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The best customer service software for 2024

Customer service software gives support teams the tools to deliver exceptional customer experiences and build strong relationships. Try a top solution for free.

A complete guide to the best customer service software

Last updated February 20, 2024

Customer service software is the backbone of a great customer experience (CX). Since customers expect an immersive, personalized experience with every brand interaction, it’s more important than ever to have the best customer support software.

And that, of course, starts with choosing the right one for your business. Follow our guide for the basics of customer support software and details about the top customer service tools so you can find the right solution.

More in this guide:

What is customer service software?

Customer service software is a set of tools and applications designed to help businesses manage, streamline, and enhance the customer experience.

The most basic role of customer care software is to provide a centralized workspace where agents can track, prioritize, manage, respond to, and resolve customer requests across all communication channels.

With customer service tools—like help desk ticketing systems, AI and automation software, live chat and messaging, and knowledge base software—support teams can automate repetitive tasks, track customer inquiries, gather insights, and leverage AI for better service delivery with each interaction.

Businesses often integrate customer service tools with help desk software or customer relationship management (CRM) platforms to provide agents with contextual data. This information about the customer—like purchase history, previous conversations, and preferences—lives in one place so agents can provide a fast, personalized customer experience.

The 17 best customer support tools

Let’s drill into the best customer support tools and lay out the important details. Here, we’ll provide an overview of the software and a list of features, supported channels, pricing tiers, and trial information.

1. Zendesk

Best for customer service expertise

A screenshot shows the omnichannel agent workspace from Zendesk, the best customer service software

Zendesk offers customer service software that empowers businesses to deliver effortless customer experiences. With Zendesk, conversations flow seamlessly across channels without the need to toggle between apps, leading to greater productivity and efficiency for individuals and customer service teams.

Using our intuitive Zendesk Agent Workspace, agents can deliver an exceptional CX from day one. Our omnichannel ticketing system is simple to customize, integrating with more than 1,500 apps and integrations to create a 360-degree view of the customer. These tools foster collaboration between teams and break down data silos, allowing agents to deliver fast, personalized responses on any channel from a unified interface.

Zendesk equips businesses with all the necessary tools—like intelligent routing, an AI-powered help center, and customer self-service portals—so they can meet the different types of customer needs. Our customer service software is quick to implement and easy to use, and it scales to fit the needs of any business, now and in the future. Simply put, Zendesk is a complete customer service solution that works right out of the box for a fast time to value.

Features:

Supported channels:

Pricing:

  • Support Team: $19 per agent/month

  • Support Professional: $55 per agent/month

  • Support Enterprise: $115 per agent/month

    *Plans are billed annually.

Free trial:

14 days

2. Intercom

Best for messaging and automation

A screenshot shows a conversation in the shared inbox from Intercom’s customer support software.
Image source

Intercom’s customer support solution uses automation and messaging to help internal customer service teams. Intercom Messenger works as a supplement to a business’s existing support tools. The platform generates tickets through Messenger and other communication channels, such as email, and sends them to a shared inbox.

Messenger can provide live support through chat or offer self-service options for customers to find answers at their own pace. Intercom’s chatbot, Fin, offers conversational support by answering frequently asked questions or surfacing help center articles. Intercom also features a marketplace with over 350 integrations.

Features:

  • Shared inbox

  • AI-powered help center

  • Intelligent routing

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Generative AI

  • Customizable platform

Supported channels:

  • Email

  • Live chat

  • Messaging apps

  • SMS

  • Phone

Pricing:

  • Essential: $39 per seat/month

  • Advanced: $99 per seat/month

  • Expert: $139 per seat/month

Free trial:

14 days

Learn about the Intercom integration for Zendesk.


3. Salesforce Service Cloud

Best for service process automation

A screenshot shows customer contact information and knowledge tab in Salesforce’s customer care software.
Image source

The customer service platform from Salesforce provides agents with an omnichannel workspace for customer support. Customer contact details, prior interactions, purchase history, and ticket information are consolidated into their workspace, allowing agents to view relevant context about the support ticket. Salesforce Service Cloud lets agents customize workflows and automatically route tickets to the right support agent. Additionally, reporting and analytics features with pre-built dashboards allow management to monitor team performance across channels.

