Microsoft reports that 90% of customers base whether or not they do business with a company around that company’s customer service reputation. And when it comes to custom churn, 93% of customers confirm that excellent customer service will compel them to give a company repeat business.
Customer support software can help you make sure that your customers are being taken care of throughout their purchasing journey. A help desk solution with robust ticket management ensures no one falls through the cracks.
This review of the 10 best customer support software can be handy for small and medium-sized businesses as well as larger enterprises that are looking for a good CRM tool to make better marketing and sales decisions and to watch for trends in customer needs.
I will provide an overview of each service platform software, including brief descriptions to better understand the main use case for these support solution tools. I’ll show you some features to look out for, like chat widget, Slack integration for your support agents, as well as multi-level SLA. Also included is a list of comparison criteria, customer support software key features, a list of customer service software other options that did not make the top list.
The Best Customer Support Software List
Here is a shortlist of the best customer service software:
This article will go over general, all-purpose customer support software options, each with its different strengths and weaknesses. However, we also have articles across the site that deep-dive into a particular type of customer service software. If you’re looking for something more specific, these might help.
What do I look for when I select the best customer support software? Here is a summary of my selection criteria:
User Interface (UI): Customer service software needs to have a clean, intuitive UI for both the agent and the end user. Customers who can’t figure out your system navigation aren’t going to wait around to learn it.
Usability: The last thing you need is customer service software that doesn;t work. That kind of defeats the purpose. I’m looking for something with high uptime, easy troubleshooting, a responsive helpdesk team, and maybe even a self-serve knowledge base.
Integrations: Customer service software should connect with whatever tools you are using to reach and serve your customers. This might be messaging tools, relationship management databases, ecommerce apps, and/or social media. Flexible connectivity is a must.
Value for Cost: Obviously, it won’t do you well to skimp on your customer support software budget; however, I do take into consideration how competitive a price is compared to other tools on the list and what advanced features they offer at what price point.
Customer Support Software Key Features
Customer Relationship Management (CRM software): Does it include features like contact, lead, document, or quotes/proposal management? Are customer issues logged in the service hub and analyzed for actionable insights? Or, does it integrate easily with tools that do these things?
Ticketing Support: Is launching, assigning, and following up on a ticket easy to do? Can support tickets be customized with the data fields you need most?
Response Automation & Wiki: Does the tool let you automate some of the most basic, easy to answer questions? Does it provide space for you to build a FAQ or wiki for your customers to get simple answers they need without waiting on a live agent?
Customer Metrics: Does the software allow you to track customer attrition, customer conversion, average wait times, ticket resolution times, and other important customer data?
Multichannel Communication: Does the software provide your customer service team with access to phone calls, SMS/texting, live chat, video calls, and anything else the modern customer requires?
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Overviews of the 10 Best Customer Service Software
Below you will find brief descriptions of each of the customer support software and help desk software on my list showing what each does best, including screenshots to showcase some of the features.
Groove is an easy-to-use help desk for growing businesses who need to connect with their customers across a variety of communication channels like social, email, and live chat. Groove offers a GraphQL API to automate, manage, and extend all the functionality of the platform with a bit of IT know-how and elbow grease.
Groove integrates natively with Hubspot, Salesforce, JIRA, GitHub, Facebook, Twitter, Shopify, Trello, Constant Contact, Slack, Zoho, Capsule, Delighted, JustCall, Nimble, PieSync, Nicereply, ChargeBee, Influx, MailChimp, Stripe, Campaign Monitor, Ask Nicely, and thousands more with a paid plan through Zapier.
Groove costs from $15/user/month and comes with a 15-day free trial.
Custify is a customer success software designed specifically for software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies that need to focus on product adoption and upsell opportunities. When leaving your ecosystem is as easy as hitting “unsubscribe,” Custify positions itself to identify churn risk long before your customers find themselves in that position.
Custify provides customer 360 reports, customer health analysis, renewal and upsells suggestions, workflow automation, and a task management system with customizable alerts.
Help Scout is help desk software for small businesses to high-growth start-ups. It is designed for easy workflows, team assignments, and assessing productiveness. Standouts include an easy-to-use shared inbox to organize all support requests into a single queue. Small businesses may not yet have a lot of customer service manpower so Help Scout lets you create a searchable library of pre-written help desk replies to reduce the administrative burden on your team.
You can pull data from a variety of sources for a more personalized customer profile—contact information, previous conversations, and data/activity from other apps.
Help Scout costs from $25/month and includes a free 15-day trial.
