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Customer service is the lifeblood of businesses. From small ecommerce sites to Fortune 500s, organizations of all sizes across every industry must prioritize their customers to be successful.
But like everything else in today’s day and age, customer support has gone digital. When a current or prospective customer has an inquiry or needs some assistance, they have a certain expectation for how those problems should be resolved.
Customer service software is the solution to those problems.
By leveraging customer support software, businesses can enhance the customer experience, improve response times, and maximize the efficiency of support agents.
But customer service software comes in all different shapes and sizes. With dozens of options to choose from, finding the best one for your business can be challenging. After extensive research and testing, we’ve narrowed down the top seven choices that you should consider.
The Best Customer Service Software Options to Consider:
When it Makes Sense to Invest Into Customer Service Software
The vast majority of businesses with an online presence should be investing in some type of customer service software. If you’re currently using email or web forms for customer support inquiries and you’re not able to keep up with the volume, it’s time to upgrade your process.
Phone support and email are fine if you’re only getting a handful of customer service requests per day or week. But at scale, this is difficult to manage. This is especially true for larger organizations with multiple departments.
If your current system has slow response times and your agents are backed up with messages and requests, it’s time to consider customer service software.
For small businesses with just one or two customer service agents to enterprises with hundreds or thousands of customer support reps, there is customer service software out there to accommodate the needs of everyone.
If you run a small local business, like a coffee shop or deli, you probably don’t need customer service software just yet.
#1 – Zendesk Review — The Best For Omnichannel Support
Zendesk is one of the most versatile customer service solutions on the market today. It’s trusted by 200,000+ businesses across the globe.
The Zendesk Support Suite comes with everything you need to communicate with your customers online. In addition to the integrated support platform, you’ll benefit from live chat and messaging, knowledge base and self-service tools, and integrated voice software.
I like Zendesk because the software makes it easy for you to communicate with customers on multiple channels from a single platform. You can manage inquiries from email, chat, voice, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and more, all from the same place.
Agents will also see relevant customer details like previous conversations and external profiles to give them as much information as possible when resolving a problem. You can even apply skills-based routing for support requests to ensure the right agent is assigned to the case.
Zendesk integrates with CRMs and workforce management tools as well.
The Zendesk Support Suite starts at $89 per agent per month. There’s also an Enterprise version for $149.
If you don’t need the full suite, individual support products can be purchased separately (Support, Guide, Chat, Talk). Integrated support on its own starts as low as $5 per month.
#2 – Intercom Review — The Best Customer Support Bots
Intercom is perfect for those of you who want to leverage automation on your website for customer support.
More than 30,000+ companies worldwide rely on Intercom for customer service. They are an industry leader in the business messaging space.
The software makes it easy for you to implement messenger bots and real-time chat to your website. The automated bots are great for customer onboarding, activation, product tours, and customer engagement.
Bots can help you collect valuable information about a customer support inquiry before automatically routing the conversation to a qualified agent. The bots can even resolve common customer issues by answering repetitive questions without the need for any human interaction.
Intercom can also be used for proactive support. You can customize bots to send targeted messages on your website with quick tips and other important information to enhance the overall customer experience.
The Conversational Support packages from Intercom start at $38 per month. There’s also an all-in-one solution that includes support, engagement, and marketing, starting at $87 per month.
Unfortunately, the bots aren’t included with either of these plans. Custom bots start at $99 per month. But you can easily justify the extra costs for bots and other add-ons when you calculate how much time and labor will be saved by resolving inquiries without human interaction.
#3 – HappyFox Review — Best All-in-One Help Desk Software
For those of you looking for a complete help desk solution, look no further than HappyFox.
The software is trusted by Fortune 500 brands like Whirlpool and Lowe’s, but it’s simple enough to implement in smaller businesses as well.
This web-based customer service software comes with everything you could possibly need to manage support inquiries. Some of the top features and benefits of HappyFox include:
- Ticketing support
- Knowledge base tools
- Canned actions
- Automated support
- Task management
- Asset management
- Help desk reports
- Social media integrations
- Voice integration
- Live chat
HappyFox seamlessly integrates with tools that you’re already using, like CRMs, ecommerce platforms, accounting tools, bug tracking applications, and more.
Agent-based plans start as low as $24 per month. They also offer plans with unlimited agents for larger teams. Exact pricing is not available online. Contact HappyFox for a quote and free demo.
#4 – Kustomer Review — The Best Customer Service CRM
Kustomer’s software takes the customer service experience to the next level with a built-in CRM. The solution has tools for omnichannel support, self-service, and team collaboration as well.
The platform comes with support for email, chat, SMS, messaging, WhatsApp, and more.
Kustomer goes out of its way to brand itself as “not a ticketing system.” Instead of tickets, all customer communication, events, and activities can be viewed in a chronological timeline within the support CRM. This includes things like orders, transactions, site visits, conversions, and more.
