Handbook forCustomer Service Management

In today's competitive business landscape, exceptional customer service is paramount and customer service management software can help you achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction, but assessing its suitability for your organization can be challenging. Through this guide gain a comprehensive understanding of customer service system, to make informed decisions for your business and valued customers.

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Zoho Desk - Customer service software for small business

What is a
customer service management system?

A customer service management system is an application that helps a business manage customer interactions across multiple channels, deliver service more efficiently, and resolve issues quickly. It comes with features to track, prioritize, and close customer service tickets so you can consistently deliver customer satisfaction.

what is customer service management software

Highlights of customer service management software

Designed with features to address customer service challenges across industries.

Works for all business sizes, from small or medium to enterprise.

Extends as a platform to build a customer community and brand image.

Improves overall CX.

5 Reasons
you need customer service tools

When you run a business of any size, you need an effective and reliable way to interact with customers. Customer service management software helps you engage your customers and do so much more. Here are five reasons you should look to implement or upgrade customer service software.


Streamline processes

Customer service management software helps you manage the diverse needs of your customers without juggling multiple applications. You can manage all support interactions from a single interface and seamlessly connect to the other apps you use for business operations.

Build a powerful brand image

Whether you're looking to expand your self-service offerings or foster a passionate user community, customizable customer service platform helps you reflect your ideal brand image and earn customers' trust.

Improve agent experiences

When agents can manage multiple channels from one place, collaborate with internal and external teams, and quickly access essential information, businesses see faster resolution times, more personalized service delivery, and increased agent happiness.

Support scalability and growth

As your business expands, customer service management software helps you accommodate your growing operational needs. When a business operates efficiently and effectively, it can build strong relationships with both existing and potential customers.

Deliver quality service

With essential information about your customers at their fingertips, agents can send personalized, meaningful, and efficient responses, leading to increased customer satisfaction levels.

Benefits of customer service ticketing system

While the specific features differ from one brand to another, there are some immediate benefits to deploying user-friendly customer service platform. When you invest in one, you need to know the immediate benefits to use it to the fullest.

Omnichannel service

You don't have to stick to one mode of communication when your customers want to reach out in ways that are convenient to them. When you implement omnichannel customer service software, you instantly open up different contact points, including email, phone, social media, web forms, and live chat. It lets you streamline customer requests with a single click.

multichannel customer service platform
improved-productivity-rate with customer service system

productivity rate

The first hurdle in customer service is time management. Routine tasks, like sending notifications to customers and reminders to other support agents, can decrease agent productivity and eat up time that can otherwise be spent focusing on customer relationships. Customer service software helps you automate these routine tasks so your response times and resolution rates improve rapidly.


In this age of telecommuting and customer service teams working together across different regions, customer service tools can bridge the gaps that distance and time create. With a quality customer service app, your team can collaborate in all manner of ways without having to hold physical meetings or calls. In a single interface, you can see who is working on what and keep a tab on all ongoing customer service activities.

convenient-collaboration with software for customer service
offering-self-service with software for customer service software for small business


The first step you can take to ensure that customers have their questions answered quickly is to give them a comprehensive FAQ page and a chatbot. Good customer service management software makes it easy to configure, host, and maintain one, so your customers don't have to raise a support ticket for solutions to trivial or common problems.

Insightful analytics

With all these efforts across agents, channels, and time zones, you certainly need strong data-crunching to see if you're heading the right way. Customer service management software should be able to bear this load and deliver a host of interpretations of all your key metrics.

reporting-analytics with digital customer service platform

Features to look for in a customer service tool

Customer service management software scales to fit the needs of businesses of any size. Below, we've listed the key features that are specifically useful to different business sizes.

Sort tickets in a snap

Get your tickets arranged by the factors that matter to you, like channel, priority, or agent. With a single click, find exactly what you're looking for, so you can get right to work.

Get customer feedback

Your business thrives on feedback. Customer service management software helps you request, track, and follow up on customer feedback after every customer interaction, without losing track. This improves customer experience and customer loyalty.

Stay mobile-ready

Urgent customer tickets can come in any time, even when you're out and about taking care of other aspects of your business. A mobile-ready customer service system will help you stay on top of your game, wherever you are.

Automate routine tasks

It can be a daily productivity drain to sort through the day's pile of tickets and assign them manually based on priorities and requirements. Good customer service management software can save time on these routine tasks by turning those priorities and requirements into automation rules.

Measure team performance

Resource management is vital to optimizing your customer service efforts. Customer service management software can help you keep track of how your agents' time is being used, trends in ticket traffic, and other important metrics. All of this goes a long way toward improving your team's productivity.

Improve collaboration

With teams these days being spread far and wide, customer service management software can bridge the gap that physical distance creates. It also gives agents a platform to reach out for assistance from other members by ticket sharing, @mentions, and comments, and grow collectively as a result.

Automate your process management

Customer service management software can help you set up processes that run automatically without the need for supervision. It carries out every step and keeps stakeholders in the loop, freeing up time for management to focus on bigger goals.

