9 Best Customer Service and Support Software Today
There are a few different types of customer service platforms on the market, all geared towards allowing you to provide a better support experience for your customers. Here's how to choose the right one for your company.
Are you looking for customer support software? Wondering which customer service tools are the best to try? Check out these 9 absolutely best customer support tools today.
Helping your customers is essential to build a thriving business, but many companies lack the tools to support their customers in times of need adequately. They may not know that specialist software is available, often for a very reasonable price, to help them take their support to the next level.
There are a few different types of customer service platforms on the market, all geared towards allowing you to provide a better support experience for your customers. The great thing about support software is that complexity is hidden behind-the-scenes so that all customers see is great service.
The best customer service software is somewhat misleading, as different versions of your typical support software are more suited for different teams. An e-commerce brand that provides support mostly on social media is very different from SaaS companies that rely on phone and email support.
Nevertheless, we’ll present the top contenders for best customer support software in this article.
Best customer support software tools in 2023
Our very own Keeping lets you turn Gmail into a help desk, and is one of the best customer support software. Keeping works on top of Gmail so you retain all the familiar features of your email inbox whilst enabling your team of support agents to collaborate together on tickets.
Read More: 10 Best Help Desk Software for 2023
You’ll see when you use Keeping that Gmail becomes a shared inbox, with the ability to assign emails and collision detection to avoid duplicate replies. Agents can chat together behind-the-scenes on particular emails so solving tickets becomes collaborative.
Automations means you can eliminate some of the busywork from your day, such as automatically tagging particular emails that have keywords. Reporting means you can track key metrics such as First Response Time and iteratively improve your support team.
Front is a customer operations platform that combines the efficiency of a help desk with the familiarity of email. Essentially a shared inbox, Front allows your team to work collaboratively and has been designed for large organizations to deliver scalable customer support.
Front works across channels to combine your customer support efforts. It also offers live chat for businesses that want to support their customers in real-time. Automations mean you don’t have to manually assign tickets to the right person and you gain efficiency.
#3. Help Scout
Help Scout is help desk software that is particularly suited for small businesses and nonprofits. At its heart it also offers a shared inbox, collaboration features and automations to help support agents deal with more tickets. Automatic workflows take care of repetitive tasks using if/then logic that can be set up by your agents.
Notable features of Help Scout is the in-built knowledge base and live chat tool which allows customer service teams to diversify the support they are able to offer customers. The user-friendly interface is easy to learn and resembles an email inbox. Conversations are personalized as Help Scout displays all your customer information.
Zendesk is a well-known help desk software that allows teams of any size to get a handle on their support. Zendesk has been designed to help you offer a better customer experience by integrating omnichannel so agents can field inquiries no matter where they come in.
Zendesk has been developed to help your teams scale globally, and incorporate different divisions so that every customer interaction is seamless. With Zendesk you can help customers with bots and integrate with many popular tools, so Zendesk is just the beginning of your customer support journey.
Freshdesk is customer service software that allows you to scale support sustainably. Customer information is directly available in the interface so every agent has vital context, no matter whether they have dealt with the customer before. The advantage of Freshdesk is its complexity, with the ability to handle the operations of large teams.
Freshdesk empowers support across messaging channels like WhatsApp and SMS, with the ability to deploy AI-driven bots to help more customers. It also doubles as a contact center, with the ability to handle voice calls and manage them across teams.
If you’ve never heard of HappyFox, you’ll be pleased to discover it’s a handy help desk tool. It combines a ticketing system with a knowledge base so you can provide hands-on and self-service support to your customers. Email, phone, chat and social media can be converted into tickets to give your customers the omnichannel experience they deserve.
Calls within HappyFox are all converted into tickets so that it becomes a true contact center. HappyFox also supports a live chat plugin with all conversations recorded as tickets for easy management. Their multilingual knowledge base supports the creation of content in several languages.
