The Best Customer Service Software

Customer service software is a close cousin to IT management software and shares many of the same features, but with a different purpose. Rather than managing internal staff issues, customer service software helps you manage and provide solutions to your consumer base.

Top Rated

LiveChat

Want to add an online chat feature to your website to increase sales? LiveChat does that and creates IT help desk tickets, too. The Blueprint takes an in-depth look at LiveChat's hybrid functionality.

Best for SMBs

Help Scout

Need to expand your customer service capabilities and make them more efficient, too? Help Scout could be your answer, so The Blueprint takes a close look at this popular customer service solution.

Best Features

Kayako

Kayako is a one-stop customer service solution with multichannel customer-help agent conversations, knowledge bases, and self-service portals. The Blueprint covers all your need-to-know information.

Best Value

LiveAgent

Find out why LiveAgent earned the “best value” superlative from us and what this platform can do for your customer service needs.

Best for New Users

Zendesk

Find out what makes Zendesk one of the easiest and most user-friendly customer service tools available.

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Serving the public is a difficult task. Ask anyone who works in retail, food service, or any customer-facing position. As I’ve said before, customer service is like putting out little fires everywhere before they become an uncontrollable wildfire.

It’s all about maintaining strong relationships with customers and finding successful solutions so they can succeed while using your product or service.

That’s why you need the right software tools to help your client-facing team improve customer service.

The most important tool you can give them is a customer service management platform that organizes their work, connects them with customers in need, finds the solutions they want, and empowers their customer service skills.

We’ve put together a list of the top customer service platforms on the market today that can do just that.

Our top picks for the best Customer Service Software:

Top Rated

1. LiveChat

   
Best Value

2. LiveAgent

   
Best for New Users

3. Zendesk

   
Best for SMBs

4. Help Scout

   
Best Training

5. HappyFox

   
Best Features

6. Kayako

   

7. TeamSupport

   
Best for Enterprises

8. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service

   

9. Groove

   
Best for Enterprises

10. Salesforce Service Cloud

   

What The Blueprint looks for in great customer service software

So many elements make up a great customer service platform, but these three distinct features can either make or break these tools. We always look for these top three features at The Blueprint when reviewing any customer service app.

Ticket management

This is the absolute base requirement for any customer service software. If you can’t create, manage, track, and resolve issues within the platform, is it designed for customer service?

While some platforms offer ticket management systems, others go above and beyond to find easier and more efficient ways to manage tickets. Some examples: through color-coding, providing support resources in the tickets, or connecting the tickets to their live chat system.

Knowledge base management

Knowledge bases are the perfect way to provide answers to the technical questions your customers bring you. Your brain isn’t a giant encyclopedia, so a knowledge base is the perfect way to point your customers in the right direction so they can fix their problems with detailed instructions.

The best customer service software options allow direct access to your knowledge base within the customer ticket itself so you can grab the answers you need quickly.

Self-service portals

What happens when your customer support team leaves for the day? Problems don’t just stop because your team clocks out. That’s why it’s important to come with a self-service portal.

This way, your customers can find the solutions they need when your team isn’t available or the issue is simple and doesn’t require a human touch.


How your business can benefit from using customer service software

There are few drawbacks to using customer service software and many more benefits. These are the top three benefits your business will see when adopting a new customer service software solution.

Improved customer relationships

Great customer service platforms give you the tools and capabilities to ensure quality customer service and build a happy user base.

No one expects your products and services to operate at 100%, but when something does go wrong, a quick and correct response is the perfect way to maintain and improve customer relationships.

Improved accuracy in issue resolution

Imagine you went to your local auto mechanic and told them your vehicle’s problem. They didn’t write anything down or make any notes about the situation, but hours later, they tell you they fixed an unrelated problem because they forgot what you said.

That’s what customer service would be like without a structured system in place for managing issues. Customer service software provides that structure so your team can solve the right problems quickly and accurately.

Centralized record of past issues

It’s always good to maintain a record of any issues with your customers. This way, you can go back and reference if a customer has concerns with a solution you provided. Customer service software maintains and stores records in an easily searchable database.


Customer Service Software Frequently Asked Questions

What are the deal-breakers when selecting customer service software?

The biggest deal-breaker for me when selecting any software option is ease of use. When I’m purchasing software, the first thing I consider is how long it’s going to take me to learn this platform and whether the complexity will interfere with the work I’m doing.

When you buy software for your business, you’re buying it for everyone who interacts with it, not just yourself. Why buy something you’ll have to take hours explaining each time someone new is introduced to the platform?

The second deal-breaker has to be the features list versus the price. Why pay more for something I can get cheaper elsewhere? While not every comparison is one-to-one, trial periods are the perfect time to find the positives and negatives of platforms, and if the differences come down to price, I’m going with the cheaper option.

Is live chat a necessity?

No, live chat functionality is not a necessity, but your job becomes a lot harder without it. Not every issue is meant to run through a standard ticketing system.

Sometimes your customers are just looking for simple answers to simple questions, and live chats provide that fast solution. Countless examples of good customer service prove prompt and accurate responses to consumer concerns are beneficial, and that’s why live chat is a huge benefit.

How much does customer service software cost?

As I say with all software types, the price varies. However, the range typically starts around $10/month, per user. The highest I’ve seen is somewhere in the range of $500/month, per user. The lower prices fall on platforms better suited for smaller businesses, but not every expensive software product is best suited for enterprise-level businesses.

Beware a lack of transparent pricing. My rule of thumb is if a software vendor isn’t willing to openly display its pricing, then the product is probably very expensive. Keep that in mind during your search.

The Motley Fool has a Disclosure Policy. The Author and/or The Motley Fool may have an interest in companies mentioned. Click here for more information.

Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Microsoft and Salesforce.com. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.