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8000+ teams use Hiver to delight their customers!
9 Must-Have Customer Support Tools to Include in Your Tech Stack
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“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder, Amazon.
We couldn’t agree more.
Over the years, the relationship between businesses and consumers has changed considerably. Back in the day, price was a huge competitive differentiator.
Fast forward to today, price continues to matter. However, there’s another huge differentiating factor and that’s customer service.
Is customer service really that important? According to a recent Hiver survey, 72% of customers switch brands after just one negative customer experience.
In the same survey, we found out that 52% of customers want their queries resolved in 24 hours.
The takeaway is simple: customers want experiences that are memorable and effortless.
And to meet these expectations, companies need to invest in the right technology. Tools that can make your teams more efficient, empower them to work smartly, and ultimately, help create world-class experiences for the end customer.
We’ve, therefore, compiled a list of 9 essential customer service tools. Let’s dive into what these tools are, why you need them, and how they can add value to your business.
Table of Contents
- What is a customer support tool?
- 9 essential customer support tools to power your business
- Customer support tools set your teams up for success
What is a customer support tool?
A customer support tool is technology that helps support teams streamline complaints, queries, and requests, and respond to them in a timely manner.
Customer support tools come in handy as businesses scale. The more customers you add, the more queries your support team is bound to receive. When this happens, you need some tools and processes that can help your support staff handle such large volumes of work.
Customer support tools not only reduce the load on your support team but make it easy for customers to reach out to you for help.
In this post, we’re going to look at a wide range of support teams – from email helpdesks to live chat solutions to knowledge base software.
9 essential customer support tools to power your business
We’ve done the groundwork for you — here’s a round-up of our top tools:
1. Help desk ticketing system
Do you have customer messages, requests, and complaints coming in from various communication channels such as email, live chat, IVR, and social media?
That’s when you need a help desk. It’s a tool that helps you centralize, assign, and track all incoming customer queries.
A help desk ticketing system allows customer service teams to log support tickets, streamline support workflows, automate the process of routing tickets to the right agents, and work collaboratively to reduce response time and deliver excellent customer service.
Some popular help desk software include Hiver, Zoho Desk and Zendesk.
But, if you’re looking for a help desk that is extremely easy-to-use and can be setup in minutes, try out Hiver. The best part about Hiver is that it works within Gmail and so, your support team doesn’t have to learn another new software.
2. Knowledge base software
We live in the era of ‘Googling It’ where people are used to looking for answers on the internet. In fact, that’s the first thing that most people do before they take their query elsewhere.
According to an article by Harvard Business Review, 81% of customers across industries attempt to resolve issues on their own before contacting a live representative.
By investing in a knowledge base software tool, you can create, manage and share self-service content in the form of FAQs pages, how-to-videos, and step-by-step tutorials. One of the biggest benefits of having a knowledge base is that it brings down the workload of your support team, as customers can look for answers themselves. Your support team can also refer to the knowledge base while answering common queries — this improves response time as frontline agents don’t have to figure out solutions/answers from scratch.
If you’re looking to invest in a knowledge base, Hiver, ProProfs and Helpjuice are great options to consider.
3. Live chat software
Live chat software is another essential customer support tool your team needs.
Why? According to Invesp, customers who use live chat spend 60% more per purchase than those who don’t. Further, 77% customers will not make a purchase if there’s no live chat support.
Offering live chat feature can help you communicate with your customers in real-time – whether they visit your website or your mobile app. It can help you provide immediate and proactive support to your customers.
Having said that, a poorly designed live chat experience is worse than not having live chat support. Which is why we’ve put together a checklist of Do’s and Don’ts when you offer Live Chat as a support channel.
Hiver, Pure Chat, ThriveDesk, ProProfsChat, and LiveChat are some popular live chat software you can check out.
4. Social listening and monitoring tool
Are you keeping an eye on the online conversations about your brand? How do customers perceive your products and services on social media?
