Customer service standards are evolving because customers desire more transparency and quicker responses. Every company wants to make sure that its people are ready because these new demands may also bring forth new challenges.
Therefore, you must utilize cutting-edge customer service software to match the high client expectations. By utilizing cutting-edge technology like VR, AI, and others, you can change the customer experience.
Finding the best customer service tools is difficult today in our technology-driven society. Not because the possibilities are constrained. The availability of so many different kinds and varieties of customer service programs makes it possible for you to become confused, which is the exact opposite of what is meant.
This article aims to guide businesses toward the most effective strategies for improving the customer experience in 2023. So, let’s get started.
- What Is Customer Service Software?
- Types of Customer Service Software
- Standard Features of Customer Service Software
- Key Benefits of Using Customer Service Software
- The 10 Best Customer Service Software Tools in 2023
- How to Choose the Right Customer Service Software
- Wrap Up
What Is Customer Service Software?
Any software used by a business to aid customers who purchase or utilize its products can be referred to as customer service software.
The most fundamental function of customer service software is to offer a centralized database, known as a ticketing system, where support agents may track, prioritize, oversee, reply to, and settle numerous employee or customer requests. Any tool that assists in delivering customer service can also be considered customer service software.
In most cases, businesses employ customer service software to enable quicker, more effective customer support offered by numerous customer service agents, all utilizing the same tool.
Types of Customer Service Software
A company’s employees may receive internal customer service, which supports them, or external customer service, which supports those who purchase or use the company’s goods or services. Each customer care method is typically seen as a distinct kind of customer service. Here are some examples of different customer service software types that you can look at before selecting the best one for you.
With the use of live chat software, customer service representatives may address problems in real-time from the homepage of your website or a mobile app, for example.
This enables a company to take the initiative and address a problem before it even arises. For instance, an online retailer might provide live chat on its checkout page to address frequently asked questions before a shopper abandons their cart.
Additionally, live chat helps a business to provide support whenever customers need it. Chatbots can handle customer requests in place of your representatives while they’re busy being humans.
One of the first pieces of software teams often purchase is help desk software. It aids in centralizing all your customer service-related activities and depending on the technology. It can manage support requests from numerous channels like email, live chat, social media, and phone.
The primary role of help desk software is to manage and organize customer interactions so as to enhance both the customer and agent experience.
Email tools like shared inbox software let several users access and reply to emails sent to a single address. For the purpose of efficiently managing client conversations, further organization and automation functions are generally also added.
You might now be thinking that this tool accurately describes help desk software. You may be right. Shared inbox software is comparable to a stripped-down (lite) version of help desk software because it typically concentrates just on email exchanges rather than the numerous channels that a help desk may offer.
For complex problems, the best way to resolve a customer’s issue is still over the phone. Thanks to the unique qualities of a phone call, such as a human voice, it can occasionally be even more effective than lengthy email exchanges or in-person conversations.
Call center software gives customer care professionals access to tools like call records, automatic ticket creation, efficient internal routing, and access to the complete client history, allowing them to be more strategic.
The manner that individuals communicate has evolved as a result of messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Apple Business Chat.
Customer service now incorporates that convenience factor. Customers can contact customer support representatives through the same messaging services they use to talk to their friends and relatives.
The advantage of adopting customer service software to interact via message channels is the ability to keep dialogues and information in a centralized location. When resolving a customer’s issue, if a message is sent first and subsequently a phone call is required, all of that information is recorded in the same support ticket.
Self-service material can be created, stored, arranged, managed, and shared with an audience using knowledge base software. Common types of content stored in a knowledge base include how-to articles, FAQ pages, and video tutorials.
There are primarily two kinds of knowledge bases: internal and external. As opposed to an external knowledge base, which is open to everyone, an internal knowledge base has private content that may require users to log in before they can access it.
Businesses can monitor and keep track of customer interactions with customer relationship management (CRM) software. Although it is most usually connected to sales, there are certain customer success applications as well.
