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With so many different customer messaging platforms available, figuring out which is right for you is tough. You know you want a platform to help you manage customer communications more efficiently, but you need to figure out which option is best. In this article, I'll help you make this choice easier by sharing my insights on the best customer messaging platforms to manage and personalize your customer interactions to improve your customer experience, based on my knowledge of CX.

What are Customer Messaging Platforms?

Customer messaging platforms are digital tools that help businesses communicate with prospects and customers through multiple messaging channels, such as live chat widgets, emails, or social media platforms. They offer personalization tools, as well as automated responses to improve the quality and speed of responses.

In today’s business environment, customer messaging platforms are essential to companies who want to deliver exceptional customer experiences. They make customer communications more efficient, leading to more engaged customers and improved user experiences. They also help companies scale their operations using data-driven insights, automation, and integrations with other key systems.

Overviews of the 20 Best Customer Messaging Platforms

Here’s a brief description of each customer messaging platform that showcases each system’s best use case, noteworthy features, and pros & cons. I’ve also included screenshots to give you a snapshot of their user interface too.

1

Zoho SalesIQ

Best customer messaging platform for designing your own chat system

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.4
236 reviews

15-day free trial available

From $7/operator/month

Zoho SalesIQ is a powerful live chat software that can help businesses to better understand their audience, capture and manage leads, and engage with potential customers in a personalized and meaningful way.

Why I Picked Zoho SalesIQ: Zoho SalesIQ is a powerful live chat software that helps businesses engage with website visitors and convert them into leads. One of the key features that makes SalesIQ great is its ability to provide businesses with valuable insights into their website visitors' behavior. This includes information on how visitors arrived on the site, which pages they visited, and how long they stayed. 

SalesIQ also provides businesses with a range of customization options, allowing them to tailor the live chat experience to their specific needs and branding. This includes customizing chat windows, automated messages, and even the look and feel of the chat widget itself.

Zoho SalesIQ Standout Features & Integrations

Features include A/B testing, audience targeting, chat, analytics, API, contact management, CRM integration, customer management, dashboard, data export/data import, data visualization, email integration, external integrations, lead scoring, marketing automation, multi-app, multi-site, multi-user, notifications scheduling, third-party plugins/add-ons, call tracking, click-to-dial, landing pages, real-time alerts, self-service portal, ticket management, social media integration, call integration, knowledge base, and support forums.

Integrations include all other Zoho apps (CRM, Desk, Analytics, Sites, etc.) as well as Salesforce, Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, Constant Contact, GetResponse, Google Tag Manager, Unbounce, GoDaddy, WordPress, Wix, Weebly, Joomla, Drupal, Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, and other options. 

Pros

  • Powerful live chat features and functionality
  • Real-time visitor monitoring
  • Customizable chat widgets and automated messages

Cons

  • Time needed for setup and configuration process
  • Somewhat outdated UI
2

Birdeye

Best for automated business review management

From $299/user/month

Birdeye is a review management and customer engagement platform designed to assist businesses in enhancing their online reputation. It stands out for its versatility across various industries, offering specialized solutions for reputation growth, which positions it as a leading tool for businesses in sectors like healthcare, retail, and real estate to attract and manage customer interactions effectively.

Why I Picked Birdeye: Birdeye excels in creating seamless communication channels between businesses and their customers, facilitating effortless interaction across multiple platforms. Its strength lies in centralizing messages from various sources into a single dashboard, ensuring no customer query goes unanswered. With features like automated responses and personalized messaging, Birdeye enhances customer engagement, improving satisfaction and loyalty.

Birdeye's intuitive design and robust analytics also empower businesses to monitor conversation trends and customer sentiments in real-time, enabling proactive service adjustments. In essence, Birdeye simplifies customer communication, making it more efficient and effective for businesses aiming to maintain a competitive edge through superior customer service.

Birdeye Standout Features & Integrations

Features include automated review requests, review monitoring, review management, competitor analysis, customer surveys, messaging and chat, listings management, social media management, appointment scheduling, referral management, customer insights and analytics, integration with major platforms, customizable feedback forms, reputation management, customer experience journey mapping.

Integrations include Salesforce, Google My Business, Facebook, Zapier, Mailchimp, Shopify, Slack, HubSpot, WordPress, QuickBooks, and other popular business apps.

