Building a productive customer support team that can keep the issue resolution time low and customer satisfaction rate high, is a challenge. More so because such teams spend an unreasonable amount of time doing manual tasks instead of serving customers.
Why not try customer service automation software?
If you have a small team handling a large number of support requests, customer service automation can prove to be immensely helpful.
It helps your team rise above manual tasks and focus on what really matters – solving customer issues and building lasting relationships.
But here’s the question – how do you find the right software that meets your exact requirements?
The market is ripe with powerful tools promising the best performance, so zeroing in on one software can be a tough task.
In this blog, we will go through 10 great tools for automating customer service so that your agents can deliver delight every time.
What Is Automated Customer Service Software?
Customer service automation software is a tool that reduces manual, repetitive work and allows agents to focus on complex tasks. It helps improve the support experience by allowing you to offer real-time support through chatbots, canned responses, self-service help centers, and other channels. With this software, you can automate a variety of recurring tasks like ticket routing and email notifications to reduce resolution time and boost agent efficiency.
You can improve agent productivity and in-team collaboration with the help of shared inboxes. What’s more, 24×7 engagement becomes easier with the help of live chat and AI-powered chatbots. Also, support requests from any channel can be converted into tickets, helping you further your customer service efforts.
Why is Customer Service Automation Software the Need of the Hour for Businesses?
Customer service automation is crucial for businesses dealing with a rising tide of customers. As customers increase, the need to service them efficiently also increases.
But there are many other reasons that businesses require this software, such as:
1. Reduces Customer Service Costs
It reduces costs by cutting down human intervention to a large extent. As you continue to grow, you will need automation to manage rising customers and their requests. Using an automated customer service tool means you can work even with a small team.
2. Reduces Human Errors
Using technology reduces human errors by automating repetitive tasks. Even if such tasks are easy, after a while, an agent can get complacent and end up making errors. By automating customer service, human mistakes can be minimized and agents can work more efficiently. Your business can assign only complex tasks to agents while taking care of redundancies.
3. Capture Customer Feedback
Customer support automation can help you collect data about customer experience through NPS (Net Promoter Score) and CSAT (Customer Satisfaction.) With this data, you can identify reasons for higher churn rates, customer disappointment, and mid-purchase drop-offs.
4. Allows Round-the-Clock Support
Human agents can deal with customers only at certain times of the day, whereas service automation allows you to offer support 24×7. This works well for modern customers who prefer flexibility and convenience more than anything else. For example, 42% of customers prefer a live chat function because it offers quick replies at any time, day or night.
Key Features of Customer Support Automation Tools
Let us look into some of the salient features of automated customer service software:
Powered by Artificial intelligence, chatbots help you stay connected with your customers 24×7 without human involvement. They can conduct human-like interactions with customers and answer standard questions, thus reducing the burden on your agents. Today’s modern chatbots can track customers’ browsing behavior to understand their preferences and hold meaningful conversations.
Chatbots automates conversations to help your customers. In case all your agents are occupied with chats, then chatbots can help keep a potential customer. It also helps reduce the burden on your agents by routing the relevant queries to your team. Since hiring a large team of agents is quite costly, chatbots become a cost-effective solution.
2. Shared inboxes
Shared inboxes are designed to encourage teams to collaborate on customer issues. These inboxes have a Gmail-like interface where customer issues are consolidated and routed to the right agents for a quick resolution. Agents can view incoming tickets, prioritize them, and collaborate with each other before responding.
3. Live Chat
Live chat allows you to communicate with customers in real-time. It helps you initiate conversations with customers, guide them in the purchase process, and provide quick assistance in case they get stuck. You can also monitor customer actions on your website and offer personalized support at every step.
Read More: How Does Live Chat Work?
4. Knowledge Base
A knowledge base is a self-serve platform containing detailed information on your products, services, and much more. Customers can refer to it to get instant answers to their questions. In fact, 88% of customers expect global brands to offer a self-service platform as it offers a convenient way to solve problems.
