Customer support is one of the most important aspects of growing a successful business. This is because customers who are happy are likely to remain loyal clients, whereas customers who are dissatisfied with your product or service will almost always churn, and when they do, you'll lose revenue. Therefore, it's crucial that companies have the tools needed to resolve customer concerns as they arise so that they can keep their customers happy and maintain an upward trajectory.
Types of customer service software
In 2024, there are a ton of great tools on the market that can help companies tackle these challenges. In fact, many of the best customer support software solutions do more than help with customer service. The best platforms can help companies, make sense of their data, optimize their workflows and automate their pipelines.
The different types of customer support software include:
- Help Desk Software: Helps businesses manage and track incoming customer support requests with ticketing, live chat, knowledge base management, and reporting.
- Phone Support Software: Manages phone calls with customers, offering features like call center management, automatic call distribution, caller identification, and call recording.
- Social Monitoring Software: Monitors social media for brand mentions, negative sentiment, and social media activity reporting. It enables businesses to provide excellent customer service on social platforms and improve their online presence.
- Shared Inbox Software: Manages email communications with customers, streamlining email templates, email assignment, and conversation tracking.
- CRM Software: Manages customer relationships, tracks interactions, sales opportunities, and customer activity reporting.
- Knowledge Base Software: Lets you crease and manage a knowledge base with articles providing information about products or services.
- Messaging Tools: Manages communication with customers, including automated messages, customer inquiry responses, and conversation management.
- Live Chat Support Software: Provides customer support through live chat with chat conversation management, team chat assignment, and chat transcript tracking. It offers immediate customer support and quicker issue resolution for businesses with high support request volumes.
- Chatbot Software: Automates customer support through chatbots, handling chatbot conversations, team chat assignment, and chatbot transcript tracking. Chatbots can escalate conversations to live agents after qualifying customer issues.
- Service Desk Software: Manages IT services with tasks like service request tracking, incident ticket management, and service level monitoring. This software focuses on internal IT team support and managing bugs reported by customers.
- Technical support software: This includes things like cobrowsing, session replays and console logs to enable technical support agents and developers to understand and troubleshoot complicated customer issues effortlessly.
Which customer support software should you choose?
Not all customer support software is created equally. Some tools only specialize in doing one thing really well, while other software systems provide all-in-one solutions for handling multiple aspects of customer support. So, which customer support software should you be using in 2024? Well, the answer depends on what you need the software to do.
In this comprehensive guide, we will look at five critical areas of customer support:
- Conversational support
- Help desk
- Live chat
- Self-service solutions
- Technical support
We will look at the eight best software solutions in each of these crucial areas and explain what each platform does and how each software can help you take your customer support to the next level.
Top conversational support software in 2024
Conversational support software facilitates real-time, interactive communication with customers, often utilizing chatbots or live chat, to provide efficient and personalized support.
The solutions we shortlisted in this category are:
Intercom is an all-in-one marketing and customer support platform that enables companies to communicate with their customers through chat, email, and telephone. Intercom also helps companies track customer interactions and gather valuable feedback, which can help your team provide better overall customer service and support. Overall, Intercom is one of the best conversational support solutions and includes many of the best tools on the market.
For example, Intercom allows users to easily create and manage customer profiles, and it also features a built-in chat and messaging system. This allows companies to communicate with their customers in real-time, get a better understanding of their needs, and provide them with world-class assistance. Additionally, Intercom's reporting features make it easy to track customer interactions and measure the effectiveness of your customer support teams.
Intercom also has a rich app ecosystem and integrations to augment its native capabilities, including with cobrowsing, session replays, feedback tools and more. You can read more about that in this post: The Best Intercom Integrations For Customer Support.
Drift is one of the leading conversational support tools on the market in 2022. It provides a number of great conversational support features such as Driftbot and Drift Email. Driftbot is a smart AI chatbot that can handle a variety of tasks, such as answering FAQs, providing product information, and making recommendations. Drift Email allows companies to send emails to their customers. It includes a number of powerful features that make it one of the best email tools for conversational support, such as numerous templates, automated responses, and custom push notifications for a variety of different support queries.