Pros

  • Automated review management
  • Detailed analytics and reporting features
  • Extensive integrations with a wide array of platforms

Cons

  • Learning curve for advanced features
  • Limited customization in lower tiers
3

HubSpot

Best customer messaging platform for customer satisfaction assessment

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.4
10798 reviews

14-day free trial + free plan available

From $45/month

HubSpot is a customer messaging platform that enables companies to assess customer satisfaction with feedback surveys so they can improve their performance. 

Why I picked HubSpot: HubSpot helps your support agents connect with prospects and customers via email, live chat, instant messaging tools, and social media platforms. The solution creates a universal inbox for all your teams, so your agents can easily mark conversations and escalate them to other departments. 

HubSpot enables you to route or assign conversations to specific teams or individuals. You can also create filters to automatically move specific types of customer inquiries to different departments, so your team can answer all conversations in a timely manner. You can also ask your customers to rate your team’s responses, so you can assess their satisfaction levels. 

HubSpot Standout Features and Integrations

Features include automated workflows, canned responses, follow-up notifications, conversation records, ticket prioritization, and a universal inbox. 

Integrations include Aircall, Facebook Messenger, Google Meet, Gmail, Instagram, Mailchimp, Microsoft Outlook, Slack, WordPress, Zoom, and others. 

Pros

  • Comprehensive knowledge base
  • Canned response templates
  • Visual builder for automated conversations

Cons

  • You can’t open lists directly, so you have to download, modify, and upload each one
  • Feedback surveys could be more flexible
4

Crisp

Best customer messaging platform for efficient team collaboration

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.4
77 reviews

14-day free trial

From $25/month (4 users)

Crisp is a customer messaging platform that makes it easy for team members to collaborate and provide the best solutions for their customers. 

Why I picked Crisp: Crisp enables you to manage all your messages from a central location. The software creates profiles for your customers, so you can easily track their purchase history or previous interactions when they start a conversation. 

Crisp enables your support specialists to tag each other in conversations in order to collaborate and provide the best answers for your customers. In addition, the platform also allows you to create automated chat flows that rely on custom triggers to activate. 

Crisp Standout Features and Integrations

Features include conversation routing, chatbots, data centralization, a universal inbox, team activity reports, automation, and ticketing. 

Integrations include Cloudflare, Facebook Messenger, Joomla, Mailchimp, Prestashop, Segment, Telegram, Webflow, WhatsApp, and others.

Pros

  • Doubles as a flexible support software
  • Simple onboarding
  • Good personalization options

Cons

  • Limited contact management features
  • Reporting could be more granular on certain metrics
5

MessageBird

Best customer messaging platform for international companies that use direct calls

Freemium version available

From $30/user/month

MessageBird is a customer messaging platform that allows international businesses to increase user engagement through direct communication. 

Why I picked MessageBird: MessageBird is a great tool for international companies that need to interact with their customers via phone calls, text messaging, or instant messaging apps. The software partners with telecom service providers from all over the world to provide virtual, localized numbers you can use to engage your customers. 

MessageBird keeps track of your customers across multiple channels and centralizes all your communications in a single thread so no information falls through the cracks. The solution also pulls data from third-party solutions like Shopify or Salesforce to enrich your data, so you can create 360 customer profiles. 

MessageBird Standout Features and Integrations

Features include SMS campaigns, a visual campaign builder, a multi-channel shared inbox, feedback collection, and automation. 

Integrations include Facebook Messenger, Google My Business, Instagram, Slack, Telegram, Twitter, WeChat, Whatsapp, Viber, and others.

Pros

  • Enables you to create self-service flows
  • Helps you automate your FAQs
  • Chatbots help you personalize your customer service

Cons

  • The interface could be simpler
  • Sending links to customers can be complicated
6

Intercom Messenger

Best customer messaging platform for chat widgets

14-day free trial

From $74/month

Intercom Messenger is a customer messaging software that helps businesses reduce the number of tickets they create with a live chat tool. 

Why I picked Intercom Messenger: Intercom Messenger enables website visitors to find their own answers with a live chat widget. The software helps you automate your responses to frequently asked questions, so your agents can focus on more difficult inquiries. 

Intercom Messenger also enables your support team to offer live chat support, so they can quickly solve inquiries before the visitor or customer leaves your website. This can be helpful for many online businesses, as it can help your team remove conversion obstacles before they become problematic. 

Intercom Messenger Standout Features and Integrations

Features include chatbots, self-service portal creation, a drag-and-drop automated workflow builder, a customer satisfaction assessment, ticketing, and a mobile app compatible with iOS and Android devices. 