Just note that Salesforce can be complex and may take first-time users longer to learn. Because Salesforce isn’t exclusively a CX tool and offers a product suite for sales and marketing, businesses looking to level up their customer service may find it easier to achieve their goals with software specializing in the customer experience.

Features:

  • Omnichannel support

  • AI-powered help center

  • Intelligent routing

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Generative AI

  • Customizable platform

Supported channels:

  • Phone

  • Web chat

  • Messaging apps

  • Email

  • Online community

  • Online help center

Pricing:

  • Starter: $25 per user/month

  • Professional: $80 per user/month

  • Enterprise: $165 per user/month

  • Unlimited: $330 per user/month

  • Unlimited+: $500 per user/month

    *Plans are billed annually.

Free trial:

30 days

Learn about the Salesforce integration for Zendesk.


4. Front

Best for email and communication management

A screenshot of customer support software depicts an email conversation within Front’s shared inbox.
Image source

Front is a customer service solution that allows users to configure automated workflows and integrate additional channels into a shared inbox. The shared inbox helps keep customer inquiries in one place. It automatically consolidates customer inquiries across channels and routes messages to the best-suited agent.

Each interaction with the customer gets logged, allowing agents who touch the account to access customer history for future customer support. Front also includes built-in collaboration features so teams can communicate on tickets. It also features unified reporting for analytics on team performance and customer satisfaction.

Features:

  • Shared inbox

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Generative AI

  • Collaboration tools

  • Knowledge base

Supported channels:

  • Email

  • Social media

  • Direct messages

  • SMS

Pricing:

  • Starter: $19 per seat/month

  • Growth: $59 per seat/month

  • Scale: $99 per seat/month

  • Premier: $229 per seat/month

    *Plans are billed annually.

Free trial:

7 days

5. Tidio

Best for live chat

A screenshot shows the widget settings for live chat and a chat conversation for Tidio’s customer support software.
Image source

Tidio is a customer service platform for small and midsize businesses. Featuring a help desk ticketing system, Tidio allows users to organize and manage customer requests in a shared inbox. The software can turn emails, live chats, and social media messages into tickets that route to the team inbox. Tickets are also customizable, so users can add notes and create custom tags.

Tidio’s live chat tool features prewritten responses that help agents reply to common questions. The chat window displays what customers are typing in real time so the assigned agent can start preparing a reply before the customer sends the message. Tidio also has a conversational AI chatbot, Lyro, that can assist customers with automated support.

Features:

  • Shared inbox

  • AI-powered help center

  • Intelligent routing

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Generative AI

  • Customizable platform

Supported channels:

  • Phone

  • Email

  • Live chat

  • Social media

  • Self-service

Pricing:

  • Free: $0 per month (includes 3 seats)

  • Starter: $29 per month (includes 3 seats)

  • Communicator: $25 per seat/month

  • Chatbots: $29 per seat/month (includes 3 seats)

  • Tidio+: Starts at $394 per month

    *Plans are billed annually.

Free trial:

7 days

6. Bitrix24

Best for collaboration

A screenshot shows the task list within Bitrix24’s customer service software user interface.
Image source

Bitrix24 offers online customer support software. The platform allows teams to provide omnichannel support and manage customer requests from a single location. Businesses can also configure it to queue the requests by channel. Additional customizations include creating prewritten responses and configuring wait time rules.

Every customer interaction from all channels gets logged into your CRM. The system collects customer data and creates a new lead if the customer does not have an existing profile. Bitrix24 also offers pre-built and customizable activity reporting features.

