No matter the size and nature of your business, the key to business success is happy customers. Businesses can thrive or fail based on their customer service, especially in today’s competitive global economy.
A good customer service program can really distinguish your company from those that compete with you. Now that every consumer can do business with anyone around the globe with just a click of their mouse, good customer service makes all the difference.
Though businesses of all types, whether small, medium, or enterprise, pursue the same end goal, the means by which they accomplish it differ.
It’s a no-brainer that small and medium-sized businesses cannot afford to provide the same level of comprehensive customer service as large enterprises because of their difference in economies of scale.
But small and medium businesses can achieve the same end result through personalized service and a focus on every customer interaction.
Unsatisfied customers can cause meaningful damage to your reputation. So, how can small and medium-sized business earn their credibility by taking good care of their customers?
The answer is simple: by introducing a middleman between you and your customers.
Now that middleman doesn’t necessarily mean human beings, instead of a customer service software that can serve your clients when you are out of touch.
A great customer experience depends on good customer support software. But it’s not easy to choose the right solutions for your business, vet providers, and put the system in place.
This article will cover everything related to customer service software, its features, and its benefits. On top of that, we’ll provide a compiled list of the best customer service software platforms that will help you out to decide what’s best for you.
What is Customer Service Software?
The term customer service software pertains to any software that helps a business manage, track and streamline its customer service efforts.
The customer support system may utilize several channels of communication, such as email, live chat, and messaging. In the meantime, they may also integrate with external tools like social media and group chat systems.
The apprehension of many business owners in acquiring these great tools is the cost. But you have to know that there are low-cost help desk software options that would work just as well as those expensive ones. This can be very beneficial if you’re starting up. As a novice business owner, you want to put your money wisely into investments that would give great returns.
Why do small and medium businesses need Customer Service Software?
Given the hectic nature of a small and medium-sized business, providing top-notch customer service is no easy task. Without help from software, small businesses would not be able to provide the kind of customer service that consumers are accustomed to.
As a small business owner, of course, you have plans to scale up your business for the future, and you can only do that by getting product reviews from your valued customers. This tool can help with that crucial task.
More importantly, if immediate concerns need to be addressed, your customer will feel that you’re listening because of a prompt response, even if it’s an auto-generated one.
Customer service tools allow customers to contact live customer service 24 hours a day, every day of the year while providing management with insight into how they interact with customers.
Benefits of Customer Service Software
Providing superior customer service helps small businesses stand out from the competition. Customer Service Software platforms benefit small and medium-sized businesses that need to respond to customer queries without hiring many support representatives quickly. Some key benefits are;
Deliver top-notch support
Customer Service Software helps businesses provide 24/7 support to their customer. On top of that, the multi-channel support that includes chat, phone, email, social media, etc., to reach you helps customers get a seamless experience. With such services, the customers are more likely to stay loyal and less likely to churn.
Gather customer insights
By accumulating feedback, resolutions, use cases, and customer support interactions, your customer database becomes a wealth of information on your market. You can organize and identify such insights to discover trends that you were unable to find out before.
By doing so, you can make the right decision based on your customer’s preferences and improve customer satisfaction.
The longer it takes for your support team to respond, the closer you are to losing that customer to a faster competitor. Using a customer service tool, repetitive tasks like ticket sorting, data entry, queueing, routine reporting, and other administrative tasks can be automated and free up your support team to focus on building relationships with customers.
You can easily get insights that precisely depicts all of your customer data in real-time, whenever you want. You can also access reports to focus on key metrics and discover patterns or changes in team productivity, support volume, size of customers, and much more.
Ability to scale
A customer service application can help businesses become more customer-centric. The solution enables a company to grow and scale according to its customers’ needs. With tools that offer organizational features, integrations, and automation, you can support a huge customer base and provide high-quality service as you grow.
Best Customer Service Software Platform for SMBs
KrispCall is a cloud-based business phone system designed for customer support and sales team. It is best for small and medium-sized businesses because it provides everything necessary for them to compete in the market. From unlimited user limits to global phone numbers, it offers almost all necessary features at a super-affordable price.
In spite of the fact that phone support is often associated with larger organizations, it can still be an important part of a small business’s support efforts, particularly for more complex solutions.
In addition to regular telephony features, KrispCall is also loaded with a plethora of handy features. It boasts sought-after features like Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Automatic Call Distribution (ACD), Call Transfer, Sales Dialer, Auto Attendant, Intelligent Call Routing, etc.
Many users love this tool’s ability to emulate a quiet and distraction-free environment while communicating with customers because of its noise suppression technology, which uses machine learning algorithms to remove background noise from audio calls in real time.
Because of its elaborate set of features, KrispCall is being widely used in call centers, banking and financial institutions, traveling and hospitality industries as well.
