Businesses are always looking for that extra edge in customer service. Fortunately, that’s just one more area where technology has come to the rescue. 

Nowadays, loads of customer service tools are available that can improve almost every part of the customer experience and make life easier for your customer service team. 

In this guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at customer service tools

  • What are customer service tools?
  • What kinds of customer service tools are there?
  • What’s the best customer service software for my small business?

What are customer service tools?

Customer service tools (or customer service software) is a program that can help your business assist your customers.  

In a nutshell, the main goal of customer service tools is to keep everything in one place, so it’s easier to manage customer issues. With the right tools at your disposal, you can track, manage, and respond to customers from one central system, allowing you to provide a smoother and better service. 

Customer service tools are plugged into your customer relationship management (CRM) software so you can fully view a customer’s information and history from one source. Again, it’s the benefit of having all the necessary information in one place, so whenever a customer contacts you, you’ll know who they are and how they’ve interacted with your business in the past. 

What kinds of customer service tools are there?

Customer service tools can be separated into two categories. 

  • Internal: Software that supports employees, so they’re better able to help customers. 
  • External: Software that directly supports communication with customers. 

While each software company will offer customer service tools with different features, they generally come down to improving these five essential services:

  • Live chat.
  • Phone support.
  • Email.
  • Information hubs. 
  • Instant messaging. 

Let’s take a closer look at each customer service channel and how it could benefit your small business. 

Live chat

With a live chat service, you can provide un-manned customer service around the clock by using a chatbot that can reply to customers in real-time.  

There are limits to what a chatbot can do, but they’re perfect for frequently asked questions at each stage of the customer journey. 

Phone Support

Phone calls remain one of the best ways to resolve customer issues, especially for more urgent or complex problems requiring one-to-one conversation. 

With customer service tools, you can upgrade your phone system with features like call recordings, customer info displays, and smart routing, giving you everything you need to handle every call effectively. 

Email

Like the telephone, email is another staple of customer service. But the true power of email is its flexibility. 

First of all, email can be used as an internal and external customer service tool, allowing you to communicate with customers and coworkers. 

When it comes to customer support specifically, customer service software will help make the most out of your email service by tracking customer information, providing automated email services, and creating widespread email marketing campaigns. 

Information hubs

Sometimes the best kind of customer service is one that lets customers help themselves. In fact, a lot of customers will try to solve their own problems before contacting a business directly. 

Knowing this, you should try to provide your customers with information that’s easy to use and applicable to the most common issues. You can do this with FAQs, customer forums, and general information pages. 

Just like any other mode of customer service, customer service tools can help you improve your information hubs. For example, AI can flag outdated content or show you when a new topic needs attention.

Instant messaging

Messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook messenger are incredibly popular, so it’s no wonder they’ve been quickly integrated into the world of customer service. 

The advantage of customer service software is that it allows customers to use those same apps to contact your business, providing them with a convenient and familiar way to get in touch using their phones.

Once again, the true advantage of customer service tools is that all of your customer conversations are contained within one central location. As a result, you’ll see all of your customers’ information and history, allowing you to help them across multiple channels. 

What’s the best customer service software for my small business?

If you’re interested in improving your customer experience with some customer service tools, there are a lot of different choices out there. 

To help you narrow down the search, we’ll list some of the most highly rated customer service software providers on the market for small businesses. They all include the service tools we’ve mentioned so far, but they differ in price, features, and scalability. 

Freshdesk

Freshdesk prides itself on being easy to use and set up. They offer a basic customer service package for £0 per month and a free trial. Unlike others on this list, Freshdesk’s free subscription doesn’t limit the number of users.

Salesforce

Salesforce is a full-blown CRM software solution, meaning you can use it to build an e-commerce website and have customer service tools built-in. 

The small business subscription is £20 per month, and they offer a free trial. 

Zoho

Zoho also offers a full CRM solution for small businesses, but there are individual customer service tool subscriptions starting at £0 per month with a 15-day free trial. 

Zendesk

Offering the most options out of all the services on our list, Zendesk is an excellent choice for businesses looking to scale up quickly. Their customer service packages start at £19 per month. 

Zendesk is the most expensive option that’s not a CRM, especially as you move on from their basic subscriptions, but they are highly rated and offer a free trial. 

Make your financial admin easier with a simple app

Customer service software can do wonders for your customer support, but why stop there? Thousands of business owners have already downloaded the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier too. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.

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