A beginner’s guide to a customer service software

When customers are asking a lot of questions, do you find it difficult to respond? Did you just hear someone referring to the word “online customer support software” to improve their support and have no idea what they are talking about? Do you want to know how a support software will help your business? Or are you looking for tips on how to make your customers happier after a sale? You are on the right page. Here’s what we’ll be looking at:

What is a customer support software?

Let’s say you are an e-commerce site and you sell your products online. Your customers probably reach out to you for help all day with questions about how to use your products, how to get a refund, regarding shipping and other charges, when they can expect their order to get delivered and so on. They may not just email you but also reach out on Twitter and Facebook. Sometimes, they may call you directly or just prefer to chat on your website. Whatever be the mode of communication, they expect you to be there and they expect you to have a response to their questions. If a customer talks to you on the phone and later reaches out on Twitter regarding the same issue, they expect you to connect the dots and have the answer ready. That’s where a customer support software (also known as a customer service software) comes in.

So, what does a customer support software do?

A customer support software helps you keep track of user requests, communicate with customers, and deal with other customer support related issues better.

For example, if you are an e-commerce provider, you will be able to store all these incoming queries from multiple channels in one place, identify how to respond to each customer, categorize and prioritize their problems and then respond as necessary.

Let’s say a customer emails you asking about when a product is going to come back in stock and you assure them that it will be available 3 months down the line. If the customer asks you on Twitter three months later, the customer service management software you use will provide context of the earlier email conversation so you know in advance what the customer is going to ask. Your customer care software will also combine those two different conversation threads, Email and Twitter, into one so you can respond easily from one place but the customer will get your responses through the channel they want - which is Twitter in this case.

A quick look at how online customer support software can help you

Ease of Use

With a customer support app, your agents can reply to emails, answer customer calls and chat with customers from one place. You don’t have to juggle between various tools and logins.

Better Communication

Communication is easier and answers are better when you have more context. You can always access past interactions with any customer on any channel from a single, unified customer database.

Stronger Collaborationn

An online customer support software helps your team collaborate efficiently. Cloud-based helpdesk software can increase visibility of who is handling a ticket, who has already responded to a customer and which tickets still need answering.

Analyze Team Performance

Find out if your teams’ responses are fast and accurate enough. Learn how good your team is at helping customers with their problems. A good B2B helpdesk software will provide the data you need to improve your team’s performance.

Increases support efficiency

A helpdesk software can help automate most support processes. You can dedicate all of your team’s efforts towards tackling the customer’s problems instead of figuring out paperwork and maintenance.

Improved Customer Loyalty

With a helpdesk software streamlining your customer support process, it is easier to make customers happier. Happier customers are customers who will keep returning to your business, increasing their loyalty to your brand.

Who can use a customer support software

SMALL BUSINESSES

A good customer service tracking software will ensure that your focus as a small business remains on responding to customers by automating all the routine work.

ENTERPRISES

If you are an enterprise business, a good customer software will help your support work at scale without losing the personal touch and also let you execute great customer experiences by enabling collaboration across your company.

Choosing the right customer service software for your business

Support Style

Do you prefer to chat with your customers live? Or do you prefer supporting over just email and phone? Or would you rather just write comprehensive knowledge base articles? Or is it a combination of all of them? Make sure the customer support software you choose fits your style.

Usability

A support software with intuitive UI will ensure even new agents can start supporting customers immediately without requiring in special training. Just as how higher price does not equate to more features, a complicated UI with a certification process to use it does not necessarily mean a powerful or feature-rich helpdesk.

Price

Higher price does not always equate to more features in a support software. Make sure you shop around, compare features and read up reviews before deciding on a helpdesk software. If you are looking to provide B2B support, sometimes even a free customer service software will suffice.

Your ideal helpdesk

Essential Features of a customer service software

Not all customer support software have the same features. Some provide a basic platform and require a lot of plugins before you talk to your customer while some others just let you login and get started. Some have basic reporting features and require you to integrate with other reporting suites while others have AI intelligently crunching your numbers out of the box. Whatever they are capable of, these six basic abilities are a necessity in any good helpdesk.

Multi-Channel Ticketing System

With a free helpdesk software, you can upgrade to a ticketing system that is a much more robust than the standard email inbox that drives most customer support teams. This helpdesk software can streamline multiple communication channels like Email, Phone, Chat, Social Media etc. into one, so you won’t have to juggle various websites, passwords and tools just to talk to your customer.

Collaboration

Collaborate better with a unified cloud-based support desk. If you get a helpdesk software meant for small businesses, ensure it has agent collision prevention features to prevent multiple agents from working on the same ticket or repeating someone else’s work. A good enterprise helpdesk software will also let your global team huddle together right next to the ticket to discuss possible solutions and answers.

Automations

With a powerful customer support tool, customer management and interaction management can be automated based on time-based triggers or event-based triggers. Create workflows with these automations so incoming customer questions and calls are routed intelligently to the right team or the most appropriate agent for a more efficient and faster response.

