Guide to the best customer service software
Discover what makes a good customer service software, and how it helps you build lasting customer relationships.
Customer service is the heart of every business. Across a series of interactions before and after sales, customer service is the main way consumers will interact with your business. That’s why each and every interaction is an opportunity to build reputation, and nurture lasting customer relationships that can withstand attractive competitors.
Customers don’t just pay for your products alone, they are paying for the service attached to it. And they expect it fast, convenient, and personalised. To cope with mounting customer expectations, most businesses rely on customer service software to support their customers on multiple communication channels.
In this article, we discuss what a customer service software is, how it benefits you, and what to look for in a good one. Browse topics below:
What is customer service software?
At its core, customer service software provide a centralised ticketing system that allow support agents to track, resolve, and manage high request volumes with ease. Simultaneously, customer service software also help businesses improve service delivery by streamlining workflows, combining all customer interactions and data across channels in a unified platform.
Modern customer service software will include omnichannel support, which allows service teams to respond to customer requests via email, voice, live chat, social media messaging, and SMS. They should also offer more advanced features such as automations, integrations, and more. Automations help to eliminate repetitive manual tasks, allowing agents to spend time on higher-value added activities. Integrations with external systems like CRMs enable agents to reference deep customer data, and resolve requests quickly.
Customer service software is also used by internal support teams like IT and HR departments, wherein their “customers” are employees.
Types of customer service software
There are many types of customer service software, which can be classified by the channels offered. Some software only offer standalone channels—needless to say, combining all channels into a single omnichannel platform brings significant benefits and cost savings.
Across every channel, a good customer service software should provide features such as:
- Customer context: Combine all customer data and interactions in one place for easy referencing.
- Feedback collection: Collect customer feedback via surveys and analysing their sentiments.
- Automatic routing: Distribute tasks to agents based on skills, operating hours, shifts, and many more.
- SLA management: Track SLAs and KPIs systematically, including warnings ahead of threshold.
- Data analytics: Track live data relating to customer feedback, operational KPIs, and agent performance.
- Reporting: Generate reports based on metrics including handling times, first-touch resolutions, and more.
Below, we discuss each channel and why they’re important for your customer service.
Email is the quintessential channel for customer service. Even as more and more channels are becoming available, email remains a preferred channel for many customers due to its formality and traceability. For busy mailboxes that serve numerous customers (or employees), specialised ticketing software help agents prioritise, respond fast, and track requests systematically.
Ticketing software provide a boost to email handling times through features like automatic routing and queues, SLA management, standard reply templates, quick reply, and many more.
Voice is another key channel to help customers navigate issues, particularly urgent problems or complex ones that require high-touch support. Phone conversations enable quick problem-solving, and helps build trust and legitimacy with customers. Unsurprisingly, voice has remained a popular option among the older generation.
Businesses leverage call center software to enhance their phone support, where they can take advantage of automated call queues, routing, and custom interactive voice responses (IVRs).
Live chat is vital for businesses to engage with potential and existing customers through their website or mobile app. It enables agents to offer proactive support and chat with visitors in real-time. Where phone calls are not viable, live chat comes in handy for live troubleshooting, with the added benefit that customers can share screenshots and files to describe their issues.
With live chat software, agents can tackle multiple chats simultaneously with ease. Businesses can also leverage chatbots to automate support for basic requests and FAQs round the clock. Chatbots are capable of offering help, reminding shoppers of their abandoned cart, retrieving information, and much more.
Social media messaging
Messaging apps like Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram have become ubiquitous in recent years. Businesses have responded by opening up official accounts to showcase their products and services on social media, and additional communication channels to engage with their customers.
Messaging is particularly useful because customers are highly responsive on their preferred apps, allowing agents to get their attention effectively. Customer service software is useful for maintaining a central point of contact for customers, yet allowing multiple agents to respond without account or device limitations.
More than 80% of customers prefer to find their own answers before reaching out for additional help. A well-stocked knowledge base can shave off a significant proportion of customer enquiries—a win-win situation for both agents and customers. Knowledge bases have a dual purpose: they can be used for external customers or internal employees to get help.
Knowledge base software make it easy for businesses to set-up an online customer portal that’s tailored to their brand, and keep it updated with useful articles. Chatbots can also pick up articles and FAQs to serve up instant answers on live chat.
Who uses customer service software?
Any business serious about building long-term customer relationships will find customer service software relevant to their needs. What’s key is adopting a flexible solution that can scale as your business grows.
Small and medium businesses
Small and medium businesses (SMBs) need customer service software to help them keep track of conversations and ensure every request—and opportunity—is captured. One key benefit for SMBs is the automation of task distribution, which reduces repetitive work and allows agents to focus on customers instead. With customer service software, SMBs can also glean important customer insights and feedback to inform their growth strategy.
Customer service software allow large enterprises to coordinate multi-site service teams as a single unit, maximising their full potential while eliminating work silos. Intelligent routing and SLA management facilitates smooth operations round the clock, while live dashboards and reporting capabilities provide enhanced central management features.
Large enterprises also benefit from flexible deployment options (cloud, on-premise, or hybrid) to suit local network and IT environments, with robust security measures to match.
Contact centers and BPOs
Customer service software is a must-have for contact centers, call centers, as well as business process outsourcing (BPO) companies. With multiple client accounts onboard, customer service software is needed for these businesses meet the requirements and SLAs of each individual client.
Click here to read more about how contact centers and BPOs leverage customer service software.
Benefits of customer service software
Customer service solutions help businesses deliver remarkable customer experiences and lasting relationships. We summarise a few key benefits below:
Increased customer satisfaction
With features like intelligent routing, customer waiting time is dramatically reduced across all channels. Equipped with customer context and internal notes, agents can deliver personalised support and resolve issues much quicker. Less waiting and faster resolutions means happy customers, who are more likely to return for future purchases.
Reduced ticket volume
Chatbots and knowledge bases work to reduce the volume of requests, particularly basic questions and simple tasks. Both allow customers to get answers at their own pace, providing added convenience, while agents are freed-up for more complex tasks.
Customer service software bring accountability to shared mailboxes by displaying who’s working on which tickets, deadlines, and SLA warnings. Intelligent routing distributes tasks fairly while ensuring agents are working on tasks they are skilled at. Collaboration tools like internal notes, reminders, and follow-up tickets help agents work together virtually, and tackle shift transitions with ease.
Drive business growth
Data analytics provide the visibility needed to manage team performance effectively, identifying training needs and improvement areas. Deeper insights into trends and customer feedback help inform business decisions on product development and strategy.
Build lasting relationships on every channel
Handle millions of emails accurately and efficiently every day.
Flexible and scalable telephony system for big and small businesses.
Live chat and bots
Interact with website visitors in real time and boost conversion.
Message customers via SMS, Telegram, WhatsApp, Facebook.
Help customers help themselves with FAQs and support articles.