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Customer Service Software


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Base logo
 
Base CRM is a full-featured web-based solution that allows B2B and B2C sales professionals in many industries to work on the go. It features native apps for most mobile devices and a straightforward price structure.
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Base CRM is a full-featured web-based solution that allows B2B and B2C sales professionals in many industries to work on the go. It features native apps for most mobile devices and a straightforward price structure.
 
Claritysoft logo
 
Claritysoft is a customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed for midsize and large enterprise businesses. It offers sales automation, customer service and support, marketing automation and social CRM within a single solution. Claritysoft... Read More
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Claritysoft is a customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed for midsize and large enterprise businesses. It offers sales automation, customer service and support, marketing automation and social CRM within a single solution. Claritysoft... Read More
 
NetSuite logo
 
NetSuite CRM+ is a best-in-class customer service management solution designed to upsell and increase revenue - ensuring customers are properly routed and giving customers real-time access to order status, tracking and more.
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NetSuite CRM+ is a best-in-class customer service management solution designed to upsell and increase revenue - ensuring customers are properly routed and giving customers real-time access to order status, tracking and more.
 
Chime logo
 
Chime is a marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) suite designed for small and midsize real estate businesses. Chime provides team management features, lead and customer management and content management. Chime sends... Read More
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Chime is a marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) suite designed for small and midsize real estate businesses. Chime provides team management features, lead and customer management and content management. Chime sends... Read More
 
SalesOutlook CRM logo
 
SalesOutlook CRM is a unique and comprehensive Customer Relationship Management and email marketing system that was developed from the ground up to be fully embedded into Microsoft Outlook. This system is the first of its kind, and... Read More
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SalesOutlook CRM is a unique and comprehensive Customer Relationship Management and email marketing system that was developed from the ground up to be fully embedded into Microsoft Outlook. This system is the first of its kind, and... Read More

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BNTouch Mortgage CRM logo
 
BNTouch Mortgage CRM is a mortgage-specific CRM system that offers mortgage brokers and bankers alike a dependable and robust solution featuring advanced marketing automation capabilities. The software offers features for each step... Read More
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BNTouch Mortgage CRM is a mortgage-specific CRM system that offers mortgage brokers and bankers alike a dependable and robust solution featuring advanced marketing automation capabilities. The software offers features for each step... Read More
 
Maximizer CRM logo
 
Maximier CRM offers a great customer support solution for the SMB and mid-sized organization. Primary features include case management, knowledge base, a self-service web portal and computer telephony integration (CTI).
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Maximier CRM offers a great customer support solution for the SMB and mid-sized organization. Primary features include case management, knowledge base, a self-service web portal and computer telephony integration (CTI).
 
1CRM logo
 
1CRM by CRMonCall offers businesses a solution for managing their sales, customer service and business operations. 1CRM combines a CRM system with full order management functionality to develop quotes, track orders, generate invoices,... Read More
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1CRM by CRMonCall offers businesses a solution for managing their sales, customer service and business operations. 1CRM combines a CRM system with full order management functionality to develop quotes, track orders, generate invoices,... Read More
 
PlanPlus Online logo
 
With a comprehensive online solution for collaboration and relationship management, PlanPlus Online has strong tools for customer service and support including case management and a ticket tracking system.
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With a comprehensive online solution for collaboration and relationship management, PlanPlus Online has strong tools for customer service and support including case management and a ticket tracking system.
 
OnContact CRM logo
 
Offering a choice web-based or on-premise deployment, OnContact CRM 7 is a great fit for price-conscious companies in several industries, including Banking, Software, Healthcare, Insurance, and Field Service. It is Mac compatible.
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Offering a choice web-based or on-premise deployment, OnContact CRM 7 is a great fit for price-conscious companies in several industries, including Banking, Software, Healthcare, Insurance, and Field Service. It is Mac compatible.

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Really Simple Systems logo
 
Really Simple Systems CRM is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) system designed for small and midsize organizations. The solution comes in both free and paid editions. The free edition offers only sales force automation... Read More
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Really Simple Systems CRM is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) system designed for small and midsize organizations. The solution comes in both free and paid editions. The free edition offers only sales force automation... Read More
 
inContact Hosted Call Center logo
 
inContact is a best-of-breed hosted call center system that can be sold as an integrated suite with customer service & support software. This application helps businesses manage and resolve customer support inquiries.
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inContact is a best-of-breed hosted call center system that can be sold as an integrated suite with customer service & support software. This application helps businesses manage and resolve customer support inquiries.
 
