Customer service teams receive large influxes of emails. Depending on the size of the company, this could mean hundreds or even thousands of inquiries per day. Logging, prioritizing and assigning these messages to a support representative is essential to provide good service to customers.
Without software, customer service teams have to use a shared inbox to handle requests and assume whether someone is handling the request already. It’s an unwieldy process as a company grows and the requests start to increase. Here’s a look at the benefits of customer service email management software, what to look for in a system and the top options on the market.
What are the Benefits of Using a Customer Service Email Management Software?
This type of software has many benefits for customer service teams. If you currently feel like your team can’t keep up or manage the influx of messages you get regularly, here’s a look at what you’ll get from implementing software.
Respond to every email
Keeping track of emails without software is challenging. Sometimes one support representative has to set aside a request for another to respond to, but it gets lost in the shuffle. Software can alert you when you’ve gone several hours or days without getting back to a customer inquiry.
Customer service email management software enables automation as part of your workflows. Let the customer know you’ve received their inquiry and that someone will contact them shortly. Then automatically assign the email to a representative for a response while notifying the employee that they have a new email that needs attention. These small automations help your team focus more on resolving customer inquiries and less time on administration tasks.
Custom workflows and processes
You don’t have to worry about retraining your team or making big changes to your processes if you implement software. Instead, the software should be customizable to meet your unique needs. Enjoy the freedom to organize your processes and how they best meet your unique needs.
Get better context for open inquiries
Using software, you can ask customers questions to help categorize and provide context for their inquiries. This can be a simple process for the customer to respond to some dropdown menus.
But the impact it has on your team responding can be outstanding. Plus, if your software connects to your CRM or customer database, you’ll know more about the products they purchase and previous inquiries they’ve made.
Track your team’s performance
How long does it take to close out a customer inquiry? And how many customer inquiries does each representative handle each day? You can create performance-based metrics for your team to keep them motivated and better understand who your best representatives are. These statistics can help you ensure you retain top talent and reward their hard work.
What to Look For in the Best Customer Service Email Management Software
Each email management software will provide different features. But there are some core features you want to make sure your software includes. Here’s a look at the most important and beneficial features to look for.
Does it ever feel like you write the same emails over and over again? The role of a customer support representative means responding to similar inquiries throughout the day. The best email management software allows you to save your replies so you can reuse them to send to other customers with similar questions.
Before a customer can hit send on an email, you can gather important details about their needs to offer your team context. Ask them about what category their inquiry falls under or if it pertains to a specific product you offer. Now your team can respond even more intelligently to help solve the customer’s inquiry the first time.
Although the name of the software focuses on customer service email management, you can manage more than just email with many of these software systems. Allowing customers to email, chat or call you and to track these interactions in one place is a great benefit.
Getting an email request to the right person within your organization means using automated workflows. Based on the context the customer provides, you can send their request to your warranty team, IT department or customer service to follow up on the request. The more automation you use, the better benefits and time savings you’ll see through the software.
Get a better understanding of recurring customer service inquiries. That way, you can adapt your online FAQs and information to try and reduce the emails you get on a topic. Or evaluate your response times to look for areas of improvement for your customer service representatives. Reports will offer you valuable insights you don’t have with manual processes and ensure that you’re meeting your customers’ needs.
The Best Customer Service Email Management Software
Start evaluating your options for customer service email management software. We’ve made the process simpler by providing a lineup of 6 of the best options available.
With Freshdesk, you can organize your customer service email inquiries based on the inquiry type and send them to an appropriate service representative automatically. The software is so advanced you can even base your automated assignments on languages the customer and customer support representative speak. That way, larger companies that provide services in multiple countries can connect with their customers in their native language.
- Tools to increase agent efficiency
- Option for a free tier
- Add a help widget to your product pages to make it simple for customers to ask questions
- Reporting options are not as customizable as some companies need
- To get important features, you’ll need to upgrade to the top pricing tier
Best for: Small to mid-sized companies
Pricing: You can create a free account with basic features to see if the software is right for you. After that, prices start at $15 per month per user when billed annually. If you go month-to-month, you’ll see higher subscription fees.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Front offers outstanding features for helping teams manage customer communication. Not only does Front handle routing customer inquiries with ease, but it also helps connect your customer service team so that you can work out of one system for speed and convenience.
- Customizable email templates to speed up common responses
- Route messages using automation
- Internal communication tools to connect your team and get answers fast
- Creating team communication through the software is somewhat clunky
- Sometimes notifications of new customer inquiries are delayed
Best for: Team collaboration and managing workflows
Pricing: Prices start at $19 per month per user for up to 10 people.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Help Scout brings together previous customer inquiries, data about the customer from other systems and other information to get a full view of the customer when responding to them. Use the software to embed help articles on your website so that you can answer customer inquiries immediately without them having to message you. Or open up live chat to provide more ways to reach your company.
- Simple to set up and get started
- Strong customer support to answer questions about the software
- Clear communication assignments and status
- Limited customization of the interface
- Some reports lack details
- Forwarded emails drop the attachments
Best for: Customer support teams to create an overall great customer experience
Pricing: Prices start at $20 per month per user but you can test out the software with a 15-day free trial to see if it’s right for you.
Rating: 4 stars
Hiver helps deliver customer service directly from Gmail for a user interface your team will be familiar with. Assign, track and collaborate on your company’s customer inquiries directly from Gmail to save time switching between different software systems. You can even pull analytics and adjust automations directly from Gmail.
- Chat with team members using the Hiver sidebar within Gmail
- Save canned responses for fast emails concerning common questions
- Full view of all customer emails
- Simple process for updating email status
- To create customer tickets, you have to have a customer email to assign to them (cannot assign tickets based on conversations outside of email)
- Rule-setting to power automations is somewhat lacking
Best for: Customer service teams using Gmail
Pricing: Prices start at $7 per month per user. You can test the software for 14 days without sharing your credit card information.
Rating: 4 stars
Resolve customer queries fast thanks to the shared inbox in LiveAgent. But make the process fun and competitive for your team thanks to the software’s gamification tools. Show benchmarks, badges and levels as well as a full leaderboard for your team to keep them motivated and working toward the goal of providing great support for your customers.
LiveAgent offers a customer service email management software free. You’ll be somewhat limited in the features, but there’s no set period for how long you can use the forever free account.
- Option to use the software for omnichannel customer requests requests
- Live chat widget opens another communication channel
- Color coding draws attention to urgent requests or inquiries that have been open for too long
- You can only open one browser window or device at a time
- User interface could be simpler
Best for: Gamification to motivate your customer service team
Pricing: Prices start at $15 per month per user, but you can get a 14-day free trial to test the software.
Rating: 4 stars
Automate some of your customer support interactions with Zendesk email support software. You’ll write these responses so they sound human and caring but can provide them with incredible speed thanks to the intuitive system.
Then you can have an agent follow up with the customer to see if their inquiry is resolved. Inquiry status is clear and easy to understand within the system.
- Mobile app is feature-rich and can speed up response times
- Easy to accept live chat inquiries
- Support for multiple channels
- The system has a learning curve
- Customer support is slow and limited
- Adding or updating users can be challenging
Best for: Small businesses and startups
Pricing: Prices start at $19 per agent per month when billed annually. Test out the software with a free trial.
Rating: 4 stars
Organize Your Customer Support Communication
Provide structure and organization for your customer support team with email management software. Make sure no customer inquiries fall through the cracks thanks to status updates and automated assignments. Test out some trials from the list above to get started in finding the right software for your team.