The software also has intelligent omnichannel routing to automatically match customers with the appropriate support agents based on needs and capacity. As with any CRM, Kustomer has tools for contact management and list segmentation as well.
There are two plans for you to choose from:
- Enterprise — $89 per user per month
- Ultimate — $139 per user per month
Kustomer has several add-ons for things like AI chatbots, SSO, and more. These extras range from $10 to $59.
To get started, contact the Kustomer sales team and request your free demo.
#5 – TeamSupport Review — Best B2B Customer Service Software
TeamSupport is a bit unique compared to other solutions on our list. It’s a customer support solution designed specifically for B2Bs.
In addition to traditional customer service tools, TeamSupport provides the resources you need to build stronger relationships and loyalty with your clients.
TeamSupport comes with features and benefits like:
- Customer management
- Team collaboration
- Ticket management
- Products and inventory
- Customer self-service tools
- Omnichannel support
- Sentiment analysis
The software even has advanced features, like the ability to set up custom ticketing automation and workflows.
Pricing for the TeamSupport Support Desk starts at $50 per agent per month. There’s also an Enterprise plan starting at $65 per agent per month. Try it free for 14 days.
Again, TeamSupport is strictly designed for B2Bs, so organizations in the B2C space should look elsewhere.
#6 – Freshdesk Review — Best Customer Service Software For Ticketing Support
Lots of customer service solutions come with tools for ticketing, but none are better than Freshdesk.
With 40,000+ businesses relying on Freshdesk for customer support, the software is an industry leader in this space. In addition to the ticketing features, the software has tools for omnichannel support, self-service, team collaboration, and automated bots.
Some of my favorite ticketing features offered from Freshdesk include:
- Ticket merging
- Canned responses
- Smart notifications
- Custom ticket views
- Activity logs
- Team inbox
- Collaborative ticketing
- SLA management
- AI-powered ticketing
- Field service ticketing
The list goes on and on.
Believe it or not, there’s actually a free version of Freshdesk that you can use with an unlimited number of agents. With that said, the free plan is definitely a bit limited and will only accommodate those of you who are just starting out.
Paid plans start at $15 per agent per month. Try it free for 21 days.
#7 – HelpSpot Review — Best All Inclusive Plans
HelpSpot is branded as “just enough help desk software.” Compared to other options on the market that can feel a bit overwhelming, HelpSpot keeps it simple so you can focus on customer support.
But don’t let this tagline fool you. The software definitely has everything you need to provide excellent customer service.
I like HelpSpot because all of its features are included in every plan. Pricing is based strictly by the number of agents on your team—not features.
Some of the top benefits that you’ll get all-inclusive with your HelpSpot subscription include:
- Ticket management
- Self-service and knowledge base
- SLA management
- Automation rules and triggers
- Workflow rules
- Zapier integration
- Unlimited customers
HelpSpot is available on the cloud or for on-premises deployment, depending on your preferences.
The software is free for your first three agents. Paid plans start at $599 per year, with up to 5 agents. All plans are backed by a 90-day money-back guarantee. Try it free for 21 days.
Methodology For Choosing The Best Customer Service Software
There are certain factors that must be taken into consideration as you’re shopping around for customer service software. This is the methodology that we used to narrow down the top picks above. You can use it as well to find the best customer service software for your business.
Don’t limit your customer service support to your website. The best platforms allow you to communicate with current and prospective customers from as many different platforms as possible.
Email, SMS, Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp are just a handful of examples. If a customer reaches out to you on one of those channels, you should be able to manage the communication directly within your customer service software. This way, you won’t have to constantly bounce back and forth between different platforms.
Support tickets are a major component of customer service software. But ticketing systems tend to vary from platform to platform.
Definitely take the time to analyze the ticketing features for each software that you’re evaluating. I’d also recommend the free trials and demos, so you can get a first-hand look at the ticketing tools and how they work.
The best customer service software has built-in automation tools. I’m referring to features like automated workflows, automated ticket routing, and chatbots.
Bots can potentially resolve a customer service inquiry without any human contact. Even if they can’t completely accommodate the request, at the very least, bots will collect crucial information and get the ball rolling for a faster resolution.
If you have multiple support agents and several departments, look for customer service software with built-in team collaboration tools.
For example, let’s say one agent starts the initial communication but doesn’t have the resources to resolve the problem. The customer shouldn’t be forced to re-explain their problem to the next agent in line. All of the information should be available and easy to comprehend, regardless of who on your team is working on a resolution.
What’s the best customer service software?
There are too many options to name just one as the best overall. With that said, the solutions listed in this guide are definitely our top picks. Follow the recommended use cases and methodology described above to find the best customer service software for your business.