Best Customer Service Software Tools Comparison: 2021 Top 18
A customer doesn’t cease to be one after the point of sale. A great company should invest in the customer experience after that transaction. To do that, you need to get your hands on the best customer service software out there.
This article will give you a tour of the many advantages of customer service systems. Then, we’ll dig into 18 great platforms, each with its own strengths.
Once your support team is up and running on some good customer service software, you’ll see how those longer business-customer bonds pay off in dividends down the road.
Customer service software comparison chart (top 10 highest rated)
Best customer service software overall
$89 /user /month
Salesforce Service Cloud
Top customer support software for large business
$25 /user /month
Best free customer service system
$15 /user /month
Freshdesk Sprout is free
Top help desk tool for omnichannel communication
$15 /user /month
Good customer service tool for team collaboration
$4 /user /month
Top customer support software for small business
$12 /user /month
Good help desk tool for workflow automation
Contact vendor for pricing
HubSpot Service Hub
Good customer service system for CRM integration
$45 /2 users /month
Good help desk software for reports
$50 /user /month
Agile CRM Service
Good help desk system for live chat
$9.99 /user /month
What is customer service software?
So what’s included in a platform of customer service tools?
Firstly, there’s the help desk. Help desks are intimately tied up with a CRM. This allows users to reach your company through as many channels as possible. Support reps can field all incoming interactions in one unified dashboard. Omnichannel communication includes phone calls, email, SMS and social media chat.
Great customer support tools also include live chat. This lets you put a chat box on your homepage or apps for mobile devices too. Chat boxes can also use chatbots, which customer service systems make it easy to set up.
Next is the ticketing system. When a user gets in touch over an issue, a ticket is created which tracks the progress. Customer support systems help you assign tickets to reps and store information about the customer. As tickets are resolved, those solutions get saved and can be reused for similar tickets too.
Automation lets you create workflows to take over simple repeated tasks. For example, a chatbot is a form of automation. Based on what a person writes, the chatbot’s responses follow an automated tree of possible responses.
SLAs also benefit from workflows. An SLA is a service level agreement, which says how long an issue should take. So you can create a workflow, for example, which says: if an SLA is less than one day away, send the customer an apology email for the delay, and send the agent a notification that the ticket is urgent.
Ticket routing is another form of automation. If a user writes in about a certain kind of issue, the workflow can recognize it and send it to the right department (like IT or billing), or specific agent who can best help out.
Customer support tools include self-service features to allow users to get help without creating a ticket. These include knowledge bases and FAQs, which can use NLP to recognize the context of what the user tries looking for.
What are the different types of customer service software?
Help desk software
Ticketing management software
Customer support workflow builder
Omnichannel communication tools
Live chat software
Customer satisfaction software
Best customer service software? Here’s our top 18 list:
From help desks to ticketing, this list of the 18 best software for customer service covers every feature, niche, and tool. Some of these platforms cover just the basics. Others are loaded with advanced features. We’re sure big or small, your company will find the best customer service software for you.
Zendesk (Best customer service software overall)
Zendesk is among the first CRM software for customer service teams. Nowadays Zendesk Support integrates with sales tools too. Zendesk Support lets users reach companies through most communication channels. Customer interactions are tracked over email, live chat, social media, and phone. Agents get total customer information and histories. You get a good ticketing system to stay on top of current issues. Routing connects the best agent to each ticket. Zendesk lets you build a knowledge base. There is also a chatbot that uses AI. Automated workflows are easy to set up, and you get reports based on SLAs.
Zendesk is best for:
Live chat software
Salesforce Service Cloud (Top customer support software for large business)
Salesforce is a pioneer of CRM. It has individual products for specific departments like sales, marketing and support. Salesforce Service Cloud is dedicated to customer support. It integrates phone, messages, and chatting into a unified dashboard. Support teams get 360 degree views of all contacts and support histories. Automated workflows can resolve common customer requests fast. AI functionality can do ticket routing to the best rep. Salesforce provides customer support analytics to track agent performance. You also get self-service features like client portals and knowledge bases.
