Customer service software: everything you need to know
Customer service software is an essential foundation for any customer service team. But choosing the right software can be a challenge with so much choice.To help you get started, we've put together a guide with everything you need to know before choosing the software that's right for your business. We cover the following topics:
- What is customer service software?
- Why is customer service software so important?
- The key functionalities of customer service software
What is customer service software?
Customer service software helps companies provide help or answer questions from their customers.
Customer service agents use this software to manage, prioritise, assign and answer customer queries from all their communication channels.The right software provides teams with useful tools to make this process easier. Think of automation capabilities such as chatbots, rules and auto-replies. Or statistics to monitor team members' performance and measure customer satisfaction.
Customer service software can often be integrated with other important tools. For e-commerce companies, for example, consider integrations with Shopify, WooCommerce, Lightspeed or Magento. This allows your support team to see who a customer is and what they have bought before without having to click back and forth.
Why is customer service software so important?
Using customer service software offers the following benefits:
- Improves customer experience
- Makes efficient collaboration possible
- Makes self-service possible
Improve the customer experience
The modern customer sets the bar high for customer service teams. For instance, they expect lightning-fast service, preferably also outside opening hours, via all their favourite channels. And in this era, you cannot get away with just e-mail and telephony. Think WhatsApp, live chat, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
30% of all consumers say they switch brands after one bad customer experience*. Therefore, you can't leave anything to chance.
Without the right tools, this means that as a team, you would have to work 24/7 and continuously click back and forth between different communication channels to see if you haven't missed a message. And that, of course, is not the intention.
Customer service software allows you to centralise all your channels in one overview. This way, your entire team has access to all ongoing conversations with customers. Furthermore, you can use automations such as auto-replies, rules and chatbots to ensure that customers receive a response to their query even outside opening hours.
Work together efficiently
A customer service team keeps so many balls in the air together, that without the right customer service tool it quickly leads to panic football.
The right tool enables efficient collaboration. Customer queries arrive in one overview across all channels and can be assigned to team members from there. With rules, you can even automate this process. With the round-robin rule, you can ensure that all your team members are assigned the same number of calls.
Trengo's customer service software also allows you to collaborate on answering customer questions. This allows you to @tag each other in a conversation with a customer without the customer even noticing.
81% of all consumers look for the answer to a question themselves before contacting customer service*. We are used to being able to find all the information we are looking for via Google, YouTube, Reddit or other platforms.
With a customer service platform, you can enable self-service with both a helpful chatbot and a help centre. You can fill this help centre yourself with informative articles and answers to frequently asked questions.
The main functionalities of customer service software
When choosing a software solution, it is good to look at which functionalities you can use. You can pay attention to the following functionalities.
In 2022, almost every company will be accessible via more than one communication channel. Think of e-mail, telephony, live chat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on. When you have to manage all these channels separately with a team, it becomes a mess in no time.
That's why the right customer service software allows you to manage all channels in one view. Check carefully whether the platform you have in mind has the right channels.
Teamwork makes the dream work. But first you need the tools to be able to work together. Therefore, pay close attention to whether the following features are present in your customer service tool:
- Being able to create teams
- Pick up calls and assign them to colleagues or teams
- Collaborate within threads (by @tagging each other in a customer conversation)
Sometimes you need automation to meet the high expectations of customers and to have your team work together efficiently. Therefore, check whether the following features are present:
- Quick replies
Measurement is knowing. As your customer service manager, you want to be constantly aware of the following two things:
- How satisfied is my customer?
- How well is my team running?
With the right tool, you can therefore monitor the following metrics:
- Customer satisfaction
- Number of calls in progress
- Response time
- Resolution time
- What questions are asked most often
Last but not least, it is important to look closely at the integrations a customer service platform offers. For example, if you run an e-commerce business, it is key that you can connect your webshop software or inventory software.
With Trengo, you can make use of the following integrations, among others:
10 customer software solutions
We start this list with ourselves. It's our blog, isn't it 🙂
Trengo is an affordable customer service software solution that allows you and your team to manage all your communication channels. You can connect the following channels: email, live chat, telephony, WhatsApp, SMS, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Twitter, Telegram and Google's Business Messaging.
