The Best Customer Service Software of 2020

With so many customer service software to choose from, we've compiled this free comparison guide to help you compare and identify the best customer service management system for your specific needs.

Customer Service CRM - Main Open table's configuration V
Provider
Features
Starting Price
Reviews
More details
Enable Agents With Context-Aware Support
  • Multi-department management, multi-channel support
  • Customizable help center and knowledge base
  • Advanced SLA management w/ business hours
$12 per agent, per month
Intuitive, Feature Rich And Affordable
  • Single, unified multi-channel ticketing inbox
  • Powerful agent collaboration and productivity tools
  • Intelligent ticket assignment and tracking
Free plan with limited features
Beatifully Simple Support System
  • Centralized multichannel inbox, effective ticket management
  • Macros and automations for quick response times
  • Dynamic request forms provide agents with context
$5 per agent, per month
A Streamlined And Intuitive Platform
  • Visually-satisfying, organized user interface
  • Tickets and contacts filtered into timeline view
  • Automatically updated tickets with workflows
$15 per agent per month
A Lightweight And Well-Valued Solution
  • Manage up to three brands on all plans
  • Powerful social media integration and ticketing
  • Multi-lingual and multichannel support
$29 per agent per month
Uniquely Priced, Fully Customizable Solution
  • Support for unlimited brands and portals
  • Easy pricing charged annually, not per agent
  • Highly customizable ticketing and reporting
$599 annually
Customer Support Tools Built For B2B
  • Deep agent collaboration, internal social network
  • Highly customizable ticketing and reports
  • Customer-focused customer support software
$50 per agent, per month
Automatically Capture All Communication, So Nothing Is Missed
  • Match client issues with technician availability and skillset
  • Automatically monitor tickets against SLA expectations
  • Immediate access to everything from inventory to warranty info
$19 per agent, per month
Merge Customer Requests In One Place To Support Them All
  • Automated ticket distribution to give agents their optimal load
  • Easily configure rules triggered by action or time
  • Pause feature turns off receiving chats/calls while you’re out
$15 per agent, per month
Assist Customers Quickly At Scale With Personalized Support
  • Serve customers using live chat, a shared inbox, and more
  • Reference full conversation history and behavioral data
  • Use the answer bot to give instant and accurate answers 24/7
$38 per month for 2 agents, $19/mo for each additional agent
Customizable With A Rich Ecosystem Of Integrations And Apps
  • Multi-lingual support for customers around the world
  • Custom SLA goals to fit your criteria and hours
  • Status updates and notifications for customers
Free plan for up to 10 users
Manage Email, Chat, And Phone Conversations In One Place
  • Separate mailboxes to organize conversations across teams
  • Sidebar contains contact info and previous conversations
  • Set up powerful automations to take care of repetitive tasks
$20/user/mo paid annually, $25/user month-to-month
Organize Communications With Ticketing, Live Chat And More
  • Use a bot to create tickets and send visitors to the right rep
  • Create a bank of reusable answers for prospects' FAQs
  • Share a link with customers that lets them see when you're free
Free plan with limited features
Customer Service CRM - Main Open table's configuration V
Zoho Desk
No reviews
  • Multi-department management, multi-channel support
  • Customizable help center and knowledge base
Freshdesk
4.4
Overall Score
  • Single, unified multi-channel ticketing inbox
  • Powerful agent collaboration and productivity tools
Zendesk
No reviews
  • Centralized multichannel inbox, effective ticket management
  • Macros and automations for quick response times
Kayako
4.2
Overall Score
  • Visually-satisfying, organized user interface
  • Tickets and contacts filtered into timeline view
Happyfox
4.9
Overall Score
  • Manage up to three brands on all plans
  • Powerful social media integration and ticketing
HelpSpot
4.0
Overall Score
  • Support for unlimited brands and portals
  • Easy pricing charged annually, not per agent
TeamSupport
4.8
Overall Score
  • Deep agent collaboration, internal social network
  • Highly customizable ticketing and reports
ConnectWise
No reviews
  • Match client issues with technician availability and skillset
  • Automatically monitor tickets against SLA expectations
LiveAgent
4.9
Overall Score
  • Automated ticket distribution to give agents their optimal load
  • Easily configure rules triggered by action or time
Intercom
4.5
Overall Score
  • Serve customers using live chat, a shared inbox, and more
  • Reference full conversation history and behavioral data
JIRA Service Desk
5.0
Overall Score
  • Multi-lingual support for customers around the world
  • Custom SLA goals to fit your criteria and hours
Helpscout
No reviews
  • Separate mailboxes to organize conversations across teams
  • Sidebar contains contact info and previous conversations
HubSpot
No reviews
  • Use a bot to create tickets and send visitors to the right rep
  • Create a bank of reusable answers for prospects' FAQs

What is Customer Service Software?

