What is Customer Support Software?
Customer Support Software stands for the wider scope of offering customer service, where help desk is only one feature in this general category. Apps like those generally feature both help desk means, as for instance points-of-contact and ticketing, and CRM functions including lead extraction and account & contact management. Certain Customer Support Software systems may also offer more distinctive tools such as tutorial builder, registration mechanism, user self-service, analytics, statistics, and case management. A Customer Support system helps companies to deal with problems, queries, and similar customer concerns quick and more accurate, to reaffirm the credibility of their brand, and to maintain long-term client relationships. The leader in the Customer Support Software category is currently Freshdesk, but you should also give a try to the other highest-rated apps and top sellers we listed for you.
Most Popular Customer Support Software
Best Customer Support Software
Guide to Buying a Customer Support Software
Organizations all over the world are using customer service and support software solutions to track and manage service interactions, whether online, by phone, by social media, through email, or even face-to-face.
However, there are literally hundreds of solutions available in the market and buying the best customer service software platform for your business can be quite challenging. Here is a buyer’s guide to selecting the best Customer Support software program for you.
Get to know each product with free trial
You may want to start off with signing up for several free trial plans from the vendors that are popular. If you do that you should have a pretty decent idea on how each software performs and if it has any disadvantages you should know about. The best thing to do is to try services that currently have the highest results in our SmartScore and Customer Satisfaction Rating in the customer support software category: Freshdesk reviews, Zendesk, Desk.com, Salesforce, Freshservice and DeskRoll.
When selecting the best customer support software, remember that different businesses have different needs. They usually break out as follows:
- Small business buyers – These small businesses wish to evolve beyond their contact tracking capabilities and add trouble ticketing and customer interaction tracking to boost relationships with strong customer service and support software.
- High-volume call center purchasers – These purchasers are operating one or several large call centers. Often, their goal to manage the call center business process with the help automated rules and scripts, which are supported by many customer service software tools. These buyers are also looking for computer telephony integration.
- Enterprise buyers – These buyers usually work for companies that regularly have a lot of customers, have complex functional needs, and appreciate the vision of an integrated software solution across all business units and departments and business units. These buyers will usually buy a best-of-breed strategy.
- Field service buyers – These purchasers work for large companies that provide service at the client’s location and will usually benefit from mobile access. This type of buyers will look for efficient client data integration with other tools.
- Freshdesk: A popular support solution designed to respond to the needs of businesses from all scales, with multi-channel capability and game mechanisms for increasing agent productivity.
- Zendesk: One of the major cloud-hosted desks known by easy setup and even easier maintenance. Highly integral and packed with advanced features.
- Samanage: Another great desk that can streamline customer support, mostly by collecting IT asset data and reporting on it.
- Salesforce Service Cloud: Highly interactive desk with multiple communication channels, well-integrated with social media to improve customer retention rates.
- Desk.com: Another leader in customer support that delivers fast, reliable, and highly prioritized customer support.
Types of Customer Support Software
There are four basic types of customer support software, categorized according to the type of support companies want to offer to their customers:
- Proactive Support Tools. These tools automate support, monitoring and solving problems to diagnose issues and to respond to inquiries 24/7, without necessary involving a person behind the wheel.
- Preemptive Support Tools. These solutions generate or collect information from the database and the log files, which they later on exploit to predict and solve interruptions.
- Self Support Tools. Database and online libraries created by the agents for customers to troubleshoot incidents on their own.
- Assisted (Live) Support Tools. This group includes systems that allow direct communication between the personnel and the users, where the agent is granted remote access to the customer’s desktop to diagnose the problem, or resolves tickets as they arrive.
Key Features of Customer Support Software
Depending on the type of purchaser you are, here is a list of the basic and useful features found in most, if not all, customer service and support solutions.
- Live Chat – allows agents to chat with your customers online and instantly capture key content from those interactions in the trouble ticketing system. Most customers prefer interacting with agents or CDRs by chat instead of by telephone.
- Customer Self-Service – gives you an online-based customer portal where customers can look for answers to some of the most common problems. This usually takes the form of searchable FAQs, documentation, and how-to pages, among others. If the client cannot find an answer, online-based self-service tools can allow them to submit a ticket online or do a live chat with your agent.
- Knowledge Base – handles a repository of descriptions to some of the most common or previously resolved problems or issues. These resources can be made available publicly via a website, or intended for internal use by agents.
- Multi-Channel Management – handles customer interactions that have been received from multiple channels, including email, live chat, phone, Web, Facebook, Twitter, mobile app, and others. All interactions are then stored in the software tool and routed to appropriate CSRs for resolution.
- Analytics and Reporting – allows managers to create customized and regular reports that provide deeper insight on your team performance, customer satisfaction, time to resolution, and other pertinent indicators.
Benefits of Customer Support Software
A well-implemented customer service tool increases satisfaction, empowers CSRs, and provides transparency and reporting to you on the support process. Some of the advantages customer service systems can provide you include:
- Automated solution. Manual methods in managing customer support can be quite difficult and tedious. Tracking customer interaction may prove to be difficult for your business. Engaging old and new customers is the lifeline of any business, thus you should make sure you are well-prepared in managing customer support efficiently and effectively. A perception of poor customer service will cost your business.
