Customer service is essential for any growing business. To provide the best customer experience, you need the right tools behind you, like customer relationship management (CRM) software.
But with all the options available, which one is the best CRM for customer service? Read on for the best CRM tools for customer service in 2023 and beyond!
What is customer service software?
Customer service software is any program or tool used to assist customers. It has a variety of uses like organizing support requests, collecting customer data, and reporting issues with a product or service.
Good customer service solutions help you handle customer queries quickly and accurately. In turn, this creates a better customer experience that sets you apart from the competition.
Some examples of customer service software are:
- Customer relationship management (CRM): A CRM for customer service ensures that key customer details never fall through the cracks and that your team is equipped with the information they need to provide excellent service.
- Call center support: Phone calls are one of the most common customer service channels. Call center support software routes calls to the right customer service representatives for customer inquiries and concerns.
- Live chat app: Many companies implement a live chat app on their website homepages or social media accounts. This lets customers talk directly to a customer service rep without having to make calls.
- Automated customer support agents: Whether through your CRM for customer service or another tool, you can implement AI-based chatbots to handle simple customer requests. This frees up your human customer representatives to address more pressing and complex inquiries.
- Knowledge base pages: A self-service knowledge base or help center empowers customers to solve common issues on their own. Maintain these pages so they contain up-to-date information.
- Video chat: Some customer issues need more than a phone call, which is where video chat comes in. A good video chat app lets customer support agents share their screens and demonstrate how to solve issues.
These days, people expect a lot out of customer service. To fulfill these high customer expectations, apply these best practices:
- Meet customers on their terms — be present on all communication channels and provide 24/7 customer service if possible.
- Use the customer’s purchase history and preferences to personalize their customer experience.
- Implement collaboration tools to facilitate communication between teams.
What is CRM software?
Customer relationship management (CRM) software stores your customer data in one place that everyone in the company can access. CRM tools for customer service boasts tools like lead management, online customer portals, and reporting dashboards.
The main goal of a CRM is to nurture lasting relationships with customers, even after they purchase your product.
If the customer has a good experience buying your products, they’ll be happy to come back for more business in the future.
Some benefits you can get from implementing CRM for customer service include the following.
Make customers happy
42% of worldwide consumers will pay more for a good customer experience. So, implementing CRM for customer service allows your team to handle inquiries more effectively, which improves your customer service.
Ans consistently providing an exceptional customer experience results in loyal customers that buy more and promote your business to others.
Resolve disputes fast
CRM tools for customer service record email exchanges and phone calls, which comes in handy when handling customer complaints.
If someone complains about your customer service agent being unprofessional or unhelpful, you can cross-check the records to verify the customer’s claims.
Plus, these historical records give a full picture of the interactions a customer has had with your business over time.
Boost customer service agent productivity
As a small business, you may not have a large customer service team. However, a CRM for customer service automates tasks for your team such as customer management, communication, and service requests.
This allows faster call resolutions and more customer issues to be resolved each day. A true win-win!
Track and manage inventory
Some CRM tools for customer service provide inventory tracking capabilities. This is helpful as real-time inventory tracking informs you of where your products are and how many you have in stock.
In turn, this makes you much less likely to miss a shipment and disappoint customers.
Why do small businesses need a CRM for customer service?
Businesses of all sizes benefit from CRM tools for customer service. Here are some great reasons to implement a CRM for customer service as a small business.
A CRM for customer service makes issue resolution easier and faster.
From the customer perspective, multiple channels to get support lets them use a platform they’re comfortable with and frequent. From your end, customer service reps can easily look up customer data, resulting in faster response times.
CRM tools for customer service also record common questions asked by customers so you can put the answers on your FAQ page. This frees your customer support team to work on other customer issues.
Real-time data sharing
Your company may have different teams, but you all deal with the same pool of customers.
CRM tools for customer service provide a central hub for the information gathered by your marketing, sales, and service teams. You can create highly-detailed customer profiles based on the interactions a customer has with your brand and give the employees that need this data access to it.
In addition to helping your team provide better customer service, these detailed profiles enhance your marketing campaigns and customer personas.
A complete history of each customer
A record of past customer interactions comes in handy for repeat buyers or those with persisting customer service issues.
Instead of having to go through a lengthy introduction and data verification, your customer support agents get right into solving the problem.