Get advanced insights

Metrics is your single source of information and inspiration to push your team towards continuous improvement. Good customer service platform not only crunches all these numbers for you but also extracts the insights you need.

Improve accessibility and security

The fact is, it's impossible to keep an eye on every piece of customer information your team deals with, especially given the size of your company and layers of confidentiality at play. Customer service help desk software can be equipped to handle this problem with a host of access and data security features. These ensure that you're not slowed down by the legalities that come with handling customer data.

What are the popular customer service management systems available in the market?

With numerous customer service solutions available, selecting the best one can be a challenge. To simplify the process, we've curated a list of popular solutions that can help streamline your customer service operations.

Expand All

Overview of 2024's top 10 customer service solutions

Expand All
Zoho Desk

Best overall customer service solution

Zoho Desk is a customer service solution that unifies, automates, and analyzes your customer service operations to improve both agent and customer happiness.

Desk streamlines your communications across channels and offers customers a range of self-service options to choose from. It equips your agents with relevant tools for delivering contextual and personalized service, and automation capabilities that ensure the smooth and precise execution of service operations. With Desk's powerful analytics, your business' decision makers can easily optimize various aspects of your customer service offerings to ensure continued high levels of customer satisfaction.

Zoho Desk offers numerous integration options. If you are an existing Zoho user, you can seamlessly connect Zoho's apps with Zoho Desk to unify your business operations. Desk is flexible enough to adapt to the needs of small, medium, and large businesses. If you are looking for a solution that is scalable, flexible, and affordable, Zoho Desk is the ideal fit for you.

15 days
Free plan: Yes
Express: $7
Standard: $14
Professional: $23
Enterprise: $40
Omnichannel platforms: Live chat, messaging, email, telephony, web forms, remote assistance, and social media
Self-service and AI: Knowledge base, AI, and community
Analytics: Reports and dashboards with a dedicated mobile app for managers
Automation: Workflows, SLAs, macros, and ticket assignment rules

Best knowledge base

HappyFox is an easy-to-use customer service software solution, best suited to businesses that manage limited channels and maintain small customer service teams. You can include live chat, chatbot, and advanced workflows in your support operations by subscribing to their add-ons.

Yes (duration not specified)
Free plan: No
Mighty: $29
Fantastic: $49
Enterprise: $69
Enterprise Plus: $89
Omnichannel platforms: Email, live chat (add-on), telephony, social media (Facebook and Twitter integration), and web forms
Self-service and AI: Knowledge base, community, and chatbot (add-on)
Analytics: Reports and dashboards
Automation: Smart rules, ticket auto-assignment, SLAs, and advanced workflows (add-on)
Zendesk Support

Best solution for integrating your help desk with other systems

Zendesk is a customer service ticket system that has good ticket management capabilities and numerous integration options. To enhance your customer service operations, you can augment Zendesk with self-service and analytics add-ons. By investing time and resources you can maximize the potential of Zendesk for your business.

14 days
Free plan: No
Support Team: $19
Support Professional: $55
Support Enterprise: $115
Omnichannel platforms: Email, social media, telephony (add-on), live chat (add-on), web forms, and messaging apps (add-on)
Self-service and AI: Knowledge base (add-on), community (add-on), chatbot (add-on), and AI
Analytics: Advanced reports and dashboards (add-on)
Automation: Workflows, SLAs, macros, and ticket assignment rules
Help Scout

Best solution for email ticketing

Help Scout is easy to get accustomed to, as its interface largely resembles Gmail's. It suits businesses with minimal support requirements, while offering an effective and helpful support team of its own. It offers email, live chat, a knowledge base, reports, and simple if-and-when workflows. You can support customers on Telephony via third party integrations.

15 days
Free plan: No
Standard: $20
Plus: $40
Pro: $65
Omnichannel platforms: Email, live chat, social media, messaging apps, telephony (third party integrations)
Self-service and AI: Knowledge base
Analytics: Reports and dashboards
Automation: Workflows

Best help desk for Gmail support

Hiver is a Gmail-based customer service app, ideal for businesses that use Google Workspace. Their support team is attentive, but integration options are limited. However, if your organization does not rely heavily on other business applications, the integration options provided by Hiver might be adequate. You can expand your omnichannel support with the help of third party integrations.

7 days
Free plan: No
Lite: $10
Pro: $26
Elite: $40
Omnichannel platforms: Live chat, email, WhatsApp, and telephony (third-party integration)
Self-service and AI: Knowledge base and AI
Analytics: Reports and dashboards
Automation: Ticket assignment, SLAs, and business hours

Best solution for small customer service teams

Freshdesk centralizes customer support interactions from multiple channels, like email, social media, webforms and live chat. Its integration capabilities are similar to Zendesk's and Zoho Desk's. You can deploy its AI add-ons to improve agent productivity and customer self-service experiences. To begin supporting your customers effectively using Freshdesk, you will require guidance and support from its team.