- Better accountability. In addition, such customer support software solutions allow you to track customer issues and agent productivity. Your whole company can then see what particularly happened to an inquiry. Such a solution can also allow you to monitor the performance of your agents, enabling you to see who among your agents are performing well, and who aren’t. By documenting every contact with the customer, the system allows you to see which CSR handled which problem and gives agents with regular feedback regarding their performance.
- Improved coordination. When integrated with the sales force automation system you are using, customer support tools afford better transparency into your customer’s data. This can give you benefits such as allowing sales representatives know if there are any outstanding issues with the customer before making a call, or informing an agent that repair parts have been already ordered so that a client does not need to double order parts.
- Better asset management. Customer care software systems that fully integrate with service dispatch allow reps to be more efficiently assigned. Similarly, integration with the inventory management system will allow agents to confidently confirm to the customer that repair parts are in stock.
- Improved infrastructure scalability. Such systems can handle straightforward issues, letting customers that have more complex issues easier access to agents. This enables a growing business to expand at a quicker rate while at the same time maintaining or boosting customer satisfaction.
- Reduce time needed to resolve customer issues. Customer support software solutions reduce the amount of time you need to resolve an issue of the customer. Thus, the same number of CSRs can address more customer issues, or the same load of tickets can be handled by a fewer number of agents.
The ultimate aim of every business is to increase profit, and the best way to do that is to keep customers satisfied. This makes us believe that the development of customer support software is nowhere close to being exploited, and that there is much left to expect from it. These are the most recent trends and developments in customer support software:
- Personalized Responses. This may as well be something developers learned from social media, namely that support has to be provided in a way which makes each client feel as if he was the only one you have to attend. Customer support programs are no longer fond of generic responses, but they thought of a way to tailor individual ones without losing too much time, which helps you satisfy client and add value to your reputation.
- Customers That Help Themselves. Self service using FAQ pages and libraries is more popular than ever, right because it is based on precedent issues and agent experience. Agents, on their behalf, are free to focus on more complex issues the customer cannot solve alone.
- Consistency. Consistency went all the way from a trend to a requirement, meaning that the company has to unify its methods for collecting information, and to categorize it. Collaboration is an important moment in this process, since more and more companies are turning to customers and their feedback to brainstorm solutions.
There aren’t too many cons to hold you back from transferring customer support on the web, but we still recommend you to take care of the following issues:
- Downfalls. The failure of the system and its inability to handle inquiries is one of the reasons why customers are suspicious towards web-based support from moment zero. Note that you’re already dealing with a ‘I don’t trust automated support’ attitude, so choose a reputable provider which will keep your assistance portal active.
- Flair Responses. Just because you’ve transferred support online and users cannot contact you live (even more if they can) doesn’t mean that you have to generalize their answers and make them short. Obviously, this depends both on the problem and the industry you’re working at, but the main point is still to make the customer feel understood.
- Security Concerns. Your customers are delivering sensitive personal data to you, and will definitely be worried on your protection measures and safeguards. Your best bet is alleviate those fears, and to show them that they are in good hands. For the purpose, make sure you’re in good hands first.
All Customer Support Software Reviews
Each review in our Customer Support Software category is researched with several goals in mind. To offer professional quality and make each review as reliable as possible we always get data related to a product from a wide range of sources. We do not restrict ourselves to official vendor sources, but also examine reviews from other users and experts and support that with our own individual encounter with the service. We make it a primary goal to check how a specific service functions in usual problem circumstances and we try to establish its strong and weak aspects. It is also crucial to investigate such elements as mobile device support and quality as well as response time of client support provided by every company. All such data connected with our SmartScore and User Satisfaction results creates a reliable analysis of the app that so many of our users appreciate.
Page last modified on 28/08/2016
Our website makes us of our unique SmartScore™ mode to test all the software in the Customer Support Software category so that we can help you decide on the best possible software. It analyzes the following metrics: individual modules, collaboration possibilities, custom elements, integration, intuitiveness, customer support, security, support for mobile devices, general media ratings. At the moment, Freshdesk is the leader in this category and we gave it the highest score in our tests. After detailed examination it had the best results among its competitors and we strongly suggest that you consider it as one of the solutions for your business.
A look at total user satisfaction with the software in the Customer Support Software category evaluated with our unique algorythm that gathers client reviews, comments and opinions across a broad range of social media sites in order to help you make an informed purchase decision.
Each vendor in the Customer Support Software category will offer a different set of pricing plans for its product and every plan will include a varied group of elements. Below we list the general pricing for the cheapest package provided for each service. Keep in mind that advanced features may cost extra.
A summary of what type of devices and operating systems are supported by these B2B services in the Customer Support Software category, including mobile platforms and web-based solutions.
Learn what languages and geographies are supported by the best B2B services in the Customer Support Software category, including solutions aimed at international markets and prepared for multi-cultural teams of employees.
Learn which pricing plans are offered by the vendors in the Customer Support Software category to see which one matches your business requirements and expenses best. Keep in mind that specific apps can offer free or freemium accounts for you to test first.
An analysis of what kinds of customers a specific B2B platform in the Customer Support Software category aims for, from small businesses and non-profits to large enterprises.
A summary of what styles of service deployement are provided by every B2B vendor in the Customer Support Software category. While the majority of modern SaaS services are cloud-hosted certain services may offer an on-site deployment model as well.