Reporting and Analytics

Make sure you have the data you need to help your agents improve, as well as to ensure you have the right paperwork to bill your customers for support. If you are looking for a B2B software or enterprise helpdesk, then powerful reporting features are an absolute necessity. If you wish to use a different reporting suite to analyze your helpdesk data or if you choose a free helpdesk, make sure the software is open and allows you to integrate reporting suites without holding your data hostage.

Customization

Approaching a business for help can be a bland and boring experience for the customer. With enterprise support software, you can instead customize your helpdesk fully to make it a continuation of your brand and make their support experience an extension of your own brand. Some free customer management software have these features as well so make sure to look around.

Straightforward and affordable pricing

MONTHLY
YEARLY
SPROUT

For getting started

FREE

UNLIMITED agents

  • Email Ticketing Convert all email queries into tickets and track, prioritise and reply to them using Freshdesk.
  • Ticket Dispatch Automatically assign new incoming tickets to agents and groups based on keywords, ticket requester or ticket properties.
  • Team Collaboration Collaborate with team members across the company and even outside the company to resolve customer issues faster.
  • Knowledge Base Enable customers to help themselves by leveraging the power of Freshdesk’s advanced knowledge base.
  • Ticket Trend Report An analysis of the tickets created, tickets resolved and tickets left unresolved over a specified period of time.
  • Social Ticketing Integrate your primary Twitter and Facebook handles with Freshdesk and manage of all your social interactions.

Omnichannel

0 /agent/month

  • Convert calls to tickets in Freshdesk

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BLOSSOM

Perfect for small teams

$ 15

/agent/month billed yearly monthly

Everything in Sprout and…

  • Automations Automatically execute actions on new and existing tickets using time and event based triggers.
  • Collision Detection Know when another agent is viewing/replying to a ticket. This helps agents avoid duplicating each other’s effort.
  • Marketplace Apps Get access to hundreds of apps and extend the capabilities of your helpdesk, with the Freshdesk Marketplace.
  • Helpdesk In-depth Gives you a report of your helpdesk and all the important metrics associated with creating and resolving tickets.
  • SLA Management Set the right expectations with customers and agents on the response and resolution timeframes for every ticket in your helpdesk.
  • Business Hours Set the working hours of your business and anything outside these hours, including calls, will not be timed by Freshdesk for SLA compliance.

Omnichannel

0 /agent/month

  • Manage chats and calls within Freshdesk

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GARDEN

Ideal for growing teams

$ 29

/agent/month billed yearly monthly

Everything in Blossom and…

  • Time Tracking Invoice customers by keeping track of the time your team spends on customer support.
  • CSAT Surveys Measure the quality of your customer service by sending out precise and well-crafted customer satisfaction surveys.
  • Session Replay Preview recordings of user sessions on your website and spot where your customers are running into problems.
  • Performance Reports Gives you a summary of how agents & groups have performed with respect to various support parameters in a specified time period.
  • Multilingual Knowledge Base Create knowledge base articles in multiple languages from a single portal to support customers globally.

Omnichannel Includes Blossom's Omnichannel features

10 /agent/month

  • Embedded Chat FAQs Integrate FAQs inside the chat widget and reduce the number of support queries.
  • Triggered messages Trigger in-app chat campaigns. Target, engage, and convert visitors.
  • IVR Easily route calls to your agents or teams, along with the ability to include self service options.
  • Call masking Mask your call center number to make the conversation personal.

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FOREST

Made for enterprises

$ 109

/agent/month billed yearly monthly

Everything in Estate and…

  • Skill-based Ticket Assignment Match tickets to the agent most proficient in handling specific types of issues within the group.
  • Sandbox Create a secure test environment to try new features and settings in Freshdesk without impacting agents or customers.
  • IP Whitelisting Increase helpdesk security by controlling who can log into the portal using their IP addresses.
  • Data Centre Location
  • HIPAA Compliance
  • Extendable API rate limit

Omnichannel Includes Estate's Omnichannel features

free

  • Co-browsing Connect on a personalized level with screen sharing and audio chat for support.
  • Multilingual Chat FAQs Chat widget FAQ channels will be visible in the browser language chosen by a user.
  • Holiday routing for phone calls Ensures calls during ‘declared’ holidays are treated similar to those during non-working hours and handled accordingly.

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FSM

Available on Estate and Forest Plans

Field Service Management

Add field technicians, manage schedules and appointments, and track service performance with curated reports. Deliver stellar support in person with the FSM module for Freshdesk.

Manage field teams Track appointments Monitor metrics

$ 29

/field technician/month

24 x 7 email support included with all plans

24 x 5 phone and chat support included with all paid plans

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Can’t decide which plan is right for you?

See our complete feature comparison

Try the best customer service software?

Freshdesk is a online customer service software which helps small businesses deploy scalable solutions to support customers and grow easily. Freshdesk is also versatile enough so enterprise support teams can build powerful workflows to team up across the globe to provide a cohesive support experience to customers no matter where they are. If you are looking for a easy-to-use, intuitive customer service solution we’re here.