Startup Series #10: Customer Support Tools for Startups

Software Development, Startup Series | 0 comments | by Ioana Paicu

With the advent of social media, customer support has become a fundamental aspect of any business. At this point, anyone can use Facebook and Twitter to complain to the world about the quality level of a product. We’ve seen complaints go viral, which means it’s not worth risking your company’s reputation with crappy customer service. Over the years, we’ve seen help desk software change a lot. The good news is things have gotten a lot prettier and more accessible. However, the latest changes go beyond basic features. Startups and businesses of all shapes and sizes are understanding that when customers feel the need to lash out, they want to do it publicly. As a consequence, help desk support has gone mainstream. Even the most insignificant complaints and observations made by someone on a Facebook or Twitter page feature responses from a customer support department.

Some vendors have turned their attention to heavy automation meant to simplify the process of handling support tickets. Others however focus on crafting major analytics products that can help a company identify and reduce the number of unsatisfied customers. Help desk software is vital for business because it is a powerful two-way channel that fosters communication and live interaction; and we all know that communicating with customers is the lifeblood of honing a vision, improving satisfaction, and accelerating the development of your product. Investing in customer support software is necessary because it helps connect customers to whatever you have to sell.

Did we manage to convince you that deciding on a customer support software is the right thing to do for your startup? Well, then you might want to check out our top picks for some of the best tools and platforms currently available. 

Main Features

What we like

Pricing

Zendesk

Top-tier customer service & support ticket software trusted by more than 40,000 companies worldwide

Helps companies improve overall customer experience as well as foster new relationships and make them more productive, intuitive & meaningful.

Self-service support available through the 24/7 online self-service portal

Easy to customize to fit the needs of your startup

Efficient analytics & reporting tools available to benchmark custom satisfaction rates & support team performance

App integration – social media, e-commerce & CRM. ZenDesk integrates your start-up’s software and business systems through the open API (over 100 integrations with Google Apps, WordPress, Atlassian, Salesforce and Freshbooks

Flexible ticket management & automated workflow

Mobile support with Android and iOS

Advanced analytics & robust reporting system

Over 100 integrations with third party apps

Multi-brand support with connected accounts

Screencasting & full CSS rebranding

Ticketing exporting to CSV

Prebuilt features with SugarCRM and Salesforce

Free professional trial available (30 days)

Essential – $5/month (billed annually)

Team – $19/month (billed annually)

Professional – $49/month (billed annually)

Enterprise – $99/month (billed annually)

Desk.com

Efficient customer support software aimed at small and medium-sized businesses; multi-channel assistance with easy integration to get your business up and running with smart customer support in minutes

Customized self-service with mobile optimization

Case management features & productivity tools to boost automation and workflow

Satisfaction scoring through the customer satisfaction (CSAT) integration for adjusting services and products

Performance & customer health monitoring

Salesforce connectivity & SalesforceIQ integration to help startups deliver smarter services

Self-service and multi-brand support

Embedded service that allows users to link their self-service resources to mobile and web apps for an effortless customer support experience

Easy to integrate with live chat, bug tracking, and e-commerce apps

Increased scalability with Service Cloud

Detailed dashboard to help businesses keep things organized and help them make faster decisions

Free trial available (14 days)

Standard – $20/month*

Pros – $60/month

Business Plan – $100/month

Marketeer

Hybrid human machine that improves customer communication

Clear-cut, automated customer service tool for companies aiming for consistency. Marketeer deals with error margins, thus helping companies steer clear of PR nightmares.

User-friendly interface that helps companies boost customer loyalty and expand their customer base.

Efficient “virtual employee” that responds to a wealth of questions in a timely manner. Compatible with apps like Facebook, Email and numerous Mobile Apps.

Customer support teams can always take over and deal with conversations and queries in real-time

Cloud-based customer support software

Automated to handle basic questions from customers

Fully responsive and compatible with laptops, computers, tablets and smartphones

Powered by machine learning technology. The software’s knowledge base increases when customers get real-time answers from your company’s support team

Free trial available (30 days)

Standard – $48/month

Pro – $192/month

Small business – $440/month

LiveChat

Efficient customer service platform that includes a ticketing system and a live chat option

Easy to integrate with your company’s social media platforms & CRM, LiveChat keeps communication in one place

Reports & Analytics – chat reports, basic statistical analysis, daily summary, API reports, easy to use dashboard, ticket reports

Efficient e-commerce tools meant to help target visitors from campaigns; e-commerce integrations available

Visitor tracking features that gather customer data & filter visitor information

Chat & Ticket rating

API – webhooks, workflow automation and JavaScript API

User-friendly customer support software with easy integration

Chat transcripts, canned responses, chat archives & message sneak-peek

Prompt customization – CSS customization, chat window themes, social media buttons, company logo & engagement graphics

Easy engagement features with customers – automated greetings, after-hour forms, Facebook chat integration, personal greetings, pop-chat window

Annual billing (monthly billing features higher price ranges)

Starter – $16/month

Regular – $30/month

Team – $33/month

Enterprise – $50/month

Enterprise Plus – customized pricing

Intercom.io

Intercom.io is an efficient customer support platform that helps startups stay organized and customers satisfied while on the go.

Often known as “messenger app like no other”, Intercom.io is incredibly flexible. It allows customers to decide on the best type of in-app message for their needs

Conversations are automatically assigned, but they can also be sent to teammates in your company equipped to provide customers with a satisfying answer to challenging matters and queries.

In-app messaging system

Advanced customer support platform with lots of products for marketing, live chat, support and feedback

Live filtering and tracking of customer data

Push messages, in-app and email messaging

Live customer profiles

Team inbox

Github integration that helps connect issues with conversations, and then receive notifications once they’ve been resolved

Free trial available (14 days)

Lite – $49/month

Standard – $79/month

Customer support tools for startups are fundamental in the online business environment. Irrespective of your product’s quality or service your startup currently offers, ignoring customers and refusing to answer their questions in a timely fashion will negatively impact your reputation. In business, promptness can make or break a sale; you need to be there for your customers and provide assistance 24/7 if you want to boost company productivity and stand out. IT Enterprise can help you make an informed decision. Let us help you choose a customer support system that works best for your business goals.

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