#7. Zoho Desk
Zoho Desk is another customer service help desk software which integrates with Zoho’s suite of products for the ultimate customer experience. The omnichannel ticketing system helps you identify high-priority issues and keep all the relevant data together for each ticket.
Zoho Desk also integrates with more than 200 of the most popular third-party extensions, including Intercom, Shopify and Slack. Sentiment analysis allows you to identify the sentiment behind a ticket so that agents can prioritize those with negative sentiment.
#8. Hubspot Service Hub
Hubspot Service Hub is one of Hubspot’s suite of software, this time aimed at helping agents provide customer service. Service Hub integrates with Hubspot’s CRM platform so your agents always have access to the full picture of customers. A secure customer portal keeps tickets flowing between customers and agents.
Live chat capabilities let your agents support customers on your website in real-time, with the ability to assign to particular agents. Agents can call customers from directly within the Hubspot platform, and the inbox also brings together inquiries from multiple channels.
LiveAgent is help desk software that specializes in live chat. Handling all the most popular channels including email and voice, LiveAgent enables your agents to support customers no matter where they are. The ticketing system lets you organize and manage your tickets for a seamless customer experience.
LiveAgent’s integration with its own knowledge base means you can also provide self-service support for customers. More than 200 integrations means you can use LiveAgent as more than just a help desk tool. LiveAgent allows you to use rules to automate basic help desk functions.
What is support software?
Support software is any software that helps you deal with customer support requests by collecting and handling customer communication in one centralized system. It allows teams of agents to work together to collaborate on support requests and provide a cohesive experience for customers.
Much more than simply an email address, customer service software typically works across communication channels so customers feel like they are talking to a coherent entity. Many features operate together in the back-end so agents are empowered to provide the best support possible, such as collaboration tools and reporting which makes for a much more professional support team.
There is quite a range of support software available, which is why we will be presenting a selection of tools for you to choose from. All of them will help you to improve your customer support operations and have more streamlined customer interactions.
What are the benefits of support software?
First, what are the benefits of customer service software for your customer service team? It’s likely that companies in their infancy won’t be using any kind of fancy software and may even be supporting their customers just using an email address and a phone. Soon, though, growing businesses find that they must invest in the proper support software to experience the following benefits.
Help customers more efficiently
Features in your customer service software such as customer history or saved replies means that your agents will be faster and more efficient at helping customers, leading to increased customer satisfaction. The power of the support tool really lies in the back-end where it provides a much more engaging agent experience, so your staff aren’t using clumsy workarounds to support their customers.
Present a more professional face
When agents are using the proper tools to support customers this reduces the likelihood of embarrassing situations arising such as duplicate replies. The system uses collision detection to tell you when another agent is already working on a response so a customer doesn’t receive two different replies, and your business looks much more professional as a result.
Collect customer data
Many support softwares allow you to collect data about your customers that gives you insight into their support experiences and buying habits. Having the right data allows you to be much more intentional and proactive about the customer experience and understand what customers need from your business.
Improve the performance of your support team
Analytics and reporting allow your team to gain even more insights into how your team is performing, which in turn enables you to improve operations. You’ll be able to get a handle on when the highest volume of tickets come in or when your agents start to lag behind on average handle time, keeping quality high and resulting in more loyal customers.
Do more with fewer resources
The big advantage of customer service software is you are able to do more with fewer resources. You don’t need to hire as many customer service agents because your support software does much of the heavy-lifting for you, allowing your agents to focus on helping customers. Investing in a support tool means less budget devoted to headcount.
How do I choose great customer support software?
It’s all very well and good to come to the realization that you need support software, but how do you go ahead and choose the right tool for your business? There is a sequence of steps that every company can go through when choosing customer service tools.
You’ll need to ask yourself, how can I best support my customers? Customers should be at the heart of every decision you make, and that includes evaluating customer support software. What will make your customers happy? If you can’t answer this question, consider doing a little research to help you better understand your customers.
