Last Updated: February 2024
After surveying about 12000 customers worldwide researchers confirm researchers confirm that customer support tools play a pivotal role.
“89% of consumers are ready to make another purchase from a brand on experiencing positive customer service. On the other hand, 78% of consumers don’t mind continuing business with a brand even after a mistake, provided the company’s customer service meets their expectations.”
Present digital age customers are well aware of the fact that businesses today entirely thrive on customer experience. Also, they have the power to influence the success or failure of a brand. Hence their expectations of brands too seem to be increasing day by day.
They want companies, esp eCommerce businesses
– to be available 24/7
– listen to them anytime from anywhere, and
– most importantly value their time.
By this, you should understand that you need to offer personalized, proactive, and optimized omnichannel services. And when you work towards meeting these customer prerequisites, you are sure to hit the target.
Feeling a momentary head churn? Worry not, we got your back. Stay with us till the end of this article to know how to tackle this situation.
Firstly, allow us to tell you that you need some technology to go hand in hand with your manual efforts. These technologies are addressed as “customer support tools”. Before discussing what they are and how they can help you, let us first check out the definition.
What Is A Customer Support Tool?
A moment ago, you read that customers expect personalized communication with your brand at any time. Ask yourself. Is it possible for you or your team to be available 24/7? No. And so comes the need to include necessary technology as a solution to some never-ending Sisyphean tasks.
Let us put it in simple words for you. As your brand grows, you start selling numerous products and expanding services beyond horizons. In that case, customers may want to contact you at any stage of their journey with you – before or after a purchase, an issue with the product, annual subscription renewal, etc…
During these times, your customer will contact your company for required assistance. If you are still practicing traditional customer support services like phones, then you would already be facing the heat. That is, a mounted-up call volume!
To ease this pressure, you need to embrace some automation technologies available today.
– These help you deflect most of the menial calls like “product availability, price inquiry, order status, etc. ”
– They also offer prompt solutions to your customers.
Guess what, you have successfully met your customers’ expectations together with easing your team’s workload.
By customer support tools, we mean helpdesk tools like Live Chat, Knowledge Base, a self-service portal, Chatbot, etc. We will be discussing it all in detail ahead.
Benefits Of Using Customer Support Tools
- Automates repetitive tasks to save loads of manual time.
- Helps you achieve organized support services.
- Enhances omnichannel support – your customers need not repeat their issues every single time.
- Increases customer satisfaction and strengthens brand loyalty
- Empowers your agents’ experience – drives an increase in productivity.
- AI tools help businesses scale their support system effortlessly.
After researching through tons of tools and softwares, we have carefully compiled the most useful tech stack here. Implementing these in your business will ease your manual burden and undoubtedly elevate your customer service.
- Live Chat
- Self-service Customer Portal
- Knowledge Base
- Ticket Management Tool
- Social Media Management Tool
- Team Collaboration Tool
- Analytics & Reporting Tool
- Customer Feedback Tool
- Proactive Notification Tool
- Helpdesk Software
“Millennials born between 1980 and 2000 who are also referred to as ‘Digital Natives’ are popular among the customer service area. A recent report suggests, they would prefer live chat to communicate with brands.”
Incorporating a live chat in your eCommerce website can dramatically increase customer retention rate due to
- 24/7 online availability,
- lesser or zero holding time, and
- quicker solutions.
Most of the live chat widgets are adaptable on all devices – laptops/PC, tablets, and mobile phones. Hence, your customers can access information or support history anywhere, at any time. Improve First Response Time (FRT) rate using intelligent AI-assigned answers. Check out the following key features in a live chat to give your customers the best chat experience.
Key Features Of Live Chat
- 24/7 online – to offer round-the-clock support to your customers.
- Automation – pre-built canned responses to repeated questions. Combine Knowledge Base and help center portals here to proffer self-help support.
- Customizations – color and theme synchronizations to match your website theme. Customizable in-built themes, the possibility to integrate your own, and language modifications are also required.
- Human-agent rerouting – your live chat widget should include necessary human-agent rerouting/interference to assist your customers in complex situations.
Some live chat providers like Helplama Helpdesk also include marketing automation features for promoting appropriate deals/discounts to reduce the ‘Returns Rate’. Other live chat softwares include Zendesk Support Suite, Intercom, Zoho, etc.
