Customer service software, sometimes called customer support software or help desk software, is simply a way to interact with your customers’ issues and resolve them. Customer support software automates the complex processes involved in customer service, and makes it much easier for you to accurately and quickly provide the help you need. The strongest, most high-end help desk software applications focus on both ticketing and self-help solutions. However, if you prefer one or the other, you can easily find an application which focuses on that particular aspect. There are a number of customer service solutions, so it is easy, with a little effort, to find one that suits your needs.
Key Clients and Consumers of Customer Support Software
Who needs customer support software? The key users of this type of software are businesses where there is a heavy focus on customer interaction. In any business where there is a high need for helping customers with their problems there will be a need for customer support software. For example:
- Retail outlets
- Web stores
- Cell phone service providers
- Software providers
All of these types of business are key clients and consumers of customer service software, because all of them manage large numbers of customers and need to be able to do so efficiently. If that is true of you, no matter how small or large your business is, you need customer support software.
Customer Management Software Price Ranges
Software pricing ranges and plans for customer management vary somewhat depending on the model you use and how many agents you are planning on employing. Most vendors vary their prices based on how many features you want, how many tickets you’re budgeting for, and how many agents you have. Typically, the software is priced per agent. For instance, one software starts out at $1 per agent per month for the absolute most basic software, and goes up to $195 for the most elite models. As you can see, this is a wide variation. You can usually get a discount for annual billing, depending on the company. Smaller software companies intending to provide to other small companies might change their billing model. Billing purely per ticket volume is common among smaller software companies. A one-time licensing fees may be asked for software instead.
Key Technologies Used in Customer Software
There are three major types of service technology used in customer support. These are:
- Ticket & Case Management
- Multi-Channel Communication
- Self Help & Community
Ticket and case management is the bread and butter of customer service. This type of software allows users to submit tickets that other users can work on. There should be systems for routing and assigning tickets, as well as easy ways to create and resolve the tickets themselves.
Multi-channel communication involves making sure your customers can contact you on the platform they are most comfortable with. Live chats, phone lines, social networks, and email are all important ways of interacting with your customers. Multi-channel communication technologies ensure that you can meet customers where they are.
Finally, self-help and community software allows customers to resolve some problems themselves. This reduces the workload on your employees and allows them to move more quickly and efficiently on existing problems. The key ways to create this are through forums, FAQs, searchable knowledge bases, and survey and polls for customers.
How to Choose a Good Service Provider
Knowing all this, how do you then choose the right software provider? Here are our tips.
- Decide what you need: The crucial first step is to decide what features you need. You can then look for providers based on what you have decided is essential for your company.
- Check credentials: Has this service provider worked with anyone else in your field before? Do they have a good track record? Are their employees certified and/or educated? These things can all make a difference.
- Think about customization: Can you adapt this software to your needs? Not everything can be easily scaled up or down. It doesn’t have to be automatically perfect, but it needs to be something that you can make work.
- Make sure of cost: Will this software fit your budget? Any hidden fees? Be careful – there are providers who will hit you with unexpected costs that you can’t afford.
Customer Service Software Features to Pay Attention to
If you’re looking to get the very best customer support software, here are some features you should definitely pay attention to:
- Forum functionality: Forums can reduce ticket requests by creating a community of customers who can help each other find the solution without asking your employees.
- Customer ticket portals: Customers often want to submit help desk tickets themselves so as to decrease the amount of time they have to wait.
- Social network integration: Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks are increasingly part of customer service. You may need to answer customer service inquiries made on these platforms.
- Collaborative documentation: With this feature, your employees can attach notes and files to tickets to maintain records for future reference.
These are all particularly crucial to the creation of good customer service, and you should decide which elements are necessary for your own business. Then, check and make sure that the software you are selecting will have them.
Customer Service Management Software
In the service industry, we are all dependent on customers. No matter what kind of business you run, no matter its size, you couldn’t manage to make it without them. They are the reason for business’ existence, after all. Your customers should be kept happy and should be dealt with in the most efficient, helpful way possible. Using a good customer service management software can help immensely. Make the right choice for your business and get the best customer service software. Software reviews can really help you with that. It’s an investment in your future.