Imagine a bustling e-commerce website with customers eagerly making purchases. Suddenly, a flood of inquiries, complaints, and requests inundated the customer service team. Without the right tools to efficiently manage and resolve these issues, chaos ensues, and customer satisfaction plummets.
To navigate the overwhelming options, this article serves as your ultimate guide. Whether you’re a small business owner or part of a large enterprise, we’ll explore critical factors for evaluating tools, essential features to seek, and best practices for implementation.
From omnichannel support to AI-powered automation, we’ll uncover the potential of customer service tools and give you the best recommendations!
What do customer service tools do?
Before we dive into anything else about customer service solutions, the first question you may have is, what exactly do customer service tools do for you? Here are the different purposes customer service tools solve:
Centralize Customer Communication
Customers may communicate from different channels but you need a single point of communication.
Customer service tools are a centralized hub for managing customer communication across various channels such as email, phone, live chat, and social media. By consolidating all customer inquiries in one place, businesses can ensure that no query slips through the cracks.
This centralization allows support teams to provide prompt and comprehensive responses in timely manner to customer queries, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Enhance Productivity and Efficiency
Customer service tools offer a range of features designed to streamline support team operations and boost efficiency. Ticket management systems automatically organize and prioritize customer inquiries, ensuring that each ticket receives the necessary attention.
Live chat functionalities enable real-time interactions with customers, resolving issues swiftly and reducing response times.
By automating repetitive tasks, such as ticket routing and generating standardized responses, these tools free up valuable time for support agents to focus on complex issues, leading to improved productivity.
Personalize Customer Experiences
According to a study by McKinsey, 71% expect personalization and 76% get frustrated if they don’t find it.
Customer service tools with integrated customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities provide support teams with a comprehensive view of each customer’s profile. This includes their purchase history, preferences, and previous interactions with the company.
Armed with this information, support agents can tailor their responses, recommendations, and solutions to meet the unique needs of each customer. Personalization enhances the customer experience, fosters a sense of individualized care, and strengthens customer loyalty.
Enable Self-Service Options
Customer service tools empower customers to find answers and resolve common issues independently through self-service options.
Knowledge bases, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and chatbots offer readily available information and step-by-step guides for troubleshooting.
By encouraging self-service, businesses can alleviate the workload on support teams, reduce wait times, and empower customers to find quick solutions at their convenience. Self-service options also promote customer empowerment and satisfaction by providing instant access to information.
Deliver Round-the-Clock Support
With customer service tools, businesses can provide support beyond traditional business hours. Self-service options, such as knowledge bases and chatbots, are available 24/7, allowing customers to find assistance even when live support agents may not be available.
Automated responses and intelligent routing systems ensure that customer inquiries receive immediate acknowledgement, setting the expectation for a prompt response once support teams are back online.
Round-the-clock support enhances customer convenience, demonstrates a commitment to customer care, and strengthens the overall customer experience.
What are the different types of customer service tools?
Customer service tools come in different shapes and forms and all of them serve different purposes. Here are the different types of customer service tools:
Help Desk Software
Help desk software provides a centralized platform for managing customer inquiries, tracking support tickets, and organizing communication channels. It streamlines customer service operations by automating ticket assignment, prioritization, and escalation, ensuring efficient issue resolution and effective team collaboration.
Live Chat Software
Live chat software enables real-time communication between customers and support agents through chat interfaces embedded on websites or applications. It allows for immediate assistance, quick problem resolution, and personalized interactions, enhancing the customer experience by providing instant support and reducing response times.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems
CRM systems store and manage customer data, providing a comprehensive view of customer interactions, purchase history, preferences, and contact information. These same knowledge management tools enable support teams to personalize interactions, track customer interactions across multiple touchpoints, and foster long-term relationships by understanding customer needs and preferences.
Read More: How to Use Gmail as a CRM
Knowledge Base and Self-Service Portals
Knowledge bases are repositories of articles, FAQs, troubleshooting guides, and tutorials that provide customers with self-service options. These tools allow customers to find answers and solutions independently, reducing the need for contacting support agents for common inquiries. Self-service customer portals empower customers to access information at their convenience, improving efficiency and reducing support costs.
