Customers are the lifeblood of your business, and without them, your company won’t be in operation for very long. How you treat your customers can significantly impact whether or not someone will buy from your business. As a matter of fact, 85% of consumers make their buying decision because of the way a company treats its customers. So, excellent customer service is crucial for small businesses regardless of their industry or niche.
Customer service software can help you develop better relationships with your customers. But understanding which tools are right for you, vetting the software providers, and implementing the system for your business isn’t going to be easy. That’s why I put together this list of customer service platforms to help you out. The following software can help your customer service team track, manage, prioritize, and resolve customer inquiries to help you provide an outstanding customer experience and get them to buy from you.
What do I look for when I select the best customer service software for small business? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): I look for software that’s easy to set up and navigate and increases the customer service team’s productivity. Software with a welcoming interface is more accessible for teams to use, so I look for software that’s intuitive to work with.
- Usability: I look for software with an easy learning curve throughout its onboarding process to decrease training time. These systems can help your teams set up to perform vital customer service tasks without requiring additional support.
- Integrations: I look for software that can integrate with various third-party tools you’re already using to expand the available features to your team. If you have a developer in your business, some platforms offer an API to help you create a custom integration.
- Value for $: I look for platforms that are an excellent fit for small business budgets. Some also offer a free trial, free subscription plan, or a basic package, allowing businesses to scale up later.
Customer Service Software Key Features
There is a wide range of tools that customer service software provides for small businesses, but there are some vital features that many should provide:
- Ticketing System: An organized ticketing system can help your team manage questions, conversations, and complaints into individual “tickets” which they can handle or assign to the proper team member.
- E-mail Management: With an all-in-one e-mail inbox, the conversations your team has with customers across various channels and departments and collect intake options in one location.
- Self-Service Portal: Sometimes, customers don’t require a service ticket or time with a customer service team member. In these cases, a self-service portal, or an FAQ section, can let customers find the information they need without setting up a meeting with a service rep.
- Live Communication: At a minimum, the live communication feature should have a live chatbot or contain video, phone, and webinar options. Real-time communication tools are vital and should also include integration options, phone, and video call logging, chat transcripts, and communication analytics.
- Customer Tracking and Reporting: This feature lets you measure and analyze your customer’s behavior, history, and service metrics to help your team monitor how many requests they receive, the number of tickets they open, when they manage them, and how happy customers are with the experience.
- Security and Compliance: Security is essential because of the amount of private customer and employee data that the software handles. These systems should have security features, such as role-based permissions and two-factor authentication.
- Customer Support: A software vendor that helps you provide support to your customers should also support your business. Software providers should provide some form of support, either based on the plan you sign for.
- Satisfaction Rating: Managers and team leaders should be able to monitor the customer service team’s ability to resolve issues to satisfy customers. Your software can help with this by sending a post-resolution survey, where customers can input their satisfaction levels in a questionnaire.
- Mobile Access: Many solutions may provide a mobile app, or the platform is responsive to mobile devices, to allow customer service team members to access the system and customer data.
- Collaboration: Working as a team on a challenging ticket is essential to making a customer happy, which means a customer service platform should provide collaboration tools. These tools can include communicating with other team members, creating user groups and group chats, sharing tasks and calendars, and co-building a knowledge base with resolved cases.
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Overviews Of The 10 Best Customer Service Software For Small Business
Here’s a brief description of each customer service software for small business to showcase each tool’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the user interface.
monday sales CRM is a customizable, intuitive solution that helps managers and sales team control a business’s sales cycles on one platform. It can help your business capture leads, manage customer information, and build relationships. The customization capabilities allow your teams to make the platform their own, from custom items and labels to fully customizable workflows, dashboards, and forms. It also saves time by automating repetitive tasks, such as sending notification e-mails, modifying contact statuses, and advancing deals through your pipeline.