Personalization is the main method that can support customer success. Depending on where each customer is in their customer journey, you may be able to predict demands better and build a unique experience with the help of the data you’ve collected.
Standard Features of Customer Service Software
While various customer service software may offer various tools, most of them generally offer the following core features:
- Ticketing System
A well-designed ticketing system is the key component of customer service software. Through the use of ticketing systems, your customer service staff can categorize customer inquiries, complaints, and interactions into individual “tickets” that can subsequently be allocated to and handled.
PLease note that help-desk software and ticketing systems serve the same function, and they are sometimes referred to as one and the same.
- Inbox Support
A shared inbox for email management and support is one of the most important features of customer service software. Communications from different channels, intake preferences, and departments can be consolidated in a centralized location using an all-in-one inbox.
- Self-Service or FAQs
Not all customer service issues require a full ticket or a customer service representative’s time. Customers can easily access the information they require without setting up a meeting or waiting for a representative to become available by using self-service portals and/or FAQ sections. These features also give your reps more time to work on complicated cases.
- Shared Project Management
Using project management software, your entire team can collaborate and track projects. Project management ensures that everyone is always informed of the progress of project tasks and prevents double responses (much like inbox support).
Additionally, you can engage with project-related clients using shared project management and grant them access to deliverables.
- Live Communication
Any customer support software must have real-time communication tools. Live chatbots should be a minimal requirement for live communication, but many also come with phones, video, and webinar options.
Additionally, these features need to offer integration options, chat transcript access, call and video call logging, and real-time communication analytics.
Key Benefits of Using Customer Service Software
Companies of all sizes and types can benefit from customer service platforms. Utilizing a specific customer service system enables you to boost customer loyalty by improving the customer experience. These are the primary means by which it makes those experiences possible.
Agents can easily do their job
With the appropriate tools, your customer service representatives will work harder and be more engaged. They can quickly get the pertinent data about a customer for prompt assistance. For instance, if a customer has a question about their outstanding bills, the sales representative can easily access your centralized accounting software and look up payment information.
Drives modern marketing strategies
All current marketing techniques are driven by accurate customer data. For instance, account-based marketing cannot be used unless you have access to relevant and updated customer information.
And that’s where customer service software is put to use. The software can gather client information from several sources and compress it for use on a platform (such as calls, social media, etc.).
This data assists sales and marketing teams in developing effective tactics to offer clients a personalized experience, thus increasing satisfaction.
Offers self-service options
Companies can create a platform for customer self-service using customer support software. On their website, they can post knowledge bases that users can visit to find key information. As a result, it is predicted that by 2022, 70% of white-collar workers will interact with chatbots.
Easily track performances
Traditional spreadsheets will only give you a limited amount of information if you want to monitor the effectiveness of your customer support team. You won’t be able to see which staff has handled more complaints recently or how long it took them to settle each one.
You can only get detailed information about your customer support team using customer support software. You can create real-time performance reports with the software to learn how your customer service department is performing and what modifications are needed.
The 10 Best Customer Service Software Tools in 2023
We’ve put together this list of the top 10 customer service software applications to give you a head start in your search for the support tool that’s suitable for your team.
Freshdesk is an omnichannel customer support software that aids companies in better customer engagement. Through the platform, customer support agents can contact clients using their preferred channel and streamline the customer experience.
Streamlined ticket management is one of the most significant factors of Freshdesk. The software has an integrated Team Inbox where teams may handle incoming support tickets from various channels.
Zendesk is a support tool that’s used to manage customer conversations. You can manage interactions on Facebook, Twitter, and email with any Zendesk plan. You can also manage phone and online conversations if you purchase one of their more expensive subscriptions.
Due to the relative complexity of the product, the resources required for initial setup, and the overall cost, Zendesk is typically associated with larger teams. However, they do offer a few more affordable plans.
