There was a time when customer complaints and queries were dealt with as and when they came with little to no record of them.
However, today things are much different. Right from powerful chatbots to automated workflows, the best customer service software has revolutionized how companies interact with their customers.
There is no doubt that great customer service has become the cornerstone of a sustainable, profitable business. With customer expectations higher than the tallest skyscrapers, the right set of tools can help you better meet your customer needs.
There are loads of customer service tools out there that can help you do your job more easily and take your customer experience to the next level. In this blog, we’ll review the basics of customer service software and compare 20 tools that deserve your attention in 2021.
Here we go!
What Is Customer Service Software?
Customer service software is used by businesses to capture, organize, and respond to customer support requests while reducing agent efforts. With the best customer service software, you can manage customer conversations on popular communication channels such as phone, email, live chat, social media, and others. Moreover, with the reporting capabilities of this tool, you can understand how happy customers are with your service, their challenges, and how you can improve.
What Are the Top Benefits of Customer Service Software?
When you are a small business that has been around in the market for just months, you might not feel the need for a specialist software.
However, as your business grows and you run into some rough edges, the need for the best customer service software becomes all the more important. Here some top benefits of customer service solutions:
- Improved Customer Service Management
When you have a large customer base, their issues and requests can easily slip through the cracks. To add to your problems, customers might decide to reach you through a variety of channels. During such challenging situations, customer service systems can unify all incoming issues in one dashboard and help you track every support ticket from start to finish.
- Assign an Owner to Every Issue
To keep your customer service process moving in the right direction, you need to assign issues or requests as quickly as possible. Customer service solutions allow you to automatically route tickets to agents who are most capable to handle them. For instance, a technical issue will be routed to your team member who has the necessary technical skills.
- Promote Self-Service
Sometimes customers don’t w ish to interact with an agent for their simple queries. According to American Express, around 60% of US customers prefer automated self-service, such as a website or mobile app, for simple customer service tasks. Some customer service solutions allow you to create a comprehensive knowledge base or help center that can be used by customers to resolve their basic concerns 24×7.
- Measure Your Efforts
Keeping a tab on customer service metrics and KPIs gives you a holistic view of how well your team is performing. Customer service management software offers detailed reports and analytics tools to help you measure individual and team performance. You can even share automated surveys to capture customer feedback and measure their satisfaction levels.
20 Best Customer Support Tools That Will Make Your Job Easier
After researching hundreds of customer service solutions, we’ve narrowed down the 20 best customer service software that can give an edge to your business. As we move ahead, you will learn about the top features, use cases, pricing, and more details.
Help Desk Customer Service Tools
ProProfs Help Desk is a free customer service software that offers all the features you need to delight customers and make your employees super productive. The tool offers an easy-to-use dashboard where every incoming support request is automatically converted into a ticket and assigned to the most relevant agent.
In addition to a unique ticketing system, ProProfs offers multiple customer support tools such as Live Chat, Knowledge Base Survey Maker, etc., that allow you to provide 360-degree support. Moreover, with collaboration features such as internal notes, canned responses, ticket labels, etc., your team can offer 24×7 assistance to customers.
You Can Use ProProfs Help Desk To:
- Round-robin ticket assignment to equally distribute tickets among available agents
- Share faster replies with canned responses
- Create an extensive knowledge base and encourage self-service
- Use custom signatures to add a professional touch to every outgoing email
- Leverage smart reports & analytics to measure performance
Best For: Best affordable and feature-rich help desk software
What you will like: ProProfs makes it easier for managers to measure and improve the customer experience. You can share CSAT and NPS surveys with customers to monitor the quality of their experience with your brand.
ProProfs Help Desk plans include:
Forever Free: Forever free with limited features.
Freshdesk is another leading help desk software that has established a name for itself in the help desk market. The tool offers an intuitive Team Inbox that allows agents to track and manage incoming support tickets from multiple channels such as email, phone, chat, and social media.
With Freshdesk’s auto-assignment rules, support tickets can be automatically assigned based on an agent’s skill set or availability. You can also choose to distribute tickets equally amongst your customer service members. With the help of insightful and customizable reports, managers can track key help desk metrics and better understand how different agents and teams are performing.
Some top features of Freshdesk are:
- Link related tickets together for consistent replies
- Split complex support tickets into multiple child tickets
- Convert your ticket replies into knowledge base articles
- Resolve customer queries faster with AI-powered chatbots
- Track time spent resolving support tickets and log billable hours
Best For: All the tools you need to deliver omnichannel experiences
What you will like: Freshdesk offers the ‘Thank You Detector’ feature that prevents the reopening of tickets when customers reply to your emails with a thank you.
