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Are Your Customers Still on Their Own with Their Issues? [Customer Support Tools]

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Responding to customers’ issues at once is a must today. If you don’t do that, they can go to your competitors who do. Every prospect wants to know they’re in safe hands and can get immediate help at any time. It must be your priority to make sure you’re ready to provide it. First and foremost, you’ll need a flexible helpdesk that you can set up using one of customer support tools from this roundup. A lot of them also have free plans, which is a zero-risk start for you. FYI, in our all gallery you will easily find website template with online chat.

With these tools, you can manage all the customers’ requests from a single place, let them find the necessary information without your involvement, get insights into your support agents’ work, and more. Here are the common features most of these tools come with.

  • Ticketing System. In the core of customer support, there is a ticketing system. With its help, support agents can receive, manage and respond to all the customers’ requests from one place.
  • Live Chat. This feature allows you to communicate with customers in real time to provide instant help without any delays.
  • Knowledge Base. This self-service lets customers help themselves to common issues. It will reduce the number of tickets to your support agents. You can share anything from technical documentation and tutorials to tips and answers to FAQ. Agents will also find the knowledge base useful, since they can copy and paste the info from it to respond to customers’ questions faster.
  • Community Forum. Build a forum to let customers help each other. They can ask questions, suggest solutions, share their own experience and ideas, etc. Not only will you find out what they like, dislike, and want to change, but also engage them with your brand more.
  • Branding. These tools let you keep your support portal with the overall design of your site. You can customize its look with your corporate logo and colors or go even further with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • Analytics & Reporting. Analyze how well your support agents solve customers’ issues. In that way, you can find out what areas of your customer service need improvement and how they influence sales.

Now, learn more about each of these customer support tools one by one.

Help Scout

customer support tools

  • Ticketing System - yes
  • Live Chat - yes
  • Knowledge Base - yes
  • Community Forum - no
  • Branding - yes
  • Analytics & Reporting - yes
  • Monthly Cost - starting at $20 per user (billed monthly)
  • Free Trial - yes (15 days)
  • Free Plan - yes (unlimited users, storage and history, but only 1 mailbox)

Help Scout features an automation system, which lets you send bulk replies and sign them with a personalized signature. Customers have editable profiles revealing their entire history with your company. All the incoming emails go through a spam filter. When they view the latest message from you, you will be able to see it. Thanks to desktop browser notifications, you will receive alerts on the conversation activity in Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Help Scout offers a mobile- and SEO-friendly knowledge base that can contain unlimited data and supports multiple languages. You can customize its URL slug, add keywords, and use an automatically generated sitemap. When someone else edits your articles, you’ll get a notification. If you don’t like the changes, feel free to restore the previous version of that article.

Reports have printer-friendly layouts and come supplied with advanced filters. They include the conversation type, mailbox, tag, and folder. You can also compare report metrics by the date to see how your service improves over time. What’s cool, HelpScout belongs to customer support tools with a free plan.


Acquire

acquire

  • Live Chat - yes
  • Knowledge Base - yes
  • Chatbot - yes
  • Branding - yes
  • Analytics & Reporting – yes
  • Chat routing – yes
  • Monthly Cost - starting at $35 per agent (billed monthly) and $25 per agent per month (billed yearly)
  • Free Trial - yes (14 days)
  • Free Plan - yes (1 agent, and limited features )

Acquire is a first multi-channel messaging platform that focuses on sales, onboarding and customer support. The platform is equipped with complete customer support solutions including live chat, customer profile management, Chatbots, video and voice call, and co-browsing functionality.

Live chats’ feature of targeting messaging tool allow customer support agent to connect the customer to the right support agent, and automatically tracks customers visits and activity.

Additionally, the platform offers cobrowse functionality, allowing customer support agents to guide customers by highlighting information within a web page for customers as well as assist customers with navigation by changing pages for them.

With analytics and report feature of Acquire, you will get in-depth report whether your sales-campaign is working or not. Moreover, you will able to track whether your AI-based sales bot is able to satisfy your potential customers with automated messages in advance. Acquires’ live chat software brings you the power to put the customer service at the heart of your company.