- Help Scout
Help Scout is committed to giving your customers and support agents a wonderful experience. Customers can get in touch with you from whichever location suits them best, and your team can collaborate on a single support queue containing all of your client’s requests.
Furthermore, you can produce information for your clients’ self-service with Help Scout’s knowledge base offering called Docs. Then, you may utilize the shared inbox’s knowledge base search feature to provide clients links to articles that address their questions promptly.
- HubSpot Service Hub
The HubSpot Service Hub is a platform for expanding companies. If you frequently lose customer email correspondence, this software can help you organize it. It is a user-friendly tool with integrated CRM support.
The ticketing system from HubSpot makes it simple to log, monitor, and arrange customer complaints in a dashboard. You may track important support metrics using it, including the number of tickets, the speed of agent responses, etc.
You can also prioritize tickets to fix urgent problems quickly. Overall, it is a comprehensive customer service tool to employ in 2023.
Spending money on a tool designed for social interactions today makes sense. When it comes to managing social media, there are several software choices. However, one of the best customer service software available is Hootsuite.
It offers an incredible dashboard you can personalize for your business and share views with teams. Filtering for various keywords, hashtags, and places is another option that lets you stay up to date on what customers are saying.
- Jira Service Desk
Jira Service Desk is one of the platforms that are more widely used for help desk and service desk features. Businesses may quickly build up effective service desks using the software to help agents quickly resolve client concerns and guarantee that requests are appropriately categorized and prioritized. Additionally, the platform improves communication across several departments, including operations and customer service, as well as between IT teams.
LiveAgent streamlines team productivity by combining communication from calls, emails, and social media into a single dashboard. It also offers easy setup and connection with the rest of their tools.
The gamification of customer service is what distinguishes LiveAgent from all the other tools so far discussed. Customer service can be made enjoyable for your team by allowing teams to earn points and incentives for tasks completed.
This is another tool for customer support that is primarily focused on IT service management. A versatile service management solution, the Vivantio platform is made to enable teams to deliver the best possible customer service while enhancing the customer experience. The platform offers self-service, incident management, business intelligence services, and service automation to assist organizations in achieving these objectives.
- Zoho Desk
A shared inbox, phone integration, and chat are just a few of the services that Zoho Desk offers. Some of those features, like chat, are only available with the most expensive subscription.
To interact with the rest of your tech stack, Zoho Desk also offers a broad range of connections. There are team management tools available, including time tracking, for larger teams. They also provide AI options for self-service, albeit this function is only available with the most expensive package.
Hiver is a help desk for customer service created especially for Google Workspace. Hiver broadens your business’s current Google Office programs with features like analytics, shared inboxes, and SLA instead of switching to a new platform entirely.
Hiver has fewer features than the other customer support software because it is designed for businesses that do not want to rewrite their existing Google communications.
How to Choose the Right Customer Service Software
In light of this, which customer service software is ideal for your company’s requirements? By answering this question, you equip yourself with some tools for choosing the ideal product or, more often, the combination of products. Here are some pointers that could be useful to you:
- Understand what you’re trying to do. Are you creating a high-touch, customized customer service experience for a niche market or a high-volume, quick-turnaround retail business? Different software options are suitable for various situations.
- Assess your resources. A team of one or two cannot continuously monitor every support channel. Additionally, there is little point in considering the more expensive tools if your budget is tight.
- Know what features are essential. Does it have to work with a current tool in order for this software to run? Do you need a messaging system, or is it not necessary? You can reduce your options by doing that.
- Evaluate your favorites. Now that you have narrowed your choices down, you can evaluate them thoroughly. You might check out their customer service or speak with previous clients.
- Time to test the software: The easiest method of determining whether the customer service software will work for you is to test it out. So, it’s time to give it a try.
Most tools on this list have features in common, such as ticket management, self-service portals, and streamlined collaboration and communications. While many of these tools are applicable to standard customer service requirements, some support more technical workflows like asset management and change management. It all comes down to choosing a customer service software that perfectly suits the unique needs of your business.