Different Types of Customer Service Solutions and When to Use Them
You cannot leave your customer service in the dust as you go all guns blazing to market your business. After all, what's a business without its satisfied customers forming the bedrock?
In this blog post, we'll delve into customer service software tools. Learn how these solutions can automate, streamline, and uncomplicate your customer service arena. Let's turn the spotlight on customer satisfaction using some of the best software for customer service!
But before that,
What Is Customer Service Software?
Customer service software – it's a broad umbrella encompassing any tech tool that aids a business in overseeing, enhancing, or simplifying its customer service maneuvers. This might range from an uncomplicated chatbot ready to handle queries to an intricate customer relationship management solution like Salesforce that syncs harmoniously with sales and IT operations.
Now, it's clear as daylight that a mom-and-pop store won't require the same arsenal of software tools as a behemoth multinational company. Yet, there's a thread that binds customer service software together.
And that is, regardless of business size or complexity, all customer service software solutions aim to elevate the service experience, benefiting both the customers and those working in customer service. And, let's not forget the brave one-person army—the small business owner, who deserves the same level of support and ease.
So, whether you're a local bakery or a global tech enterprise, remember that customer service software tools are your allies, working tirelessly to ensure every customer interaction is a symphony of satisfaction.
Why Are Customer Service Software Solutions Necessary?
There's a sea of crucial data to sail through in any customer service program, and as your business increases, managing and tracking your service endeavors without software becomes akin to finding a needle in a haystack.
Customer queries could slip through the cracks without the right software tools, or responses could crawl at a snail's pace. Moreover, you'll be navigating blind without a way to monitor response times or customer feedback–crucial aspects for assessing your performance and spotting improvement opportunities.
As your business scales, the customer service landscape resembles a labyrinth. You should implement a ticket system to juggle support requests across multiple agents and departments. But fret not, this isn't an issue exclusive to big businesses.
Even when you're a sprouting startup, customer service tools can lend you a helping hand. They can simplify your tasks, automate mundane and repetitive actions, and liberate your time to tackle complex issues or steer other areas of your business.
In a nutshell, the 'why' for using customer service software is straightforward: it empowers you to serve your customers better. It is not an overlooked facet, with customer service playing a pivotal role, especially in online transactions. In fact, 60% of Internet users expressed concern over poor customer service online .
In contrast, 94% of American consumers aged 18 and above said they'd happily shop more from a company providing stellar customer service. This stat starkly contrasts 72% who'd consider giving more business to a company offering merely "okay" customer service and only 20% for a business with poor customer service .
This is why having happy customers is essential. It's a critical determinant of whether your customers continue their relationship with your business. Therefore, investing in effective customer service software is more than worth ensuring you deliver an experience that keeps your customers returning for more.
Types of Customer Service Solutions
Having seen why customer service tools could be a game-changer for your business, let's dive into the various customer service software options you could consider.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
Which software is best for customer management? Or which is the best software for customer databases? The answer: Customer Relationship Management tools.
Customer service is all about nurturing relationships and using the best software to track customers. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool acts like your business's personal diary, chronicling every interaction your company has with customers. As your relationship deepens, your understanding of the customer blossoms.
Beyond mere contact details, a CRM tool is the best software for customer relations. It delves into the customer's purchase history, product preferences, and interaction with your team members across various departments. Here are some of the most common features of CRM solutions:
- Contact Management: This feature stores essential customer details, including contact information, demographic data, and interactions with the company. It provides a centralized database accessible to all relevant team members.
- Interaction Tracking: CRM tools can track and log every interaction between your business and its customers across various channels like email, calls, social media, and more. This assists in maintaining a consistent and informed approach to customer communications.
- Task Management: CRM software often includes tools for managing tasks, appointments, and alerts, helping your team stay organized and on top of customer-related activities.
- Sales Pipeline Management: CRM systems can help visualize and manage your sales pipeline, making tracking deals or sales prospects easier as they move through different sales process stages.
- Reporting and Analytics: Most CRM tools have built-in analytics and reporting features, enabling businesses to measure and analyze performance across customer-related metrics. This can provide valuable insights to inform strategic decisions and improve customer relations.
Top Three CRM Solutions
- Salesforce CRM: Salesforce is often considered the industry leader in CRM software. It offers an expansive feature set, including sales forecasting, lead generation, contact and opportunity management, workflow automation, and detailed reports and dashboards.
Related: Read how to use customer relationship management software like Salesforce.
- HubSpot CRM: HubSpot provides a complete platform of marketing, sales, customer service, and CRM software. It's known for its user-friendly interface and seamless integration with HubSpot's other marketing and sales tools.
- Microsoft Dynamics 365: This CRM solution from Microsoft offers robust sales, marketing, and service capabilities that integrate seamlessly with other Microsoft products. It is highly customizable and scalable to fit businesses of all sizes.
Live Chat and Messaging
Real-time conversations with support agents turn into a golden ticket in customer service offerings. As per the Insider Intelligence Canada Mobile Banking Emerging Features Benchmark report, it took the crown as the most valued customer service feature .