The contact management capabilities in monday sales CRM help you monitor the essential sales process throughout your customers’ journeys. The platform enables you to store e-mails, phone calls, chat histories, support tickets, and other customer interactions with your business. You can use this data to interpret the intent of your customers, which can help you make the right pitch and land the deal. The platform will also provide you with your contact’s personal information so you can personalize each conversation.
monday integrates with third-party applications, such as GitLab, Outlook, Dropbox, Zoom, and Google Calendar.
monday costs from $14/user/month when paying monthly or $11/user/month when paying annually; each plan comes with a 14-day trial. They also offer a free monthly plan for up to two users.
Zoho Desk is a help desk platform that provides customer service solutions for managers, agents, and customers. The platform includes marketing, sales, accounting, finance, HR, collaboration, e-mail, and business intelligence tools. The ticketing system on the platform can help you monitor whatever channels you use, such as chat, phone, e-mail, and social media. These features can save your customers’ time and improve their experiences by getting them in touch with the right person to receive assistance.
The AI in Zoho Desk, a.k.a. Zia, helps your business assign support tickets, identify issues in ticket traffic, and analyze customer sentiments. It can also share solutions from your knowledge base to help your customers without the need for a customer service rep. After chatting with your customers, if Zia doesn’t find a helpful solution, it can notify your customer service team to ensure you don’t leave the customer without the information they require.
Zoho Desk offers users several integrations to help expand their customer service capabilities. These integrations include Zoho Apps, such as Zoho CRM, Zoho Assist, and Zoho Bug Tracker, or third-party applications, such as RingCentral, Jira, Slack, Trello, and Salesforce.
Zoho Desk costs from $20/month when paid monthly or $14/month when paying yearly and offer a 15-day trial for each plan. They also offer a free subscription for up to three agents.
Zendesk offers flexible, powerful tools that can scale and meet your needs, regardless of your size and industry. Your customer interactions live in a single, dynamic platform with features such as pre-defined ticket responses, web widgets, and complete customer history. Zendesk makes it possible to connect your data sources into a single platform to help your team members get the correct customer contact information when they call for support.
Zendesk’s full suite of tools can fit all of your needs with a customized solution to fit your current support environment. These tools include automated AI-powered answers during chat sessions, help centers, self-service portals, and customer support through voice, e-mail, SMS, and live chat. You can also speak with customers through mobile devices, web pages, and social networking platforms. If your customer reports an issue through Facebook or Twitter, Zendesk can automatically generate a support ticket.
Zendesk can integrate with various applications, such as Mailchimp, Shopify, SurveyMonkey, and Asana.
Zendesk costs from $19/user/month when paying annually; it also offers a 14-day free trial.
Hiver is a multi-channel helpdesk software that helps your customer service teams assign, track, and collaborate on customer e-mails. You can also run advanced automation and analytics from the Gmail interface. Customer service teams can learn to use Hiver quickly, saving you time from learning complex software. Hiver also provides live chat capabilities which allow your teams to engage with visitors on your website and provide real-time support from within Gmail.
Hiver provides powerful helpdesk features, such as e-mail tags for shared inboxes, e-mail templates, auto-assignment to distribute e-mails, and analytics to track vital customer service data. Your team members can receive notifications from the software when someone responds to an e-mail, which can help avoid conflicting and duplicate responses. The software also allows managers to set business hours and SLA and measure customer satisfaction by sending short surveys at the end of e-mails.
Hiver integrates with some third-party applications, such as Jira, Asana, Slack, and Zapier.
Hiver costs from $19/user/month when paying monthly and $15/user/month when paying annually. They also offer a 7-day free trial on all plans.
Freshdesk offers users two customer service offerings: one is a help desk solution, and the other covers omnichannel support. The helpdesk solution helps your service team categorize and assign support tickets to the proper rep based on expertise or availability. The omnichannel support can help you manage queries efficiently through live chat, e-mail, and social ticketing. Freshdesk’s Agent Collision Detection feature helps to ensure multiple customer service reps don’t work on the same ticket accidentally.