Social Media Monitoring and Engagement Tools
Social media monitoring and engagement tools help businesses monitor and respond to their customer conversations, feedback, inquiries, and complaints on social media platforms. These tools track brand mentions, hashtags, and customer sentiment, enabling proactive customer engagement and reputation management on social media channels.
Call Center and Voice Support Systems
Call center and voice support systems enable businesses to handle customer inquiries and support over the phone. These tools provide call routing, interactive voice response (IVR) systems, call recording, and analytics capabilities to optimize call center operations, improve customer service quality, and monitor performance.
Feedback and Review Monitoring Tools
Feedback and review monitoring tools track and analyze customer feedback and online reviews from various sources, such as review platforms and social media. These tools help businesses monitor their online reputation, manage customer requests, identify trends, and respond effectively to customer requests and feedback, improving brand perception and customer satisfaction.
Top 7 Customer Service Tools
Keeping- Help Desk Software
The top choice for the best customer service software tools that we have for you is our very own Keeping. Keeping is a help desk software designed specifically for teams that use Gmail as their primary support channel. Keeping acts as the single stop to get all the uses of the top customer service software tools.
By installing Keeping’s chrome extension you can centralize your communication with the customers. By using features like agent collision detection, ticket assignment, workflow automations and shopify integrations you can enhance productivity and efficiency among the various customer support teams and staff.
With the Shopify integration you can get access customer history which enables your customer support staff to deliver personalized customer experiences. Keeping also provides useful analytics and insights that help in keeping the team on track to delivering exceptional customer experiences.
The pricing at Keeping starts at $8 per user per month.
LiveAgent- Live Chat Software
One of the standout tools in the realm of customer service is LiveAgent. With its user-friendly interface and an impressive array of features, it has become a go-to solution for businesses of all sizes.
LiveAgent’s strength lies in its comprehensive customer service software, which covers various channels and interactions. It encompasses live chat, support ticketing, video chat, as well as support for popular social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
The “To solve” button keeps customer service agents organized, while “action triggered” rules automate ticket routing and resolution. LiveAgent supports SLAs and enables simultaneous handling of multiple issues with its Split Ticket feature.
It offers a free trial and pricing plans ranging from $15 to $49 per agent per month.
When it comes to the best customer service platforms, SalesforceCRM is undoubtedly a standout choice.
Renowned primarily for its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) product, Salesforce has been offering various iterations of customer service software for a considerable period. Their current offering, Salesforce Service Cloud, takes their customer support software to a whole new level by providing an omnichannel support solution.
With Service Cloud, you gain the ability to handle email, phone, and chat requests seamlessly within a unified platform. This ensures that your customer service agents have a centralized hub for managing all customer interactions, leading to enhanced efficiency and productivity.
Service Cloud leverages the power of AI-driven workflows to automate repetitive manual tasks. For instance, conversation routing can be intelligently assigned, saving valuable time for your team.
This customer service solution offers a range of customizable features and functionalities to tailor the full support tooling used to your specific business requirements. Whether it’s designing personalized customer experiences, setting up automated case escalation processes, or building customer self-service portals, Service Cloud provides the flexibility and scalability needed to adapt to your evolving customer service needs.
In terms of pricing, plans start at $25 per user per month, making it accessible to businesses of various sizes and budgets.
HelpJuice- Knowledge Base
When it comes to empowering customers with self-service options, a robust knowledge base is essential. HelpJuice stands out as an exceptional tool in this regard.
Its intuitive interface ensures easy navigation and content creation. With a wide range of styling options and customization tools, you can maintain a knowledge base that reflects your brand identity. Collaboration is made seamless with the ability for multiple authors to contribute to a single piece, boosting productivity.
One area where HelpJuice excels is analytics. Its customizable dashboards enable you to focus on the metrics that matter most to your business. Combined with its user-friendly design and ease of use, HelpJuice emerges as a winning choice.