Fullview is a cobrowsing and in-app call software that gives customer support teams an easy, convenient and fast way to call customers and solve complex tickets with remote screen control. Fullview's cobrowsing feature gives you the ability to call users within your own app, request screen control securely, highlight and draw on their screen with annotation tools, and talk to the user over video chat or through messages to solve issues twice as fast as traditional conversational tools. Fullview is one of the best ways for software companies to provide live support without the back and forth of chats or the awkward "do you see this" or "can you click on that" of normal screen sharing. This is especially true for technical teams or complex SaaS software products.
Hiver is a modern communications platform that enables business owners to transform Gmail into a multi-channel helpdesk solution. It brings email, live chat, knowledge base, and voice communication inside Gmail. Hiver also includes robust analytics so you can keep track of customer support metrics like CSAT, time to resolution, and average response time.
With Freshdesk, businesses can easily create and manage chatbots that can provide automated customer support 24/7. These chatbots can answer common questions and provide helpful information, giving your team the time they need to focus on other more complex issues. Freshdesk also offers a powerful ticketing system that makes it easy to track and resolve customer issues. With Freshdesk, you can be confident you're providing the best possible conversational support to your customers at all times.
Front is a cloud-based SaaS platform that allows businesses to create a fully automated customer service and conversational support model. Front automatically routes customer conversations to the right person, pulls in customer data, and gives your customer support team an all-in-one place to collaborate. Front also allows you to create workflows that automate many of the most common conversational support processes, such as responding to customer inquiries, following up on submitted tickets, scheduling follow-ups and escalations, and much more.
Gladly is a customer experience management platform that offers a variety of communication channels and numerous tools for both live chat and other real-time conversational support for your customers. The software also offers a full suite of business management tools, including a CRM, marketing automation software, and an analytics tool for website optimization. Some of the best conversational support tools available include built-in voice support, built-in chat support, and the ability to create and manage customer IVR systems so that your customers can easily navigate your support framework and arrive at an agent who can help them resolve their problem quickly.
Podium is an automated chatbot platform that allows you to set up a conversational experience for your customers. You can set up specific triggers for when a user will see a bot, or you can use it to power live chat. Podium has a drag and drop interface, and it also integrates with many third-party services such as Stripe, Salesforce, MailChimp, etc.
Podium has an intuitive drag and drop interface that makes building bots easy. You can build them using an existing template or start from scratch. It also offers a marketplace where you can find pre-built bots on their website. All things considered; this is a beginner-friendly platform that was built for one purpose only: conversational support.
Looking at both Intercom and Zendesk? Take a look at our comparison here.
Top help desk software in 2024
Help desk software helps manage customer service, support processes, and IT help desk ticketing. It streamlines troubleshooting and resolution by centralizing knowledge, automating ticket management, and tracking issues to resolution. By integrating a help desk software solution, you can enable your customer support agents to handle inquiries and manage technical support from one convenient dashboard.
The eight companies shortlisted in this category are:
- Service Hub
Zendesk Support Suite is an all-in-one help desk software solution that lets you manage customer service and technical support with ease. Zendesk's Support Suite lets you create knowledge bases, track customer tickets and issues, and view team performance with one easy-to-use dashboard. You can also manage your help desk tickets from anywhere and with any device. Zendesk's Support Suite is a great fit for growing companies that need a flexible and scalable tool to support customer relations and technical support.
Zoho Desk is an enterprise-level customer support software that lets you handle customer inquiries and create professional workflows. Zoho Desk lets you create and manage FAQs, create knowledge bases, and share documents and files with customers.
The platform's help desk features include a ticketing system, email integration, and a customer satisfaction survey system. Zoho Desk also includes a number of powerful collaboration tools that allow you to create public and private workspaces for all of your different project teams.
Intercom is a top-tier customer communication platform that helps businesses to communicate with customers from one convenient dashboard. Intercom’s guiding philosophy is to keep things simple by removing the tedious tasks that are required to run a help desk operation. As such, Intercom features one-click integrations with a wide range of industry-leading tools.
With Intercom, you can set up live chat, email, and other messaging channels with just a few clicks. Intercom also comes with built-in analytics and customer engagement features such as in-app messages and on-site surveys. Intercom is a great fit for companies who want a simple and easy-to-use help desk solution with analytics and engagement features.
Freshdesk is a one-stop shop for all your help desk needs. You can manage your customer inquiries, create knowledge bases, and report on team performance. Freshdesk's core features include smart routing, CRM integrations, SLA tracking, and more.
