For a clearer picture, let’s consider a retail business scenario. As a customer support agent, you deal with various requests — from refund inquiries to issues with defective products. These requests come through different channels, such as email, telephone calls, live chat, and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It’s no secret that managing all of these different channels can be tricky — but customer service software can help.
Comprehensive customer service software streamlines handling these varied requests, ensuring each customer experiences prompt, effective, and personalized support.
Ready to dive into the different types of customer service software available, and learn more about our favorite options? Let’s begin.
14 Best Customer Service Software Options
- HubSpot Service Hub
- Help Scout
- Sprout Social
Service Hub is a well-rounded customer service software that consolidates a variety of tools into one consolidated platform. It offers help desk software to support your agents and an advanced ticketing system that lets your team track long-term service inquiries.
Service Hub provides a shared inbox to simplify 1:1 communication with your customers, making it easier to manage customer communication at scale. On top of that, there’s knowledge base software that helps customers find answers to their questions more quickly.
It also has a free live chat tool that you can use to install chatbots and expand the bandwidth of your customer service team. Service Hub is an excellent pick for businesses of all sizes, but it establishes itself as one of the best small business customer service software options because of this. This tool is also valuable considering millennials prefer live chat for customer service over every other communication channel. All of these tools are synced with the HubSpot CRM so that you can align marketing and sales operations alongside your customer service functions.
Price: Free plans are available. Starter plans start at $45/month, Professional plans start at $450/month, and Enterprise starts at $1200/month.
LiveAgent is an omnichannel cloud-based software with the necessary tools to support your call centers. While it has standard call center tools like call routing and transfers, it also has more advanced features like unlimited call recordings and callbacks. That way, your customers can still communicate with your team even when your agents are busy or unavailable. I also love that there’s no startup fee, credit card required, and you can cancel anytime.
Price: Small business plans cost $9 per agent a month, billed annually. Medium business plans cost $29 per agent a month, billed annually. Large business plans cost $49 per agent a month, billed annually. Enterprise plans are $69 per agent a month, billed annually.
Gong is a unique customer service software that leverages AI-backed insights to train your agents to produce more delightful customer interactions.
For example, it has tools that can analyze phone conversations between customers and service agents. Agents can see how much they speak versus listen and can look at sentiment analysis reports that assess how well a conversation is going.
If an agent wants to see how they’ve progressed, they look at previous conversations that are automatically recorded within the Gong database.
Price: Pricing is available on request.
Intercom takes live chat to the next level by installing chat widgets on your website, mobile app, and product. With this omni-channel setup, customers no longer have to navigate to your site to receive chat support.
Instead, they can get help right where they’re working, saving time and reducing friction in the customer experience. It also equips you with a comprehensive customer profile and key behavior insights, enabling personalized interactions that boost customer satisfaction.
Price: Starter plans cost $74 a month. Pro plan and premium plan pricing are available upon request.
eDesk is a complete customer service helpdesk built exclusively for eCommerce sellers. It takes the pain out of trying to deliver consistent customer service across multiple channels by bringing all tickets, order/shipping data, customer data, and metrics together in one place. Uniquely, eDesk can integrate with:
- Leading eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, Magento and BigCommerce
- Leading marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay
- Major social channels such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp
It even comes with live chat and review solicitation.
With eDesk, you get access to an eCommerce-focused platform that combines AI, native eCommerce integrations, automation, and metrics that help eCommerce support teams respond faster and increase sales.
Price: Ticket based & user based pricing available from $69 per month
6. Help Scout
Help Scout is an all-in-one customer service software that lets support teams deliver email, self-service, and live chat support from one centralized tool.
Beacon, Help Scout’s chat widget, lets customers search your knowledge base, initiate a live chat conversation, or send an email support request from any page of your website or app. It also offers tools and integrations to boost team productivity.
Price: There’s a free 15-day trial available. Standard plans cost $20 per user a month. Plus plans cost $40 per user a month. Pro plans cost $65 per user a month.
In addition to Intercom, Podium is also a messaging tool that can be used to communicate with customers via live chat.
However, unlike Intercom, Podium has internal communication channels so your agents can communicate with each other privately. Agents can collaborate on complex or time-sensitive service cases, which leads to faster response times and resolution rates. Plus, Podium has easy-to-use handoff features that make case transfer seamless for both agents and customers.
Price: Pricing is available upon request.
TeamSupport is a service platform that specializes in self-service tools. It has a "Customer Hub" where customers can create and view the status of their support tickets. They can also search through your company's knowledge base and reach out to service agents using the same interface. This centralizes your team's service operations and makes it easier for you to communicate updates to customers.
Price: Essential support plans cost $49 per agent a month. Enterprise plans cost $69 per agent a month. Complete customer support suites cost $119 per agent a month.
Sprout Social provides businesses with tools that manage social media engagement. Part of this includes customer service features that help support agents respond to customers who ask questions or provide feedback through social media channels. In fact, 33% of consumers now prefer to contact a company’s customer service via social media rather than by phone.
Its Smart Inbox feature centralizes all network and profile interactions into a single stream for quick monitoring and response. With social media quickly becoming a fundamental service medium, Sprout Social gives your team the resources needed to delight your online customer base.
Price: Standard plans cost $249 per user a month. Professional plans cost $399 per user a month. Advanced plans cost $499 per user a month. Enterprise plan pricing is available upon request.
SysAid uses a modular approach for its platform, which differs from other help desk providers featured on this list. Instead of buying all its tools in a combined package, SysAid users can purchase features as needed.
This lets you fully customize your SysAid account and ensures you don’t spend money on tools and services your team never uses.
Price: Pricing is available upon request.