Social listening and monitoring tools can help a great deal in tracking brand sentiment amongst your customer base. Using these tools, you can closely track what customers are saying about your brand and your competitors — you can then leverage these insights to provide more personalized experiences. Monitoring brand mentions will also help you identify customer complaints and respond to them quickly before they mount up into a thread of negative feedback about your brand.
Hootsuite and Sprout Social are our personal favorites when it comes to social listening and monitoring tools.
5. Customer feedback survey tool
Surveys have been in use from time immemorial and they are one of the most useful tools to gather customer feedback.
Knowing your customers is important to your success, including when it comes to choosing a tech stack. Sending out a customer feedback survey to understand people’s thoughts about your products can provide you useful insights into your product as well as your support quality and performance.
Typically, every customer feedback survey comes with a set of questions that are related to a specific metric. These customer experience metrics include the Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT),and Customer Effort Score (CES).
Two commonly used tools to send follow up feedback surveys are SurveyMonkey and Typeform.
6. Internal communication software
Oftentimes, customer support teams need to communicate with other internal teams while working on queries. This is why it is important to equip them with an easy-to-use internal communication tool.
The advantages of using such a tool is that it allows your frontline agents to have quick, contextual discussions with other employees from the same team and also with employees across different functions.
Hiver’s Email Notes, for instance, helps you write a note to anyone in the organization and ask for inputs. As a result, you don’t have to depend on emails for communication all the time. That’s one way to reduce clutter!
Other tools that can help with internal communication include Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Fellow.app.
7. Project management tool
Delivering great customer service depends on your customer service team’s ability to handle multiple projects at once. This brings up the need for a project management tool that can help you organize, prioritize, and track the progress of your team’s tasks spread across different customer communication channels.
In other words, you need 360-degree visibility into what’s happening and that’s where a project management tool can help. It allows you to share important documents and collaborate with multiple stakeholders involved in resolving a customer query. It helps support teams track individual tasks and deadlines, and empowers them to deliver great support.
In project management tools, our vote goes to ClickUp, ClientVenue, Asana and Timely Time Tracker.
Pro tip: If you’re using Asana, you can now manage and track projects right within Gmail using Hiver’s Asana integration.
8. Reporting dashboard
The most ideal way to analyze quality of customer support is through interactive dashboards that showcase critical metrics. These metrics provide detailed insights into how your support team is interacting with customers and how this is impacting larger outcomes such as loyalty and retention.
Robust and in-depth analytics is a must-have so that you can slice and dice data as you please and really analyze things in a detailed, thorough manner.
That’s exactly what Vacasa – an international vacation rental management company – did. Ever since they started using Hiver’s analytics dashboard, their teams handle support emails 80% faster.
Other tool recommendations for crunching data and creating customer service reports include Qualtirics and Databox.
9. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software
CRMs are built to help teams across the board manage customer interactions with ease.
For customer support teams, a CRM software help in storing customer details, recording customer queries, and tracking the progress of support issues. What’s more, a CRM provides a centralized database that lets multiple team members access important customer information – from past orders and chat history to ongoing requests.
It makes data about any customer interaction available to any team member who may need it. A CRM is not just useful in tracking data and making it more accessible but can impact larger metrics like retention. For instance, investing in a CRM can help increase customer retention by 27%!
HubSpot and Salesforce are great examples of popular CRMs. If you’re in the B2B space, you might want to invest in a tool like TinyEmail for prospecting.
Customer support tools set your teams up for success
Help your teams become more efficient by implementing a mix of these customer service tools. Be it a help desk software to streamline customer requests or a tool to collect feedback, always keep in mind the end goal – to delight customers and provide memorable experiences.
Now, if you use Google Workspace and are looking for the right customer service software to support your customers, then we’ve got just what you need.
Hiver – the world’s first help desk designed for Google Workspace – helps several global brands deliver fast and human customer service right from their Gmail inbox. What’s better, it even comes with built-in analytics, live chat, CSAT surveys, collaboration features, automation functionalities and more!
Curious to find out how the tool works? Get a free 7-day trial of Hiver today!