Cosential logo
 
Cosential is designed to meet the industry-specific requirements of architects, engineers and construction companies. Customer service and support is offered as part of the integrated suite of CRM applications.
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Cosential is designed to meet the industry-specific requirements of architects, engineers and construction companies. Customer service and support is offered as part of the integrated suite of CRM applications.
 
Freshdesk logo
 
This web-based customer support system streamlines the issue resolution process with tools for tracking interactions, contact information, workflow and more. Freshdesk works with a range of contact channels, from chat to social.
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This web-based customer support system streamlines the issue resolution process with tools for tracking interactions, contact information, workflow and more. Freshdesk works with a range of contact channels, from chat to social.
 
Mothernode CRM logo
 
Mothernode CRM helps business track every activity related to their customers. This enables businesses to provide the most comprehensive customer service and support, and strengthens the customer relationship.
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Mothernode CRM helps business track every activity related to their customers. This enables businesses to provide the most comprehensive customer service and support, and strengthens the customer relationship.

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TeamSupport logo
 
TeamSupport is a complete customer service system with tools to streamline your customer support process. Main features include ticket automation, internal collaboration and advanced self-service options.
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TeamSupport is a complete customer service system with tools to streamline your customer support process. Main features include ticket automation, internal collaboration and advanced self-service options.
 
PhaseWare Tracker logo
 
PhaseWare Tracker is a legacy provider of service and support software for midmarket organizations. The system is available in both a hosted and licensed version. It is flexible enough to meet the needs of any service environment.
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PhaseWare Tracker is a legacy provider of service and support software for midmarket organizations. The system is available in both a hosted and licensed version. It is flexible enough to meet the needs of any service environment.
 
Five9 Cloud Contact Center logo
 
This robust cloud-based solution incorporates ACD, IVR, CTI and a predictive dialer, so users can easily manage their contact center operations. Five9 also offers chat, email connections and reporting, among other features.
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This robust cloud-based solution incorporates ACD, IVR, CTI and a predictive dialer, so users can easily manage their contact center operations. Five9 also offers chat, email connections and reporting, among other features.
 
TRACK Pulse logo
 
TRACK Hospitality Software offers a flexible suite of applications for hotels, resorts, and vacation rental management companies. This web-based system is platform agnostic, and offers mobile-OS specific apps for Android, Windows Phone,... Read More
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TRACK Hospitality Software offers a flexible suite of applications for hotels, resorts, and vacation rental management companies. This web-based system is platform agnostic, and offers mobile-OS specific apps for Android, Windows Phone,... Read More
 
Vivantio Pro logo
 
Vivantio is a service management system that allows users to create a personalized solution that aligns with internal business processes. Key features of the software include dashboards, charts, and reports, routing and assignments,... Read More
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Vivantio is a service management system that allows users to create a personalized solution that aligns with internal business processes. Key features of the software include dashboards, charts, and reports, routing and assignments,... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Craig Borowski,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: April 25, 2017


Organizations use customer service and support software to track and manage service interactions, whether by phone, over the Web, through email, by social media or even face-to-face. However, there are hundreds of solutions on the market and selecting the best customer service software for your organization is challenging. To support you, here’s what we’ll cover in this guide:

What Is Customer Service Software?
Common Features of Customer Service Software
Customer Service Software BuyerView Report
Benefits of Customer Service Software

What Is Customer Service & Support Software?

Customer service and support software helps customer service representatives (CSRs, or “agents”) document, route, track, resolve and report on customer issues using a trouble ticketing system. This technology is sometimes referred to as help desk software, though that term is usually applied to resolving information technology (IT) issues, specifically.

These solutions streamline the issue resolution process by automating many common support activities. Ultimately, they improve agent productivity and increase customer satisfaction.

PhaseWare Self Service Center
PhaseWare self service portal


Customer support management software is available as a standalone trouble ticketing system, as part of a broader customer relationship management (CRM) suite such as Salesforce.com or Microsoft Dynamics CRM, or as part of an enterprise suite from vendors like Oracle or SAP.

Some customer service support systems may be integrated with other enterprise applications. Examples include service dispatch software (to enable on-site repairs), inventory and cataloging systems (to ensure that exchange parts are in stock) and sales force automation systems (to inform sales reps of critical or chronic issues).

