Today, many small businesses start their activity with help desk systems already on board. And for good reasons, these small but extremely helpful tools allow young companies to push their products and services much faster, and more importantly, on a larger scale. Thus, having one is not only beneficial but can mean a difference between having a competitive edge and not.
Although, as good as they are, not every tool is equal. Some of them certainly suit larger companies and others focus on completely different things. So, to help you pick the right tool for your business, we have decided to outline some of the most prominent systems out on the market and stack them against each other. After all, most consumers are already accustomed to high-level customer service and something less simply won't cut it. You as a company need to provide the best possible service in order to survive and help desk tools are essential additions to your arsenal.
Thus, with all this in mind, we will be focusing on all kinds of things in each tool. From highlighting where each tool excels the most to criticizing their key drawbacks. So sit tight as we are about to determine what is the best customer service software for small business.
When someone mentions best customer service software for small business, Zendesk immediately comes into mind. This seemingly generic service system is jam-packed with all kinds of small and large features that will help you push more sales. But it's not just features that are good, the whole system is very responsive and has one of the best user interfaces we’ve seen to date.
Those who opted for Zendesk as their small business customer service tool can expect the following list of benefits and features:
Sleek and Stable UI — As we have mentioned above, the user interface is not just sleek, it's very responsive and pleasing on the eye. Never did it hang on us nor bugged out, each menu, line, function tab is one hit away and works as intended.
Accessibility — When it comes to accessibility, few companies can match Zendesk. All menus, all features are intuitively placed and require minim knowledge to use. This is a huge benefit as you will reduce time spent on employee training, meaning that you spend fewer funds on it.
Fair Price — Zendesk has some of the most liberal pricing systems ever. Business owners get to choose from a wide list of different tariffs that will surely fit any wallet. Each plan was carefully crafted and includes practically everything to get you started. Thus, no matter which one you pick, you won’t go wrong.
Rich Features — Few customer service platforms have such a good feature set as Zendesk. Those who picked Zendesk (no matter which tariff plan) will immediately have access to a knowledge base, automation tools, dashboards, and even Service Level Agreement (SLA) features. This is a very compelling package and in case you are still wondering, try out their trial plan and see for yourself.
Among the best customer service platforms out there, Freshdesk is a veteran. Indeed, the company makes sure to always update the system as well as keep it full of features. And feature packed it is. It is perhaps one of the best customer service software in terms of quality and quantity of features. From the robust multi-channel support to the ever-expanding list of integrations, Freshdesk always stays, well, fresh.
If you need good customer service software, Freshdesk got you covered as it offers the following:
Omnichannel Support — If we got to choose only one feature that describes Freshdesk the best, it would be the omnichannel support system. With it, companies can push multiple products with different branding using a single interface. This might seem like something that you can do manually, and that would be true but when you take into consideration the incoming stream of different messages, requests, complaints, etc. The value of this module becomes clear.
Communication — The omnichannel system helps you manage multiple brands across different resources. And the communication module makes sure that each source of messages is updated, responded, and closed. This is small little feature allows you to speak with your install base using live chats, phone messages, social media platforms, and many other channels. With it, there won’t be a single place on Earth that you won’t be able to communicate with.
Instant Notifications — Last but not least, the instant notification system makes sure that you and your agents don’t forget about important events, incidents, and questions. This feature allows you to set up notifications for things that aren’t normally notified. For instance, you can set a rule where you will get a notification as soon as a customer starts complaining or asking questions you are proficient in. A very underrated feature that is more than helpful in our opinion.
While not a conventional service desk system, LiveChat is that, a live chat tool that can help your business in multiple ways. It does not work as a help desk system nor does it want to be one. Although those who use it, are generally happy as the tool is very good for performing both sales and after-sale service. The reason why we included this tool in our best customer service software list the fact that it's pretty cheap and has the following benefits.
Simplicity — There are few tools that are as simple to both setup and use. LiveChat has an installation process that takes up to 15 minutes. Yes, you’ve heard us right, it just 15 minutes, you can start serving your customers. LiveChat does not require you to have a diploma in computer science as most of the process is automated. This is a perfect fit for small companies that don’t have a technician on board.
Cheap — If there’s one thing most small businesses share in common, it’s the fact that they don’t usually don’t have a goldmine to spend. And this is precisely what LiveChat is all about, it has three distinct tariff plans that will suit any wallet.
Prompt Responses — Finally, there’s the instant reply tool that allows your agents to answer emails, chats, and threads in one place effortlessly. This feature is compatible with all kinds of things as it has an open API and even comes with pre-built designs that will surely fit naturally on your website.
While most service desk tools focus on sales and scope of the operation, Help Scout is on the other side of the planet. These guys opted to combat annoying, generic emails that are usually found in your spam box. Yes, Help Scout focuses their attention on personalized messages and this is exactly what makes them different from the competition. Here’s what Help Scout users will get:
Customer Service Tools — What makes Help Scout such a good small business customer service tool is the fact that it’s capable of making a shared inbox for different things. Think Gmail. Once you’ve set up the initial account, you can pair it with practically anything. It is your hub for all things marketing, messaging, branding, etc. which is very beneficial for smaller businesses that don’t have the fortune to spend on separate tools.
Personalization — This is another key component of this customer service software. With Help Scout, you don’t need to go far to create a personalized message for each, and I repeat, each customer. Just use an included database of email templates. And you can ensure that your customers never receive the same old boring message.
Reports — Once you’ve delivered all your messages, you can track their performance and even analyze the read-rate. This will give you a better idea of where you need to improve your message, as well as what your consumers like the most. Also as part of the module, you can schedule reports, create custom fields, and measure productivity.