In a general sense, Customer Service Software is a category of applications that allows a business to

track, record, manage, organize and respond  to any and all customer queries, questions, or complaints. Customer Support Software will generally include some form of helpdesk ticketing, but the two forms of software are not to be confused, despite their similarities. Customer Service Software is meant to help a business organize their contacts with customers and clients, while helpdesk ticketing software has a more internal facing focus, generally applied to IT issues.

However, the ticketing aspect is still an important part of Customer Service Software, and allows a business to stay on top of and keep all their contacts with clients organized in one single user interface. The idea is to help streamline the process of resolving customer issues, and ticketing allows a business to stay on top of every single point of contact that occurs and effectively resolve any issues customers face.  But beyond ticketing, the best Customer Service Software helps to streamline the process of solving customer issues with even more features such as self-service options including online tutorials and searchable frequently asked questions.

Customer Service Software also allows agents to keep track of every single contact customers have with a business, including different channels like phone, web chat, email and even face to face interactions. Overall, the idea is to help a business organize, document and track all the interactions a customer has with that business in order to resolve issues as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Key Benefits & Features of Customer Service Software:

Customer Service Software equips agents with the tools they need to serve clients and resolve any issues that occur as quickly and efficiently as possible. As customer service agents are the front line for customer engagement, and when the customer experience is such a crucial aspect of the success of a business, Customer Service Software enables agents to work more quickly, efficiently and productively. Here are a few key benefits and features of Customer Service Software:
  • Help Desk Functionality and Ticketing - A major aspect of must Customer Service Software is the ability for agents or customer service representatives to organize and log any contact they have with clients, from the different channels including email, SMS, social media, phone and web chat. Agents can create tickets for each individual point of contact, and store the information within the system for other agents to reference at a later time.
  • Increased Accountability - With helpdesk functionality and ticketing, agents and management will always be able to keep track of every single step of customer interactions. Management can keep a close eye on agent performance and provide necessary feedback, and agents gain a glimpse into who handled issues previously to connect with that representative, or reassign the ticket, if necessary.
  • Live Web Chat - Provide your customers with a completely new form of contact through live web chat. In fact, most customers will prefer to speak to your business online in a live web chat if the option is available, as opposed to calling support and waiting on hold. Many Customer Service Software solutions will provide live chat functionality to build into your business' website.
  • Customer Self-Service Options - Beyond simply allowing agents to log their contacts with customers, Customer Service Software also allows your business to arm itself with self-service options. These could include searchable frequently asked question pages, or full in-depth tutorials on how to operate a problem, or resolve common issues. Providing these resources will free up agents to handle more complex issues, instead of constantly spending time fixing the same basic problems over and over again.
  • Employee Knowledge-base - Similar to self-service databases, an employee knowledge-base allows your business to collect and store useful information for agents to refer to when serving customers. This internal facing knowledge-base would serve as a go-to reference point for agents when they run into a more complex problem, and can help prevent wasted time spent searching for a solution, or reaching out to another agent.
  • Analytics and Reporting - When used properly, analytic and reporting tools will help your business better understand the weak spots in the customer journey, and address any issues that are causing these weak spots. This could mean insight on agent performance, average resolution time of issues, customer satisfaction, or any other similarly important aspects to help measure and gauge the performance of your business' support center.
  • Reduced Time To Solve Issues - Self-service options let customers fix problems before even contacting support, allowing agents to handle the more complex issues that a customer cannot solve on their own. An internal agent knowledge-base also allows agents so have the information they need to handle those complex problems as quickly and effectively as possible. Overall, efficiency goes up when your team can leverage the increased accountability a to prevent any errors, or doubling up on tickets and issues that are already being handled.
 

What to Look for in the Best Customer Service Software:

Most of the best Customer Service Software solutions are offered as Software-as-a-Service. SaaS helpdesk solutions offer pricing, scalability and deployability advantages over on-premises helpdesk solutions. Advancements in cloud computing guarantee near-continuous uptime and minimal latency; the main detriment of SaaS helpdesk software is its general inaccessibility without an internet connection.
  • Multi-Channel Support - It's imperative that businesses offer as many channels for customer communication as possible, extending beyond just face to face interactions and standard phone support. Many Customer Service Software solutions provide live web chat functionality, as well as the ability to manage social media and email interactions all in one single interface.
  • Tutorial Builders -Self-service options are quickly becoming one of the primary methods for customers to resolve their issues, unwilling to wait on hold or converse with an agent through chat. Tutorial builders allow your business to provide users with the self-service options they need to solve simple, common issues -- and these builders make it easy to create complex tutorials and help sections.
  • Scalability - Just like other SaaS solutions, Customer Service Software is generally available as a cloud delivered service and priced in tiered subscriptions according to the number of agents and possible add-ons. This flexibility allows your business to subscribe to the functionality they need at the scale that they require. A business can also scale and grow easily without having to install a new instance of software or purchase a new license for each agent.
  • Multi-brand Support - Some Customer Service Software solutions enable companies to manage their customer service for multiple brands within a single account. This allows companies to create distinct knowledge bases and community forums with distinct domains and branding. The specific number of brands is often limited to subscription tier, but the highest level subscription from these vendors usually allows unlimited brands.
  • Multilingual Support -If your business offers service and support in multiple countries, then multilingual support is a must have. Many solutions offer agent dashboards and interfaces in multiple languages, but also allow a business to create and translate their self-service options into multiple languages as well.
  • Integrations - Customer service software will integrate with most of your related business apps. Helpdesk functionality is included as a key area of CRM systems; niche helpdesk software will integrate with third-party CRM software. In addition, certain helpdesk vendors enable partner applications to augment features, such as VoIP softphones and power dialers, call recording and transcription, business intelligence apps which provide industry comparison, and so forth.
  • Mobile Apps - Most Customer Service Software can be accessed through a web-based portal which allows agents to log in on any device as long as they have an internet connection. Going even further, some providers offer a specific mobile app version of the software, allowing agents and managers to stay on top of everything, even on their smart phones and tablets while on the go.
  • Automations - In order to help agents save time and work more efficiently, many tasks can be simplified thanks to automations. Agents can set up automations to complete the mundane and routine tasks that would otherwise eat up precious time, and help prevent any errors from occurring when inputting data. For example, agents can setup an automation to create a ticket for an issue when they answer the phone, or begin a live web chat session.
 

Final Thoughts to Customer Support Software Shoppers:

The main goal of Customer Service Software is to help your business get a handle on every single

interaction customers have with your representatives. Providing agents with a single interface to manage all interactions across multiple channels, including SMS, voice, web, email and social media enables a new level of efficiency and productivity. With a simple dashboard to keep track of all this information, agents are able to dedicate their time to solving issues and providing the best support possible, instead of juggling through emails and searching for the right information.

Self-service options are also now an incredibly crucial aspect of any customer service center. Customers will generally attempt to solve the issue themselves prior to contact support, freeing up your agents to handle the more complex issues that cannot be covered in frequently asked question sections, or online tutorials. However, these tutorials can go a long way in removing the clutter of repetitive, simple issues that bog down agents, and will require a dedicated team to keep these articles up to date with the most relevant information. In a similar fashion, an internal knowledge-base of both common and complex issues and possible resolutions will arm your customer service representatives with a searchable database of information to refer to, cutting down on the time spent looking for a solution.

This can help to drastically cut down the time to resolve an issue, and provide employees with the correct procedures to do so. Since tickets are always logged whenever a customer contacts your support center, agents will also be able to reference any previous contacts that client might have had, which can lead to an improved coordination of accounts. Agents will be able to tell if a client already has ordered parts on the way based on previous tickets, and will prevent any awkward issues that might occur if this information was not readily available, like accidentally double ordering replacement parts.

Overall, Customer Service Software can transform your company's support team by enabling them with the right tools to solve issues as quickly and efficiently as possible. These solutions will also enable your business to provide self-service options and new forms of communication, providing customers with the options they desire, and the ability to offer the best customer experience possible.

Top 5 Customer Service CRM
Latest Reviews for Customer Service Software
Roger Rea
Roger R.
May 24, 2019
4.8
Nextiva
So far our experience with Nextiva has fallen short to none. In our experiences with both Frontier and Spectrum for phones, the Nextiva process and quality of...
Heidi Parsont
Heidi P.
April 15, 2019
2.2
Nextiva
My company was looking for an option that would allow our remote workforce to be able to reach other by using their cell phones wherever they were. Nextiva seemed...
JF
Jodi F.
April 11, 2019
4.8
Nextiva
I attempted to update our system and inadvertently disabled several phones. Vladyslav Ikhyzhuk from tech support came to the rescue and was very patient and precise...
Alex Mulvenna
Alex M.
April 5, 2019
4.4
Nextiva
I had a great customer service experience with Liubov Marynka. Liubov helped me update our company's call center settings and helped keep business running smoothly!...

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