Plan & Pricing:
- Essential: $15 monthly/user
- Standard: $40 monthly/user
- Enterprise: customized solution
- Global phone numbers (essential)
- Android/iOS apps (essential)
- Unlimited users limit (standard)
- IVR (standard)
- Advance reporting (standard)
- Unlimited call recording and storage (standard)
Zoho, one of the most recognized brands in the realm of business software, offers tools for email, marketing, collaboration, sales, and many more. They do offer a number of solutions, but Zoho Desk–an IT helpdesk solution–is one of the best.
Zoho Desk has become popular in recent years because of its user-friendly interface. Moreover, business owners love using this because it can track key metrics to help them make data-driven decisions with their customer service approach. It can track response times, ticket volumes, and customer satisfaction levels.
Zoho Desk is a pioneer in providing context-aware help desk solutions. Since its inception, it has helped several businesses irrespective of their size and customer base.
Zoho Desk has a free plan that offers 3 free agents and features like email ticketing, multi-language help desk, mobile apps, and customer management. They offer other advanced features, though those features are limited to the highest cost-plan. The pricing for paid plan starts at $14 per agent per month billed annually.
Plan & Pricing:
- Free : $0 (3 free agents)
- Standard : $14 per agent per month billed annually.
- Professional : $23 per agent per month billed annually.
- Enterprise : $40 per agent per month billed annually.
- Email Ticketing (Free)
- Multilingual help desk (Free)
- Product-based Ticket Management (Standard)
- Customer Happiness Ratings (Standard)
- Telephony (Professional)
- Multi-level IVR (Enterprise)
- Live chat (Enterprise)
Freshdesk offers two support solutions, one for a help desk solution and the other for omnichannel support. While both have different plan tiers, the help desk solution is less expensive on average than the omnichannel product, and it’s probably what most small and medium businesses will consider.
The company’s more expensive plans offer all the key customer support management software features, including chatbots, dashboard, ticket routing, help desk report, and many more.
Freshdesk also boasts several handy features for streamlining customer service solutions on a single platform.
Plan & Pricing:
- Free : $0 (unlimited agents)
- Growth : $15 per agent per month billed annually.
- Pro : $49 per agent per month billed annually.
- Enterprise : $79 per agent per month billed annually.
- Unlimited agents (Free)
- Email & Social Ticketing (Free)
- SLA & business hour (Growth)
- Customer Email server (Growth)
- Customer reports and dashboard (Pro)
- Chatbots (Enterprise)
The LiveAgent platform can handle all customer requests from multiple channels in one place. It is one of those platforms best known for automating live chat. With this customer service software, you can manage tickets, with each ticket having information about the number of chats, emails, and calls you’ve had with the company’s support staff.
Its gamification approach to customer support sets it apart from all the other tools we’ve mentioned. Customer support teams can earn points and rewards for completing tasks, making it more fun for them.
Plan & Pricing:
- Free : $0/agent/month.
- Ticket : $15 per agent per month.
- Ticket + Chat : $29 per agent per month.
- All Inclusive : $39 per agent per month.
- 7 days ticket history (Free)
- Unlimited ticket history (Ticket)
- Advanced Reporting (Ticket)
- Unlimited chat buttons (Ticket + Chat)
- Social networks (Ticket + Chat)
- Call center support (All inclusive)
- Unlimited call recordings and video calls (All inclusive)
In addition to facilitating long-term relationships with customers, Zendesk offers an extensive range of capabilities. For instance, you can operate a branded help center and integrate multiple channels. It also offers data analytics and performance dashboards for workflow management, making it one of the best customer support software tools.
In general, Zendesk is associated with larger teams due to the relative complexity of the product and the overall cost, but they do offer some lower-cost plans. Some features aren’t available on lower-cost accounts, such as chat, phone support, and custom reporting, but they should still cover the basics for those who want to do mainly email support.
Plan & pricing:
- Support Team : $19/month per agent per month billed annually
- Support Professional : $49 per agent per month billed annually
- Support Enterprise : $99 per agent per month billed annually
- Integrated ticketing across email, Tweets, and Facebook wall posts (support team)
- Customer details and interaction history (support team)
- App and Integration (support professional)
- SLA management (support professional)
- Custom team roles and permissions (support enterprise)
- Conversation routing based on agent skill (support enterprise)
Groove offers good and user-friendly solutions for managing customer support. The Common Replies feature on Groove helps customers customize their responses without repeating themselves.
In addition, it facilitates communication among customer support operators, allowing them to collaborate on tasks. For easy access to customer support history, each query is accompanied by a history of past exchanges. These features are available in the lowest plan of The Groove.
Plan & pricing:
- Standard : $20 per user per month billed annually.
- Pro : $35 per user per month billed annually.
- Company : $49 per user per month billed annually.
- Live chat (Standard)
- Customer Properties (Standard)
- Unlimited mailboxes (Pro)
- Dedicated Success Manager (Company)
- Priority support (Company)
Though there are several customer service platforms that offer their own sets of features, it’s up to you to decide what works best for you. With these customer service software for small businesses, you can create an automated help system to assist your team in providing top-notch customer service and reaching out to them with relevant solutions.