Freshdesk plans include:
Sprout: Free for unlimited agents with email and social ticketing
HappyFox is a robust customer service application that is used to easily convert email, phone, chat, social media, and web requests into tickets. In addition to keeping ticketing organized in a central place, you can also build a contact portal for users to log in and track the progress of their tickets.
With HappyFox’s private notes feature, you can enhance internal collaboration without including your customer, which in turn also speeds up your ticket resolution process. Moreover, to prevent agent collision, agents receive a pop-up warning when they are trying to reply to the same ticket.
Some top features of HappyFox are:
- Create an internal knowledge base to ensure rapid and consistent agent training
- Automatically route tickets to relevant agents or teams
- Use canned responses to respond to customers within seconds
- Keep every team member o the same page with automated notifications
- Add additional information using custom ticket fields
Best For: Best help desk system to support customers in multiple languages
What you will like: With HappyFox, you can track all your IT assets in one place. You can capture all software and hardware requests from employees as well as customers.
HappyFox Plans Include:
HappyFox offers four user-based plans- Mighty, Fantastic, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus. All the prices are available on request.
Zendesk is another leading customer service tool that offers the right platform for tracking, prioritizing, and resolving customer support issues. Agents can find all ongoing and past customer conversations in a central location which helps them offer reliable, efficient, and personal customer service.
Zendesk makes it easier for your customers to find all the help they need with minimum agent intervention. For instance, you can build an intuitive and user-friendly help center to allow customers to resolve issues at their own pace. You can also encourage customers to help each other by creating an extensive community forum.
Some top features of Zendesk are:
- Offer your agents all the data they need to interact with customers
- Enjoy flexibility with custom integrations and configurable workflows
- Delight customers with an integrated help center and community forum
- Measure performance with easy-to-understand reports
- Easily escalate issues to relevant customer service reps or managers
Best For: Perfect for growing teams that are looking for a scalable solution
What you will like: When it comes to integration options, there is no other tool that even comes close to Zendesk. You can integrate your help desk with 100+ powerful business tools.
Zendesk plans include:
Suite Team: $49/agent/month
Suite Growth: $79/agent/month
Suite Professional: $99/agent/month
Recommended Read: 20 Best Help Desk Software in 2021
Live Chat Customer Service Tools
ProProfs Live Chat software helps you interact with customers in real-time and generate more reliable leads for your business. Using this tool, your customer service agents can anticipate what a visitor will type next and accordingly route chats to relevant team members to reduce the resolution time.
Chat operators can offer real-time quality answers by using features such as canned responses and customize the chat widget for an improved experience. You can also include self-help articles or guides in your chat widget for instant help.
Some top features of ProProfs Live Chat are:
- Anticipate customer questions in advance
- Add self-help articles to the chat widget
- Customize individual operator greetings and welcome customers
- Share announcements and give product tours
- Capture visitor details with the pre-chat form
Best for: Best for real-time support, lead generation, and customer engagement
What you will like: ProProfs offers chatbots that can help you offer primary assistance to customers or prospects even when your team is offline or not available to take chats.
ProProfs Live Chat plans include:
Forever Free: Forever free plan with limited features
LiveChat is one of the most popular customer service platforms that allows customer-facing employees such as sales executives or support agents to interact with customers in real-time.
When it comes to lead generation and tracking, LiveChat does not disappoint at all. Marketers and sales professionals can track leads, sales, and other goals to see precisely how chats boost revenue. Another handy aspect of this tool is that it allows internal team members to chat with each other – which is important for businesses with multiple departments.
Some top features of LiveChat are:
- Add tags to your chats to give them more context
- Automatically assign new chats to your available agents
- Reduce repeated questions with chat history
- Make your chat widget stand out with ‘eye-catchers’
- Decide on which web pages your chat widget is displayed
Best for: Get all the tools you need to provide excellent chat assistance
What you will like: LiveChat gives you the option to see what customers are typing in real-time. So, you can get the answer ready even before the customer hits ‘Enter’.
LiveChat plans include:
Enterprise: Price available on request
If you’re looking for a solution that combines a robust live chat and help desk system, LiveAgent deserves to be on your list. Using the live chat function, you can create multiple canned responses to answer common customer questions automatically, assign chats to different support agents, send surveys to collect customer feedback, and more.
LiveAgent offers integration options with some of the most popular messaging platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The tool also warns when customer service agents are responding to the same request at the same time.