All things considered, Freshdesk is a great fit for companies who want a simple and easy-to-use help desk software solution with features designed to simplify and automate customer support and IT processes.
The platform doesn't include all of the features you would find with a more expensive solution like Intercom, but it has a great suite of help desk tools that are sufficient for the needs of most small-mid-sized businesses.
SFDC Service Cloud is a cloud-based customer service software that lets you manage customer inquiries, support tickets, and knowledge bases from one central location. SF Service Cloud features a wide range of integrations with third-party tools such as Zendesk, and Hubspot.
Salesforce Service Cloud’s core features include a knowledge base, automated ticketing, and a ticket resolution system. The platform's ticket resolution system can even track how long tickets are taking to resolve. Service Cloud is a more targeted towards the enterprise segment (and their pricing reflects that).
Service Hub is a business help desk software solution that lets you manage customer service inquiries, IT ticketing, and various other common help desk tasks. Service Hub’s knowledge base also lets you create articles and FAQs for your customers. You can even add attachments and images to your articles for great support.
Service Hub’s ticket assignment feature lets you assign and reassign tickets to your agents. You can also set up SLA tracking to see how long tickets are taking to resolve. Service Hub’s core features are designed to help you manage customer service and help desk support with ease, making it a great overall choice for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Gorgias is an enterprise-level help desk software solution for businesses of all sizes. It lets you create a centralized customer support management system. Gorgias lets you create knowledge bases, manage customer inquiries, and create workflows to manage your customer service operations.
Gorgias boasts an impressive set of core features, including SLA tracking, smart routing, a help desk, and a ticket resolution system. Gorgias is a great fit for companies who want an all-in-one help desk software solution with robust features but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars each month, which is what some of the other competitors charge for enterprise-level solutions.
Hiver is a help desk software solution that lets you manage customer service from one central location. Hiver’s core features include a smart routing engine, a CRM, and a knowledge base. Hiver’s smart routing engine lets you route tickets to the right agents based on factors such as agent availability, ticket priority, and ticket type.
The platform’s CRM feature lets you create contacts, leads, and opportunities. Hiver's core features are designed to help you manage customer service and create an organized help desk support center. Hiver is great for companies who want a help desk software solution that also provides a CRM feature for managing customer data.
Top live chat software in 2024
Live chat software uses real-time communication features to provide customer service and support. It can also be used to drive sales and increase conversion rates on e-commerce sites by prompting users to take action based on their responses and behavior.
Live chat tools are used by businesses in many industries because they make it easier for customers to contact the company directly. They also allow businesses to monitor visitor behavior, track important data such as the number of visitors that use the live chat feature, and see which channels are most effective at generating leads.
The leading solutions in the live chat category are:
- Bird Eye
- Help Scout
- Pure Chat
Intercom is one of the best live chat software solutions because it is easy to set up and customize. Its user interface is designed to be very intuitive, so you can easily add new messaging campaigns or views. It also has integrations with many popular apps, so you can use single sign-on to access information from other services and share your data with other apps.
Intercom's live chat software includes features such as visitor tagging, smart analytics, robust messaging engine that can support multiple teams, and Integrations with other popular apps such as Salesforce and Fullview for cobrowsing and session replays
Intercom's pricing starts at $74 a month for its starter plan that includes:
Birdeye is one of the best live chat software solutions for e-commerce websites because it is designed with the shopping experience in mind. You can use it to prompt customers to ask questions about products and services, see the status of their orders, and provide feedback. Birdeye's live chat software is easy to set up and manage, and it features a drag-and-drop designer that makes it easy to create custom views and visitor segments.
Birdeye's live chat system can help e-commerce businesses increase conversion rates and close rates by prompting customers to take specific value-driven actions. It also has robust visitor tagging capabilities that help companies understand their customers, and it integrates with many popular business tools like Salesforce, Zendesk, and Sprout Social.
Help Scout is one of the most robust live chat software products available. It features all of the standard messaging, tagging, and visitor analytics capabilities, but it also has a robust help desk functionality that makes it easy to create self-help guides. Help Scout's live chat software is easy to set up and manage, and it has integrations with many popular business tools like Salesforce, Zendesk, and Drift.