Freshdesk’s built-in phone system allows you to receive calls from customers in over 30 different countries. The phone system has real-time analytics, feedback mechanism, customer and help desk satisfaction reports, and customized reports. This can help you establish call center operations in your business without a full-fledged phone system.
Freshdesk integrates with Zoom, Kanban Board, Shopify, Mailchimp, Slack, and Google Analytics.
Freshdesk’s support desk solution costs from $18/user/month when paying monthly and $15/user/month when paying annually. The support desk solution has a free plan for up to 10 users. Freshdesk’s omnichannel solution costs from $35/user/month when paying monthly and $29/user/month when paying annually. Both solutions offer a 21-day free trial.
Talkdesk is a browser-based contact center platform that helps businesses build significant relationships with their customers. The software can help your teams customize call routing flows through a visual editor, which is beneficial if you’re a non-technical user. You can also customize experiences for your customers by forwarding calls according to customer data, interactive voice response selection, business hours, and customer service rep skills. The VoIP services offer 99.999% to 100% uptime, guaranteed through their service level agreement.
Talkdesk uses AI to help enhance the quality of your conversations with customers and allow you to address customers’ requirements quickly. The AI can do this through tools such as interaction analytics, customer self-service, and automated assistance. Team managers, supervisors, or quality control analysts can also use the information from the AI in the platform to review automated interaction scores, transcripts, and sentiment analysis to help train your customer service reps.
Talkdesk integrates with various popular third-party software, such as Zoom, Salesforce, and Microsoft Teams.
Talkdesk costs from $75/user/month.
Aircall is a cloud-based business phone platform that helps support teams have clear, efficient communications. Your team can add numbers from over 100 countries, scale your teams accordingly, and collect insights from real-time analytics. The skill-based routing and live call monitoring in Aircall can ensure your customers get the best support possible. As soon as the phone rings, your team members can see your customer’s name and previous interactions with insight cards to help you understand their needs before the conversation starts.
Aircall can help your customer service teams save time and avoid switching between systems by syncing call details to your helpdesk and CRM. Your reps can check customer account histories, review call recordings, and get an understanding of each conversation. You can also see which of your reps are on a call and who’s available at any moment, see why your business is missing calls, and identify longer than usual hold times. These details can help you make the necessary improvements to your customer service calls.
Aircall integrates with critical workflows and tools, such as HubSpot, Salesforce, ActiveCampaign, Freshdesk, and monday CRM.
Aircall costs from $40/user/month when paying monthly and $30/user/month when paying annually. They also offer a 7-day free trial.
GORGIAS provides high-end customer service tools to independent e-commerce brands. It helps your support team understand customer inquiries’ context before responding to any questions. The software can also track how your customer service efforts impact your store’s sales. This can help ensure your customers remain a significant part of your sales strategy.
GORGIAS’ offers macros and machine learning to provide predictive typing and personalized messaging based on your customer’s information and order history. The software uses these details to create chat templates, which allows your reps to do more work in a shorter amount of time. Macros can significantly improve workflows by minimizing human errors while sending information to customers, simplifying internal processes, and maintaining your brand in automation. You can also use macros to respond to customer queries through various rules and apply them to different ticket sections.
GORGIAS integrates with the top applications to maximize your helpdesks, such as Yotpo, Pipedream, Klaviyo, Aircall, Shopify, and RingCentral.
GORGIAS costs from $10/month for 50 tickets/month when paying monthly and offers a 7-day free trial. Extra tickets cost $0.40/ticket. When paying annually, GORGIAS costs from $50/month, and you get two free months with yearly billing.
HubSpot’s free service platform, or HubSpot Service Hub, tools collects all of your customer service details together to one platform to help support teams. The platform provides your business with essential customer service tools such as live chat, ticketing, team e-mail, shared inboxes, and ticket reports. If you’re a current user of HubSpot CRM, you can easily connect your data from HubSpot Service Hub to create an integrated customer management system.