Salesforce Service Cloud is best for:
Customer service management
Self service portal
Freshdesk (Best free customer service system)
Freshdesk is part of the Freshworks suite of tools for customer relationship management. The Freshdesk ticketing management system helps organize and prioritize tickets. There is omnichannel communication including live chat and social media. It also manages SLAs to stay on top of deadlines to resolve issues. You can create your own ticket statuses for your custom workflows. There is also a chatbot with canned responses. Freshdesk is great at streamlining collaboration for support teams. There’s AI ticket routing. You get knowledge bases, FAQs, and forums for self service. Finally Freshdesk does customer satisfaction analytics. Freshdesk Sprout is a great free version.
Freshdesk is best for:
Omnichannel contact center
Self service portal
Free version of Sprout
LiveAgent (Top help desk tool for omnichannel communication)
LiveAgent is a dedicated help desk software aiming to improve the customer experience. It is a customer service solution that works across all channels. These include a front-line service desk and a ticketing system. Tickets can be shared, merged, and split. Agents can also talk with users over live chat or with social media. There is also a call center to handle incoming calls. You can automate workflows based on things like SLA rules or time frames. LiveAgent also gathers data on customers and companies for richer contact profiles. There are email templates, canned responses for chatting, and predefined answers in FAQs.
LiveAgent is best for:
HelpDesk (Good customer service tool for team collaboration)
HelpDesk is all about making tickets easy. It’s a good customer support software for team collaboration. Agents can create tickets directly from emails or web forms. Similar tickets can be grouped together for faster solutions. Agents can share tickets and add private notes to help one another. You can also create support agent groups to handle bigger issues together. HelpDesk makes it simple to automate tasks that are repetitive. You also get canned responses. Analytics measures performance of support departments and helps improve efficiency. There is also a live chat tool for real time communication.
HelpDesk is best for:
Zoho Desk (Top customer support software for small business)
Zoho Desk is a part of the bigger Zoho set of SaaS. As a support solution, it is a full multi channel help desk. It works with email, live chat, social media, and telephones. You can use it to create a branded customer self help portal. Zoho Desk has an AI tool called Zia. It does things like sentiment analysis and gives agents solution suggestions. There are collaboration features including a ticket organizer and shared CRM data. You can even set up your team’s roles and hierarchies. There are many automated workflows, like for ticket routing and SLAs.
Zoho Desk is best for:
AI ticketing systems
Website: Zoho Desk
HappyFox (Good help desk tool for workflow automation)
HappyFox is a well-rounded customer service platform. It has a sophisticated ticketing system. The total HappyFox package is divided into suites of tools. These suites are for help desk, live chatting, and chatbots. It also has features for workflow automations and business intelligence (BI). The help desk streamlines ticketing and self service knowledge bases. Live chat makes real time support fast and easy. The chatbot is powered by AI. Workflows integrate with other apps like Salesforce, Zendesk, Jira, and Shopify. Finally, HappyFox has robust support analytics and reporting.
HappyFox is best for:
HubSpot Service Hub (Good customer service system for CRM integration)
HubSpot started inbound marketing and today has tools for many business needs. This includes Service Hub which includes the basic CRM features. You get good service desk tools including live chatting and Facebook Messenger. There is help desk automation to take over the easy tasks. Support managers can delegate tasks and monitor their teams. There is even a tool to create custom help videos which can be added to tickets and emails. These can also work in the knowledge base and as FAQs.
HubSpot is best for:
Customer relationship management
Support channel management
TeamSupport (Good help desk software for reports)
TeamSupport is very professional help desk software. It consolidates and analyzes contact data and interactions. Tickets also give you important information and connections to other similar tickets. There are tools to gauge customer satisfaction. It can also alert you to customer frustration. TeamSupport automatically scans the web for data on your contacts and updates profiles in real time. It tracks SLA data and rates your agents. There are many good help desk metrics for reporting. You also get rules-based ticket workflows which are easy to set up. Finally, you can create ticket groups based on related issues or contacts.
