from the relevant category.

Types of service tools:

1. Help Desk

The help desk systems collect customer tickets and permit customers to seek support proactively.

The support staff resolves the queries efficiently by leveraging the capabilities of these service desks.

2. Messaging

They sit as a messaging widget on your online channels and allow your prospects or customers to send messages such as queries and quote inquiries.

3. Live chat

A more improved form of message-based customer services software is live chat. The customers can interact with your support staff in real-time and avail themselves of support.

4. Email

The email-based support tools are also called shared inboxes, where the entire support staff has a singular view of the customer queries coming in the form of emails. The team members can work together and present resolutions as emails.

5. Phone support

Some customer service tools come with online call center functionalities that simulate the offline or physical call centers without the cost of infrastructure.

6. CRM

A CRM software collects the prospect and customer information in a database and is designed to assist companies for:

  • Lead identification
  • Personalized communication
  • Marketing management
  • Tracking of service issues

7. Knowledge Base

It is a perfect customer service platform for companies that have products that come with a steep learning curve.

The staff can post tips, solutions, tricks, generic information related to the product use, etc. It also promotes self-service.

Now, we share the best customer support software options for businesses of all types and all scales.

11 Awesome Customer Support Tools to Unlock Customer Success in 2021

1. ProProfs Help Desk – Help Desk Software

ProProfs Help Desk is one of the best customer support software that offers a powerful mix of functionalities and is perfect for all businesses.

The tool comes with smart ticketing operations, shared inboxes, agent monitoring, advanced analytics, and excellent reporting features.

It also offers canned responses, knowledge base, surveys, and live chat features to deliver impeccable customer support.

You can automate your manual tasks and get more done quickly. For instance, you can create intelligent chatbots that can assist customers round the clock.

Managers can also see how customers rate their overall interaction with an agent and reward agents accordingly.

Unique Features:

  • Real-time chat
  • Automated ticket routing
  • Multi-channel communication
  • SLA management
  • Self-service portal

Pricing:

  • While there is a forever free plan, the paid plans start from $10/agent/month.

2. Qualaroo – Customer Feedback

The best customer support is incomplete without the best customer experiences, and no one can tell them about it better than a customer.

95% of unhappy customers share their bad experiences with others and can spur a domino effect for churn.

Qualaroo is one of the best customer support solutions that surveys visitors on your website or app. Called Qualaroo Nudges, these surveys are 10 times more valuable than email surveys, as they allow you to ask the right questions in real-time.

It comes with AI-powered analytics and reports to allow you to make the most of customer feedback.

Unique Features:

  • Website and app feedback
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Question branching
  • Data analysis
  • Anonymous feedback

Pricing:

  • While you can use any plan for free for 15-days, the paid plans start from $80/month.

3. BIGContacts – CRM & Contact Management

If your service needs call for contact management and CRM functionalities, BIGContacts is one of the top customer service software options to consider.

It comes with a powerful and feature-rich CRM system that is easy to use and efficient.

You can manage your prospects, leverage marketing automation, track calendars and tasks and use sales CRM for accomplishing daily tasks.

It comes with the connect webforms, reminders, social media tracking, email marketing, and customizable contact records.

Unique Features:

  • Campaign management
  • Mobile access
  • Lead capture, distribution, and segmentation
  • Sales pipeline management
  • Mobile access

Pricing:

  • While there is a free trial for all the plans, the starter plan is priced at $10/agent.

4. Zendesk – Knowledge Base

Studies reveal that 67% of the customers prefer self-service as compared to agent-based customer support. Further, 91% of them would prefer using an online knowledge base.

Zendesk is an online customer support software that comes with a fantastic knowledge base.

Your customers can troubleshoot their problems, find answers to various queries and small issues with ease.

You can also leverage it for fostering a self-learning culture at your workplace, as your support agents can learn and train on their own.

Unique Features:

  • Batch Communication
  • Alerts / Escalation
  • Voice support
  • Blended call center
  • Answer bots

Pricing:

  • Paid plans start from $49/agent/month.

5. Talkdesk – Cloud Contact Centre

Offering a highly efficient end-to-end contact center solution, Talkdesk is a powerful online customer support software.

It allows you to cater to your customers on multiple channels, unlock customer satisfaction, and cut down operational costs.

Talkdesk enables you to drive customer engagement, employee engagement, leverage AI and knowledge base to enhance your customer intelligence.

It also comes with smart analytics and insights to help you develop data-driven strategies.

t also promotes customer self-service and comes with smart agent and security monitoring features.

Unique Features:

  • Call scripting, tagging, monitoring
  • Archiving and retention of communications
  • Blended call center
  • Collaboration tools
  • Access controls

Pricing:

  • The starter plan comes at $65/agent/month.

6. SproutSocial – Social Media Customer Service

The power of social media is unfathomable!

When leveraged properly, social media customer care boosts annual revenue by 81% and annual ROI by 30.1%.

However, tackling customer care on social media comes with additional overheads, such as paying attention to passive mentions, and sharing and promoting relevant content.

Sprout Social is a leading customer service software for extracting immense business value from social media.

It works on four major aspects of social media customer care – analytics, publishing, listening, and engagement.

Hence, Sprout Social is perfect for businesses of all types and all scales.