HubSpot Service Hub also has VoIP functionality, which provides excellent call quality. You can use the VoIP feature to record call logs and extract analytics directly from the platform. The engagement and contact property data can help you and your team prioritize important calls by establishing a daily call queue. If you’re using the HubSpot CRM, your team can see the context of each call to help them provide the best customer service.
HubSpot’s free service tools integrate with many of the most popular applications you might already be using, such as SurveyMonkey, Jira, Intercom, Google Ads, and Outlook Calendar.
HubSpot’s free service tools are free to use with minimal features. As your business grows, you can transition to a paid account starting from $50/month when paying monthly or $45/month when paying annually.
Moxo is a business interaction management platform that enables businesses of any size to create a branded portal to maintain a continuous connection with customers. Moxo’s design is more focused on virtual workspaces, ensuring continuity with your brand through connected experiences for all of your customers. It does this with a suite of collaboration tools, such as secure video conferencing, messaging, virtual data rooms, screen sharing, and task management.
Moxo provides a digital workflow builder to users, which helps save time and increase business efficiency. It creates repeatable, sequenceable steps using pre-defined customer and internal support team actions. With this feature, you can automate routine tasks and configure custom workflows that match your current processes. You can track all interactions within the platform with a searchable paper trail.
Moxo can integrate with third-party applications, such as Xero, HubSpot, and Google Sheets, by using Zapier to connect them.
Moxo costs from $100/month when paying monthly or $90/month when paying annually.
The 10 Best Customer Service Software For Small Business Summary
14-day free trial
|From $10/user/month||Visit Website|
15 days trial for each plan
|From $20/agent/month for the standard plan||Visit Website|
14-day free trial
|From $19/user/month||Visit Website|
7 days free trial
|From $19 per agent per month||Visit Website|
21-day free trial
|From $35/agent/month||Visit Website|
|From $75/user/month||Visit Website|
7 days free trial
|From $30/user/month||Visit Website|
7 days free trial
|From $60/month||Visit Website|
|From $45/month||Visit Website|
|From $90/month||Visit Website|
Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list.
- Totango - Design and implement customer journeys at scale efficiently.
- Tidio - Combine chatbot tools with live chat to provide excellent customer service.
- User.com - Use visitor tracking and user timelines to equip your team with accurate customer data.
- Taimer - Measure and manage a complete customer lifecycle in one platform.
- DiamanteDesk - Free open source helpdesk solution that allows customization to meet business requirements.
- Front - Collaborate on crucial customer messages in real-time to give the best possible response.
- Intercom - Unify every aspect of your customer’s journey in a modern communication platform.
- Chatra - Add live chat capabilities on your website and talk with visitors in real-time.
- Olark - Make it easy to listen to customers and learn from each interaction online.
- Thryv - End-to-end small business management software to help put customers at the heart of your business.
- Capsule CRM - Organize customer information in a simple CRM interface and deliver personalized experiences.
- TigerLRM - Close more deals with a sales enablement tool designed by top sales representatives.
You can also check out our top 10 overall customer service software recommendations if you are a SMB looking to scale soon or have outgrown your small business CRM already.
More Customer Service Software Lists
Be sure to check out our other lists for more small business software solutions:
- 10 Best Free Customer Service Software
- 10 Best CRM For Small Business To Help Manage Customer Relationships
- 10 Best Customer Service Chat Software For Small Business
What do you think about this list?
It can be a tricky task to determine what customer service software best serves your needs. It’s essential to find software that meets your current needs and has the flexibility to cover future requirements, all while staying within your budget. Making a decision can appear to be a bit daunting, but ending up with the wrong software, unsatisfied customers, and a frustrated team is much, much worse. So, take your time, consider your options, be thoughtful, and make the best decision possible.
Do you have any experience using these tools? Or, do you have a customer service software you would recommend? Let me know!
For now, if you’re looking for more information about customer experience management and digital experience management, subscribe to The CX Lead newsletter.