In terms of pricing, HelpJuice offers a 14-day free trial and paid plans starting at $120 per month.
Hootsuite- Social Media Monitoring
Among the numerous social media monitoring options available, Hootsuite stands out for its exceptional functionality.
It offers a highly customizable dashboard that can be tailored to fit your organization’s specific needs. The ability to share views across teams enhances collaboration and ensures a cohesive approach to social media support.
A standout feature of Hootsuite is its robust filtering capabilities, allowing you to monitor different keywords, hashtags, and locations. This feature keeps you in tune with customer sentiments and enables you to respond promptly leading to excellent customer service.
Price-wise, Hootsuite offers a competitive package, starting at $29 per month. With its comprehensive features and emphasis on effective social media management, Hootsuite proves to be a valuable tool for enhancing customer service and engagement.
TalkDesk- Voice Support
When it comes to offering voice support and delivering the best customer service, Talkdesk is a great option.
Talkdesk allows businesses to handle customer inquiries, issues, and support requests efficiently through voice channels. With a user-friendly interface and intuitive features, it simplifies the management of phone interactions and ensures better customer relationships.
It offers intelligent call routing, enabling calls to be directed to the most appropriate agent based on predefined criteria such as language proficiency, expertise, or customer priority. Talkdesk provides real-time analytics and reporting capabilities, allowing businesses to gain valuable insights into their call center performance.
It seamlessly integrates with popular customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, such as Salesforce and HubSpot, enabling agents to access customer data and interaction history in real-time.
Whether you prefer a cloud-based solution or an on-premises setup, Talkdesk provides the necessary flexibility to adapt to your infrastructure requirements.
The basic plan at Talkdesk starts at $75 per user per month.
TrustPilot- Customer Feedback
Trustpilot is a powerful customer service tool that helps businesses capture and analyze customer feedback. With a user-friendly interface, it simplifies the collection and showcasing of customer reviews from multiple channels.
By actively engaging with customers, businesses gain valuable insights into their strengths and areas for improvement.
Trustpilot’s robust analytics enable businesses to track review scores, analyze sentiment trends, and make data-driven decisions to enhance the overall customer experience. The platform also offers reputation management features, allowing businesses to proactively address negative feedback and protect their brand reputation.
With flexible pricing options, Trustpilot caters to businesses of all sizes, making it accessible for organizations looking to prioritize customer feedback and continuously improve their customer service strategies.
TrustPilot plans start at $250 per domain per month.
Customer service tools best practices
When using customer service tools, it’s essential to follow best practices to maximize their effectiveness and provide excellent customer experiences. Here are five best practices to consider right customer service tools:
Clearly define your objectives
Before implementing any customer service tool, clearly define your objectives and goals. Understand what specific challenges or pain points you aim to address and how the best customer service tool can help you achieve them. Having a clear vision will guide your implementation and ensure you get the most out of the customer support tool.
Train your team
Properly train your customer service team on how to effectively use the tools. Provide comprehensive training sessions to customer service teams to familiarize them with the features, functionalities, and best practices of the tools. Ensure they understand how to leverage the tools to provide personalized, efficient, and consistent customer service.
Customize and tailor the tools
Customize the customer service tools to align with your specific business needs and workflows. Take advantage of features like automation, routing, and integration with other systems to create a seamless and efficient customer service process. Tailor the customer support tools to match your branding and ensure a cohesive and great customer service experience across all touchpoints.
Monitor and analyze data
Regularly monitor and analyze the data generated by the customer service software tools. Track key performance indicators, such as response times, resolution rates, and customer satisfaction scores. Use the insights to identify trends, areas for improvement, and to make data-driven decisions that enhance your customer service strategies.
Continuously optimize and improve
Customer service tools should be viewed as evolving solutions for your customer support team. Regularly review and assess their effectiveness, seeking feedback from both customers and your customer service team. Actively listen to customer feedback and make necessary adjustments to ensure the tools meet their needs. Continuously optimize and improve your processes based on insights gained from the tools’ analytics.
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