The 10 Best Customer Service Software Tools in 2021

The CloudApp Team

Customer support software comes in all shapes and sizes. 

The most common and convenient way to categorize support tools is to divide them by communication channels. There are five channels that customers can use for contacting businesses and requesting support — live chat, email, social media, phone, and self-service centers.

With these categories there are corresponding types of customer support tools:

  1. All-in-one customer service software that covers everything within one omnichannel tool.
  2. Live chat to manage real-time inquiries and requests via an online messenger app.
  3. Help desk to track, tag, and manage everything related to email.
  4. Social media tools to effectively communicate and interact with high-value users.
  5. Knowledge bases to create pre-made guides to answer customer's common questions.

In this list, we showcase the best tools to tackle any and all of these customer support software needs.

1. Intercom

This omnichannel tool starts at $59/month and features a range of helpful options including live chat, help desk, knowledge base, product tours, chatbots, and email marketing.

A well-known and reliable customer service system, the team at Intercom is consistently building their extensive set of tools to cover every customer support need. At the same time, the company’s main focus has shifted more towards sales features in recent years.

Their prices are a bit higher than most competitors, and they charge additionally for active contacts, bots, and product tours. But given the efficiency and quality, this platform is a great option for enterprises able to pay a bit more for their customer service software.

2. Sprout Social

When it comes to social media management, Sprout Social is the premier option for customer support-oriented companies.

Sprout provides businesses with tools that manage social media engagement which includes customer service features. These tools will help your support agents respond to customers who ask questions or provide feedback through social media channels. With social media already a fundamental service medium, Sprout Social gives your team the resources needed to delight your online customer base and create positive impressions.

3. Help Scout

When you sign up for Help Scout's customer service software, you obtain something they refer to as a mailbox. Their standard $25/month plan gives you three mailboxes on top of live chat and knowledge base features. This simply means that you have the option to connect up to three email addresses to your account and receive emails from all of them in one dashboard.

Considering the price, HelpScout is an easy and intuitive option for customer support teams. They offer live chat with a knowledge base integration so that your customers can easily switch between these two tabs and contact your customer service team only if they haven’t already found the answer in your help center.


4. HubSpot Service Hub

Hubspot’s Service Hub, which has a free version, is an all-around customer service software that connects a variety of tools into one consolidated platform. It has help desk software to support your reps and an advanced ticketing system to help your team keep track of long-term customer inquiries. On top of that, there's even a knowledge base that helps customers find answers to their questions quickly without having to touch base with a rep.

It also has a free live chat tool in which you can install chatbots to expand the bandwidth of your support team. And, all of these tools are synced with the HubSpot CRM, so you can align marketing and sales operations alongside your customer service functions.


5. Zendesk

Starting at only $25/month, Zendesk offers software that includes a wide range of features covering help desk, live chat, a knowledge base, and a cloud call center.

Being one of the oldest tools on the market, it has withstood the test of time, but might not be everyone’s favorite when it comes to user experience.

Ticketing with Zendesk does stand out as a great feature, and you probably can’t find a help desk solution as developed and feature-rich. If ticketing is the primary way your team provides customer support, this is a great option.

6. LiveAgent

This product's primary focus also leans toward its ticketing features, but does also offer live chat; and you can get it for just $15/month.

If you want to use LiveAgent as a true all-in-one customer service system software, you’ll have to pay $39/month for live chat, help desk, knowledge base and call center tools.

We found that all of these tools are well-integrated and efficient, even if aesthetically it seems a bit outdated. We like it because customers can still communicate with your team even when your reps are busy or unavailable.

7. Freshdesk

Freshdesk is a help desk software that combines customer inquiries into one continuous thread. No matter where customers reach out to your support team, Freshdesk funnels those conversations into a single chat, making it easy to keep track of open conversations and recall important information. And, Freshdesk has a mobile interface, so agents can respond to tickets even when they're not at the office or near their computers. This app offers a great user experience and maximum efficiency.

A great option when thinking about long-term customer relations, Freshdesk is a great non-traditional tool for customer support teams.

8. Hiver

Hiver describes itself as "client servicing made simple."

This tool allows support teams to collaborate more efficiently, make data-driven decisions, and give customers a seamless experience.

With Hiver, you can turn emails into actionable tasks and assign them to team members without leaving Gmail, communicate and collaborate with your team using private notes, and automate workflows based on conditions.

Their Lite option starts at just $12/month offering all essential tools, but their Pro version is the most popular due to its visual analytics, which will set you back $37/month.

9. HappyFox

With HappyFox's approach to multi-channel customer service, you can handle all tickets in one place. Whether your managing several email inboxes, a handful of social media channels, HappyFox has you covered.

The custom reports are an exciting feature that can help your team trach and review performance and improve CSAT to ensure your providing your users the ultimate customer experience.

Some additional bonuses are personalized ticket views so each rep can organize their dashboard in a way that best works with their personal workflow, integrations with most major business apps, and "canned actions" so you can reply to customers quickly and consistently.

Pricing starts at $39/month.

10. Salesforce Essentials

Salesforce Essentials (which is free for the first 14 days) has a few features that helped it make the cut of our top ten.

It's one of the best tools out there at managing contacts by automatically syncing customer data from your email, which can save reps a ton of time not having to input manually. Being sales oriented, its Essentials product also is great for long term deals and managing customer relationships.

It has a well-organized system for handling customer tickets (they call them "cases") and queues.

Lastly, when one considers its integration options, metric tracking, and mobile abilities, Salesforce Essentials can be well worth its $25/month price for the right team.

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