Features:

  • Shared inbox

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Customizable platform

  • Contact center

  • Video calls and conferences

  • Work time tracking

Supported channels:

  • Phone

  • Email

  • Live chat

Pricing:

  • Free: $0 per month (5 GB only)

  • Basic: $49 per month (includes 5 users)

  • Standard: $99 per month (includes 50 users)

  • Professional: $199 per month (includes 100 users)

  • Enterprise: $399 per month (includes 250 users)

    *Plans are billed annually.

Free trial:

15 days

7. HappyFox

Best for self-service

A screenshot depicts the ticket system of HappyFox, a customer service software.
Image source

HappyFox is a customer service solution and help desk management software provider. It features a ticketing system that helps teams organize requests and features a single customer view for omnichannel support. With automation, customizable workflows, and AI-powered chatbots, HappyFox helps automate common tasks.

HappyFox also offers self-service options, like an online knowledge base, so customers can find answers to questions without generating a support ticket. Customers can also track support tickets, engage in community forums, and refer to help center articles and FAQs—all within a single self-service portal.

Features:

  • Omnichannel support

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Customizable platform

Supported channels:

  • Email

  • Voice

  • Social media

  • Live chat

  • Self-service

Pricing:

  • Mighty: $29 per agent/month

  • Fantastic: $49 per agent/month

  • Enterprise: $69 per agent/month

  • Enterprise Plus: $89 per agent/month

    *Plans are billed annually.

Free trial:

Available

Learn about the HappyFox Workflows integration for Zendesk.


8. Zoho Desk

Best for customer service operations

A screenshot shows an overview of the user dashboard for Zoho Desk’s customer support software.
Image source

Zoho Desk offers customer support software with tools and automation options that automate agent workflows. For instance, Zoho Desk’s software provides omnichannel support with a single-view dashboard so agents can handle customer issues in one place.

Other Zoho Desk features include self-service resources, SLAs, AI, an advanced response editor, and built-in analytics. The platform allows you to track customer data and generate reports with key performance metrics. Zoho Desk also features an AI-powered assistant, Zia, which can detect how customers feel based on their language and automatically route tickets to agents with that context.

Features:

  • Omnichannel support

  • Intelligent routing

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Generative AI

  • Customizable platform

Supported channels:

  • Phone

  • Email

  • Live chat

  • Social media

Pricing:

  • Free: $0 per month (minimal support needs)

  • Express: $7 per user/month (up to 5 users)

  • Standard: $14 per user/month

  • Professional: $23 per user/month

  • Enterprise: $40 per user/month

    *Plans are billed annually.

Free trial:

15 days

Learn about Zoho for Zendesk.


9. ServiceNow

Best for ticket management and automation

A screenshot depicts the service management tab of ServiceNow’s customer care software.
Image source

ServiceNow is a cloud-based customer service tool for enterprises. It features a customer self-service portal that allows users to create service requests or find help center articles without interacting with an agent. Users can also automate workflows to help agents with repetitive tasks.

ServiceNow also offers customer service management (CSM) tools with generative AI technology. With its Now Assist tool, users can get AI-powered suggestions for responses. Additionally, ServiceNow’s AI offers suggestions to help agents with the next steps toward ticket resolution.

Features:

  • Omnichannel support

  • AI-powered help center

  • Intelligent routing

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Generative AI

  • Customizable platform

Supported channels:

  • Messaging and live chat

  • Web

  • Email

  • Phone

  • Social media

Pricing:

Contact ServiceNow

Free trial:

Unavailable

10. LiveAgent

Best for live chat

A screenshot displays the ticketing system for LiveAgent’s customer care software.
Image source

LiveAgent is a customer service tool that focuses on live chat. It includes features like a real-time typing view, customer service website monitoring for chat engagement, and proactive chat invitations based on active agents and their availability. Along with its chat tool, its help desk has built-in call center software with inbound and outbound capabilities, a ticketing system, a knowledge base, and reporting and analytics tools.

Users can configure LiveAgent’s workflow automation tools with its Rules feature. Rules can automate routing, tagging, and ticket resolutions. LiveAgent is also customizable with a library of integrations to connect with third-party tools.

