The Best Tools and Software for Customer Support

In the age of technology and work-from-home environments, more and more businesses have come to the realization that quality supersedes quantity when it comes to providing customer service. The reason for this is that loyal customers are more likely to recommend your company to others, and less likely to migrate to a competitor. A commonly quoted principle in business is that it is 10 times more difficult to procure a new client than to retain current clients, and so it makes sense to provide existing clients with the best support and service possible.

All of this demonstrates that having excellent software for providing top-notch customer support is essential to maintain high levels of customer loyalty. In this article, we will explore the best customer support software available and provide advice on choosing the best software to suit your specific needs.

Choosing the Right Software for your Company

  • Understand the service you are providing. Is your focus to provide close support to a small group of clients, or are you providing high-level support to a mass volume service?
  • Understand your resources. If your support team comprises a team of one or two, or if you operate with a limited budget, then it wouldn’t make sense to use a multi-faceted, expensive software system.
  • Define a list of possible options. If you know what you have to work with and what needs to be done, you will be able to focus on the specific categories of customer service software that you will use. For example, will you use a shared inbox, a knowledge base or live chat functionality?
  • Determine what are the “must have” features.
  • Make use of trial software before purchasing. A fully integrated system can be expensive, so it makes sense to try a few software options and determine which perfectly fits your company’s needs.

Help Scout

It is common for smaller businesses to not have a large budget or time to invest in a new solution, while still requiring software that can cover a wide variety of bases as needed.

Some of the main features offered are:

  • Maintaining email and chat across platforms from a single centralized tool, enabling your team to work from a single support queue.
  • Create a knowledge base to help client find answers to solutions on their own
  • Ability to create canned responses to frequently asked questions
  • AI to effectively prevent duplicate replies to the same request

Pricing starts at $20 per agent, per month

HelpDocs

HelpDocs focuses more on a self-service approach to providing support, in the form of a knowledge base. Knowledge bases enable users to find solutions to their issues on their own, which reduces the number of ticket requests issues to your team.

Pricing starts at $49 per month

Olark

If your support needs to be provide realtime communication with clients, then live chat is a great option; it provides the immediacy of telephone support but at a lower cost than a traditional phone line, make it an ideal solution for smaller businesses.

Olark offers numerous features such as team management, smart response automation and analytics. There is also the ability to tailor your software solution to your needs by opting for features that are required and removing the unnecessary ones.

Pricing starts at $19 per agent, per month

Aircall

Although telephonic support is more closely associated with larger teams of support staff, it can still be useful for small businesses who wish to maintain a more personal level of support for their clients, or need to offer more complex solutions.

Aircall offers a number of phone support features such as Interactive Voice Response (IVR), call queuing and automated business hours; the advantage being that a business can get their support system up and running quickly and effectively.

Having those essentials means your team can get phone support up and running quickly.

Pricing starts at $30 per agent per month

Zendesk

Zendesk is a software solution to manage customer interactions over email, Twitter and Facebook.

The software does have a comparative lack of features on the lower cost options, with features such as phone support, custom reports and live chat being available at extra cost.

Due to the relative complexity and resources require for Zendesk, the software better suited to larger groups, rather than smaller operations.

Pricing starts at $19 per agent, per month

Sparkcentral by Hootsuite

Sparkcentral is a great solution for gathering help requests from a vast variety of social media app and channels, all available from a single dashboard. Having this functionality will greatly speed up the process of responding to requests, no matter which source the request came from.

Sparkcentral also has the advantage of setting up automated scripts which will direct requests to particular members of your team, based on keywords. There is also the option to set up bots and automated responses based on parameters that you set.

Unfortunately no pricing is available directly from the website, but a free demo is available.

 

Helpshift

Helpshift is a support software tool for mobile devices that is accessible without leaving the app environment that is currently being used; it is mostly used as a chat application for its support services.

With Helpshift, there is no monthly subscription fees, instead your team would pay only on a per-use basis.

Deskero

Deskero is perfect for businesses that want to create more personal and interactive relationships with their customers. Its main benefit is the ability to generate help requests from a multitude of sources (emails, phone calls, chats, web, social networks, APIs).

  • Intuitive, very easy to use interface
  • You can easily connect with social networks and other sources
  • Both the interface and the database can be easily customized
  • Good knowledge base features
  • Affordable, considering the vast array of features

Pricing starts at $9 per agent, per month

FocalScope

FocalScope is a powerful and user friendly email ticket management which incorporates live chat. It is built on Microsoft SQL. FocalScope is best suited for large companies and enterprises that need to manage large volumes of emails.

It offers companies the option of deployment using an in-house server and also offers SLA, custom dashboard, reports and 24/7 around the clock support.

  • Ability to create virtual folders
  • Easy to implement and use
  • The software can be deployed on your in-house server
  • Solid call center and ticket system
  • Weekly traffic and performance reports can be automatically configured

Pricing starts at $9 per agent, per month

Conclusion

As you have probably noticed, each of the software options presented focuses on a particular area of support, each with their strengths and weaknesses.

  • Help Scout – best software for all-in-one support
  • HelpDocs – best software for creating knowledge bases
  • Olark – best software for live chat functionality
  • Aircall – best software for live telephonic support
  • Zendesk – best software for medium to large support teams
  • Sparkcentral by Hootsuite – best software for maintaining several social media accounts simultaneously.
  • Helpshift – best software for mobile devices
  • FocalScope – good alternative to Freshdesk, with emphasis on email management
  • Deskero – good overall software, a solid alternative to Help Scout

It goes without saying that having the right tools for the job can make any task much simpler. Regarding remote connection software, AeroAdmin’s remote desktop connection is one of the best options around.

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