Plus, customer interaction records can be analyzed to identify the most common issues among customers. If an issue appears repeatedly, there may be something wrong with your product or service that’s worth addressing.
Increase customer lifetime value
Customer lifetime value (CLV) is the total worth of a customer based on all the transactions they will complete with your business.
Since customer retention is cheaper than customer acquisition, high CLV ensures sustainable business growth.
Consistently delivering an excellent customer experience is the key to constant CLV improvement. CRM for customer service helps you provide personalized services and resolve customer issues so they stay loyal and happy.
Another plus is that your loyal customers are more likely to make repeat purchases and engage in word-of-mouth marketing.
While most CRM tools offer similar features, some of them are more suited to your needs than others. Here are the best CRM for customer service options on the market today.
Method:CRM syncs up with QuickBooks to make your customer management, sales, accounting, and bookkeeping easier. It boasts integration with numerous business tools like Gmail, Outlook, Google Calendar, Zapier, and many more.
Some features that make Method:CRM a top choice include its:
- Online consumer portal: Empower your customers to make purchases, update contact information, and complete payments through a simple online portal.
- 360-degree customer database: Store and access all your customer information in one intuitive database.
- Automatic invoicing tools: Save time on invoice creation with pre-filled invoice templates.
- Customer interaction tracking: Record details on every customer interaction for future reference.
Plans and pricing
Method:CRM starts at $25 per month per user. You can also sign up for a free trial — no credit card or contract required.
Image credit: G2
Zendesk is a popular help desk software that unifies your customer service experience across multiple channels. This software links multiple chat and messaging services with one chat window per customer, regardless of what apps they use.
Some key features offered by Zendesk include:
- Help center page builder: Craft informative self-service knowledge bases that help customers and support agents alike.
- Always-on artificial intelligence chatbot: Save your customer service agents’ time by programming Zendesk’s Answer Bot to answer simple customer inquiries.
- Platform customization: Download plugins through Zendesk Marketplace to add extra functionality to your software.
- Data reporting tool: Measure customer satisfaction and support team performance from pre-filled reports.
Plans and pricing
Zendesk’s premium plans start at $49 per month per user. It also offers a one-month free trial.
Salesforce Sales Cloud is a CRM platform with a robust dashboard that helps you provide personalized customer service. Its mobile app also lets you access customer data wherever you are.
Other features found on Salesforce Sales Cloud include:
- Sales forecasting: Predict future demand and estimated revenue from current customer data.
- Lead management dashboard: Assign leads to the right sales reps to improve your closing rate.
- Report creation tool: Check on customer analytics reports to make more informed decisions.
- Automated approvals: Save time by automatically approving business requests like travel reimbursement and expense reports.
Plans and pricing
Salesforce Sales Cloud’s premium features start at $25 per month per user. There’s also a 14-day free trial.
4. Clarity CRM
Image credit: Clarity CRM
Clarity is a CRM for customer service that allows you to modify the interface according to your needs. It also offers free customer service for all its users.
Some other notable features of Clarity CRM include:
- Online contact management: Organize customer data by segments and preferred products to craft better marketing campaigns.
- Mobile CRM app: Look customer data up and generate quotes from anywhere.
- Email marketing tool: Send bulk marketing emails faster.
- Task management dashboard: Track employee productivity by monitoring their day-to-day tasks.
Plans and pricing
Clarity CRM’s paid plans start at $39 per month per user. You can also sign up for a demo on its website.
SugarCRM is an award-winning CRM software that maps customer journeys effortlessly. It also automatically assigns tasks to the appropriate employees to improve efficiency.
SugarCRM also boasts features like:
- Omnichannel customer communications: Talk to customers on whatever channel they prefer, and keep consistent records of your interaction history.
- Sentiment analysis tools: Predict how customers feel about your brand with an AI customer satisfaction estimate.
- Self-service portal: Empower customers by allowing them to seek solutions on their own.
- Real-time customer alerts: Get updates on your top customers’ important activities.
Plans and pricing
SugarCRM’s premium features start at $49 per month per user. You can also sign up for a demo if you like.
Creatio is CRM software that gives you total freedom to create your own dashboard. Its CRM tools for customer service, such as the Studio feature, offers pages, views, and workflows that you can mix and match according to your needs.
In addition to this flexibility, Creatio also offers:
- Website behavior tracking: See how customers browse your website and learn which pages are most popular.
- Automatic customer segmentation: Create segmented audiences based on select attributes for more effective marketing.