In the roller coaster year of 2020, a substantial half of small and medium-sized businesses saw a surge in utilizing online messaging platforms to forge and fortify customer relationships. The cherry on top? Most of these businesses reported it as the communication channel their customers prefer the most.
And guess what? You can use live chat and messaging on your online properties—social media platforms, website, or app. Alternatively, you can lean on software tools that enable live chat seamlessly within your digital assets. Here are some of the most common features of live chat and messaging tools:
- Real-time Interaction: Live chat instantaneously connects customers with support agents, leading to quicker issue resolution and better customer satisfaction.
- Multitasking Capabilities: Customers can continue browsing or working while engaged in a chat conversation, making it a convenient and unobtrusive mode of communication.
- Integration with CRM: Live chat can be integrated with CRM systems, enabling personalized support by giving agents access to customers' past interactions and preferences.
- 24/7 Availability: With human agents and chatbots, businesses can offer round-the-clock support, accommodating customers across different time zones.
- Automated Responses and Bots: Initial responses can often be automated, and chatbots can help handle common queries, leading to faster response times and freeing up human agents for more complex issues.
Top Three Live Messaging and Chat Solutions
- Intercom: Intercom provides a modern messaging platform that combines live chat, product tours, customer engagement, and support tools. It's recognized for its robust features and personalization options, as well as its ability to engage customers in various stages of the customer journey.
- Zendesk Chat: Previously known as Zopim, Zendesk Chat is a live chat support service allowing you to customize and manage customer conversations. It's the best software for customer service and is widely praised for its user-friendly interface, advanced analytics, and seamless integration with the broader suite of Zendesk support tools.
- LiveChat: LiveChat provides a live chat application for businesses, enabling instant communication with customers directly on your website. It offers features like chat transcripts, file sharing, and integration with CRM systems, among others.
Customer Service Ticketing Software
Customer service ticketing software is your one-stop solution for every customer support request. Every issue gets its unique case, or a "ticket," allowing customers to keep tabs on their case's progress and ensuring that the most suitable people are addressing it.
For customer support managers, this software is a blessing as it lets them keep a watchful eye on each ticket's progress. The team can close a ticket after successfully resolving the issue. This clear visibility ensures the team is always aware of the number of support requests in their court, enabling them to provide customers with an estimated resolution time.
Think of it as your all-in-one communication hub. This customer service center software gathers all communication under one roof. Each ticket provides the context necessary to resolve the customer's request swiftly and effectively.
Here are some of the most common features you'll find in a customer service ticketing tool:
- Ticket Creation and Management: These systems allow you to create unique tickets for each customer query and track the progress until resolution.
- Categorization and Prioritization: You can categorize tickets based on various factors such as issue type, urgency, customer value, etc., helping to prioritize responses.
- Workflow Automation: Many systems allow for automated assignment and escalation rules, ensuring tickets reach the right people and are addressed within stipulated time frames.
- SLA Management: The software can monitor service level agreements (SLAs), ensuring responses and resolutions occur within agreed time frames.
- Multi-Channel Support: This allows ticket generation from various channels (email, phone, social media, etc.), providing a unified view of customer interactions.
Top Three Customer Service Ticketing Software
- Zendesk Support: Zendesk is a popular choice for businesses of all sizes. It offers a full-featured ticket management system that includes automation, SLA management, and a robust suite of analytics tools.
- Freshdesk: Freshdesk is known for its intuitive interface and robust feature set, which includes multi-channel support, automation, and collaboration tools. It also offers a free tier, making it an attractive choice for smaller businesses.
- ServiceNow: ServiceNow is a comprehensive IT service management tool often used by large enterprises. It provides robust ticketing and helpdesk functionality and a range of IT service management features.
Invest in Software Customers Will Love
There it is, a list of software to use to supercharge your customer service.
Let's not forget, this list of customer service tools doesn't cover the full spectrum of options out there. The software landscape is vast and constantly evolving.
There are numerous tools designed to enhance the customer experience and deliver top-notch software customer service. For instance, social media management tools can play a critical customer service support role, helping businesses listen to, interact with, and engage their customers on various social media platforms.
Ultimately, the right software solution for you will depend on your unique business context, needs, and objectives. So, keep exploring and find the tools that will drive your customer experience to new heights.
When it comes to navigating the dynamic landscape of customer service management, Growth Natives has got your back. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1 855-693-4769 to create robust customer relationships and foster lasting business growth.
1. Smaply: Smaply is a journey mapping tool that provides user-friendly templates and a drag-and-drop interface. It allows you to visualize personas, journey maps, and stakeholder maps, and collaborate with your team.
2. UXPressia: UXPressia offers an online platform for customer journey mapping, persona creation, and impact mapping. It allows for real-time collaboration and provides integration with a range of other tools.
3. Custellence: Custellence is a customer journey mapping tool emphasizing collaboration and sharing. It offers features like a card-based design, a drag-and-drop interface, and the ability to add annotations and attachments to your maps.
4. Microsoft Visio: Although it’s a general diagramming tool, Microsoft Visio can be used effectively for customer journey mapping, especially for organizations that are heavily invested in Microsoft’s ecosystem.