Features:

  • Shared inbox

  • Intelligent routing

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Customizable platform

Supported channels:

  • Email

  • Live chat

  • Phone

  • Social media

  • Knowledge base

Pricing:

  • Free: $0 per agent month (limited features)

  • Small business: $9 per agent/month

  • Medium business: $29 per agent/month

  • Large business: $49 per agent/month

  • Enterprise: $69 per agent/month

    *Plans are billed annually.

Free trial:

7 or 30 days

11. Freshdesk

Best for ticket management

A screenshot shows the help desk ticketing system for Freshdesk’s customer support software.
Image source

The Freshworks customer service product, Freshdesk, provides a platform for support teams to manage, prioritize, and respond to customer requests from a single location. Its ticketing system sends requests from across channels to a team inbox. Users can configure ticket fields to automate routing, categorizing, and prioritizing incoming requests. Users can also create custom ticket statuses that help agents see what stage the ticket is in.

Note, however, that the Freshworks platform consists of three systems: Freshdesk, Freshchat, and Freshcaller. Each system has its own workspace, so agents must have each system open in its own tab—requiring them to jump between windows to find customer information. This can slow customer service and cause agents to miss crucial information.

Features:

  • Omnichannel support

  • AI-powered help center

  • Intelligent routing

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Generative AI

  • Customizable platform

Supported channels:

  • Email

  • Phone

  • Chat

  • Facebook

  • Portal

  • Feedback widget

Pricing:

  • Free: $0 per month (up to 10 agents)

  • Growth: $15 per agent/month

  • Pro: $49 per agent/month

  • Enterprise: $79 per agent/month

Free trial:

14 days

12. Hiver

Best for email collaboration

A screenshot displays reporting and analytics for Hiver’s customer care software.
Image source

Hiver is a multichannel customer service help desk designed to work with Google Workspace. Rather than using a completely new platform, Hiver adds common customer service features to the company’s existing Google programs, including shared inboxes, analytics, and SLAs. Businesses that don’t want to reinvent their existing Google communications can use Hiver.

Hiver’s shared inbox has customizable views that allow users to choose conversation categories and filters to personalize the emails they see. With Conversation ID, users can track email threads by assigning them a number and resurfacing them on demand. It also features notes and @mentions (tagging) that enable users to collaborate without forwarding or copying them into the email thread.

Features:

  • Omnichannel support

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Customizable platform

  • Conversation ID

  • Email filters and categorization

  • Notes and @mentions

Supported channels:

  • Email

  • Live chat

  • Knowledge base

  • Voice

  • WhatsApp

Pricing:

  • Lite: $15 per user/month

  • Pro: $39 per user/month

  • Elite: $59 per user/month

    *Plans are billed annually.

Free trial:

7 days

13. ProProfs Help Desk

Best for email ticketing

A screenshot shows the ProProfs Help Desk customer service software and its shared inbox.
Image source

ProProfs offers a help desk for customer support. The software allows teams to manage, track, and close tickets. It includes a shared inbox for team collaboration, allowing agents to view conversations in one place. Agents can prioritize tickets, automate tasks, and tag teammates into the conversation. It also features private notes for users to collaborate through side conversations.

Some of ProProfs’ additional features include a knowledge base for self-service, allowing customers to access articles and FAQs. And its live chat software allows for real-time support via a web widget. ProProfs also has surveys that help teams collect feedback and track customer satisfaction (CSAT).

Features:

  • Shared inbox

  • Intelligent routing

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Customizable platform

  • Ticket labels

  • Private notes

Supported channels:

  • Email

  • Live chat

  • Help center

Pricing:

  • Free: $0 per month (up to 1 user)

  • Team: $19.99 per operator/month (up to 5 users, billed annually)

Free trial:

15 days

14. Help Scout

Best for email support

A screenshot shows the shared inbox for Help Scout’s customer support software.
Image source

Help Scout’s customer care software consolidates customer data, interactions, and customer history into a shared inbox, giving agents the appropriate context with each request. Its inbox also offers features like private notes for internal collaboration and collision detection to prevent two agents from working on the same issue simultaneously.

