Loyal customers are like the Holy Grail for any business. They’re less likely to buy from your competitors and more likely to share their positive experiences, resulting in more business at lower cost. But what helps you create loyal customers? You need to start with the right tools. The right customer service software, which is often part of a CRM software suite, helps you nail customer loyalty.
Compare Top CRM Software Leaders
According to research published by Statista, the global CRM software market is projected to grow to $40.26 billion USD by 2023, an increase of more than $5 billion USD from 2018. The growth of CRM indicates the importance companies place on creating valuable relationships with customers. Offering first-class customer service plays a central role, and that requires robust customer service management software.
This article provides a detailed overview of the top five customer support software platforms so that you can make an informed decision about which product to implement at your company.
What is CRM & What Role Does Customer Service Software Play?
Simply put, CRM software is a platform that helps manage the interactions between an organization and its potential and existing customers.
Within an enterprise, a CRM solution helps sales reps automate their activities, gives marketers the tools to run campaigns and enables managers to track team performance. A CRM system lets you know when to reach out to sales leads, what marketing messages to use and which channels to target prospects on. The basic functionalities of CRM products include marketing and sales tools, a database, and dashboards for tracking metrics.
Customer service features are another key component of CRM software. These capabilities can be integrated into the CRM suite or offered as a standalone customer service solution. Customer support software enhances the process of managing customer relationships. With the right customer service CRM in place, you can expect the following benefits for your business:
You can ensure a seamless customer experience across different channels like phone, email, chat, SMS and social media platforms. More importantly, when you engage with customers, it’s always within the proper context.
It’s impossible to address every customer issue instantly. Customers may know this, but they still expect an acknowledgment of some sort. Customer support solutions offer automated response capabilities via chatbot, allowing the system to handle every single request. The responses can help answer questions by directing visitors to appropriate places depending on their query, such as an FAQ page or your knowledge base.
Improved Customer Retention Rate
According to a report published by PwC, 80% of Americans consider speed, friendly service, convenience and knowledgeable help as the most important elements of positive customer experience, while 63% would share more personal information with companies that offer great experience. As you can see, ensuring a positive experience is crucial to boost retention rates.
Data-rich customer profiles help you get to know your customers better — who they are, what age group they belong to, what they like or dislike about your service and how they respond to your marketing campaigns.
Based on these insights, you can build retention strategies like targeting customers with special offers, rewarding VIP customers, personalizing follow-ups and keeping follow-up promises. The end goal is to nurture the relationship with your customers so that they trust your brand.
Enhanced Customer Experience
Elements like automated workflows, metrics that measure customer satisfaction scores (CSAT) and dashboards with real-time views enable you to provide better customer service.
For example, customer service management software helps you prioritize customer requests according to criteria you’ve configured. You can set an alert so that if an email is not answered within a given time, it’ll automatically jump the queue and get routed to the next available agent.
All these tools allow you to provide timely, accurate service, which makes for a better customer experience. Esteban Kolsky, the CEO of thinkJar, a customer strategy consulting and think tank organization, shares some stats on the importance of customer experience:
- 72% of customers who have a positive experience will share it with six or more people.
- 13% of unhappy customers will share their experience with 15 or more.
- Only about 4% of unhappy customers will voice their complaint.
When you weigh all these factors, it’s obvious that investing in software that aids customer experience is in your best interest.
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Most Common Features
Both existing and potential customers can receive live chat support, enjoying instant help for any kind of issue. This feature ensures relevant queries are redirected to agents with the appropriate knowledge. Some live chat tools can have automated chatbots built in, encouraging customers to solve their problems by checking a knowledge base or FAQ page.
One of the hallmarks of a customer service solution is a customer portal where customers can monitor and update their account, as well as track orders, view invoices, update billing information and more.
With a customer portal in place, common service processes like ticket creation, routing and payment reminders are automated, allowing agents to focus on more important areas.
This AI-powered feature is one of the most important attributes of customer support software, as it lets you analyze the sentiment behind every conversation. This helps you interpret large blocks of ticket text to understand the tone so that you can correctly assign every ticket.
Reports and Dashboards
It’s important to know whether the service department is performing as expected. Reports and dashboards that are automatically updated in real time make this task a lot easier.
You can check case count and status, see which channel cases were submitted on, view the most popular case topics, track average resolution time and more. You can also use these metrics to measure overall team performance and identify underperforming agents. Insights like these help optimize your strategy and processes.