5. Canned Responses
Canned responses are pre-written answers that your operators can refer to when handling multiple chats. Often, customer queries can be quite similar, and it can help to have quick replies handy to reduce customer wait time. With canned responses, operators can automatically respond to repetitive queries without manually typing the answers.
Read more: How to Handle Multiple Chats?
List of 10 Best Customer Service Automation Software
With hundreds of options available in the market, choosing “the perfect tool” can prove to be an uphill battle. Here are the 10 best customer service automation software options to build stronger customer relationships.
ProProfs Chat is an easy-to-use tool that helps you proactively assist customers and answer their questions in real-time. It allows you to track customers’ activities on your website and initiate conversations at the right time. Being a customer service automation tool, it offers canned responses that work well for repetitive questions.
In addition to this, you get detailed reports to track chat data, response time, and operator performance. The best part about ProProfs Chat is that it comes with a chatbot that can fully automate your customer support process.
This chatbot works 24×7 to answer all standard customer questions and also identifies situations where human intervention is needed. So, even if you don’t know the answer to a question, it’s not the end of the world. It quickly transfers the chat to the right operator to ensure quick resolution.
Key features of ProProfs Chat:
- Boost automation with a 24×7 accessible chatbot.
- Respond faster to customer requests with canned responses.
- Share notifications in real-time to keep customers updated.
- Connect customers with the right operators through chat routing.
- Track customer ratings and improve operator performance.
ProProfs Chat price plan include:
- Essentials- $10/ agent/ month.
- Premium- $15/ agent/ month.
- Enterprise – Available on Request.
What we liked: The customer support for ProProfs Chat is prompt. They rarely miss a customer query; even if they do, they follow up instantly.
What could have been better: There should be more templates available to customize the chatbot.
HelpScout is an all-in-one support platform perfect for various customer support teams. It helps you create a comprehensive knowledge base to reduce the agent workload and offer self-service features to your customers. Seamless app integrations can help you connect with numerous chat, CRM, communication, and e-commerce tools.
You can even import Google users by integrating the tool with Google apps. HelpScout also offers real-time reporting and insights to evaluate your team’s performance across channels. What’s more, you can keep an eye out for trending queries searched by customers and create relevant content.
Key features of HelpScout:
- Send private notes to teammates to collaborate on customer issues.
- Lead your customers to your knowledge base for quick problem-solving.
- Beacon allows you to manage customer tickets and answer queries.
- Prioritize tickets and manage escalations to expedite issue resolution.
- Track your team’s workload with detailed and insightful reports.
Helpscout offers three pricing options:
- Standard- $25/ user/ month with a limit of 25 users.
- Plus- $40/ user/ month with no user limit.
- Company- $60/ user/ month with no user limit. It is offered as an annual subscription.
What we liked: It offers a simple, clean interface and is easy to set up.
What could have been better: It has a few glitches in the Android app which can be fixed.
HubSpot is a free CRM platform that equips you with all the bells and whistles you need to manage customer relationships. It also helps you simplify customer service through its ticketing system that can track, assign, and route tickets to the right agents without manual effort.
You can create visual workflows to simplify automation that otherwise requires months of training. You can also build omnichannel marketing campaigns by referencing customer data from different platforms. All of this data can be viewed easily from a single dashboard.
Key features of HubSpot:
- Track, route, and consolidate customer tickets with its help desk system
- Convert your FAQs into a searchable library of helpful articles.
- Collaborate with your agents on complex issues using a shared inbox.
- Connect with your website visitors in real-time to generate leads.
- Communicate with customers across various channels on a unified platform.
HubSpot’s pricing plan includes:
- Starter- $45/month
- Professional- $360/month
- Enterprise- $1200/month
What we liked: It is great for companies that need an awesome workflow.
What could have been better: For the full functionality of Hubspot, you need to pay for the Professional plan, which is quite expensive.
Freshdesk is an intuitive, cloud-based customer service software that allows you to organize your helpdesk and provide omnichannel support. You can improve your team’s productivity through excellent ticketing software that converts issues into tickets and auto-assigns them to the right agents. It also offers collaboration features to help your agents stay on top of tickets.