Help Scout's live chat software can help support teams improve their engagement and productivity by automating manual tasks and providing a rich customer experience. It also has visitor tagging features that help support agents understand their customers and more effectively respond to requests. The pro plan also includes some extra functionality, such as advanced workflows for customer support teams.
HubSpot Live Chat is a great choice for B2B companies and businesses that are already using other HubSpot products. It integrates seamlessly with the rest of HubSpot's CRM, marketing, and sales tools, and it is easy to set up and manage. HubSpot Live Chat's live chat software is easy to set up and manage, and it features a drag-and-drop designer that makes it easy to create custom views and visitor segments.
Best of all, with HubSpot's live chat feature, you can respond to customer inquiries in real-time, keep track of open and pending tickets, and analyze data from your live chats and other customer interactions so that you can gain valuable insights and make informed data-driven decisions about your customer support procedures and policies.
Olark is a popular choice for businesses in many industries, especially B2B companies. It can help users build trust and increase engagement by allowing visitors to click a button to start a conversation with a company representative.
Olark's live chat software can help businesses increase their lead volume and close rates by prompting visitors to convert and become customers. It also has robust visitor tagging features that help companies better understand their customers and create better experiences.
Pure Chat is a modern customer engagement platform that helps businesses deliver live chat, video, and phone conversations within their websites. The platform also allows users to create customer surveys, manage customer support tickets, and track the performance of marketing campaigns.
Some of the features of Pure Chat include live chat, conversation analytics, visitor insights, customer communication, visitor engagement, customer satisfaction survey, customer service, site search, and SMS.
The live chat software from Pure Chat works on all devices and browsers, so visitors can engage with a customer service representative at any time. You can also integrate it with your website so customers can reach out with just one click.
LiveChat is one of the most popular live chat solutions on the market. It is easy to use and scales with user growth, which makes it a great investment. When it comes to live chat solutions, LiveChat is one of the most reliable options out there. It has been in the business for more than 12 years and has been improving its product with every single release.
Some of the features of LiveChat include click-to-call, click-to-schedule, social media integrations, visitor insights, customer service, visitor engagement, website search, and SMS. The live chat software from LiveChat works on all devices and browsers, so visitors can reach out regardless of which device they are using to access the platform.
Tidio is a cloud-based live chat solution that helps businesses boost their online sales and customer satisfaction. With Tidio, you can set up a real-time conversation portal on your website, send invitations for self-scheduled appointments, and handle emails with artificial intelligence.
Some of the features of Tidio’s live-chat service include click-to-call, click-to-schedule, social media integration, visitor insights, customer service, visitor engagement, website search, and SMS. Considering the number of features offered with this software, Tidio is a great value for the money and a good overall solution for most small and mid-sized businesses, as well as most start-ups on a budget.
Top customer self-service software in 2024
Customer self-service software is an automated solution that empowers customers to take care of their own problems with your company, product, or services. Giving your customers the power to fix their own problems and answer their own questions about your business not only relieves pressure from your support team but also helps you save money by reducing ticket volumes.
The eight best self-service support software are:
Zendesk Support Suite is an email and ticket support software that provides all of the important tools that your support team will need to help customers with their issues. The platform provides all of the important customer self-service tools, including knowledge base articles, FAQs, a live chat feature, and a ticketing system that lets your customers open tickets and track their progress across different departments.
Zendesk Support Suite also comes with tons of other helpful features, including a language translator, a real-time analytics tool, and integrations with other business apps like Salesforce, Mailchimp, and more. All of these powerful features combined enable your customers to resolve many of the problems they encounter without having to open a support ticket, which can save you time and money on customer support.
Intercom is a complete customer communication platform that helps you win more customers, keep them happy, and grow your business. It can be used for live chat, as well as email support and more. Intercom also offers a customer self-service feature that allows your customers to check their own statuses, view FAQs, read knowledge base articles, and communicate with your support team without ever having to talk to a human.
Intercom's customer self-service solution is really easy to set up, and it integrates with most of the popular customer service tools. The customer self-service solution lets your customers submit their own support tickets, search for FAQs and knowledge base articles, and bookmark articles for later reading. Intercom also offers a mobile app so your customers can access their self-service features on the go.