Some top features of LiveAgent are:
- View customer’s text while they are typing it
- Allow customers to choose a department they wish to interact with
- Monitor who is browsing your website and what URL they are on
- Distribute chats through multiple distribution options
- Automatically hide the live chat button when the maximum queue is reached
Best for: Build instant connections with proactive live chat software
What you will like: With LiveAgent, you can place the chat button strategically on your website for improved results. You can also choose the right chat button from the chat button gallery.
LiveAgent plans include:
Free: Forever free plan
Ticket + Chat: $29/agent/month
All Inclusive: $39/agent/month
Knowledge Base Tools
ProProfs Knowledge Base is a dedicated tool that allows businesses to build extensive help centers, user guides, manuals, Wikis, and more. You can create a knowledge base in minutes – simply choose a template, customize it, import docs or files, and take it live.
As one the best customer service software, ProProfs knowledge Base saves your support staff from answering the same questions repeatedly. In addition to encouraging self-help, you can bring down support tickets by up to 80% and reduce support costs.
Some top features of ProProfs Knowledge Base are:
- Control who views your content by granting or restricting access
- Collaborate effortlessly to create and share knowledge
- Get access to 100+ settings and integrations
- Analyze your traffic with Google analytics
- Create a secure knowledge base with a password and privacy controls
Best for: Best tool to reduce customer support tickets
What you will like: With the help of smart reports, you can take the necessary actions. For instance, you can learn what users are searching for, identify failed searches, and spot articles that need improvement.
ProProfs Knowledge Base plans include:
Essentials: Starts at $30/month (100 pages)
Premium: Starts at $80/month (200 pages)
Enterprise: Price available on request
Helpjuice provides a powerful knowledge base software designed from the ground up to help businesses scale their customer support and collaborate better internally. The tool is incredibly easy to use, and you can instantly author articles without going through heavy training videos or modules.
Helpjuice offers google-like search functionality to allow users to find relevant support articles that match their queries quickly. With insightful analytics, you can easily understand what people are searching for, which articles are performing well, and which ones need improvement.
Some top features of Helpjuice are:
- Easily format text, upload images, videos, and more
- Collaborate, comment, and reply to other team members right from the article
- Publish multiple versions of the same article
- Set articles to public, internal, or private and control who get to see them
- Easily restore articles to their previous versions
Best for: Best knowledge base for authoring and content formatting
What You will like: Helpjuice allows you to control who gets to view your help articles or any other help content. You can decide if an article is visible to just your internal employees or even customers.
Helpjuice plans include:
Starter: $120/month (up to 4 Users)
Run-up: $200/month (up to 16 Users)
Premium Limited: $289/month (up to 60 Users)
Enterprise: Price available on request (unlimited users)
Document360 is another popular help center software that allows you to offer reliable self-service options to your customers and employees. Businesses can take their documentation process to the next level by creating how-to guides, tutorials, reference docs, release notes, and more.
You can easily replace your offline, static, PDF user guides with online guides that you can edit in real-time and always keep up-to-date. Moreover, you can support your employees by building a private, extensive, and login-enabled internal knowledge base.
Some top features of Document360 are:
- Create robust FAQ pages to reduce support ticket volume
- Build SOP’s like employee handbooks or sales/marketing playbooks
- Preview articles before publishing
- Advanced search to help customers find relevant help in seconds
- Collaborate with team members to write or review published and draft articles
Best for: Edit and publish help content in easy steps
What you will like: Document360 allows you to achieve more through extensive integration and extension capabilities.
Document360 plans include:
Startup: $49/project/month (2 team accounts)
Business: $149/project/month (5 team accounts)
Enterprise: $299/project/month (15 team accounts)
Enterprise Plus: Price available on request (with unlimited team accounts)
Call Center Customer Service Tools
Aircall is a cloud-based customer service software that can be integrated with your CRM systems, help desk solutions, and other essential business applications. With features such as call center IVR menus, skill-based routing, live call monitoring, etc., you can make the customer experience your competitive advantage.
In addition to customer service, Aircall allows your team to close more sales. Your sales professionals can book more meetings and close deals with features such as PowerDialer, click-to-call, real-time coaching, and more. Due to its cloud capabilities, remote teams can access the tool to stay connected and seamlessly work from anywhere.
Some top features of Aircall are:
- Instantly create toll-free numbers for your business
- Use voicemail to greet callers or update them when you are away
- Use distribution rules to direct calls to the right people
- Maintain clear visibility of call activity with shared call inbox
- Allow teammates to quickly speak to one another before transferring a call
Best for: Simple to setup cloud call center software
What you will like: With Aircall, phone support agents can get incoming call alerts right on their desktop and start the conversation by clicking the banner.
