What is Customer Service Software?
Gone are the days when customer service was just about being nice and courteous to customers. In the age when customer experience is a differentiator between success and failure, ignoring the importance of fostering positive customer relationships through customer service has become a really bad idea for businesses.
According to recent research by eConsultancy, 75 percent of people desire a consistent experience when interacting with brands, regardless of the communication channel. In fact, this experience has become so important, that studies predict it will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator, claims the same source.
Apparently, a customer’s decision to make a purchase of a product or service is profoundly influenced by their overall enjoyment of their experience with that business, so businesses need to be equipped with the best tools to meet this requirement.
In fact, there’s evidence that businesses lose more than $75 billion a year due to poor customer service. The State of Global Customer Service report from Microsoft supports this by revealing that customers across the world say that customer service is “very important in their choice of or loyalty to a brand.”
Fortunately, managing customer experience is something that can be automated. Since there is a range of channels that customers use to communicate with brands, it makes perfect sense to use software to collect data for analytics, make sure that all requests are responded to, and, therefore, cover all bases.
Customer Service Software: the Basics
In recent years, we’ve seen the rise of such advanced applications as chatbots in customer support. They are often powered by artificial intelligence and perform some of the functions that human operators did before, which is perfect for cutting customer support costs while collecting valuable information.
In fact, there are more than 300,000 chatbots on Facebook Messenger right now. While not all of them were created for customer service, this was one of the main reasons why a huge part of them are here. The increase in chatbots clearly suggests that more and more companies are becoming serious about their customer service effort automation.
However, chatbots are just one simple example of customer service software. There are different applications in this category, so let’s take a closer look at what is considered “customer service software.”
Here’s the definition of the term, as given by Jach Jeffery, a customer service leader from Assignment Helper:
Customer service software is a digital tool that helps businesses to handle customer service requests and communicate with them to address their concerns and questions regarding the business, and/or its product or service.
The heart of most customer software systems is the ticketing system that converts customer social media posts, phone calls, emails, and chat messages into individual tickets that are distributed among customer support agents to be dealt with.
“For today’s super busy customer service teams, having such software is an essential requirement for resolving support tickets and managing the maximum number of requests,” says Greg Watson, a customer support specialist from A-Writer. “With more and more leads and customers taking their questions and concerns to support teams, it makes a perfect sense to use this software to keep customer satisfaction high.”
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Types of Customer Service Software
The methods of customer service used by software depend on its type. To date, there are four major types that you should probably know very well:
- Help desk. This is defined as software that addresses customer queries and is used primarily for addressing them in real time, 24/7.
- Live chat. This is the most preferred option by many customers because it provides assistance in real-time through a chat (no wonder 92 percent of customers feel satisfied after using this option). Thanks to its ability, live chat can serve as a help desk as well.
- IT service desk. This options includes all the functions of help desk but also features service, which basically means that it allows to address requests such as purchases.
- Call center. Provided as both a standalone system and a part of a larger software package, this option allows to service customers though calls.
The most common features of a good ticket-based customer service software include:
- Customer insights. A good system should allow the user to accumulate a large number of tickets, cases, interactions with customers, issues, and resolutions, and use analytics tools to discover patterns, define trends, identify the most common issues and the most effective resolutions, and find many other useful insights.
- Automation of processes. This goes without saying: a software should allow the user to automate repetitive processes such as routine reporting, ticket sorting, redirecting to appropriate agents, placing in a queue, and perform many other related tasks.
- Easy integration with popular marketing and/or sales software. This would be helpful to get more helpful insights into customer preferences, issues, and needs, and improve one’s marketing and, of course, the quality of customer software.
- 24/7 support. The customers should be able to send their requests via selected communication channels, and their messages should be converted into tickets and redirected to available agents as soon as they go online.
- Recording of customer requests. You’ve heard this many times: “this call may be recorded for quality and training purposes.” A good customer service software supporting phone calls should allow to record customer interactions for the purpose of service improvement (with permission, of course).
- Feedback. Customer service system should be able to generate a feedback form automatically and send the update to the customer when the issue is resolved. This, in turn, helps with collecting customer feedback on specific service agents as well as the overall quality of the support they received.
The need to manage every relationship with a customer who contacted a business resulted in the emergence of customer relationship management systems (CRMs). Together with chatbots, CRMs is the latest technology in the field of customer service that are already widely used by businesses in a range of industries.
Customer Software: an Ever-Developing Field
Having a good customer service software has become a must for modern businesses that strive to build positive customer relationships. With the rise of artificial intelligence and the development of the existing types of customer service software continuing to contribute to the ability of businesses to resolve issues before they arise, it’s reasonable to assume that customer service will be one of the main focuses of businesses in the foreseeable future.
Lucy Benton is a specialist in digital marketing and content writing who currently works at College Paper writing service. She focuses mostly on the worlds of technology, gadgets, and the Internet. If you’re interested in working with Lucy, you can find her on Twitter.