Managed customer support is pivotal to delivering a satisfying experience to customers. While managing customer support can be daunting, you can simplify it using support center applications.
These applications assist businesses in managing multichannel communications, both inbound and outbound, tracking and routing communication platforms like phone, live chat and emails and resolving customer queries and issues.
Benefits of Using a Support Center Application
There are numerous benefits of using a support center application. Here are a few of them.
A support center automates repetitive tasks like recording conversations and queuing, routing and assigning calls. The support center software creates tickets for customer queries and complaints and assists in logging, queuing, prioritizing and routing them to the appropriate personnel quickly. This streamlining saves time and lets you complete more important tasks efficiently.
Delivering support to all
Relying solely on the human workforce to handle customer service can lead to errors and inefficiency. The customer-care personnel can fail to log complaints or tickets, leading to missed responses and dissatisfaction. With the support center software automating ticket logging, tracking issues become more manageable. Support center software also allows customers to reach businesses even outside of business hours.
Building knowledge base
Tracking customer issues and resolutions offers insights into the problem and solutions. The best support center applications capture these insights, analyze them and discover trends and patterns, which businesses can store for future reference and build a knowledge base.
A knowledge base can help customer support to resolve the issues quickly and remove repetitive workload. It also provides a better perspective and suggests measures to improve specific functions.
What to Look For in the Best Support Center Applications
While several factors can influence your decision to get a support center application, here are a few to keep in mind.
Interactive voice response
A good support center software should offer Interactive Voice Response (IVR). This telephony tool allows customers to interact with support via automated voice menus. It works by playing recorded audio messages: greetings, guided menus and instructions so that callers can self-serve for faster solutions. It can manage the call queue or direct the response to the correct personnel, reducing routing time and boosting resolution time and improving overall the efficiency of support centers.
Tracking and recording
Tracking and organizing customer queries and issues is an essential function of a support center application. When a support center software creates a ticket, it should track the customer contacts and previous tickets and resolutions. The best support center software should also allow you to record calls (both incoming and outgoing) and provide insights into support agents’ performance.
Identifying the nature of the problem and assigning the ticket to the correct person can be time consuming. A good support center application should analyze the nature of the problem and route it automatically to the appropriate department or the most skilled person to handle it. The best support center applications will allow you to plan personnel categories based on the skill level of the solution providers to route the customer queries.
The best support center applications should work with your current software, business processes and tools. They also should feature Computer Telephony Integration (CTI). CTI makes and receives calls quickly, recognizes the phone numbers, provides the client’s log history when customers call and helps businesses offer personalized service to their customers. The best support center applications link the support center telephone with the business applications and provide more control over call management.
The Best Support Center Applications
Let’s look at the best support center applications.
Zendesk is one of the leading support center software solutions that allows companies to provide straightforward customer experiences. It takes more of a marketing-oriented approach to customer support, offering larger customer experience management suites than simple help desks.
Pros: Zendesk merges all communication channels into a single location, allowing you to offer omnichannel support and enhance productivity. Zendesk’s Agent Workspace enables support agents to collaborate across teams and deliver fast and personalized responses to any channel from a single, unified interface.
Cons: Zendesk’s best features are only available at higher-priced plans and are not affordable for every business. Its pricing plans can also be confusing.
Pricing: While it doesn’t offer any free version, it has a free trial. It also has five tiers of pricing — the Essential plan starts at $5 per user per month, the Elite plan starts at $199 per user per month and the Team, Professional and Enterprise plans start at $19, $49 and $99 per user per month, respectively.
Rating: 4.7 stars
HubSpot Service Hub
HubSpot is one of the most famous CRMs out there and has numerous software solutions for sales, marketing and service customer relationship management. It is an excellent service solution for businesses of all sizes.
Pros: HubSpot Service Hub offers free CRM solutions with a great list of features, including ticketing, live chat, team email, chatbot, free email and templates. Its comprehensive controls and information management make it excellent for any business.
Cons: The comprehensibility comes with a bit of a learning curve. HubSpot can be challenging to master without some training.
Pricing: It offers a free plan that can accommodate unlimited users but limited features. For additional features, you must subscribe to the paid plans. The Starter Plan starts at $40 per month when billed annually for 2 users. The 5-user Professional plan costs $360 per month.
Rating: 4.8 stars
LiveAgent combines live chat features, ticketing, automation and integration to provide remarkable customer support. Its auto-routing and coordination features are best for large support teams.
Pros: LiveAgent offers an auto-routing feature that ensures no tickets are missed. It auto-routes tickets of recurring customers to the agent that helped the customer previously. Its live chat option enables agents to set auto-responses to speed up service as well.
Cons: LiveAgent’s user interface looks outdated and can be difficult for agents to find their way around the system.
Pricing: It offers a free version with limited features. Its paid plans, Free, Ticket, Ticket & Chat and All-Inclusive, come at $15, $29 and $39 per user per month, respectively.
Rating: 4.6 stars
Freshdesk is one of the most simple, easy-to-learn and easy-to-use support center applications. Its support team even helps you switch to it from any other support center applications. It also offers an extensive knowledge base and in-house training, allowing you to quickly train your customer support agents.
Pros: Freshdesk has a gamification feature — Freshdesk Arcade. The internal game mechanics can make customer support fun for your agents and motivate them. Gamification also allows agents to compete with their colleagues to solve issues, get performance badges, boost engagement and provide performance analysis.
Cons: Freshdesk only offers the essential chatbots and team dashboards to higher-priced plan subscribers.
Pricing: Freshdesk’s free version, Sprout, works with unlimited users but with limited basic features like email ticketing, team collaboration and ticket trends. Its Blossom, Garden, Estate and Forest plans start at $19, $45, $69 and $125 per user per month, respectively.
Rating: 4.8 stars
Gorgias is one of the best support center applications for e-commerce platforms. It offers customer service and support, live chat and helpdesk for big e-commerce stores. It also provides tools to help you act on new opportunities that overlap between sales and customer service.
Pros: You can easily integrate Gorgias with the three most popular e-Commerce platforms Shopify, Magento and BigCommerce. It analyzes all customer data and interactions and order histories and provides a birds-eye view of your performance with customers. This information can help you to personalize content and set routine customer service tasks.
Cons: Gorgias can be challenging to customize for teams without programming expertise. Its social media integration is not the best either.
Pricing: It has no free version. Its Basic plan starts at $60 per month, Pro at $300 per month and Advanced at $750 per month. The number of users is unlimited in all plans.
Rating: 4.65 stars
Find the Best Support Center Application Now
Customer support is one of the major drivers behind a company’s success, and support center applications can help your support team provide excellent customer support without being overwhelming.
Make sure you analyze the applications based on different features. Weigh the pros and cons, and start using a support center application to provide a better experience to your customers.