In addition, we are one of the few in the Netherlands to be a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider. This means we can connect customers to the WhatsApp Business API. This allows you to offer the best possible customer experience on the Netherlands' most widely used communication channel.
You can automate time-consuming workflows with auto-replies, rules, quick replies and chatbots. This way, customers get a quick response and your team frees up time to solve complex issues for customers.
When you get stuck, our Dutch customer service team will assist you. You can reach us via chat, WhatsApp and e-mail.
YouTube is the tool to find out 'how something works'. Name any activity and there is a tutorial about it. From tying laces to preparing casseroles. Companies are also increasingly jumping on this bandwagon. With a video you can often explain certain things just a little easier than with a written help centre article.
That's why at Trengo we also make videos about our product:
Customers can quickly and easily see how our product works without needing the help of an employee. Our customer service team can easily send the videos after a call and we also post them in our help centre articles. Thus, YouTube is an ideal customer service software tool.
Zoom calls are increasingly used by customer service professionals. After all, seeing each other's facial expressions and gestures makes for a more personal conversation that you normally have on the phone, let alone via e-mail.
A big problem often arises when you have to explain something happening on your screen to a customer. It goes something like this: "Click the menu button, then scroll down a bit and there you click the big green button. What do you say? No, scroll down, not up. No, I mean... I'll send you a link. What's your e-mail address? Do you write that with double s? "
Therefore, what I particularly like about Zoom is how easily you can share your screen at the click of a button. So you can quickly take the customer past your product, presentation or website. Without you having to coach them through it.
If you don't have a tutorial video and a video call via Zoom is a bit too ghoulish, CloudApp is the ideal middle ground. The app lets you take screen shots - including your face and voice - that you can share to explain something to the customer.
Just sending a screenshot is often not enough. With CloudApp, you can therefore also send images with drawings or annotations. This way, you can provide customers with all the context they need directly in an image.
Making an appointment with a customer without the right tool can take more time than you would like. Before you know from all parties exactly who is available when, you are just a few e-mails away.
With Calendly, customers can schedule a meeting with one of your customer service representatives themselves. You simply indicate the times you are available for appointments and share the Calendly link via your website or an email. This is much easier for the customer and saves your team a lot of valuable time.
Trello is a tool that lets you manage projects with your team. With clear boards, lists and maps, you keep a close eye on the progress of each project. But you can also use it to raise problems or store ideas, for example.
Customer service teams are not only so important because they can answer customer questions, but also because they can teach the rest of the company what really matters to the customer.
At Trengo, for example, our customer service employees often get ideas for new features from conversations with customers. Of course, if everyone constantly passes these on to the development team, it quickly becomes chaos.
With a Trello board like the one you see above, this is easily remedied. The entire customer service team can see which ideas have already been contributed and which are on the roadmap.
You will only know whether you deliver really good customer service when you hear this from your customers themselves. Measuring is knowing. With Nicereply, you can therefore collect feedback from your customers. The surveys completed by customers give you important data on the performance of your customer service team. Think of NPS (Net Promoter Score), your CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score) and your CES (Customer Effect Score).
You can add these surveys to the signature of every e-mail, so that your customer can always go there to tell her story. The feedback is then sorted by employee, so you can keep an eye on who is performing well and where the areas for improvement are.
Customer service teams are increasingly active on various channels in this day and age. Social media in particular plays an important role in this. But what if you constantly have to click back and forth between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat? Right, then you both get dizzy and waste lots of time.
With Hootsuite, you link all your social media channels to one tool. Here you can make new posts and accurately monitor all communication with your followers
"Isn't Mailchimp a marketing tool?" I hear you thinking. The answer is: yes, it is.
But it is also a useful tool for customer service teams. Think of updating customers about an unexpected downtime of your website.
One of the most common questions for any customer service representative in e-commerce: "is product X still in stock?"
With Picqer, you have insight into your warehouse at the touch of a button. You can use this tool with an integration easily link to your inbox. This way, your team has the information at hand to help customers much faster than usual. This makes it an excellent customer service software tool.
Improve the customer experience with the right customer service tool
When you want to offer service that turns one-time customers into loyal ones, you need the right software. But with so many options, making the right choice is not easy.Therefore, always make sure you look closely at the functionalities offered. In 2022, you will need:
- A multichannel inbox
- Automatisation options
- Detailed statistics
- Integrations with other systems