Help Scout’s AI tools include AI Summarize and AI Assist. AI Summarize helps users condense email threads into bullet points, while AI Assist suggests generated text while agents are typing out replies. Help Scout also hosts an apps and integrations directory that offers just over 100 integrations for support, marketing, e-commerce, communication, CRM, and analytics.

Features:

  • Shared inbox

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Generative AI

  • Private notes

  • Agent collision detection

Supported channels:

  • Email

  • Social media

  • Live chat

  • Voice

Pricing:

  • Standard: $20 per user/month (limited to 25 users)

  • Plus: $40 per user/month

  • Pro: $65 per user/month (10+ users)

    *Plans are billed annually.

Free trial:

15 days

15. HubSpot Service Hub

Best for teams already using HubSpot’s CRM

A screenshot depicts a customer interaction within the user dashboard for HubSpot Service Hub’s customer support software.
Image source

HubSpot Service Hub offers a shared inbox that provides agents with customer history, ticket information, and queue details. HubSpot Service Hub connects with HubSpot’s CRM to sync information between its suite of tools.

With HubSpot Service Hub, businesses can create customer portals and custom feedback surveys. Users can automate follow-up responses based on survey results to gather more insights on the topic. Key performance metrics—like rep productivity, response time, and support volume—are available with the reporting and analytics dashboard.

Features:

  • Shared inbox

  • AI-powered help center

  • Intelligent routing

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Generative AI

  • Customizable platform

  • Customer feedback and custom surveys

  • Customer portal

Supported channels:

  • Email

  • Chat

  • Messenger

Pricing:

  • Free: $0 per month (limited tools)

  • Starter: $18 per month (up to 2 users)

  • Professional: $450 per month (up to 5 users)

  • Enterprise: $1,200 per month (up to 10 users)

    * Plans are billed annually.

Free trial:

Unavailable

Learn about HubSpot for Zendesk.


16. Kustomer

Best for AI support

A screenshot shows a customer conversation within Kustomer’s customer service software.
Image source

Kustomer is a customer service platform that can help support teams manage customer interactions. It consolidates customer data from multiple sources into a timeline view, providing agents with customer history, preferences, and interactions in a chronological conversation thread. Agents can also access prewritten replies, suggested actions, and ticket tagging options.

Kustomer offers AI tools that use natural language processing to detect customer intent. Support teams can also use Kustomer’s AI to classify and route conversations based on the customer’s historical data. The platform includes live reporting and analytics dashboards displaying real-time customer service metrics.

Features:

  • Omnichannel support

  • Intelligent routing

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Generative AI

  • Customizable platform

  • Timeline view

  • Prewritten responses

Supported channels:

  • Chat

  • Social messaging

  • Email

  • Web forms

  • Voice

  • SMS

Pricing:

  • Enterprise: $89 per user/month

  • Ultimate: $139 per user/month

    *Plans are billed annually.

Free trial:

Unavailable

17. Gorgias

Best for automated support for e-commerce merchants

A screenshot shows a customer conversation between an agent and a customer in Gorgias’ customer service software.
Image source

Gorgias is a customer service software solution that offers a help desk with a shared inbox system that enables support teams to collaboratively manage and respond to customer queries. Gorgias integrates with e-commerce sites, like Shopify, so agents can access customer details, such as customer data, order information, and order history.

The software offers automation features like AI-powered responses, prewritten responses for FAQs, and templates to handle repetitive inquiries. Gorgias also has a customizable interface, allowing businesses to build workflows that automatically assign, tag, and close tickets.

Features:

  • Omnichannel support

  • AI-powered help center

  • Intelligent routing

  • Workflow automations

  • Customizable platform

  • Prewritten responses

  • Integrations with e-commerce sites

Supported channels:

  • Email

  • Chat widget

  • Social media

  • Voice

  • SMS

  • WhatsApp

Pricing:

  • Starter: $10 per month

  • Basic: $50 per month

  • Pro: $300 per month

  • Advanced: $750 per month

  • Enterprise: Contact Gorgias

    *All plans except for Gorgias Starter are billed annually.