You can also consolidate tickets from all channels onto a single platform. Speaking of team collaboration, Freshdesk includes a team inbox that helps agents prioritize tickets based on keywords. Also, guess what? You can start using it for free!
Key features of Freshdesk:
- Manage customer emails and automatically convert them into tickets.
- Integrate Freshdesk with over 1000 Marketplace apps.
- Interact with visitors in real-time and generate leads.
- Offer a self-service platform to reduce support requests.
- Collaborate with agents to offer quick answers to customer questions.
Freshdesk plans include:
- Free- unlimited agents can use it.
- Growth- $13/ agent/ month.
- Pro- $47/ agent/ month.
- Enterprise- $75/ agent/ month.
What we liked: It is a user-friendly tool that can be quickly set up with no hassles.
What could have been better: The integrations are limited and you need a developer to build some custom apps.
ProProfs Help Desk is designed to automate the process of customer support by bringing tickets generated across channels to a shared inbox. Once tickets are consolidated in a shared space, they are automatically routed to the right agents to ensure quick resolution. You can also share NPS and CSAT surveys with customers after interactions with agents.
Customers across multiple channels can connect with your team through live chat, email, web forms, etc., to raise tickets. What’s more, you can also share self-help articles with customers for a top-notch support experience.
Key features of ProProfs Desk:
- Boost team collaboration with shared inbox.
- Deliver convenience to customers through self-service portals
- Capture valuable customer feedback through NPS and CSAT surveys.
- Build chatbots to offer 24×7 support to customers.
- Measure agent performance and customer satisfaction through reports
ProProfs Desk plans include:
- Essentials- $10/user/ month.
- Premium- $15/user/ month.
- Enterprise- Available on Request
What we liked: It offers robust reporting capabilities that help you track key customer service metrics and make informed decisions for performance improvement.
What could have been better: It needs to extend its third-party integration capabilities.
Kayako is a user-friendly customer service automation tool with an intuitive interface. Its ticketing software helps you assign and route tickets automatically. It is flexible and built for teams of all sizes looking to manage rising customer issues. With the help of an internal inbox, it helps teams solve customer issues quickly and efficiently.
The tool helps you offer contextual support to your customers by identifying their problems right from the start of the interaction with Kayako SingleView. Also, with its live chat feature, you can offer canned responses to customers coming up with routine questions.
Key features of Kayako:
- Offer 24×7, personalized support through live chat.
- Keep your inbox tidy through custom view options.
- Offer a self-help platform for quick problem-solving.
- Accurately respond to customer queries with Kayako Single View.
Kayako has two pricing options. Let us check them out:
- Growth- $30/ agent/ month.
- Scale- $60/ agent/ month.
What we liked: You can quickly create tickets from chat and escalate and de-escalate them between different levels of support.
What could have been better: As an email software, it has limitations in formatting and styling.
Zendesk is a powerful and flexible customer service tool perfect for a small business as well as an enterprise. As a holistic customer support solution, it helps you offer seamless support services to your customers across multiple channels including emails, ticket forms, social channels, as well as live chat.
The tool consolidates all your customer data to a single platform for a 360° view of customers, so you can offer contextual and personalized support at every step.
Key features of Zendesk:
- Deliver engaging, personalized conversational experiences.
- Offer a quick solution to your customers through a smart knowledge base
- Stay connected with your customers with the help of messaging tools
- Track customer service metrics with built-in reports and analytics.
Zendesk offers 3 pricing plans:
- Suite Team- $49/ agent/ month.
- Suite Growth- $79/ agent/ month.
- Suite Professional- $99/ agent/ month.
What we liked: Integrations with other apps such as Jira and Salesforce make it easier for agents to work seamlessly on Zendesk.
What could have been better: It is hard to get in touch with customer service according to some online reviews.
Groove offers a shared inbox for small businesses looking for a superior alternative to emails. Its omnichannel capabilities help you bring all customer conversations across email, chat, and social media, on a single platform.