UserEcho

customer support tools

  • Ticketing System - yes
  • Live Chat - yes
  • Knowledge Base - yes
  • Community Forum - yes
  • Branding - yes
  • Analytics & Reporting - yes
  • Monthly Cost - starting at $15 per agent
  • Free Trial - yes (15 days)
  • Free Plan - yes (1 user, 1 forum, and limited features)

UserEcho features a user-friendly helpdesk with filters, user insights, customer satisfaction ratings, file attachments, automatic notifications, and much more. To save time, you can send canned responses to common inquiries. You can also assign tickets to other agents and add private comments visible only to you and you team.

A WYSIWYG HTML editor makes it easy to build a knowledge base. You can add pictures and videos to articles, organize them in a tree of nested categories, and present each category with an image or one of 400 vector icons. Users can rate whether the article was helpful or not and suggest how to improve it.

The forum of UserEcho comes with multiple user-oriented features including a social login, voting system, automatic search for answers, and activity block showing all the changes since their last visit. There are also tools to structure the info, namely custom feedback types, categories, and tags.

Before starting a chat session, you can view the user data, e.g. his country and the URL of the page, on which he invited you to chat. You can also convert any session into a ticket or re-direct it to your teammate. Conversations are saved to an archive protected by SSL. A chat tab appears only when at least one agent is online.

Regarding the analytics, this service provides reports on chat sessions, customers’ satisfaction, agents’ activity, average response time, a number of visits and views of topics.


Freshdesk

customer support tools

  • Ticketing System - yes
  • Live Chat - yes
  • Knowledge Base - yes
  • Community Forum - yes
  • Branding - yes
  • Analytics & Reporting - yes
  • Monthly Cost - starting at $19 per agent (billed monthly)
  • Free Trial - yes (30 days)
  • Free Plan - yes (up to 3 agents, includes a knowledge base, email support and standard phone channels)

Freshdesk features a robust ticketing system allowing for bulk actions. With only a few clicks, you can categorize, delete or assign, say, a hundred tickets. You can also merge related tickets together and solve them in one go. A rich text editor enables you to send well-formatted answers. Since there’s an option to set business hours, customers will know exactly when your support service is available.

When customers create a ticket, they will see relevant articles from the knowledge base next to the ticket form. To create engaging articles, you can include custom CSS, HTML, JavaScript, and animated GIFs. It’s also possible to optimize them for search engines, which will let you drive more prospects to your site.

Due to in-depth reports, you can track all the essential metrics. They break down into different ticket properties including the source, type, priority, and number of agent and customer replies. For example, there is a report revealing your busiest hours, most productive days and the days, when only half the team can do the job.

The advantage of Freshdesk is gamification, which allows agents to compete with one other. It will enhance their motivation to provide better customer support, since they can win trophies. There are rewards for those who have the fastest ticket resolutions, most points and smiles or solve an issue with a single reply.


Zoho Desk

customer support tools

  • Ticketing System - yes
  • Live Chat - yes
  • Knowledge Base - yes
  • Community Forum - yes
  • Branding - yes
  • Analytics & Reporting - yes
  • Monthly Cost - starting at $12 per agent
  • Free Trial - yes (15 days)
  • Free Plan - yes (10 free users)

Zoho Desk allows for faster email and ticket creation due to templates. The service also supports custom domain mapping and has themes to keep your support portal in line with your website style.

Thanks to social media integration, you can respond to Facebook and Twitter posts from a single interface. All the live chat conversations are transcribed onto tickets that customers can rate. You can also convert ticket solutions into articles. With a built-in response editor, you will see detailed information about customers and know exactly how to reply to each of them.

Zoho Desk generates time-based reports that reveal the first response, average response, and average resolution times. They are filterable by the date, channel, and agent. You can schedule reports to be sent to your email and export them to CSV, XLS, and PDF.


Helprace

customer support tools

  • Ticketing System - yes
  • Live Chat - no
  • Knowledge Base - yes
  • Community Forum - yes
  • Branding - yes
  • Analytics & Reporting - not yet, but will be released soon
  • Monthly Cost - starting at $9 per staff (billed monthly)
  • Free Trial - yes (30 days)
  • Free Plan - yes (up to 3 agents)

Helprace has customizable email templates with several placeholders to insert the title and reply. Ticket assignment can be both manual and automatic via case rules. Thanks to agent collision detection, officers will see who is viewing a certain ticket. In that way, they won’t reply to the same ticket simultaneously.