Free trial:

Available

Comparison chart of the top customer service software solutions

We've compiled a list of the best customer service software for 2024. Our comparison chart offers swift insights into pricing, free trial options, and key features so you can make informed decisions that align with your customer support needs.

Customer service softwareStarting priceFree trialKey features
Zendesk$19

per agent/month (billed annually)

14 days
  • Unified omnichannel Agent Workspace

  • 1,500+ integrations

  • AI-powered help center

  • Intelligent routing

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Generative AI

  • Customizable platform

Intercom$39 per seat/month14 days
  • Shared inbox

  • AI-powered help center

  • Intelligent routing

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Generative AI

  • Customizable platform

Salesforce Service Cloud$25 per user/month (billed annually)30 days
  • Omnichannel support

  • AI-powered help center

  • Intelligent routing

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Generative AI

  • Customizable platform

Front$19 per seat/month (billed annually)7 days
  • Shared inbox

  • Omnichannel support

  • Intelligent routing

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Generative AI

Tidio$0 per month (includes 3 seats)7 days
  • Shared inbox

  • AI-powered help center

  • Intelligent routing

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Generative AI

  • Customizable platform

Bitrix24$0 per month (5 GB only)15 days
  • Omnichannel support

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Customizable platform

HappyFox$29 per agent/month (billed annually)Available
  • Omnichannel support

  • Automated routing

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Customizable platform

Zoho Desk$0 per month (minimal support needs)15 days
  • Omnichannel support

  • Intelligent routing

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Generative AI

  • Customizable platform

ServiceNowContact ServiceNowUnavailable
  • Omnichannel support

  • AI-powered help center

  • Intelligent routing

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Generative AI

  • Customizable platform

LiveAgent$0 per month (limited features)7 or 30 days
  • Shared inbox

  • Intelligent routing

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Customizable platform

Freshdesk$0 per month (up to 10 agents)14 days
  • Omnichannel support

  • Shared inbox

  • AI-powered help center

  • Intelligent routing

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Generative AI

  • Customizable platform

Hiver$15 per user/month (billed annually)7 days
  • Omnichannel support

  • Shared inbox

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Generative AI

  • Customizable platform

ProProfs Help Desk$0 per month (up to 1 user)15 days
  • Shared inbox

  • Intelligent routing

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Customizable platform

Help Scout$20 per user/month (limited to 25 users)15 days
  • Shared inbox

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Generative AI

HubSpot Service Hub$0 per month (limited tools)Unavailable
  • Shared inbox

  • AI-powered help center

  • Intelligent routing

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Generative AI

  • Customizable platform

Kustomer$89 per user/month (billed annually)Unavailable
  • Omnichannel support

  • Intelligent routing

  • Pre-built and custom reporting

  • Workflow automations

  • Generative AI

  • Customizable platform

Gorgias$10 per monthAvailable
  • Omnichannel support

  • AI-powered help center

  • Intelligent routing

  • Workflow automations

  • Customizable platform

Features of customer service tools

While different customer support software may provide different tools, there are several core features most customer service (CS) software provides. Here are a few of the top features to look for.

A graphic depicts five key features of customer service software that help teams deliver exceptional support.

AI-powered help center

Not every customer issue needs a full ticket or time with a customer service agent. Self-service options, including a help center and FAQ pages, let customers quickly find information without setting up a meeting or waiting on an available agent. These features also allow agents to spend more time on complex cases.

How it works for Zendesk: Iconic department store Liberty London implemented Zendesk AI to intelligently route incoming customer support conversations to the right team at the right time. Since partnering with Zendesk, Liberty has achieved $21,461 in annual help center savings.

“With Zendesk AI, I'm seeing an exciting opportunity to streamline and be more efficient. That will allow our team to have more time to work on projects of importance to the business, be it driving revenue or new sales channels.”

