Organizations use customer service and support software to track and manage service interactions, whether over the phone, online, email, 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 support software?common features of customer support softwarewhat type of buyer are you?customer support software buyerview reportcustomer support software benefits
what is customer service & supporting software?
Customer service and support software helps customer service representatives (csrs or “agents”) to document, route, track, resolve, and report customer issues through a problem reporting system. This technology is sometimes called help desk software, although that term is generally applied to solving information technology (IT) problems, specifically.
These solutions streamline the troubleshooting process by automating many common support activities. ultimately, they improve agent productivity and increase customer satisfaction.
Customer service management software is available as a stand-alone problem reporting 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 of providers such as oracle or savia.
Some customer service support systems can be integrated with other business applications. Examples include service dispatch software (to enable on-site repairs), inventory and cataloging systems (to ensure spare parts are in stock), and sales force automation systems (to inform sales representatives sales on critical or chronic problems).
common features of customer service software
Depending on the type of buyer you are, here is a list of common and useful features found in customer service and support solutions and online customer support software. this is not an exhaustive list, but it is a good starting point.
what kind of buyer are you?
As you begin your customer service support software comparison, keep in mind that different organizations have different drivers and requirements. they are typically broken down as follows:
customer service buyer’s view | 2014
We’ve talked to hundreds of buyers of customer support software over the years. Based on these interactions, we collected responses to the following questions:
what systems are buyers currently using?
for those replacing an existing system, what are the main reasons for doing so?
for those buying customer support software for the first time, what are the main reasons to do so?
What features are most requested by buyers?
Which deployment model did buyers evaluate the most?
From this research, we found that companies often purchase customer service software when they need to scale. they may have been using a more general contact management software system before, but have grown to the point of needing more specialized customer service features, such as problem reporting. others in the sample were buying because they needed to increase efficiencies, 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 about the support process. Some of the benefits that customer service systems can offer include:
increased accountability. By documenting each contact, a system allows management to see which agent handled which issue and provides agents with ongoing feedback on their performance.
improved coordination of accounts. When combined with sales force automation systems, customer service systems provide sales and service organizations with greater data transparency the client’s. this can lead to benefits, such as letting sales reps know about any pending issues before placing a call, or letting an agent know that repair parts have already been ordered so a customer doesn’t double order parts.
better asset management. Customer service software systems that fully integrate with service dispatch allow reps to be assigned more efficiently. similarly, integration with the inventory management system will allow agents to confidently confirm to the customer that spare parts are in stock.
improved scalability of the infrastructure. customer self-help systems handle simple problems, 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 the time it takes to resolve issues. customer service management software reduces the amount of time it takes to resolve a problem. this means that the same number of agents can tackle more problems, or the same load can be handled by fewer agents. for example, yousendit was able to respond to customers 35% faster after implementing zendesk customer support software.
See also: Kick-Ass Customer Service