The top 5 online customer service software

For today’s highly conscious consumer, reliable customer care is an expected part of the product they pay for. As a result this list of the top 5 online customer service software services is an indispensable asset for businesses at all levels of operation. Apart from providing a clear picture of the customer’s perception to your products, they encourage consumer loyalty by branding you as the service or product provider who values their opinions and feedback.

ZenDesk– With thousands of companies opting for this software, it has gradually cemented itself among the best in the market. It features applications for a majority of mobile platforms available such as iOS, blackberry and android. The integration of their API into other services is hassle free with friendly pricing to match. The base package starts at $9 per month/agent to 49$ per month/agent which gives you access to analytics, data-portability among other useful features

Zoho discussions– Zoho is popular in the online B2B services arena for their comprehensive products. Zoho discussions features functionality that introduce ease and efficiency into the processes of engaging clients and the provision of customer support. Some helpful ones include an interface for online chat, client profiles, widgets, inbuilt search, custom branding, rss feeds, posting via email among many more. It starts at $12 monthly although there’s a free account with limited functionality.

Tender support– Its a hosted web service that ensures high quality support is delivered to clients the moment they need it. They provide a feel of all their offerings in the form of a free thirty day trial with unlimited access. Paid accounts fall within the range of $19 to $199 with functionality varying with the chosen package. Depending on your choice, you will be able to modify your site’s feel and appearance, add a logo and upload files. Your account includes your own website knowledge base, forum, auto suggested responses to support queries, automated logins, the capability to use an own e-mail address and widgets.

UserVoice– this service provides the ability to setup private and public forums of your own where consumers can give feedback and submit feature ideas to you. Despite its simplicity, it provides a very powerful way of gaining quality insight on consumer perceptions and their needs. An obligation free 15 day trial is available for testing after which you are free to walk away if unsatisfied. Free accounts are inclusive of one free public forum. For the paid accounts, functionality is greatly varied among the available packages to choose from. These start at $19 to $589 monthly depending on your specific needs. Features available include single-sign on-access for users, e-mail support, domain aliasing, commercial API, SSL encryption, moderator tools and good data exporting capabilities among others.

Idea effect– Despite being a relatively new entrant, it ranks among the top 5 online customer service software services due to its impressive feature set coupled with very friendly pricing which starts at $19. A few of its features include idea submissions, comments and voting, graphical reports, single sign-on, private-label branding, ssl support, bug reporting, private messages and integrated e-mail marketing among many others.

There are many more out there, but this short list gives you a clear idea of who is on top and who are the experts!

is Specialist in Customer Success and chief writer and editor of I Want It Now, a blog for Customer Service Experts. Follow her @StefWalkMe