Zoho Desk is a cloud-based customer support software designed for SMBs that want a simple, easy-to-use solution to help them provide better customer support. Zoho Desk offers several helpful features, including a live chat feature, a knowledge base, a task management system, and email integration.
All things considered, it’s a straightforward and easy-to-use solution. Zoho Desk’s customer self-service features include the ability to view FAQs, submit a ticket to your support team, add notes to existing tickets, and manage task assignments. All of these things combined add up to a great overall customer self-service solution.
Service Hub is an all-in-one customer service software that has been developed primarily for businesses in the B2B space. It’s one of the best customer self-service tools available today, and it’s quickly becoming a go-to solution for many businesses.
Service Hub offers powerful features that help your business provide better customer support, including a ticketing system, live chat, a knowledge-based FAQ system, and a smart monitoring dashboard.
Service Hub also includes a customer self-service support system that allows your customers to submit tickets, read FAQs and articles, and check their own statuses. As an all-in-one solution, Service Hub integrates with a wide variety of business apps, including Salesforce, Gmail, and Outlook.
Freshdesk is a customer service software designed for small and medium-sized businesses. It offers a variety of helpful features, including a knowledge base, a ticketing system, email integration, and a live chat feature. Freshdesk’s customer self-service features include the ability to submit a ticket, view FAQs, and manage task assignments. Freshdesk also offers a mobile app that lets your customers access all of these self-service features on the go.
Freshdesk is also one of the more affordable customer self-service solutions on the market today, making it an appealing choice for many businesses. It may not have all the bells and whistles of Intercom, but it doesn’t have the price tag of Intercom either, which for some businesses is what matters most.
Salesforce Service Cloud is a customer service platform designed for both B2B and B2C space. It offers helpful services and features such as a knowledge base, a ticket system, real-time analytics, email integration, and a powerful chat feature. It obviously integrates seamlessly with Salesforce CRM and other products from the SFDC.
Service Cloud’s customer self-service features include the ability to submit a ticket, view FAQs, and view your status. SF Service Cloud also offers a mobile app that lets you access your customer self-service features on the go.
Gorgias is a customer self-service software used by retailers to create engaging experiences powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning that allow customers to interact with businesses and shop online easily. Gorgias' platform lets your customers search for products, get product information, track their orders, and pay their bills wherever they are.
Gorgias' customer self-service software lets customers get product information, track their orders, and submit ticket requests quickly and easily. The system is also a good value compared with some of the other options available on this list. It doesn't have all of the great features you would get with a top-tier solution like Intercom, but for smaller companies, it's an excellent customer self-service solution that won't break the bank.
Gladly is a customer service software that helps brands create great experiences and provide excellent support to customers by connecting with them in new ways. Gladly's platform combines CRM, marketing automation, and live chat to let companies communicate with their customers in the channels they prefer to receive support.
Gladly's customer self-service software system allows customers to get product information, ask questions, and find answers to their problems via an easy-to-use interface that even beginners should have no trouble navigating, making it one of the best entry-level solutions for customer self-service on the market in 2024.
Top technical customer support software in 2024
Sometimes your customers may need advanced support and won't be able to get the assistance they need from a chatbot or even through a live chat session. This is where technical customer support software comes into play. With these tools, you can help your customers by screen-sharing, remote connections, session replays, and other similar tools so that you can help the customer directly. This eliminates confusion and also helps your customers learn more about your services and how to use them correctly.
The solutions we shortlisted for technical support are:
- Help Scout
Fullview was designed specifically for a technical support use case, where gaining full context is extremely important and braking the silos of customer facing teams and product/engineering teams is crucial to provide a great customer experience.
With Fullview Replays you can replay recent sessions of any of your customers and jump straight to where errors or key events took place. No need for screenshots, explanation or spending time to replicate what happened. Every single session is recorded and all users are identifiable.
Fullview also automates bug reports as everything is already recorded by the platform: device and browser information, network, user journey, console data, and of course the session recording. This gives full context to both support agents and developers.
With Session Replays you can go as far as identifying issues proactively, thanks to errors and events being automatically flagged, even without a specific support request coming in.
It also integrates with level 1 support tools (like Intercom) so that it can be fully integrated into your workflows: if a request needs to be escalated, you have access to Fullview's recorded sessions directly in your level 1 or level 2 support software.