Recommended article: 7 Stats That Prove ‘Live Chat’ is The New Frontier of Customer Service. Read here for the 15 Best Live Chat Apps for Shopify.
Self-service Customer Portal
The name says it all – A portal designed to meet customers’ needs where they can find relevant answers by themselves.
“Harvard Business Review says 81% of the customers first try to resolve their issues by themselves using self-help centers.”
“Adding to this, Microsoft reports that 89% of the US customers expect brands to include a customer self-service portal on their sites.”
By including a self-service customer portal in your business, you not only meet your customer’s expectations but also reduce your investment cost. Your agents can also use the same portal, internally, to access information while supporting. Giving below the features you need to include to host an efficient self-service portal.
Key Features Of Self-service Customer Portal
- Help center – a compilation of relevant articles on all the help topics related to your products/services.
- Tutorials – includes step-by-step guides, audio/video/podcasts tutorials, technical support articles, etc.
- Customizations – article modifications, SEO establishments, colors, and theme customizations are some of the basic requirements.
- 24/7 online – similar to the live chat or chatbot, the self-service portal is also available at any time.
Do you know you can get an in-built free self-service portal with Helplama Helpdesk software? Using this your customers can also initiate returns/exchanges on their own. Even more, they can make changes to their orders as per your order policy. Also, integrates a Knowledge Base right within the self-help portal for instant answers.
Recommended article: An example of automated services is – Customer Self-help Service.
“Hubspot research shows over 63% of the consumers use Knowledge Base in the first place to find self-resolutions before contacting the customer support.”
“Yet another survey in 2020 by Vanilla Forums revealed that 92% of the US customers use Knowledge Base for self-help if it is available.”
Like a library that holds racks of books of multiple categories, Knowledge Base is the source of information of a company available to the customers, online. He can simply open and find any information regarding your product or service. A well-built Knowledge Base resolves your customers’ queries most of the time.
Key Features Of Knowledge Base Tool
- Search option – the key factor to drive faster resolutions. Customers should be able to get relevant articles through a simple search. The positioning of the search bar should also be prominently visible.
- Customizations – color and themes to match brand identity, article categorizations, agent access authorizations, articles lifecycle management, content modifications, article tagging, keywords, etc to create a flawless Knowledge Base.
- Internal Knowledge Base – integrate internal communication tools like Slack to enable your agents and teams to dig for information whenever needed.
- External Knowledge Base – like FAQs, blogs, help articles, how-to-tutorials, etc., for the customers to easily find the required solutions to their issues.
- 24/7 online – not just self-help portal and live chat, Knowledge Base too is available all the time.
Do you know that it is possible to automate the Knowledge Base creation? This automation feature is available with Helplama Helpdesk software. Its AI-enabled workflows let you create and customize KB with a click. A few other softwares that offer an intuitive Knowledge Base are – Hubspot, Helpscout, Document 360, etc.
Recommended article: Knowledge Base: Key to Customer Delight and Better Customer Support to learn the importance of a Knowledge Base in your support system. And A Comprehensive Guide on Knowledge Management Portal.
Ticket Management Tool
Whenever a customer calls you with a complaint or writes to you, your support agent records it as a ticket. Similarly, you may receive many such tickets through live chat, email, or social media. If these tickets are spread across different tabs, your agent will not be able to respond or provide prompt resolution. He will be literally rummaging for that customer’s information or history across windows.
Avoid this ruckus by smartly utilizing AI-integrated ticket management software. You should look out for a few necessary features while choosing a smart ticketing tool.
Key Features Of Ticket Management Tool
- Automated ticketing system – workflow automation for creating, assigning, and closing tickets. Notification triggers auto-launch acknowledgment messages to customers.
- Integrations with other tech stacks like live chat, email, social media, etc., and eCommerce integrations like Shopify, Magento, etc are also necessary. You need all these as your ticketing software ought to collect and sort out support tickets from every channel.
- Internal helpdesk – this is that part of the ticketing system which concerns your internal teams’ efficiency. Knowledge Base and self-help collaborations to let your agents fish out prompt resolutions. Segregates the auto-responsive tickets and agent-required tickets intelligently.
Also, read What Exactly Is an Internal Help Desk Ticketing System to learn more about this.
- SLA workflows – to track ticket status and alert the respective agent automatically. Helps in faster resolution of long pending tickets.
