The right business tools can make or break your customer service.  No matter the size of your company, having the right customer service tools can mean the difference between poor customer relations and top-rated customer satisfaction.

Best Small Business Customer Service Tools

In addition to building customer relationships, help desk tools can save companies time and money. Take time up front to explore all of the features available and the additional costs each brings to the total price.

Some of the software programs have many features that can be integrated with existing software programs, so be sure you understand what these are and how they can benefit your company.

Live Chat Software

A live chat feature on a company website can be a very valuable customer service tool. For example, Snap Engage is a live chat software that can easily integrate with the company help desk, CRM and social media software. The CRM integration features such things as priority tiers, transfers, user roles, monitoring, reporting and team chats. You can also customize the way the chat box looks.

Help Desk Software

Finding the right help desk software program for your company may be your best investment in customer service tools. Features can include:

  • Data collection of conversations via emails, phone conversations, online chats, tweets and word searches.
  • Tracking and performance analysis capability.
  • Ability to compare peer data with customer service department.

Some popular choices for small businesses are also the choices big businesses make. Most programs can be tailored to your company needs with add on features. In its reviews of the best 2016 help desk software, PC Magazine had two winners.

Tool # 1: Vivantio Pro

The first was Vivantio Pro that PC World said is a “cleanly built and feature-rich help desk system.” The only con the review gives Vivantio Pro is pricing. Oliver Haslam cautions that “Vivantio wants you to speak to a sales rep before it communicates any numbers to you.”

Tool # 2: HappyFox

HappyFox is rated by PC Magazine contributor Tim Ferrill as excellent for tracking and managing help desk tickets. Ferrill writes that HappyFox is a “top contender in the help desk ticket management arena.” The automated tools and self-service tools “reduce ticket management workload” and “reduce ticket workload,” There are four monthly pricing tiers available.

Tool # 3: Zendesk

Zendesk is one of the most popular and well-known help desk software options. Both large and small companies use Zendesk, that PC Magazine states is a “solid application.”

When PC Magazine compared Zendesk to Vivantio Pro, Oliver Haslam wrote that Zendesk’s advanced features couldn’t “compete with an enterprise-grade platform” of Vivantio ProFree.

Haslam conducted a test drive with the $5 per user per month cloud version and cautioned that “functionality costs” could come with a “potentially steep pricing structure”.  Still, ZenDesk was given an excellent rating as a “competent ticket management app”.  PC Magazine applauded the software stating, “ZenDesk deserves its popularity.” ZenDesk boasts its product is used by 75,000 companies.

Forbes Suggests ZenDesk and GetSatisfaction

Forbes contributor Jason Nazar included two software choices for customer service in his list of 30 Terrific Tools for Small Businesses. The customer service options he liked included ZenDesk and GetSatisfaction.

Inc. writer AJ Agrawal chose 8 top help desk software solutions, such as Spiceworks and Help Scout.

  • Spiceworks is a free cloud-based help desk tool that comes with a “ticket racking and real-time network monitoring”.
  • Help Scout is ideal for companies receiving tickets via email. The program allows you to assign certain employees to specific issues, as well as setting a time-limit for escalating a ticket.

Use Capterra to Find Ideal Customer Service Tools

Capterra is a unique free service that can assist companies in finding the perfect software program(s) for customer service and other needs. Capterra is paid by vendors when you find the right software. The best match for your business means you can schedule free demos of the software before committing.

Software for Customer Service Improvement

Selecting the right software that features all of the customer service tools your company needs can improve your CRM and branding. Whenever possible, select a software program that offers a free trial period so you can test to see if it’s a good fit for your company.