- Marketing campaign management tools: Run multichannel campaigns through a single dashboard.
- 360-degree customer profiles: Store information about your customer so you can provide the best products for them.
Plans and pricing
Creatio’s premium CRM features start at $540 per year per user.
Image credit: Capterra
Freshdesk is a popular help desk software used by major companies like Bridgestone and Pearson. Its Freshchat platform merges all messages from a customer into one inbox regardless of channel, keeping communications organized.
Freshdesk also offers features like:
- AI-powered chatbots: Build smart chatbots with minimal coding to address simple customer inquiries.
- Quick messaging templates: Greet website visitors with pre-written messages.
- Collaborative ticketing: Encourage multiple customer support agents to work on especially challenging tickets together.
- Internal team forwarding: Forward tickets to other teams without switching to another app.
Plans and pricing
Freshdesk’s premium plans start at $18 per month per user. This CRM for customer service offers a free plan and a 21-day free trial.
HubSpot is CRM software that merges marketing, sales, customer service, and content management tools in one platform. Some of its best features include:
- Ad tracking dashboard: Track the performance of online ads to better justify spending and redirect resources to more productive campaigns.
- Secure customer portal: Give customers the ability to create purchase orders and make payments without customer service assistance.
- Customer knowledge base: Provide FAQ and help pages so customers can solve problems independently.
- Document management system: Store useful sales documents and brochures that your sales agent can share with potential customers.
Plans and pricing
HubSpot’s premium plans start at $50 per month per user. This CRM for customer service offers a set of free tools too if that price point is too high for you.
Recap: The value of using a CRM for customer service
As a small business owner, it’s a good idea to implement CRM tools for customer service. Adopting the right CRM software allows you to:
- Boost customer service agents’ productivity.
- Improve customer happiness.
- Assist in resolving disputes.
- Manage product inventory.
Many CRM tools for customer service help you achieve these benefits, but none are quite like Method:CRM. One of the top choices for CRM software today, it’s built especially for businesses like yours to deliver the best customer service possible.
Sign up for a free trial of Method:CRM right now!
Image credit: Flamingo Images via Adobe Stock
Next Generation CRM is an integrated solution that can combine customer profiles, interactions and transaction information from multiple applications to provide view of customers. The solution is equipped with industry-specific functionalities as well as business intelligence capabilities.Which CRM has the best customer service? ›
|Service CRM tool||Best for|
|Agile CRM||Best CRM for customer service overall|
|HubSpot Service Hub||Best free CRM for customer service|
|SugarCRM Serve||Top service CRM tool for case management tracking|
|Freshdesk||Great free customer service system for startups|
Next Generation CRM is an integrated solution that can combine customer profiles, interactions and transaction information from multiple applications to provide view of customers. The solution is equipped with industry-specific functionalities as well as business intelligence capabilities.What is the top CRM on the market? ›
|CRM software||Editor's score||Best use case|
|Keap||9.4/10||Ease of use|
Salesforce. #1 CRM. Ranked #1 for CRM Applications based on IDC 2022 Revenue Market Share Worldwide. Our best-in-class applications all work together, so all your teams can, too.What are the 3 types of CRM? ›
To start, there are three main types of CRMs: collaborative, operational, and analytical. To help you get your bearings, we'll cover what a CRM is to begin with, how the three types of CRMs differ, and how to select the right product for your company.Which is the smartest CRM in the world? ›
The world's #1 CRM brings AI to everyone with Salesforce Einstein. We've taken artificial intelligence out of the lab with Einsten so everyone can be more predictive about customers.What is 4th generation of CRM? ›
Fourth Generation Crew Resource Management
The first initiative was made by FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) by using the AQP-Advanced Qualification Program. This was a pioneering program allowing carriers to adapt and customize their training, with integrated CRM concepts, according to their needs.
The fifth generation of CRM introduced the concept of Threat and Error Management (TEM). It is accepted that errors cannot be eliminated, but perhaps avoided, managed, and its effects mitigated. Helmreich et al. (1999) argued that CRM provides valuable countermeasures to avoid, trap, and mitigate errors.What is the CRM market size 2025? ›
The global customer relationship management (CRM) software market is forecast to grow to 57 billion U.S. dollars in size in 2025. This is a projected increase of almost four billion U.S. dollars from 2021, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.1 percent.
