10 of the best automation tools for customer service teams

customer support tools

The quality of customer service is an excellent way to gauge the service and overall ethos of any business enterprise. If a business does not value its customers and try to understand what they are looking for, then they are unlikely to be profitable over the long term.

In today's complex business landscape, excellent customer service isn't a nice-to-have – it's a must-have. Competition is growing in practically every industry, and customers are also getting more demanding and less likely to put up with bad experiences. According to the US CallMiner Churn Index 2020, nearly 74% of consumers will switch providers after a poor customer experience.

Thankfully, there are ways to really enhance customer service that make the process more streamlined, accessible, quicker, and more affordable. There is a wide variety of customer service automation tools available, and businesses that learn to utilize them well will be the ones that succeed at retaining and delighting customers. Read on for 10 of the best tools to automate customer service workflows to provide the best possible experience for your customers and employees alike.


1. HubSpot Service Hub

One of the most important pieces of your customer service suite is your helpdesk. When customers are already frustrated with a product that’s not working as they expected it to, they don’t need to deal with further frustration trying to find the help they need. Your helpdesk software needs to be simple, intuitive and powerful enough to handle any situation.

HubSpot Service Hub has all the functionality you need to help your customers in no time. A shared inbox, ticket organization, and powerful reporting functionality make this tool your one-stop shop for all your helpdesk needs.

HubSpot Service Hub also features automation that can route messages to the right reps for each customer or type of inquiry. Other features include conversational tools, helpdesk automation, knowledge base functionality, customer feedback surveys, reporting and more. It also connects seamlessly to the HubSpot CRM to give your business one unified view of each customer interaction.

 

2. Olark

When your customers need to speak to someone to solve a problem, they need to be able to do it quickly and without hassle. And since no one has the time for calling and staying on hold in our busy modern world, a live chat feature is a must-have for your website.

Olark is an amazing live chat tool that can connect your customers with the right service representative in moments. You can get access to real-time chat metrics and transcripts to make sure you’re providing the best possible experience to your customers.

 

3. Zendesk

Zendesk is an excellent tool to improve the relationship between the company and the customer. Its omnichannel approach makes it easy for customer service reps to keep track of conversations across email, live chat, social media and phone, which also enables your business to have a simple unified view of customers' history with your company.

The Zendesk solution is perfect for businesses of all sizes and is designed to be flexible enough for anything you need it for. It has tons of widgets, apps and integrations. You can also use Zendesk support for enhanced customer insights and advanced analytics from reports and dashboards.

 

4. Freshdesk

Freshdesk is one of the leaders in customer service automation software. It enables support reps to offer real-time support across email, chat, phone and social media. Freshdesk also automates routine support workflow operations, as well as deferring common customer questions to FAQs, help articles and tutorials.

Freshdesk's reporting and analytics capabilities also allow you to keep tabs on team performance, customer sentiment, and more, enabling you to build custom reports and dashboards.

Not sure if Zendesk or Freshdesk is the best fit for your business? Check out our in-depth comparison to choose the best tool for you.

 

5. PieSync

"Where can I find information about this customer?" If this is a common question among your customer service team, it's time to integrate your apps. As a rule of thumb, customer data should be linked back to your CRM – it's the heart of your business operations and should be your go-to tool to find contact information.

By syncing your customer support tools to your CRM and other relevant tools, you can make sure all of your customer service agents have instant access to correct, up-to-date information about every customer. This can include your live chat, ticketing, helpdesk, email marketing and accounting tools.

Set up two-way syncs between your key apps using PieSync to ensure that updated customer data flows both ways between your tools. This way, your customer-facing teams are never in the dark when a customer calls – and your business intel is always up to scratch too.

 

6. Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk describes itself as “the industry's first context-aware help desk software that helps businesses focus on the customer”. It is different from many of the other customer service platforms with its focus on enhancing customer service agent efficiency and emphasis on context-specific solutions.

It provides a way to investigate bottlenecks and become more efficient over time, as well as providing a self-knowledge base for customers so agents are not as busy. Zoho Desk also offers a built-in call functionality along with the email ticketing system. Customers can also submit their issues on popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, providing an ultra friendly approach to customer service management.

 

7. HelpJuice

It’s important that you have a skilled customer care team on hand to resolve complex issues when they arise. But many customers would prefer to find the answers they need on their own if possible. Having a knowledge database can put the answers your customers need at their fingertips.

HelpJuice is a fantastic knowledge base tool that’s easy to customize and navigate. It’s got a gorgeous interface with plenty of styling options to integrate with your website branding. It also has a collaborative workflow option and powerful metrics to make sure you’re on the top of your customer service game every day.

 

8. Nicereply

One of the pillars of your customer service efforts must be a feedback system. You may think you’re doing great on customer care, but your customers could be experiencing pain points you don’t know about. You have to seek feedback from your customers and actively adjust your customer care strategy based on that information.

Nicereply is a powerful tool for seeking customer feedback. You can create surveys to send out to your customers and use their customization options to keep it synchronous with your branding. You can also automate when those surveys go out to make sure you get the information you need at the right time for you to make necessary changes.

 

9. Intercom

Intercom is a cutting edge messaging platform that allows businesses to communicate easily with prospects and existing customers within their app, on their website, through social media or via email. Intercom’s platform lets businesses track and filter customer data. This data includes conversation history, product usage behavior, past purchases, payment details, etc.

Businesses can use all types of attributes to trigger personalized, automated marketing emails and highly targeted in-app messages.

On top of their amazing software, Intercom has a responsive customer support team that will offer tailored help for your team. The combination of their software with their customer support allows you to offer top notch customer service while maintaining an organized system on the back end that would only be a headache anywhere else.

 

10. Vanilla

An oft-overlooked piece of customer care is facilitating conversations between customers themselves. Your customers are the only ones who know what it’s like to use your product as a part of their daily lives. They might have problems, solutions, and ideas your team couldn’t generate on their own.

Your customers need to be able to chat about questions and ideas they have related to your product or service. Your company needs to facilitate that contact.

Vanilla is a customer forum tool that can help you facilitate customer-to-customer interactions. Each user can create a profile, and the platform has tools to weed out bots and trolls. Vanilla even offers some gamification features to encourage your customers to interact through your platform.


Customer support automation doesn't eliminate the need for in-person support, but will rather streamline experiences or attempt to answer a customer's question before resorting to a live representative.

This enables customers to have their questions answered promptly, allows customer service representatives to lighten their workload so that they can focus on solving more complex issues, and helps the company to spend less while offering more.

Find a unique balance between human interaction and automation and you're sure to see your company skyrocket to success.

To have instant access to the most valuable customer data as you introduce more automation, use PieSync to sync your apps two ways and in real time. It's simple to enrich your data everywhere and give service reps a 360-degree view of every customer. Get started with a 14-day free trial now.

About Asad Zulfahri

Asad helps with SEO & Marketing at PieSync & HubSpot. He is super passionate when it comes to SaaS & iPaaS marketing automation. Asad is also an insatiable world traveler and advocates the remote work culture.