4. Zoho Desk – Best customer support software for enterprises
Zoho Desk is customer support software that collects help desk ticket requests across email, chat, phone, social media, and your website. Zoho includes numerous sales, marketing, finance, and recruitment products, so it’s a perfect choice for large enterprises who need a vast array of services and prefers to keep everything within the same platform.
The majority of users choose their professional plan, which comes with multi-department ticketing, a telephony system, automatic time tracking, round-robin ticket assignment, and agent collision warnings.
Zoho Desk is free to use for 3 agents. Paid plans cost from $14/agent/month and come with a 15-day free trial.
5. Hive – Best customer support software with project management
Hive is a project management software with customer support functionality used by the likes of Comcast, Google, Electronic Arts, Starbucks, and Toyota. Features include integrated email, team management elements, and live chat with Slack integration. If you connect using a paid Zapier plan, you can access over a thousand additional integrations, making it an easy fit into your current software stack.
Hive’s collaboration system is perfect for complex customer support needs that require interdepartmental communication. You’ll have access to team chat, comments, in-app email, proofing and approvals, and a shared inbox. Hive has a mobile app for iOS and Android.
Hive costs from $12/user/month on an annual contract and comes with a 14-day free trial.
6. JivoChat – Best live chat software for websites
JivoChat is a business communications tool that features an integrated messaging solution that allows your clients to talk to you using Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, and Instagram. Your customer service agents receive all chats, emails, and calls in the Jivo app, no matter where or how the customer is reaching out. This saves the time and confusion of jumping between different windows or platforms.
JivoChat integrates with the software you already use in your day-to-day workflow, like CRM tools, WordPress, Shopify, Weebly, Slack, BigCommerce, Wix.com, and hundreds of others with a paid Zapier plan.
JivoChat Basic is free for your first five agents. Paid plans cost from $189/user/month and come with a 14-day free trial.
Forethought is the maker of Agatha, an AI automation chatbot tool for customer support agents to manage requests quickly. Agatha pulls information from your knowledge base and Salesforce Service Cloud to automatically assist basic customer queries without live agent intervention. The AI will intervene with easy answers or quickly ping an agent for concerns it is not equipped to handle independently.
Forethought also offers automatic triage and routing and customer support operations analysis. You can pick between multiple feature packages so that you are only paying for the stuff you need.
Forethought offers customized pricing upon request and has a free demo. They do not offer a free trial.
8. CometChat – Best customer-to-customer chat solution
CometChat allows you to add video + voice call center services and text chat to your websites and apps. This lets you talk with your clients directly or facilitate conversations between customers. This makes it a great choice if part of your service is connecting consumers and producers to one another, like with an online marketplace or community hub. Push, email, and SMS notifications ensure the recipient doesn’t miss a message.
Your own company service agents can take advantage of the streamlined phone and video services, too. CometChat’s easy drag-and-drop chat plugin connects with whatever web service you use, like WordPress, Bubble, or Composr CMS.
CometChat Go Lite costs from $49/month with a 7-day free trial. Pro plans cost from $149/month + per-minute video and call charges.
9. Freshdesk – Best for collaborating with external stakeholders
Freshdesk is a natively omnichannel customer service software that allows businesses to receive requests via email, web, phone, chat, and social media. Freshdesk software combines a ticketing system, workflow automation, and real-time reporting for a complete customer service solution. Freshdesk keeps simplicity in mind, letting you change a ticket status without entering the card.
Freshdesk is a team collaboration superstar, providing paths to loop in external stakeholders and subject matter experts into any customer interaction—even if they don’t directly work for your company. This ensures the customer gets the best advice and assistance every time.
Freshdesk is free to use with some feature limitations. Paid plans cost from $15/agent/month and come with a 21-day free trial.
Zendesk is an intuitive, fully-featured customer support software used by MailChimp, SIEMENS, Tesco, and Uber. Zendesk offers pre-built software or fully customized packages. Standout Zendesk features include omnichannel support, customer self-service tools, automation, and AI-powered bots, a unified agent workspace, collaboration solutions, and built-in routing and intelligence.
Zendesk offers an internal help desk solution for companies looking to elevate the level of care and support they provide their own employees. Zendesk offers a self-service knowledge base, centralized business information, IT and HR workflow automation, and satisfaction trend reporting.
Zendesk costs from $19/agent/month and offers a 30-day free trial.
Yes, you can jump to our article on free customer support software to find the best free customer support systems available on the market today. I’ve also called out which of the above options offer a free plan in the pricing information section.
What Do You Think About These Customer Service Tools?
I hope that our review has made you more aware of the exciting and wide array of customer support platforms out there. There’s no single best tool as it really depends on your customer support team members and your business model. But I hope I’ve shed light on the different software support software you can choose from to make the most informed decision for your business.