14 days
Free plan: Yes
Growth: $15
Pro: $49
Enterprise: $79
Omnichannel platforms: Email, social media, live chat, telephony (add-on), messaging apps (WhatsApp included; others available as add-ons), and web forms
Self-service and AI: Knowledge base, community, chatbot, and AI
Analytics: Reports and dashboards
Automation: Workflows, SLAs, macros, ticket assignment rules
Salesforce Service Cloud

Best customer service software for larger teams

Salesforce is popular for its extensive feature set, which makes it suitable for businesses managing high ticket volumes and looking to integrate multiple business apps. If you opt for their enterprise edition you'll either have to purchase self-service and omnichannel features as add-ons or move up to their higher editions to build a complete service solution. Getting started with Salesforce Service Cloud will require effective collaboration between your IT team and Salesforce's IT team.

30 days
Free plan: No
Starter Suite: $25
Professional: $80
Enterprise: $165
Unlimited: $330
Unlimited Plus: $500
Omnichannel platforms: Email, live chat, messaging apps, social media, web forms, and telephony
Self-service and AI: Knowledge base, community, chatbot, and AI
Analytics: Reports and dashboards
Automation: Workflows, SLAs, macros, and ticket assignment rules
Kayako Cloud

Best solution for live chat ticketing

Kayako provides cloud and on-premise customer service software solutions. It offers email support, Facebook, Twitter, live chat, help center, and reporting capabilities. It has a simple UI with a suitable number of integration options. By leveraging third party integrations you can enhance its omnichannel capabilities with platforms like Whatsapp, and Instagram. Learning and implementing Kayako will require assistance from the support team.

14 days
No information available
Omnichannel platforms: Live chat, email, web forms, Facebook, and Twitter
Self-service and AI: Knowledge base and community
Analytics: Reports and dashboards
Automation: Manual round robin ticket assignment and manual configuration of multi-level escalations (not built-in)

Best B2B support software

TeamSupport is a multi-channel ticketing system that enables support via email, live chat, messaging, and remote desktop control. It is easy to use, and offers an adequate amount of integration options. You can deploy its chatbot add-on to streamline self-service for customers and setup the system with the help of TeamSupport's guidance.

Yes (duration not specified)
Free plan: No
Essential Support: $35
Professional Support: $49
Enterprise support: Custom
Omnichannel platforms: Email, live chat, messaging, telephony (add-on), and remote control
Self-service and AI: Knowledge base, community, and chatbot (add-on)
Analytics: Reports and dashboards
Automation: Ticket assignment, multi-level escalation, and smart rules

Best solution for in-app customer support

Helpshift is a help desk solution mainly focused on in-app support. With Helpshift, you can support your customers through live chat, email, and a wide range of self-service options. To gain better insights into your customer service options, you can augment the system with advanced analytics by integrating third-party systems.

30 days
Free plan (Feedback + Plan): Yes
Starter plan: $150
Growth plan: Custom
Enterprise plan: Custom
Omnichannel platforms: In-app messaging and email
Self-service and AI: Knowledge base, community, and AI
Analytics: Reports and dashboards (requires integration for advanced analytics)
Automation: Round-robin assignment, time-based automation, feedback bots and SLA management

How to choose the right software solution?

Before deciding on a customer service solution for your business, it is important to think about these questions to ensure you choose the most suitable option.

Is it easy to use?

Easy-to-use software with an intuitive user interface significantly reduces the time an agent spends resolving tickets. A shallow learning curve also simplifies the onboarding process for new hires.

Does it meet your business requirements?

Every business has unique requirements, but it is always crucial to consider the software solution's ability to handle ticket volume, support multiple users and communication channels, facilitate collaboration, provide automation features, and offer strong analytics capabilities.

Is it scalable?

Business growth can be influenced by various factors, including business needs, customer expectations, and economic conditions. Ensure the solution you choose can adapt to your evolving needs by accommodating changes to the number of users, integrating with your current and future business applications, and more.

Is it secure and compliant?

Every country and region has specific guidelines for privacy and security. Check whether your software vendor complies with the applicable guidelines. This will ensure safe and secure communication with your customers and help you cultivate a trustworthy and credible image.

Does it offer support and training?

Evaluate support and training opportunities offered by your vendor to ensure easy implementation and a smooth journey with the product. Check whether the vendor offers comprehensive documentation and tutorials, and responsive customer support channels.

Is it cost-effective?

Choose a solution that charges fairly for the features it offers. To determine this, market research can be helpful. It is also essential to evaluate the contract terms, hidden costs, downgrade and cancellation costs, upgrade charges, and add-on costs, if any.

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Disclaimer: All names and marks mentioned here remain the property of their original owners. Prices are as published by the named competitors on their website(s) as on 20-02-2024 (without taking into account the taxes or discounts), and are subject to change based on the pricing policies of the competitors. The details provided on this page are for general purposes only and cannot be considered as authorized information from the respective competitors. Zoho disclaims any liability for possible errors, omissions, or consequential losses based on the details here.