Integrations include Google Analytics, Jira, Microsoft Outlook, Instagram, Segment, Slack, Stripe, Whatsapp, WordPress, Zoho Desk, and others.

Pros

  • Powerful live chat widget
  • Makes it easy to create knowledge bases
  • Comprehensive training library

Cons

  • Users without technical knowledge can find it difficult to set up and personalize the solution’s advanced features
  • Pricing models could be easier to understand
7

Twilio MessagingX

Best customer messaging platform for SMS campaigns

Free plan available

Pay-as-you-go pricing

Twilio MessagingX is a customer messaging platform that allows companies to increase user engagement with SMS and direct messaging campaigns. 

Why I picked Twilio MessagingX: Twilio MessagingX helps you plan messaging campaigns for mobile devices. The software partners with over 1,500 carrier providers around the world, enabling you to reach your customers regardless of their location. 

Twilio MessagingX pulls data from third-party sources, allowing you to personalize your messages and tailor them to your target audience. The solution helps you meet your leads and customers on their customer journey, making it easy to serve them contextual messages in order to increase conversions. 

Twilio MessagingX Standout Features and Integrations

Features include an SMS campaign builder, an MMS campaign builder, a messaging API, delivery tracking, delivery insights, and push notifications. 

Integrations include Facebook Messenger, Google My Business, WhatsApp, and others.

Pros

  • Free plan to get started
  • Campaign templates
  • Simple to use

Cons

  • Dashboard loads slowly from time to time
  • Limited no-code personalization options
8

Sinch

Best customer messaging platform for mobile communication

Free trial available

Pricing upon request

Sinch is a customer messaging platform that allows businesses to drive customer engagement with communications designed for mobile devices. 

Why I picked Sinch: Sinch makes it easy for businesses to add real-time mobile communication to their messaging strategies. The platform allows companies to connect with their customers via SMS, instant messaging tools, social media platforms, and video calls. 

Sinch helps you set up automated subscription renewal campaigns, appointment reminders, and other types of notifications without difficulty. The software enables you to track the success of your messaging campaigns and collect feedback from your customers. In addition, Sinch also enables you to build self-service portals where chatbots help your customers solve their own problems, so your agents can focus on serious inquiries.  

Sinch Standout Features and Integrations

Features include SMS communication, SMS verification, video calls, automation, notifications, and number masking.  

Integrations include Adobe Campaign, Calabrio, Freshdesk Messaging, Hootsuite, IBM Watson, Instagram, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, Whatsapp, Zendesk Chat, and others.

Pros

  • Helps you create self-service and assisted service portals
  • Enables you to send automated reminders to your customers’ mobile devices
  • Makes it easy to collect post-conversation feedback

Cons

  • Setting up SMS and WhatsApp campaigns could be easier
  • Video chatting in 1080p resolution can be expensive for small businesses
9

Front

Best customer messaging platform for collaborative chats

7-day free trial + free demo

From $19/user/month (billed annually)

Front is a customer messaging platform that enables support teams to communicate and collaborate in order to solve customer tickets. 

Why I picked Front: Front helps your team members work together without forwarding conversations or reassigning tickets. The software allows you to tag other users when you want a second opinion, and you can have a conversation with your teammates without leaving the chat window. 

Front is great at helping small customer support or service teams handle more tickets without affecting the user experience. The tool’s collaborative email functionality enables support agents to consult with product owners or other specialists to find answers to complicated customer inquiries so they can solve tickets without delays. 

Front Standout Features and Integrations

Features include omnichannel communication, shared inbox, collaborative email, automated workflows, reply templates, and reporting. 

Integrations include Asana, CallHippo, ClickUp, Dialpad, Google Drive, Instagram, Jira, Microsoft Outlook 365, Slack, and others. 

Pros

  • Does an excellent job of creating conversation threads, so you can always catch up on old conversations
  • Search functionality helps you find conversations with keywords
  • Can act as an internal messaging service

Cons

  • The mobile app doesn’t access your calendar, so you have to switch to a calendar app and consult it if you need to schedule meetings
  • Imported tables don’t keep their coloring and formatting, so you have to reorganize them on import
10

Drift Conversation Cloud

Best customer messaging platform for conversational marketing

Free trial available

Pricing upon request

Drift is a customer messaging platform that helps businesses drive user engagement with meaningful conversations. 

Why I picked Drift Conversation Cloud: Drift enables your customer success specialists to understand your leads. The solution tracks the activity of your prospects, so your team members can recommend specific actions or answer questions to facilitate conversions. 