Kustomer uses a timeline feature to display your customers’ data in one easy-to-understand report. Your agents can access your customers’ purchase history and previous interactions to provide truly personalized service.
Additionally, Kustomer has single-thread conversations, so all communication will be funneled into one chat, regardless of where the conversation occurs. This ensures customer service reps are clued into the customer’s past experiences with the team.
Price: Professional plans cost $29 per user a month. Business plans cost $49 per user a month. Enterprise plans cost $89 per user a month. Ultimate plans cost $139 per user a month.
HappyFox can stand toe to toe with pretty much every other software provider on this list. What makes it unique, though, is its custom reporting tools. With HappyFox, managers can review advanced reporting metrics like NPS and CSAT, which helps them determine which agents are performing best.
It also provides reports on your company’s overall service trends, so upper management has the data needed to make successful changes to support workflows.
Price: Mighty plans cost $29 per user a month. Fantastic plans cost $49 per user a month. Enterprise plans cost $69 per user a month. Enterprise plus plans cost $89 per user a month.
Hiver is a help desk tool that fits intuitively within Gmail’s User Interface to provide fast and empathetic customer service automation. Hiver lets support teams assign, track, and collaborate on customer queries and support tickets arriving in shared inboxes.
Support teams can also run the most advanced analytics to track team performance and create workflow automation to optimize internal processes. All of which enable you to deliver a more delightful customer experience.
Price: Lite plans cost $15 per user a month. Pro plans cost $39 per user a month. Elite plans cost $59 per user a month.
Tidio is a customer service offers one of the best medium or small business customer service software options. It combines various tools in a single platform to help you deliver excellent customer service and boost sales. Tidio features a live chat for active communication, an automated chat with pre-set responses, and personalized greetings for new and repeat visitors.
Its smart ticketing system organizes customer requests, converting emails into tickets for easy tracking by agents. With customizable tickets, agents can add notes and tags for effortless collaboration.
Plus, Tidio’s live chat can trigger real-time conversations with website visitors, offering product suggestions or tailored discounts based on browsing behavior.
Price: Free plans are available. Starter plans cost $29 a month. Communicator plans cost $25 per operator a month. Chatbots cost $29 per operator a month. Tidio+ costs $394 per operator a month.
Zendesk is a customer service solution that provides omnichannel support through email, live chat, voice, and various social media platforms. It connects all your data sources into a unified location, ensuring the right information is always available when a customer reaches out.
Its ability to generate tickets automatically from customer reports on platforms like Twitter or Facebook makes it a versatile tool.
Price: Basic plans begin at $19/month, and when you pay monthly, you can get Suite Team for $69 per agent per month, Suite Growth for $115 per agent per month, and Suite Professional for $149 per agent per month. For Suite Enterprise rates, reach out to sales.
While these tools are considered to be the best in customer service, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the right fit for your business. The good news is that there is customer service software to fit any budget. If you’re looking for software that can help scale your service team, take a look at the next section for a list of free tools that you can use.
Free Customer Service Software
- Service Hub - Free
- ConnectWise Control
Service Hub offers a free version that has some of the key functionality of the premium iteration. When you use Service Hub for free, you’ll gain access to your database, set up tools, view reports, and even carry out additional administrative tasks that would otherwise be cumbersome or tedious. When you’re ready to opt into a more robust platform, you can simply upgrade to a premium version of Service Hub.
Other key features of the free version of Service Hub include contact management, live chat, team email, a shared inbox, ticketing, tickets closed reports, and a reporting dashboard.
HelpSpot is great for small customer support teams that want to get familiar with fundamental service tools. It has a basic help desk, ticketing system, and reporting features that are all universally applicable regardless of the industry your company is in. HelpSpot can also send out customer satisfaction surveys, giving your team the power to collect feedback and improve customer experience.
Freshdesk is help desk software that unifies customer messages into one continuous thread. No matter where customers reach out to your support team, Freshdesk funnels those conversations into a single chat, making it easy to keep track of open conversations and recall important information. And, Freshdesk has a mobile interface, so agents can respond to tickets even when they're not at the office or near their computers.
Hesk is a reliable, cloud-based ticketing system that's easy to use and set up. It lets your team create custom ticket fields and modify feature arrangements so that the interface is aligned with the agent's workflow. It also has a ticket submission tool where customers can create web-based tickets and assign them directly to an available agent. This empowers the customer while eliminating a tedious task for the support agent.
ConnectWise Control has a service level agreement (SLA) feature that can help management set clear expectations for customer service quality. Once you program benchmarks for response times and resolution rates, every ticket is automatically monitored and held against these standards. If a ticket doesn't meet either benchmark, management is notified so they can address the issue. This not only helps your team reduce potential churn, but it also helps managers set a precedent for what excellent customer service looks like.
If your customer service team primarily operates through email, Deskero makes it easy to switch from a traditional email inbox to a shared inbox tool. The software has an email integration feature that can import emails into Deskero and automatically transform them into tickets. So, if you're hesitant to adopt a shared inbox because you have open cases in your current one, you can rest comfortably knowing every conversation will be carried over and easy to find.
Pipefy not only has customer service tools, but it also has resources that help your customer success team operate more efficiently. For example, its onboarding template provides an actionable outline that agents can use to onboard new customers. This creates an organized communication structure that leads to a consistent onboarding process. And, when your onboarding is clear and easy-to-follow, you can decrease churn early on in the customer journey.
For more service tools, check out these customer support resources.
Providing excellent customer service isn’t a nice to have. It’s a need to have. Finding the right software can help you guarantee your customers consistently have pleasant experiences with your company.
Decide what your biggest challenges are when improving the customer experience. Then, explore the list above to find the solutions that can help. Soon, you’ll be on track to level up.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in February 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.