The service provides smart content categorization in the helpdesk, knowledge base, and community. To compliment your content, it’s possible to upload a wide range of files and search for specific info within them. You can enable voting in the community, show related posts in the sidebar, and mark replies as the best to keep them at the top. With a single click, users can share articles via email and on social media.

With Helprace, you can divide your products and branches into separate spaces. Each space will have its knowledge base, activity feeds, feedback modules, etc. You can also add internal spaces accessible only to agents.


TeamSupport

customer support tools

  • Ticketing System - yes
  • Live Chat - yes
  • Knowledge Base - yes
  • Community Forum - yes
  • Branding - yes
  • Analytics & Reporting - yes
  • Monthly Cost - starting at $50 per agent (billed monthly)
  • Free Trial - yes
  • Free Plan - no

The next of customer support tools reviewed here is TeamSupport. It comes with drag-and-drop functionality to customize the ticket page. In addition to text, tickets can include screencasts, webcam recordings, inline images, and other files. A built-in search tool speeds up the process of finding tickets and articles in the knowledge base. Advanced filters and sorting options allows you to narrow down search results.

For better content organization on the forum, you can group posts into categories and subcategories. If you don’t want customers to leave their feedback on some posts, feel free to lock them from comments. The chat is accessible from both your website and customer hub. When all the agents are offline, customers can send a message, which will turn into a ticket.

There is a built-in social network, where your teammates can join efforts to solve issues. You can link tickets to products, which will let you learn which of them have issues. It’s also possible to associate customers with tickets so that agents could see what product a customer bought.

TeamSupport has an advanced reporting system with filtering, sorting, cloning and individual viewer functions. Reports come in different types, particularly summary, tabular, chart, and graph.


Zendesk

customer support tools

  • Ticketing System - yes
  • Live Chat - yes
  • Knowledge Base - yes
  • Community Forum - yes
  • Branding - yes
  • Analytics & Reporting - yes
  • Monthly Cost - starting at $9 per agent (billed monthly)
  • Free Trial - yes (30 days)
  • Free Plan - no (there are free plans for chat and call center services individually)

Zendesk allows customers to contact you via email, chat, and social channels. Agents can collaborate on tickets, make private comments, and see who else is viewing a certain ticket. Using macros, they will quickly reply to common requests with standard answers.

When users create a post on the forum, the system automatically searches for similar content to prevent any duplications. There is a built-in WYSIWYG editor to format both posts and comments. Agents can moderate posts, convert them into tickets, and view customers’ profiles and their community activities. The knowledge base comes with rich text formatting, reports, and multilingual support to translate articles into more than 40 languages.

Zendesk provides customer satisfaction and NPS surveys to measure brand loyalty. You can send them to a segmented list of clients. A pathfinder shows what customers examined themselves before submitting a ticket.


HappyFox

customer support tools

  • Ticketing System - yes
  • Live Chat - yes
  • Knowledge Base - yes
  • Community Forum - yes
  • Branding - yes
  • Analytics & Reporting - yes
  • Monthly Cost - starting at $29 per staff (billed monthly)
  • Free Trial - yes (30 days)
  • Free Plan - no

HappyFox is a multi-brand solution allowing you to run personalized support centers for all your brands from a single central helpdesk. It keeps the workflow well-organized through the categorization, prioritization, and automatic assignments of tickets to the right agents. You can also tag issues with keywords to find the necessary ones faster.

Emails, phone calls, chat conversations, and private messages from Facebook are all convertible into tickets. In terms of analytics, you can check agents’ activities, average response times, and number of replies required to close a ticket. For easier understanding, all the complex data is shown in visual charts and graphs.

Customization of the support system goes in many ways. You can style the helpdesk interface with your corporate logo, colors, and fonts. To displays tickets in the preferred order, it’s possible to create a personalized queue. Your custom domain name is also linkable to the support portal of HappyFox.