Aircall plans include:
Custom: Customized package aligned with your business needs
Talkdesk is a robust cloud contact center solution that helps you optimize operational efficiency, improve caller experience, and reduce costs. With the help of real-time reporting and predictive analytics, your business can stay on top of performance, no matter where your teams operate from.
Talkdesk is loaded with advanced features that are simple to use and save time. For instance, Callbar requires virtually no training and allows your support agents to view caller information without switching between tabs.
Some top features of Talkdesk are:
- Record inbound and outbound calls and listen to past calls anytime
- Place calls directly from your CRM with the click-to-call feature
- View outbound caller ID to increase connection rates
- Maximize efficiency with unlimited concurrent calls
- Assign tags to contacts for better sorting and visibility
Best for: End-to-end contact center solution
What you will like: Talkdesk is great for internal collaboration. For instance, you can speak to other Talkdesk users on the same company account with one-click-dialing.
Talkdesk plans include:
Taldesk offers three AI-powered plans – Professional, Professional Plus, and Enterprise, starting at $65 per seat, per month.
Dixa offers a flexible, full-featured call center and phone system that can run in any browser. Customer service managers can get a holistic overview of their team’s performance and make adjustments to make every customer interaction count.
With Dixa, businesses can build an effective call center structure without assistance from IT. You can route to agents based on their relevant skills so that customers can always receive reliable assistance. You can join in on live calls to offer help or simply listen to your agent’s calls.
Some top features of Dixa are:
- Prioritize certain call queues during peak hours
- Create overflow scenarios to ensure customers always get help
- View team performance stats in real-time and customize reports
- Automatically recognize calling customers
- Collaborate effectively with internal calls
Best for: Best for intelligent call distribution options
What you will like: Dixa gives you multiple call distribution options. For instance, you can distribute calls based on agent priority, longest idle time, all at once, and more.
Dixa plans include:
Integra is another leading customer care software that allows you to manage all voice interactions in just one place – inbound, outbound, or blended. The tool also offers an interactive voice response system, or IVR, that allows your business to receive fewer calls and customers to resolve their issues without agent intervention.
Integra allows you to give insightful feedback to agents and supervisors on their performance using surveys. Moreover, customer service managers can monitor the entire service operations at a high level with proactive and automated alerts.
Some top features of Integra are:
- Keep customer service agents updated with email and SMS notifications
- Listen to your agents live and offer suggestions that only they can hear
- Schedule reports to receive them in your inbox at regular intervals
- Gain a full view of your operations in real-time
- Keep agents motivated with gamification options
Best For: Best for tracking call center reports and metrics
What you will like: You can leverage the Voice Broadcast feature to share important updates or marketing messages with customers via outbound phone calls.
Integra Plans Include:
Social Media Customer Service Tools
Buffer is one of the most popular social media support software that helps you tell your brand’s story and connect better with your target audience. No matter if you are a marketer or a customer service professional, you can easily measure performance, create reports, and get insights to assist customers and grow sales.
With Buffer, you can visually plan and schedule your social media campaigns. Your team can collaborate on creative campaigns and publish content across the leading social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn – all from one single dashboard.
Some top features of Buffer are:
- Plan and schedule your social media posts and notifications
- Create content drafts, get feedback, and refine content together as a team
- Measure performance of stories, individual posts, and hashtags
- Use audience demographics to reach the right audience
- Use keyboard hotkeys and smart emojis to interact with customers quickly
Best For: Best for social media marketing and engagement
What you will like: With Buffer, you can receive insights about the best time to post (times when your posts get maximum reach), the best types of post (images, videos, or texts), and the best posting frequency (how often to post to drive engagement).
Buffer plans include:
Free: Forever free plan
Pro: $15/month (1 user and 8 social channels)
Premium: $65/month (2 users and 8 social channels)
Business: $99/month (6 users and 25 social channels)
Mention helps your brand build a robust social media strategy and schedule in advance. Your team can preview and organize content in a multi-channel editorial calendar. You can seamlessly offer assistance to customers across multiple social media channels and easily draft, schedule, and publish posts to engage customers.
The tool scans forums and social media platforms to update you every time someone talks about your brand, your products, or a related topic. You can keep everything well organized by saving mentions as ‘priority’, ‘unread’, ‘archive’, or ‘favorites’.
Some top features of Mention are:
- Create social media content based on relevant insights
- Use the content calendar to see how your content will be delivered with time
- Grasp the sentiment of your existing or target audience
- analyze data with robust filtering options
- Verify content layout before they are published
Best For: Best for tracking all your social media mentions
What you will like: Mention helps you monitor what is said about your competitors online so you can always learn from their mistakes and stay one step ahead.