–Ian Hunt

Director of Customer Services at Liberty London

Unified omnichannel agent workspace

An omnichannel agent workspace provides a dashboard with a unified view of customer data, interactions across channels, and ticket history (aka the entire customer journey) for all departments to access. An omnichannel workspace allows businesses to meet customers where they are and gives agents, management, sales reps, and anyone who interacts with consumers the context they need to deliver a high-quality customer experience at scale.

How it works with Zendesk: Global tool manufacturing giant Stanley Black & Decker needed to provide its support team with an omnichannel agent workspace to consolidate all customer interactions in one place. The company chose Zendesk because the software has an easy-to-use, omnichannel solution that can handle the massive volume of customer support requests at scale.

"We wanted a solution that integrated all channels and that gave us the flexibility to implement in the way that we needed."

–Orlando Gadea Ros

Global VP Customer Experience Transformation at Stanley Black & Decker

Pre-built and custom reporting

Customer tracking software and reporting tools let you measure and analyze customer history, behavior, and customer service metrics. This data is essential because it tracks how many requests you receive, how many tickets are open, when agents manage those tickets, and how satisfied the customer is with the experience. Most service desks with customer tracking and reporting tools will also auto-generate graph reports for simple viewing and analysis.

How it works for Zendesk: Zendesk provides omnichannel analytics that allows teams to drill into the metrics to better understand what’s behind the numbers. After implementing Zendesk, cosmetics retailer Lush achieved a 92 percent CSAT and increased its return on investment (ROI) by 369 percent in less than one year.

“Prior to Zendesk, I believe reporting out of customer care was sparse [to] non-existent.”

–Naomi Rankin

Global CX Manager at Lush

Integrations

The right integrations can help your team complete tasks faster and streamline internal and external communication. Consider customer service software that offers no-code integrations—like Slack, Zoom, and WhatsApp—that allow you to hit the ground running, as well as third-party integrations to supercharge your software. For example, Zendesk Marketplace offers more than 1,500 apps and integrations to help you create a 360-degree view of your customer.

Customizable platform

A fully customizable platform allows businesses to tailor their software to meet their organizational needs, now and in the future. Open and flexible software enables teams to unlock a plethora of customization options with apps and integrations, both code and no code. For example, businesses without developer budgets can utilize no-code integrations to quickly and easily extend the capabilities of their software. But companies wanting to create more complex use cases should consider an open platform like Zendesk Sunshine, which lets developers customize the code to their heart’s content.

The ability to customize enables businesses to create a 360-degree view of the customer by integrating CX data across systems and tools. This allows for more personalized customer service. Integrations also help you extend your CX software for different use cases and eliminate the need for agents to toggle between tools to get the information they need.

Benefits of customer support software

Customer service platforms can benefit companies of all sizes and types. From global enterprises to small businesses, customer support software can help teams in various ways. Here are some key benefits to consider.

Drives customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty

Customers go out of their way to buy from brands they love—and stronger loyalty usually means more sales. Customer service software can facilitate better customer support practices, help your business meet the growing demand for personalization, and empower teams to achieve performance goals (like improved first reply time) that greatly influence customer satisfaction.

Customer service software that enables omnichannel support lets you meet the customer on their preferred channel for fast and convenient support, resulting in better CX. Additionally, predictive analysis tools can anticipate potential issues based on ticket volume and customer behavior, helping you proactively address problems to prevent customer churn.

Reduces costs

Implementing tools—like self-service or AI and automations—helps businesses reduce costs by accomplishing more with less. By streamlining workflows, automating tasks, and allowing customers to help themselves, businesses can handle the same amount of inquiries without increasing headcount or sacrificing customer service quality.

Improves agent well-being and the employee experience

The right customer service tools can boost team morale and enhance the employee experience. Simplified and streamlined workflows, automated routine tasks, and intuitive workspaces create an environment that helps agents thrive. For example, AI-powered bots can handle repetitive requests, so your support reps can focus on addressing more engaging questions and complex issues.