TeamSupport is best for:
Analytics and reporting
Agile CRM Service (Good help desk system for live chat)
Agile CRM has modules for sales, marketing, and service. You get them as a bundle. The platform gives you many ways to handle customer communication. You can tag and group tickets based on common issues. There’s a tool called smart views which shows you your preferred metrics and insights into customer issues. You can set up SLAs and monitor their progress. Agile has good custom workflow management tools. It’s easy to create canned responses. There are many other tracking metrics for creating reports. Agile CRM Service gets you live chat and a knowledge base too.
Agile CRM Service is best for:
Website: Agile CRM
Creatio is a CRM with marketing, sales and service modules. As a help desk system you get multi channel communication including phone calls. There’s a self service portal builder for users to find their own answers. For contact management you get good CRM tools. It searches social media to enrich customer information. For case management you can track and group tickets and monitor timelines. Creatio can be used as a task management and calendar tool as well. Finally, there is strong business process management to automate workflows.
Creatio Service is best for:
Business process management
Maximizer is a CRM platform with features for ticket management. It aims to help quicken average response times. It has basic case management tools. You can track tickets by various metrics like agent, severity of problem, or nearing deadline. There is automated ticket queuing and routing. As a CRM all contact data and interactions are stored in one place. It creates records to help teams share issue resolutions. These also feed into knowledge bases. You can get nice reports on agents or teams to monitor customer satisfaction.
Maximizer CRM is best for:
Website: Maximizer CRM
Front tries to go for a more personal style of customer communication. Tickets are automatically assigned to agents as they come in. This gives one agent total responsibility for the customer for more personalized service. There is multi channel communication across email, live chat and messaging. This is a good simple customer support platform for small teams. It makes everything easily accessible and shareable with notes and chatting. You can set up rules based workflows and canned responses. This help desk tool integrates with other customer success tools from Front.
Front is best for:
Vision Help Desk
Vision has a large customer support bag of tools. Vision Help Desk is a software solution for improving service response times. You can connect with customers over the phone, email, messaging, and social media. There’s ticket workflow automation to take over easy requests and tasks. You get SLA setup and tracking. There are rules based alerts. You get customer service analytics and reports. There’s SEO optimized knowledge base articles. Vision has tools for agents too. Like internal chatting, gamification, and task management.
Vision Help Desk is best for:
Multi channel communication
Kayako tries to be a more personal customer support platform. It lets you connect with customers over email, live chat, Twitter and Facebook. All communication comes in a unified dashboard. It’s very easy to learn and has a nice design. You can integrate the live chat to your website or mobile apps. All new tickets come with 360 degree views on the customer. You can see customer activity in real time. Team members can share inboxes to help one another. You can build a customer self help portal with Kayako. Analytics get you team performance insights. It also helps optimize your workflows.
Kayako is best for:
Dixa is all about doing good customer support to improve your brand. The aim is to help maintain and grow your customer base. It also takes the personalized approach. Omnichannel communication brings together phone and email. It also does real-time chat, WhatsApp and Facebook. Tickets are made to look like conversations. When customers reach out you get their profile data. Customers can be automatically routed to their preferred agents. The idea is to build relationships. This help desk tool is mostly for companies who expect regular interactions with preferred users.
Dixa is best for:
atSpoke is a ticket resolution platform that rejects conventional tickets. The goal is to get through issues faster this way. It helps you immediately answer questions as much as possible the first time a user reaches out. It does this with intelligent context analysing each request. AI suggests solutions to reps. Agents can track issues and get updates in Slack and Microsoft Teams. There are real-time ticket status updates. You get AI automated workflows to speed up repeat tasks and issues.
atSpoke is best for:
SeamlessDesk is a decent cloud-based customer service system. The help desk software has smart notifications to stay on top of customer problems. You can set these up based on triggers like deadlines or repeat issues. There are many ticketing tools including agent assignment and priority. You get rich customer profile data with each ticket. This is a good platform for agent collaboration. SeamlessDesk has a suite of tools for asset management. Asset management is useful for storing files with tickets which other agents can view. It also offers knowledge base features.
SeamlessDesk is best for:
Our key takeaways
In the end, Zendesk still reigns supreme. Although its price tag may not suit everyone’s fancy. In that case, Freshdesk, Zoho Desk, or LiveAgent might be worth looking into. That’s not to say some of these other customer support platforms won’t be just the right ticket!