Understand your business model
First, understand your business model – the way you approach making money will determine the type of software that best suits your business. You’ll be able to find software that is tailored towards supporting different business models, such as companies who need to frequently interact with their customers and offer complex service.
Evaluate the capabilities you have available
One of the great things about customer service software is that it enables you to do more with less. Even so, you need to be realistic about the resources you have available within your team, how many customers you’ll be able to support and over what channel. Consider what times of day you’ll be available and how you’ll help customers when support is offline.
Differentiate the options on the market
Once you have identified your needs, you’ll next need to look at the different solutions available on the market, which is exactly what this article is for. Consider the categories of software available, whether that’s a help desk ticketing system, shared inbox, knowledge base or live chat.
Narrow down the essential features
Decide what are the essential features you want your support software to have. There will naturally be some nice-to-haves and some must-haves, so evaluate carefully what your team absolutely cannot do without. Perhaps you would like your software to integrate with your project management tool. Certain solutions can make that happen.
Compare your shortlist
Then, make a list of the final software that pass your criteria, and rank them in order of suitability. Take into consideration things like number of features, trial period, and price when ranking your shortlist, and if you don’t have time to trial every solution in the next step then you can at least start with the ones that are most likely to fit your needs.
Trial your top contenders
Finally, take advantage of free trials to actually test out your customer service software and find out whether your team actually like using it. Bear in mind that some solutions take time to set up and might take a while to show a return on investment. Be patient when evaluating software and remember that the right solution is out there for you!
Must-have features for support software
Most support software will have the ability to turn your incoming customer queries into tickets for easier management, using predefined fields to label your tickets accordingly. Whether it’s email, live chat or phone call, customer service agents need a way to manage and track their support requests for easier resolution.
You don’t want to spend time manually crafting every single response that you send to customers, especially when their inquiries are quite repetitive. Use customer service software to save your replies and insert into a customer conversation with a single click.
One of the biggest reasons companies invest in support software is so their agents can collaborate more effectively on customer queries. Collision detection stops duplicate replies by showing when an agent is already working on a request, so customers don’t receive more than one response.
Requests can be assigned to individual agents so you know exactly who is responsible for each ticket. Agents can view their own tickets in their personal inbox so they always have a view of exactly what they need to work on.
Internal commenting and tagging
Many tickets require internal collaboration and that’s where commenting and tagging teammates comes in very handy. You can conduct conversations within the context of the ticket without leaving the customer service software.
Categorizing and tagging
Categorizing and tagging means you can organize your support tickets even when you have high volumes of incoming customer messages. For example, you’ll be able to see every request that relates to a particular bug which helps in assigning team members to deal with the magnitude of the problem.
Many automations in support software allow you to work more efficiently with customer requests. For example, you could automatically assign a ticket to a particular agent or team, or categorize a ticket in a certain way depending on the presence of particular keywords.
Reporting and analytics
The right customer service tool will offer reporting and analytics that track key metrics which will help you understand the performance of your customer support team and the needs of your customers. You can download reports and customize them to monitor progress to ensure that customer service is always improving.
Some support software can also offer a knowledge base system which is a website for presenting self-service content to your customers. You can organize and publish your content as well as following custom workflows that enable customer service teams to collaborate on articles for your customers. As much as helping customers is important, empowering them to help themselves is also key.
No business can function without the right support software to empower their customer service team. Customers definitely expect a high level of service and your team can only deliver if they have the right tooling to work with. And it doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive – our incredibly simple help desk Keeping is proof of that.
As long as customers feel like you are there for them in their hour of need, they will be satisfied. And blazing through tickets so no customer is kept waiting is one of the key advantages of support software. Making agents happier so they provide better service is another advantage.
So don’t delay – start evaluating support software today and ensure your business is equipped for customer service at scale. Ensure no customer is left behind as you easily handle a flood of tickets and create effortlessly great customer interactions.
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