Agents will stick around and grow with companies that give them the best tools for the job, which comes with the additional benefit of reducing the costs associated with finding new talent to fill vacant roles.

Provides insights for informed decision-making

Customer service software with reporting and analytics tools and customer feedback mechanisms can provide valuable insights for decision-makers. With real-time reporting dashboards and omnichannel analytics, management teams gain visibility into ticket queues, team bandwidth, and performance.

This information allows management to see where teams or individual agents are excelling and where they may need to improve. They can also quickly determine where to allocate resources or make adjustments in real-time to optimize workflows.

Boosts productivity and efficiency

Customer service platforms with built-in AI and automation can improve team productivity by lending agents a helping hand and reducing manual work. For example, generative AI tools can streamline knowledge management by flagging articles that are ready for a refresh and helping agents write new pieces. AI can also quickly scan ticket content and provide a summary so agents can jump in and resolve the issue faster. Additionally, automation can ensure tickets are routed to the right agent for the task.

Different types of software for customer support

Broadly speaking, customer service can come in two forms:

  • Internal customer service provides support to your employees.

  • External customer service helps the people who buy or use your products or services.

From there, the types of customer support options can be defined by various communication channels, such as:

  • Phone support (voice)

  • Email

  • Help center

  • Messaging and live chat (including AI-powered chatbots)

  • Social networks

  • Social messaging

  • Web and mobile messaging

  • Text (SMS)

  • Live chat

  • Web widget

  • Mobile SDK

  • API

  • Channel integrations

  • Computer telephony integration

  • Closed tickets

Finally, you can classify the types of customer service software by deployment methods:

  • Cloud-based customer support software: The software is hosted virtually by the vendor.

  • On-premise customer service software: The software is hosted on-site in a company’s data center.

  • Open-source customer service software: Businesses’ IT and dev teams can modify the code to customize the software on the back end.

How to choose the right customer service software for your business

Your customer service software is the key ingredient to your support team’s day-to-day operations, so finding the right mix of tools is a big deal. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right customer service software for your business.

A graphic lists five tips for choosing the right customer service software for your business.

Consider time to value and total cost of ownership

Two important factors to consider when choosing your customer service software are the time to value and the total cost of ownership. Fast time to value means your software is easy to set up and use, so you can quickly maximize the benefits. This results in reduced training and implementation costs. Vendor-supplied IT support helps manage updates and bug patches and keeps your system running, so you don’t have to create an in-house dev team. This can lead to a low total cost of ownership and a faster ROI in the short and long term.

Ensure security and reliability

The best customer service software protects sensitive customer information, personal data, financial records, and other private information. The software should have all necessary compliance certifications for cloud-based and on-premise servers. These include application, data, network, and product security that offers two-factor authentication (2FA) and single sign-on (SSO) options.

The solution should be reliable, so businesses don’t have to worry about their data—and their customer’s data—living within it. The security features should also scale with the business, so as it grows, so does the level of security.

Determine product scalability

In addition to being quick to set up, easy to use, and customizable, the customer care software should scale with your business as it expands. The software needs an infrastructure to run smoothly while adapting to your ever-changing needs. Service desk software should have options to accommodate a growing company, like seamlessly adding or removing channels and integrating new systems and software.

Utilize free trials

Free trials allow you to test out different software to ensure it's a right fit before locking into a long-term investment. During your trial, note how easy the software is to use, explore its features, and understand its capabilities. This information can help you determine if the software aligns with your business needs and if you can achieve your customer support goals.

Explore quality support and partnership

Customer service software vendors should provide customer advocates to help businesses get the most out of their investment. The advocacy support team can answer questions and resolve issues throughout the lifetime of your plan.

Frequently asked questions

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Community Operations

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Seamless communication—personalized to your customers and centralized for your agents—doesn’t have to be just a dream for you and your team. With Zendesk, you get a customer service system that combines it all: integrated customer data, knowledge base management, ticketing, live chat, and much more. Start your free trial to see how we can help you elevate your customer experience.

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