Drift’s notification system helps you stay on top of all conversations, regardless of the communication channel. Your team can personalize the chat based on the user’s activity or shopping history, so it increases the customer experience you offer. 

Drift Conversation Cloud Standout Features and Integrations

Features include conversational chatbots, a self-service portal, lead tracking, customer profiles, ticketing, and analytics.  

Integrations include 6Sense, Clearbit, Databox, Drip, Front, Google Meet, HubSpot, Marketo, Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, and others.

Pros

  • Makes it easy to create automated chat flows
  • Proactive support team
  • Helps you qualify leads for your sales team

Cons

  • Navigation menu can be confusing at times
  • Can be expensive for startups or small businesses
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Other Options

Here are a few more worthwhile options that didn’t make the best customer messaging platforms list:

  1. Gorgias

    Best customer messaging platform for ecommerce

  2. Messagely

    Best customer messaging platform for targeted messaging

  3. Gladly

    Best customer messaging platform for personalized shopping experiences

  4. Zendesk

    Best customer messaging platform for ticket organization

  5. Help Scout

    Best customer messaging platform for in-app communication

  6. User.com

    Best customer messaging platform for growing teams

  7. Tidio

    Best customer messaging platform for small businesses

  8. Viber

    Best customer messaging platform for file sharing

  9. LiveAgent

    Best customer messaging platform for social media customer service

  10. Freshchat

    Best customer messaging platform for multilingual support

How I Selected the Best Customer Messaging Platforms

Perhaps you're wondering how I selected the best customer messaging platforms for this list? To build this top 10 list, I evaluated and compared a wide range of customer messaging platforms with positive user ratings.

After determining my long list of top choices, I further honed my list by using the selection criteria below to see how each platform stacked up against the next one. I also drew on my years of customer experience to pinpoint the features that add a lot of value.

Selection Criteria

Here’s a short summary of the main selection and evaluation criteria I used to develop my list of the best customer messaging platforms for this article:

Multi-channel communication 

The main advantage of using a customer messaging platform is that it enables you to manage all your incoming messages without having to juggle multiple tools. I selected solutions that enable you to control your communications in a single interface. 

Message Prioritization

Having the ability to manage your messages in a single interface is nice, but it’s even better when it’s combined with a prioritization feature so your support agents can quickly solve urgent inquiries. I looked for platforms that allow you to segment your customer conversations based on various criteria. 

Automation

Being able to automate repetitive tasks enables your support team to take on more customer inquiries. I chose tools that help your agents speed up their work with automated workflows. 

Software integrations 

Customer messaging platforms should integrate with most, if not all, your communication tools. I picked solutions that offer native integrations with popular social media platforms, such as Facebook Messenger, Instagram, instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp or Telegram, and email clients such as MailChimp or Klaviyo.  

Pricing

There are dozens of customer messaging solutions out there, each with its own pricing structure. I selected tools that offer a wide variety of features so you get a nice return on your investment. 

Customer Messaging Platforms: Frequently Asked Questions

How do customer messaging platforms work?

Customer messaging platforms integrate with third-party communication solutions, such as live chat widgets, social media platforms, email automation platforms, instant messaging apps, and telecom providers. The platforms pull data from all these tools and create a centralized location for all your communication channels so you can manage all your messages in a single interface.

How else can I improve my customer experience?

Offering top-class customer service is a crucial part of customer experience, but there are also some different strategies you can try, such as: 

  • Optimizing your website for mobile devices 
  • Offering low shipping rates and generous return policies 
  • Use detailed product descriptions 
  • Adding photos that enable the user to see the products from different angles
  • Offering discounts to returning customers

What is omnichannel messaging?

Omnichannel messaging is a communication strategy that enables businesses to engage their prospects, leads, and customers on all the communication channels they use, such as social media platforms, live chat, email, voice and/or video calls, text messaging, and so on.

Provide great service with customer messaging platforms

Customer messaging platforms help you provide great customer service by bringing all your communications together and shortening your response times. And the impact of great service can be huge for your company. As Barry McCarthy, CEO of Deluxe, said

When considering how your business approaches customer service, remember that customers won’t simply compare you with other businesses within your industry. The bar for customer service is set by the best — not just the best of your direct competitors. Never forget you can find success with a barely competitive product, coupled with outstanding customer experience.

If you want to discover new ways of improving your customer service, I recommend checking out the following resources too: 

Lastly, sign up for the CX Lead newsletter to receive the latest insights from top thinkers in the industry.