Unique Features:

  • Brand tracking
  • Conversion tracking
  • Audience targeting
  • Campaign analytics
  • Collaboration tools

Pricing:

While you can try it for free for 30 days, the basic plan is priced at $89/agent/month.

7. LiveChat – Live Chat Support

Live chat is one of the most preferred digital support methods for online customers, as 46% of them prefer live chat over email or social media.

If you wish to deliver customer support via chat, LiveChat is just the right choice! Live chat is an effortless, simple, and interactive way to resolve customer queries.

It is an easy-to-use yet affordable customer care software that comes with automation, omnichannel messaging, and of course, Live Chat.

It facilitates lead acquisition by showcasing your products via engaging product cards and close sales during the chat.

You can use custom forms and AI chatbots for lead qualification. It also acts as customer service tracking software and keeps track of your sales and goals as well.

Unique Features:

  • Customer service analytics
  • Email response control
  • Canned responses
  • Geotargetting
  • Feedback management

Pricing:

The basic plan is priced at $16/agent/month.

8. MobileMonkey – Unified Chatbot

MobileMonkey is a unified chatbot solution for customer service that comes with smart AI functionalities.

A customer service bot is just like a support agent that is available 24X7 and is capable of offering instant query resolution.

MobileMonkey allows your customers to resolve their queries without human intervention and comes with smart escalation routines.

You can see, track and respond to all customer communications in a single window.

You can capture more leads, and build valuable customer relationships, all the while fuelling your sales.

Unique Features:

  • Drip campaigns
  • Automated chat on multiple platforms
  • Social media scheduling and listening
  • Impeccable analytics
  • Metrics reporting

Pricing:

  • Paid plans start from $14.25/month.

9. Zoom – Video Conferencing

When surveyed for sales and marketing promises, Zoom topped the charts with 80% of buyers supporting it.

Also, the software enjoys 50% of the video conferencing market share and excels in its capabilities and functionalities as well.

So, if you are looking for the top customer service software that enables service via video conferencing, Zoom is your best pick.

It comes with HD video and audio conferencing, participant camera feed, end-to-end encryption, password protection, and scheduling features.

You also get calendars, cross-platform messaging, screen share, and remote login, that enable amazing customer service.

Unique Features:

  • Collaboration tools
  • Contact management
  • Audience management
  • Annotations
  • Document management

Pricing:

  • It comes with a forever free plan with basic features, while the paid plans start from $14.99/host/month.

10. JIRA – ITSM Capabilities

JIRA ranks among the best customer support software with ITSM capabilities and is popular among users for its flexibility and collaborative features.

It is a smart and feature-rich IT service desk that helps you deliver great customer experiences as well as your employees.

As it offers reliable and accurate assistance to both the employees and customers, it adds value to your business in multiple ways.

JIRA offers many services, such as HR services, ITSM service desk, Financial services, Customer service, facility management services, central service desk, etc.

Unique Features:

  • Budgeting and forecasting
  • Assignment management
  • Business process automation
  • Agile methodologies
  • Change management

Pricing:

  • While there is a free plan, the paid plans start from $20/agent/month.

11. Hootsuite – Social Media Customer Service

Hootsuite is a fantastic customer service software that helps you make the most of your social media channels. It connects your social networks with all the apps that you use to ensure that you never miss anything.

You can create content and share it across all your social media channels in one go.

It also offers post scheduling, social media monitoring, and planning functionalities for upcoming campaigns.

As all the social media happenings are visible, you can respond to queries, audience reactions, and messages from one single window that has centralized access.

Unique Features:

  • Automated publishing
  • Audience targeting
  • AB testing
  • Analytics
  • Brand tracking and management

Pricing:

  • The basic plan is priced at $29/month.

Customer Service Tools: Where to Start?

When it comes to starting your journey with customer service automation, you must make a careful and smart choice. Otherwise, it can become an overhead instead of a business asset.

The odds become even more detrimental for small and medium-sized business setups.

Hence, we recommend taking the following steps for making the right choice:

  • Identify – your support needs, unique business aspects, and channels used by your audience for communication.
  • Evaluate – the various customer service software options against your requirements.
  • Choose – a customer service solution that comes with lots of features, smart scaling options, in-built add-ons, and an impeccable set of capabilities.

Some of the best customer support tools that are perfect for beginners include:

  • ProProfs Help Desk
  • Qualaroo
  • LiveChat
  • JIRA

Ready to Make the Most of the Best Customer Service Software?

Acing customer service requires understanding one fact – the best tools are the ones that align the best with your customer needs. 

While your support agents might find one software easy and perfect, if your customers find it lacking or complex, there is no point in using it.

Hence, it is important to consider and understand the support requirements and preferences of your customers, such as:

  • Channels they use the most to communicate with your brand
  • Channels they wish to use if you offer them
  • Whether they would use a self-service portal or not
  • Whether they find the website widgets helpful or not

Also, always remember, customer satisfaction and delight come gradually.

So, you have to be patient to analyze the results and assess the performance of support software.

Finally, now that you have the best options available to you, kick-start the transformation of your support process!

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Jared Cornell

Jared Cornell is a customer-support specialist, a marketing evangelist and a book lover, associated with ProProfs Chat. Jared is passionate about customer support and loves to solve customers’ queries. He is always keen to develop new strategies to help customers seeking live chat assistance for a delightful experience. Connect with Jared on Twitter.

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