Mention plans include:
Solo: $25/month (1 user and 5 social accounts)
Pro: $83/month (Unlimited users and 10 social accounts)
ProPlus: $167/month (Unlimited users and 15 social accounts
Company: $450+/month (Unlimited users and unlimited social accounts)
17. Sprout Social
Sprout Social gives your business the right platform to exceed customer expectations and deliver responsive, tailored experiences on the top social media channels. You can gain relevant insights to measure content and campaign performance across channels. This helps you better understand what’s resonating with your audience and what isn’t.
With Sprout Social, you can access essential customer details and use customer data to personalize every conversation. You can get notified of relevant customer activities and easily delegate tasks to your team members.
Some top features of Sprout Social are:
- Research your audience based on key demographics such as age, gender, etc.
- Create, organize, edit, and publish content from a central location
- Automatically schedule content to reach maximum customers
- Use message tags to messages based on workflow, business objectives, etc.
- Manage support issues by integrating with Zendesk and Hubspot
Best For: Build strong customer relationships on social media
What you will like: With collision detection, your support agents can view real-time indicators on the message surface when a team member is viewing or responding to a social media message.
Sprout Social plans include:
All-in-One Customer Service Tools
HelpCrunch is an all-in-one customer service solution that helps you scale your support, marketing, as well as sales. No matter where you are located, you can always stay in touch with your customers on popular channels such as chat, email, and help center.
With HelpCrunch, you can easily use auto messages and forms to connect with pre-qualified leads and convert your visitors instantly. Your team members can leverage automated or manual email follow-ups to close more sales faster and grow business revenue.
Some top features of HelpCrunch are:
- Send automated emails and chats to the right people at the right time
- Create stylish pop-ups to grab user attention and push them to action
- Use chatbots to offer 24/7 assistance and qualify leads
- Create and edit help articles in a powerful visual editor
- Support customers on the go with native Android and iOS apps
Best For: One tool to manage customer support as well as customer engagement
What you will like: HelpCrunch allows you to automate your customer onboarding and engagement process with the help of targeted in-app messages.
HelpCrunch plans include:
Enterprise: Price available on request
Intercom is another all-inclusive customer support software that helps you effectively communicate with your audience. Using the Team Inbox, your customer service agents can track and respond to conversations, wherever they’re happening — Twitter, Facebook, Live chat, email, and more.
In addition to this, Intercom gives your business enough flexibility and the right platform to offer proactive support to your customers no matter where they are located. For proactive engagement, you can use targeted messages to suggest quick tips to customers or simply update them about any unanticipated outages.
Some top features of Intercom are:
- Capture customer communications from multiple channels using the Team Inbox
- Use Resolution Bot to quickly assist customers with their simple queries
- Leverage outbound messages to onboard, and proactively support your customers
- Use customer data to improve help articles and chatbots
- Engage new customers with interesting and interactive product tours
Best For: Best for onboarding new customers to your business
What you will like: With Intercom, you can customize bots and use them to prioritize issues and connect customers to the right people in your team
Intercom plans Include:
Start: $59/month (1 seat)
Grow: $119/month (5 seats)
Accelerate: $499/month (10 seats)
Scale: $999/month (10 seats)
20. Help Scout
Help Scout is a popular online customer support software that offers a robust shared inbox to manage all your support requests from one place. With the help of internal collaboration features, you can enhance agent productivity and allow them to serve more customers within a limited time.
Some popular features include multi-channel support, auto-reply, advanced formatting, in-app messaging, desktop notifications, email templates, and more. The tool also offers iOS and Android apps to support customers from any part of the world.
Some top features of Help Scout are:
- Delegate a conversation to another user when you need help
- Attach files of up to 10MB to any outgoing emails
- Make your website more functional with a live chat window
- Communicate effectively with other team members using internal notes
- Track when customers open your message
Best For: Best feature-rich and affordable customer service tool
What you will like: Help Scout does a great job at reducing the efforts of your team. For instance, you can use 75+ keyboard shortcuts to complete your daily tasks in a breeze.
HelpScout plans include:
Company: Price available on request
Recommended Read: 11 Best Email Management Ticketing System
Delight Customers With the Top Customer Service Software
The best customer service software allows for better communications with customers, improves team collaboration, and allows you to assist customers across multiple communication channels.
All the 20 tools discussed in this blog are industry leaders and have impeccable features to offer. However, before fully committing to any tool, we would suggest you sit with your team and jot down your business requirements and budget.
Remember, no matter which customer service platform you choose, great things happen when you build a strong customer service culture
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