Next on our list is HappyFox. This is a relatively new customer service software system that is designed with tickets and multi-channel sales in mind. Essentially, the key idea of this given tool is to make all your requests, issues, questions, and other stuff into tickets. While simple on paper, in practice this is a very hard feat to achieve. It's because you have to take into account the type of query and whether its a question or a statement. Thankfully, HappyFox manages to do both exceptionally well. Here’s what it has in terms of customer service tools:
Omnichannel aggregation — The basic gist of this function is that it completely eliminates the chaos that comes with managing different pages at the same time. This tool will allow you to gather data from different media sources and keep them in an easy-to-digest form. A very useful tool for those who need to push sales through different places and needs a helping hand in organizing stuff.
Ticketification — This process is perhaps the core of HappyFox as everything revolves around this feature. So, with ticketification, you can transform most of your complaints, questions, and other stuff left by the customers into tickets. The whole system is very polished and works in most cases. And even if it doesn’t see a ticket where you see, you can teach it to transform it next time.
Streamline possibilities — The last part of the package is a group of small functions that allows you to streamline your workflow to its maximum. As we’ve mentioned before, you can teach the tool to do all sorts of things. And this is precisely what makes it so good in terms of scalability. Think automation but not limited to just a few sources or menus. This is what HappyFox sees as streamlining.
Designed to give its users power, KnowledgeOwl is one of the best examples of how to give your customers the power they need. With this service desk, both small and large companies can create a place where their customers will not only come to buy but learn at the same time. Here are some of the best things about KnowledgeOwl:
Content Management — There’s not deny that when it comes to internet marketing, content is king. You simply can’t beat a well-written piece and guys over at KnowledgeOwl understand this more than good. Their content management feature allows you to share and track the effectiveness of your written piece so that you can customize it to your customers liking. This is a very useful tool as it not only allows you to communicate with your audience better but understand what they really want from you.
Amazing Pricing System — While this might seem like cheating because pricing isn’t exactly a “feature”, we still figured that it is worth mentioning. You see, unlike most service desk tools, the price depends on the tier and number of agents. Here, on the other hand, you get the exact opposite. KnowledgeOwl allows you to choose how many agents you have and how many knowledge bases you need. This amount of flexibility allows smaller businesses to use higher tier features without spending a fortune. A very clever approach to pricing indeed.
Educate Your Install Base — Many tools offer a way to teach your audience. But few of them have such an immense amount of options to do it. As the name of the tool implies, KnowledgeOwl allows you to teach your audience in a way that isn’t exactly possible elsewhere. From the gamification of surveys to quizz-like articles, KnowledgeOwl is your gateway to smart sales.
ChurnZero is a tool that is custom-tailored for companies that rely heavily on forecasts and numbers. With this tool, your business will get up-to-date data about you, and what your customers think about your products. This isn’t a cheap system - they don’t even have a pricing tab on their site. But if you are willing to spend a little bit more than most, you will get access to these tools:
Track Customer Health — If you are working in an ever-evolving industry (IT for instance), chances are you need a proper customer health tracking tool. Knowing what are the general trends and views of your customers will allow you to prepare much better for the future. This might seem like an overkill feature for smaller companies but trust us, if you are planning on expanding, you need it.
Top-Tier Analytics — We tested a lot of service desks and many of them have a good analytics system in place. Yet, somehow, ChurnZero outdid themselves and provided the most accurate, most detail-rich dashboard ever. From retention rates to attachment per household, there’s everything you will ever need.
Increase product adoption — There’s a general misconception that if you aren’t operating in a SaaS model, you don’t need a service desk tool. This is completely false and ChurnZero proves this with this feature. With this small little module, you will not only be able to present your product much more effectively but can reach audiences that you previously wouldn’t even think of. This is a perfect tool for advertisers as everything in it will help to enhance your service and visibility.
And the last tool on our list is Dixa. For those of you who don’t know, Dixa is actually a “customer friendship” platform that is super easy to use. Based in Copenhagen, this system is very new to the market but their feature set is more than promising. Those who opted to use Dixa can rely on the following features:
Real-time performance stats — This is a no-brainer if your plans are revolving around maximizing output. You simply need this feature to get positive results. It not only allows you to get data in real-time but identify your main bottlenecks. If you want to work not harder but smarter, you need this feature at your disposal.
Intelligent routing — As the name suggests, this feature allows you to route tickets, agent data, requests, faster and smarter. Thanks to the fact that you can choose email routing algorithms, you can easily adjust and set up how your tickets will flow and where they will end up. This can free up a lot of time and it will increase employee morale. They will no longer need to bother with transferring tickets.
Chat-Customizations — This is more of a consumer-focused feature than a small business one. But this is precisely why it's good for smaller companies. As some of you might have guessed, small companies don’t exactly have the funds to create a vast, feature-rich, constantly updating customer service portal. They have to rely on chats and other types of communication to speak with their install-base. Enter Chat-Customization tool. With it, you can tailor the looks and feel of the chat so that it would clearly represent you and your mission as a company. A very underrated feature that deserves more highlight in our opinion.
So that’s about wraps things up. As we covered these tools, we realized one cool thing about them. Each customer service software for small business has a wide set of features that weren’t there five years ago. They are constantly evolving and present new cool ideas that can truly help you push more customers through the funnel. Which leads to our key conclusion, it doesn’t matter which one you pick as every tool is good. It all comes down to your personal preference and for good reasons. If you feel that this some tool is better for you than the other, then go for it. But that’s all we’ve got for now.
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