- Customizations – custom build workflows that are unique to your business model.
- Team collaboration – ticketing system plus team integration tool like Slack is useful in sharing customer support information across departments.
Examples of ticketing softwares are – Helplama Helpdesk, Freshdesk, Kayako, etc. Further Google search results in thousands of them. Scout through them, compare and find the right fit for your eCommerce business.
Recommended article: 5 Proven Tips to Manage your Customer Support Tickets Effectively to get insights into managing customer support tickets.
Social Media Management Tool
“Believe it or not, there are 4.55 Billion active social media users worldwide. This number is 9.9% higher than the previous year.”
According to the same study, the top social platforms are Facebook, Youtube, WhatsApp, and Instagram.
Acquiring and retaining customers on social media should be on your top agenda to scale your business. Hence, meeting them there, providing a near-perfect customer experience, and winning their satisfaction takes precedence. You need the right software to strategically execute all of the above.
Key Features Of Social Media Management Tool
- Automation – AI-assigned welcome/thank you messages, auto-responses to DMs, comments, stories, and reels to accelerate Fast Response Time.
- Ticketing – customers may raise their concerns via direct messages. Connect this social tool with your helpdesk to create and manage support tickets from such conversations.
- Integrations – connect different social media platforms and your helpdesk system to unify data and offer support from one single workspace.
- Analytics – derive complete data of total users, messages, conversions, support tickets, etc by channel basis to optimize customer support on social channels.
There is one helpdesk that understands this key marketing strategy and helps you in successfully scaling sales along with support. Helplama Helpdesk collects customer reviews on auto-pilot mode for you to showcase on multiple channels as your social proof.
Team Collaboration Tool
Enhancing your customer service means empowering your support teams with better knowledge-sharing tools. Learn that it is important that all the departments are in-line and well-informed about your customer’s support history. So that they can provide effective resolutions without asking the customers to repeat their issues to every single team.
“A study shows that not less than 76% of the customers expect all the departments/teams to have a thorough knowledge of their interactions.”
Slack, is a collaboration hub widely used by most organizations for their team communication purposes. Hence, we will check out the features with respect to this app to learn to use it effectively in customer service.
Key Features Of The Team Collaboration Tool
- Pin messages and links – mark those important conversations or referral links on top for easy reference.
- Connects all your internal teams and other offices or companies too if required for centralized conversations. This can be extended to external partners, clients, and vendors through Slack Connect.
- Integrations – can be combined with other tech stacks like Google Drive, Office 365, etc., to organize file-sharing and more.
- Slack EKM ensures secured data collaboration in compliance with certifications in ISO/IEC, APEC, and CSA.
Helpdesks integrated with Slack prove to be an effective combo to elevate your internal and external support conversations. Some examples of this combo are Helplama Helpdesk, Zendesk, Zoho Desk, Freshdesk, etc.
Recommended article: 5 Top Remote Collaboration Tools for Customer Service Teams.
Analytics & Reporting Tool
Be it phone calls, chats, emails, social conversations, support tickets, etc., monitoring the KPI metrics is the most important task you should do without fail.
- First Response Time/Fast Response Time
- Average Resolution Time
- Number of Tickets
- Number of Resolved Tickets
- Customer Satisfaction Score
- Net promoter Score
- Customer Churn Rate, etc.
Cumulative and comprehensive data of these metrics guide you to work on the least areas for improvement. In case you are planning to get an exclusive analytics tool, look out for these key features.
Key Features Of Analytics & Reporting Tool
- Real-time reporting – alongside recorded reports, these stand most useful to track ongoing support and optimize your teams’ performances.
- Comprehensive reports – support data from all channels – calls, emails, chats, social media conversations, tickets, help-center metrics, etc.
- Integrations – compatibility to share and generate reports from all mediums.
Recommended read: Help Desk Performance Metrics: Indicators That Matter.
Customer Feedback Tool
Listening to your customer from every corner helps you achieve higher customer satisfaction goals faster. By every corner, we mean every channel or touchpoint where you and your customers meet offline or online.
“Why should you do that? A positive customer service experience naturally leads to favorable advocacy. At least 94% of consumers who rate a brand’s CX as “very good” not only stay loyal to the company but also refer to many others.”