Below, compare the top four CRM systems -- Salesforce, Oracle, Microsoft and SAP -- based on several professional and user reviews.Is Salesforce still the best CRM? ›
Overall, Salesforce is an excellent CRM platform that offers a range of benefits for businesses of all sizes. Its easy customization, scalability, and cloud-based accessibility make it a convenient option for remote teams. However, its high cost and complexity may be a barrier for some businesses.Who is Salesforce biggest customer? ›
Walmart Inc. and Amazon are the biggest Salesforce clients, with revenues amounting to $573B and $502.191B, respectively. Notably, Salesforce is honored to be listed on the Fortune 500 itself, ranking at #136 in 2022.What is the oldest CRM? ›
Ledger is the oldest form of CRM. Those days paper and pen were enough for businesses to note down basic customer details and sales information.How many customers does Salesforce have 2023? ›
Salesforce has over 150,000 subscribers using its CRM software. Salesforce is the number one, most-used CRM with 23.8% of the total market share, followed at quite a gap by SAP (5.4%), Microsoft (5.3%), Oracle (5.1%), and Adobe (3.8%).What are the 4 stages of CRM? ›
The CRM cycle basically consists of four stages – Marketing, Sales, Product, and Support.What is the first CRM industry best practice? ›
- Clearly define the business problem, desired benefits and metrics. ...
- Find an executive sponsor and form a governance team. ...
- Always keep the big picture in mind. ...
- Focus more on business processes than technology.
The 4 components of customer relationship management are satisfaction, loyalty, profitability, and customer retention.Which company has the best CRM strategy? ›
Over the past few years, Amazon has become the key online platform for online shopping, and the CRM system is one of the main reasons for this. Amazon has one of the most complete CRM infrastructures in the world that harnesses customer data during purchases to instantly customize users' online experience.
- Contact management.
- Sales pipeline visualization.
- Marketing capabilities.
- Social CRM capabilities.
- Visual dashboards & reporting.
- Sales automation.
- Email marketing automation.
- Integrations with other tools in your tech stack.
- Zoho CRM Plus for an all-in-one CRM for small business.
- Salesforce Sales Cloud for customizability.
- HubSpot for scaling a business.
- Pipedrive for being easy-to-use.
- Ontraport for automating online transactions.
- Nimble for customer prospecting.
- Nutshell for managing a sales team.
There are four key elements necessary for a successful CRM implementation: CRM readiness. CRM change management. CRM project management.What is the last stage of CRM? ›
The process is made up of five stages: reach, acquisition, conversion, retention, and loyalty.Which technology will be used in fifth generation? ›
The key technologies for the Fifth Generation Computer System (FGCS) seem to be VLSI architecture, parallel processing such as data flow control, logic programming, knowledge base based on relational database, and applied artificial intelligence and pattern processing.How many stages are there in evolution of CRM? ›
The CRM cycle basically consists of four stages – Marketing, Sales, Product, and Support.What are the three phases in the evolution of CRM? ›
There are three phases in the evolution of CRM: (1) reporting, (2) analyzing, and (3) predicting.What are the future projections of CRM? ›
With 2023 in full swing, the customer relationship management (CRM) market continues to boom and is projected to be worth $44.9 billion this year (measured by revenue). CRM technology has been around for nearly 40 years in some form, but CRM trends continue to evolve.What is CRM stock price target for 2023? ›
Salesforce Stock Forecast & Predictions: 1Y Price Target $228.57 | Buy or Sell NYSE: CRM 2023 | WallStreetZen.Who has the biggest market share in CRM? ›
Salesforce is the leading vendor in the customer relationship management (CRM) applications market worldwide with a market share of 23.8 percent in 2021. The company leads the market with a big margin: next in line to Salesforce are SAP, Microsoft, and Oracle with around five percent shares of the market.
-CRM is a business strategy that maximizes profitability, revenue and customer satisfaction by organizing around customer segments, fostering behaviour that satisfies customers, and implementing customer-centric processes. a core customer-centric business strategy that aims at winning and keeping profitable customers.Which CRM do not directly deal with customers? ›
Analytical CRM supports organizational back-office operations and analysis. It deals with all the operations and processes that do not directly deal with customers.What is CRM used for customer service? ›
A customer relationship management (CRM) solution helps you find new customers, win their business, and keep them happy by organizing customer and prospect information in a way that helps you build stronger relationships with them and grow your business faster.