The software comes with collaboration features which include internal notes, tagging and mentions, and task assignments. Many have called the tool “Gmail on steroids” because of its helpful features and simple user interface.
Groove also offers a knowledge base that can be quickly customized to your liking. After all, self-service tools are crucial for both your team and customers.
Key features of Groove:
- Organize your support emails and route them to the right people.
- Offer round-the-clock self-service to reduce your support volume.
- Do more with powerful integrations with Slack, Shopify, Recharge, Stripe etc.
- Communicate with team members through internal notes and tagging.
Groove’s price plans include:
- Basic- $50/ month
- Pro- $300/ month
- Enterprise- $650/ month
What we liked: It is easy to keep track of support tickets and route them to individuals. Also, it is perfect for small teams and startups.
What could have been better: The user interface is sometimes slow to use.
9. Zoho Desk
Zoho Desk is an omnichannel customer service tool that offers workflow automation and ticketing tools for quick tracking and routing of tickets. The workflows are the highlight of the tool as they allow you to visualize processes and find bottlenecks. This helps you respond to customer issues efficiently.
Customers can also access a searchable knowledge base that can be integrated with Google Analytics to gain deeper insights into customer behavior. What’s more, Zoho Desk works seamlessly on mobile phones as it allows you to manage, track, and prioritize tickets on the go.
Key features of Zoho Desk:
- Boost capabilities of your help desk through add-ons and integrations.
- Engage with customers and convert chats into tickets.
- Build a knowledge base that can be fully customized
- Create a visual blueprint of tasks by assembling them based on conditions.
Zoho Desk offers 4 price plans:
- Free- Free plan with a user limit of 3 agents.
- Standard- $10/ agent/ month.
- Professional- $18/ agent/ month.
- Enterprise- $31/ agent/ month.
What we liked: It generates a unique URL for an audio/ video call to help resolve the customer issue quickly and is perfect for selling products remotely.
What could have been better: It is priced higher than other applications in the market.
Helpjuice is a cloud-based knowledge base software that allows you to create a self-help knowledge base. Its key feature is that your business can get the knowledge base customized down to the T. If your brand follows strict protocols for formatting, color, and layout, then, you should try this.
The tool allows you to view analytics for each of those articles to see which one makes an impact. In addition to this, you get insightful reports that offer deep insights into how well your knowledge base is performing. Such insights are instrumental in keeping your articles updated.
Key features of Helpjuice:
- Measure the performance of all your articles to view which one makes the most noise.
- Intelligent authoring tools to help design content to the strictest brand rules.
- Boost functionalities through robust integrations with Zapier, Olark, and other apps.
- Effectively format your content with the help of content styling tools.
Helpjuice comes at four compelling price points. Let us look at them:
- Starter- $120/ month for up to 4 users.
- Run-Up- $200/ month for up to 16 users.
- Premium Limited- $200/ month for up to 60 users.
- Premium Unlimited- $289/ month for unlimited users.
What we liked: They provide full customization service to fit your product’s design.
What could have been better: Content creation could be made more dynamic by the process of incorporating references to PDF, PPT, and XLS documents being made easier.
Final Verdict: Which Customer Service Automation Software Should You Go for?
As businesses grow, so do your customers.
Rising customers means more issues, right? That’s where customer service automation comes in. It helps you simplify repetitive tasks, boost collaboration, and track customer experience. Customer service automation can also help your business generate leads and solve customer queries quickly and efficiently.
The ten tools mentioned in this article should offer clarity into what your business needs. But how do you choose the right tool for the job?
First, make sure the tool offers all the features you need and fits your budget, and make an informed decision.
We would recommend Groove if you want a great shared inbox for your team. If you need a complete solution, try ProProfs Help Desk.
It is a robust solution for those who need an easy-to-use help desk and quick ticket management. If your business needs a live chat solution to boost customer engagement. You can also opt for ProProfs Live Chat which comes with a chatbot and many other automation features.
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