Having said that, let us discuss the necessary features to collect customer feedback.
Key Features Of Customer Feedback Tool
- CX metrics – to collect customer experience based on key performance metrics.
- Multi-channel reports – the ability to launch and collect feedback through chats, emails, sms, social media, etc.
- Surveys/Q&A Forms – gather customer opinions about their support experiences. This can be done periodically to optimize your support system.
- Help center feedback – these are generally emoticons or thumbs up/down icons useful to analyze help topics’ relevance. Manage them accordingly to enhance customer self-service.
- Customizations – flexibility to design all of these is essential to fit your brand identity and meet your business needs.
Recommended read: How to Create a Customer Feedback Loop That Works.
Proactive Notification Tool
“In the Future of Customer Engagement report, Freshworks mentioned that 69% of global consumers prefer brands that provide proactive notification services.”
Customers love it when you go far and beyond to give them the best customer experience. Doing so will only increase the customer lifetime value of your brand which eventually results in extensive customer retention. Prolonged customer retention means continuous business for your brand.
The proactive notification tool helps you identify the order shipment and delivery issues. On receiving this notification, you can immediately notify your customers. They in turn can be free from anxiety and plan accordingly to receive their order. This simple step will really take your business a long way toward successful growth.
Key Features Of The Proactive Notification Tool
- 24/7 monitoring – required to track all the orders all day and night to not miss even single order.
- Automation triggers – scans and identifies order shipment delays to relay instant notifications.
- Integrations – seamless connection with your store orders and fulfillment center for complete order tracking.
Quite evident, isn’t it? Proactive customer support is super effective, especially in the eCommerce business. There are CRM softwares in the market that sends proactive alerts but not to customers. They are used for internal communication purposes.
Helplama Helpdesk is the only eCommerce support software out there to include this unique functionality. A combination of branded automated returns/exchanges, anti-refund strategies, along with proactive support gives Helplama an edge over other eCommerce support softwares.
Recommended read: How to Deliver Proactive Customer Service.
For the finale, it is the helpdesk software itself that you should grab for sure. Irrespective of whatever your business size (small, medium, or enterprise) is, encompass a helpdesk software to scale your customer support smartly. It should be an integral part of your support system.
Why? Because it also helps you add more power to your agents by deflecting repetitive tasks and providing them with the full knowledge of customers’ journeys in one place. While choosing a good helpdesk software, look out for the following compelling features in it.
Key Features Of Helpdesk Software
- Unified inbox – collects conversations from all of your store channels and presents them to your agents in one single window. Helps in acquiring a complete understanding of the customer’s support history.
- Tickets management – creation and management of support tickets across channels again from the same window. Prioritizes and allots tickets automatically to the appropriate teams.
- SLA workflows keep track of the tickets’ statuses and alert your team to improve efficiency.
- Automation – AI-driven responses through chats, emails, etc., propel your fast resolution score.
- Integration – a good helpdesk software seamlessly integrates multiple channels – eCommerce platforms (Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, etc.), email, live chat, Knowledge Base, social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), and other necessary tech tools. Only then can you provide an excellent omnichannel support experience to your customers.
- Analytics & Reports – producing real-time analytical reports on major KPI metrics helps you make the required optimizations timely.
Along with the above-mentioned common helpdesk features, there is a uniquely designed eCommerce helpdesk software that aims at driving more ROI to you. By offering UGC marketing automation, automated agent training, exclusive automated returns and orders management, Helplama Helpdesk covers your eCommerce from all directions.
Other helpdesk softwares prevalent in the market are Zendesk, Freshdesk, Hubspot, etc. We suggest you spend some time researching through such helpdesk tools and choose the right one for your business.
Recommended read: AI Helpdesk Software: Why is it Critical for Customer Experience?
In The End,
It is just the beginning of a complete revamp of your customer support system using the 10 essential customer service tools we have described here. You can either go for individual tools or a complete helpdesk software, whichever suits your business requirements.
Remember to optimize any tool that you use to be compatible with mobile devices too. Why because
“It is estimated that by 2024 the mobile shoppers from the US alone will be over 187 Million.”
For businesses of any size, we highly recommend checking Helplama Helpdesk for its enriching eCommerce support features. You can also hire experienced support agents from the Helplama marketplace. Not just these, now you can automate your agent training with this software. What else are you waiting for?