Common Features of Customer Service Software

Depending on the type of buyer you are, below is a list of common and useful features that are found in customer service and support solutions and online customer support software. This is not an exhaustive list but is a good place to start.

Live chat Allows CSRs to chat with customers online and automatically capture key content from those conversations in the trouble ticketing system. Many customers prefer to interact with CSRs by chat instead of by phone.
Customer self service Offers a Web-based customer portal through which customers can search for answers to common problems. This can take the form of documentation, searchable FAQs and how-to pages, among other things. If the customer can’t find an answer, Web self-service tools usually enable them to submit a ticket online or engage in live chat with a CSR.
Knowledge base Manages a repository of descriptions to common or previously resolved problems. These resources might be available publicly via a self-service website, or reserved for internal use by CSRs.
Multi-channel management Manages customer interactions received through multiple channels, including phone, Web, email, live chat, mobile app, Facebook, Twitter and others. All interactions are stored in the software and routed to appropriate agents for resolution.
Analytics and reporting Enables managers to create custom reports that provide insight on team performance, time to resolution, customer satisfaction and other important indicators.
Salesforce Case Management
Multi-channel case management using Salesforce.com

What Type of Buyer Are You?

When beginning your customer service support software comparison, keep in mind that different organizations have different drivers and requirements. They typically break out as follows:

Enterprise buyer These buyers work for organizations that typically have a lot of users, have complex functional requirements and value the vision of an integrated software system across all departments and business units. They will typically employ a best of breed strategy. Representative vendors include Salesforce, Oracle RightNow CX and SAP.
High-volume call center buyer These buyers operate one or more large call centers. Their goal is often to manage as much of the call center business process as possible using automated rules and scripts, which many customer service software applications support. These buyers should also look for computer telephony integration (CTI). Representative vendors include inContact, SAP, Salesforce.com and Goldmine CRM.
Small business CRM buyer These small businesses want to evolve beyond contact tracking capabilities of products like Microsoft Outlook and add basic trouble ticketing and interaction tracking to enhance relationships with strong service and support. Representative vendors include inContact, GoldMine CRM, Zendesk, Maximizer CRM and SageCRM.
Field service buyer These buyers work for large firms that deliver service at the customer location and will benefit from mobile access. These buyers will also look for strong client data integration with other applications. Representative vendors include PhaseWare Tracker, FieldAware, SugarCRM and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Customer Service BuyerView | 2014

We've spoken with hundreds of customer service software buyers over the years. Based on these interactions, we compiled answers to the following questions:

  • What systems to buyers currently use?

  • For those replacing an existing system, what are their top reasons for doing so?

  • For those buying customer service software for the first time, what are their top reasons for doing so?

  • Which features do buyers request most?

  • Which deployment model did buyers evaluate most?

From this research, we discovered that many times companies buy customer service software when they need to scale. They might have been using a more a general contact management software system before, but grew to the point of needing more specialized customer service features, such as trouble ticketing. Others in the sample were buying because they needed to increase efficiency, resolve issues faster, or consolidate their databases. Click here for the full report.

Benefits of Customer Service Software

A well-implemented customer service solution increases satisfaction, empowers agents and provides transparency and reporting to management on the support process. Some of the benefits customer service systems can deliver include:

Increased accountability. By documenting every contact, a system allows management to see which agent handled which problem and provides agents with ongoing feedback on their performance.

Improved coordination of accounts. When paired with sales force automation systems, customer support systems afford both the sales and the service organizations better transparency into the customer’s data. This can yield benefits such as letting sales representatives know of any outstanding issues before making a call, or letting an agent know that repair parts are already ordered so that a customer does not double order parts.

Better asset management. Customer care software systems that fully integrate with service dispatch allow reps to be more efficiently assigned. Similarly, integration with the inventory management system will allow agents to confidently confirm to the customer that repair parts are in stock.

Improved infrastructure scalability. Customer self-help systems handle straightforward issues, giving customers with more complex problems faster access to agents. This allows a growing company to expand at a faster rate while maintaining or improving customer satisfaction.

Reduce time required to resolve issues. Customer service management software reduces the amount of time required to resolve an issue. This means that the same number of agents can address more issues, or the same load can be handled by fewer agents. For example, YouSendIt was able to respond to customers 35 percent faster after implementing Zendesk customer support software.

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Ten Steps Guide to Selecting the Right CRM Software

 

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