Vision

customer support tools

  • Ticketing System - yes
  • Live Chat - yes
  • Knowledge Base - yes
  • Community Forum - yes
  • Branding - yes
  • Analytics & Reporting - yes
  • Monthly Cost - starting at $10 per agent (billed monthly)
  • Free Trial - yes (30 days)
  • Free Plan - no

Vision offers a multi-channel helpdesk to accept requests by phone, email, chat, social networks, etc. The service allows you to bill customers per ticket or based on the time taken. You can set up a billing rate for each branch, issue an invoice right from your ticket, and send it in PDF by email. You can also create a pre-paid billing plan to charge fees for your support service upfront.

With a built-in collaboration tool, your teammates can share files, discuss things in groups or privately, and work together on complicated issues. To engage them with the workflow, you can gamify your helpdesk. Feel free to set up achievement levels, add quests, and track winners in reports. Gamification will increase your staff productivity.

Vision is one of those customer support tools providing easy task management. You can schedule tasks, filter them, attach files, and enable alerts that you’ll receive when someone adds a comment. It’s also possible to set a task priority and recurrence (daily, weekly, monthly).


Help Sumo

customer support tools

  • Ticketing System - yes
  • Live Chat - yes
  • Knowledge Base - yes
  • Community Forum - yes
  • Branding - yes
  • Analytics & Reporting - yes
  • Monthly Cost - starting at $19 per agent
  • Free Trial - yes (30 days)
  • Free Plan - no

Help Sumo create easy-to-fill-out forms that convert into tickets after submission. You can generate tickets from queries people post on social media. To log in to your support portal, they can use via their Google+, Twitter, and Facebook accounts.

The system allows monitoring tickets effectively. You can evaluate different metrics including the time spent to resolve issues, nature of complaints, and frequency. There’s also a built-in reporting app. It lets you agree with customers that you’ll fix their issues within a certain period of time. You can also view the ticket history and notify them on the progress of their issues.

As for branding, Help Sumo lets you customize your knowledge base to reflect your corporate style. In addition to editing fonts and colors, you can use advanced features to create cool themes and the necessary structure. The knowledge base is translatable into 40 languages.


ProProfs Knowledgebase

customer support tools

  • Ticketing System - No
  • Live Chat - Yes
  • Knowledge Base - Yes
  • Community Forum - No
  • Branding - Yes
  • Analytics & Reporting -Yes
  • Monthly Cost - Refer to product
  • Free Trial - Yes
  • Free Plan - Yes (40 pages)

ProProfs Knowledgebase is a customer support tool to provide information to your customers without letting them contact you. You can create helpsites, user guides, manuals,wiki with ease. The tool is exceptionally is easy to understand and quick to implement on any website.

ProProfs Knowledgebase allows users to write, draft and publish articles on the cloud. The authoring is simple and the content can be hidden or viewed as directed by the administrator. The conditional content feature allows the admin to set conditions on specific piece of content which will not be shown to the reader, if under the applied condition.

It also offers numerous integration with other support tools to make the process of customer support efficient. ProProfs Knowledgebase can easily be integrated with CRM, help desk tool, live chat, wordpress, email marketing channels and much more.


With TemplateMonster products, you can present your company on an elegant and user-friendly site. But you also must assure prospects that your company is as brilliant inside as it looks outside. Use these tools to support customers in every step they take. Since all of them have a free trial, you can test each one to choose the best solution for your needs.

Do you have an experience of using customer support tools? Feel free to share it with our readers and us. Also, don’t forget to share this roundup on social media to remind your friends and colleagues of how important customer service is and help them improve it.



Nick Campbell

Nerd, tech-savvy writer and website development specialist. Likes to find free alternatives of paid software and knows how to launch a new website really without big losses of time, efforts and money. Follow him on Twitter.

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2 responses to “Are Your Customers Still on Their Own with Their Issues? [Customer Support Tools]”

  1. Olly says:

    Thanks for the great review! I personally used Freshdesk for a long time, then I needed only email support, it became quite expensive. Right now I work with Deskun, I’d add it to this comparison too, that’s quite good product at a reasonable price.

    • Nick Campbell says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us! Never heard about Deskun before. Seems like it’s worth a try, and, what’s cool, it offers a free plan. Is it only for Gmail users or maybe one can use it without Gmail?

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