Help Scout is a great customer service software that makes it easy to create powerful knowledge bases so that your customers can help themselves. The software also lets you create and send support emails, live chat, and screen share, so you can provide support in a variety of different ways. Help Scout also makes it super simple to create a knowledge base and allows you to pull information from your CMS to create content so that the information that customers need is always up to date.
In terms of technical support, Help Scout's screen share feature is one of the best in the industry. It doesn't have all of the functions you would get with Fullviews' Co-Browsing system, but it's the next best thing. By being able to view your customers' screens and show them your screen, you can guide them through the issue they are experiencing while also helping them understand why they have encountered that problem and how to avoid it in the future.
Hiver is a great customer support software with a heavy focus on live chat. It allows you to create multiple live chats for different topics or brands, as well as assign them to different agents depending on their expertise. Hiver also has a screen-sharing tool that allows you to share images and content with your customers so that they can get the assistance they need as soon as possible.
Again, the screen sharing function in Hiver is similar to the one included with Help Scout. Both of these tools allow your customers to share their screen with the support agent so that they can get real-time assistance and resolve whatever technical problems they are experiencing with your platform. The system doesn't include a session replay function, but it's still a great option for providing your customers with technical support during a live support session.
SysAid is another great customer support software that offers live chat, screen share, remote assistance, and a knowledge base. The screen share tool is called "Record and Review" and lets you record your screen so that you can share what you were doing when the customer first contacted you.
SysAid will also let you review the customer's screen when they're having an issue, so you can both see what the customer is seeing, as well as what they were doing when they contacted you. The software also integrates with your team calendar so that you'll know when you're available to help the customer, and you can inform them accordingly.
Spiceworks is a great tool if you're in the IT industry, as it has been designed specifically for those types of companies. It's a customer support software that lets you take remote control of a customer's computer, so you can see what they're seeing and fix their issues for them.
You can also create your own knowledge base and allow customers to submit their own questions and queries. Spiceworks even allows you to set up recurring appointments, so you know when you're going to be helping the customer and for roughly how long.
Freshdesk is an all-in-one customer support software that was designed to help companies that serve multiple industries. It has a heavy focus on live chat and also offers screen share, so you can see what the customer is seeing, and they can see what you're doing.
The tool also offers a knowledge base, as well as integrations with a variety of different tools, making it easy to pull information from other places and add it to your help content. The software also allows you to assign tickets to your team members, so everyone knows who to help next.
Jira is another great customer support software that is designed for IT companies and is also useful for companies in other industries as well. The software offers live chat and has integrations with tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams.
It also offers screen share, so you can see what the customer sees, as well as share content from your computer with the customer. Jira also offers a knowledge base and has functionality for attaching files and other content, so you can provide information to the customer in one place.
Kustomer is another good platform that offers numerous options for technical support, including phone support, remote monitoring, and live chat. One of the best things about Kustomer is that it provides detailed tutorials that walk users through each step of the onboarding process step-by-step.
The remote monitoring feature offered by Kustomer is very similar to some of the other ones we have already looked at. Your customer support agents can view the customers' screen and provide them with instructions and support based on whatever the problem is. Kustomer doesn’t offer the depth or features you would find with a top-tier solution like Fullview, but it does the job just fine, especially for small businesses.
Today's customers are modern, complicated, and don't have a lot of time to spend figuring things out. They expect that if they pay a good amount of money for a product or service, it should work right out of the box and solve the problem that it's intended to solve; if it doesn't, then those customers will almost always leave and search for another service that does solve their problem.
Therefore, it's important that your customer support is top-notch; otherwise, you might find yourself on a downward trajectory sooner rather than later. Fortunately, there are many great customer support software tools that can help you provide the best care to your customers so that you can continue growing your company and earning more revenue year after year.
We hope this list of the best customer support tools has helped you figure out which software might be the best for you and your business. Remember, in order to have an effective and robust customer support system; you should include a solution for each of the critical areas we've looked at in this guide: conversational support, help desk, live chat, customer self-service, and technical support.
By implementing a solution that covers all of these areas, or more likely 2-3 solutions that integrate with each other, you’ll be able to deliver world-class customer support, which will help you stand out from your competitors, increase your market share, improve your reputation, and most importantly, keep your customers happy and coming back for more.