What is customer service?

According to recent research by eConsultancy, 75% of people desire a consistent experience when interacting with brands, regardless of the communication channel used. In fact, this experience has become so important, that studies predict it will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.

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.”

Microsoft research customer service statistics bar graphs

Because 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 and make sure that all requests are responded to.

The basics of customer service software 

In recent years, we’ve seen the rise of advanced applications such as the chatbot. Chatbots are just one example of customer service software.These software are often powered by artificial intelligence and perform functions that were previously done manually by agents. Customer service software are perfect for cutting customer service costs and collecting valuable information. And that's why their use is on the rise.

Currently, there are more than 300,000 chatbots on Facebook Messenger. The increase of chatbot use clearly suggests that more and more companies are becoming serious about their customer service automation efforts.

However, chatbots are just one example of customer service software. There are many different applications in this category, so let’s take a closer look at what's considered a “customer service software.”

How is it defined?

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 handle customer service requests. It helps them communicate with their customers and to address any questions or concerns they may have. The heart of most customer software systems is the ticketing system that converts customers' social media posts, phone calls, emails, and chat messages into individual tickets.

“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

There are four major types that you should probably know very well:

  • Help desk is defined as a software that addresses customer queries and is primarily used for addressing them in real time.
  • Live chat is the most preferred option by customers because it provides assistance in real-time.
  • The IT service desk has all the functions of a help desk in addition to addressing purchase requests.
  • Call center software is provided as a standalone system or as a part of a larger software package. It enables agent to provide service to customers though voice and video 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 and use analytics to discover patterns, define trends, identify the most common issues, the most effective resolutions, and more.
  • Automation of processes -- This goes without saying: a software should allow the user to automate repetitive processes such as routine reporting, ticket sorting, re-routing, queueing and other related tasks.
  • Easy integration with popular marketing and/or sales software is helpful for gathering helpful insights about customer preferences, issues, and needs. 
  • Call recordings -- You’ve heard this many times: “this call may be recorded for quality and training purposes.” A good customer service software should support call recording for quality, training, and legal purposes.
  • Feedback -- Customer service systems should be able to generate a feedback form automatically after each customer interaction as it helps collecting customer feedback on specific service agents as well as the overall quality of the support they received.
  • 24/7 support

Customer software innovations

Having a good customer service software has become a must for modern businesses that strive to build positive customer relationships. With the demand for artificial intelligence and customer service software on the rise , it’s reasonable to assume that customer service will be one of the main focuses of businesses in the foreseeable future. 

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