Customer service is becoming increasingly important in today’s competitive online landscape. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, people’s expectations have elevated, so now consumers are looking for a seamless shopping experience.
In fact, over 70% of them say they would switch companies after just one instance of bad customer service!
It’s no surprise businesses that don’t resolve clients’ issues as fast as possible or don’t try to understand what they expect and want are likely to lose trust, thus having poor chances for success in the long term.
But thankfully, there are lots of excellent e-commerce customer service automation solutions to optimize customer experience, streamline operational processes, and make them more cost-efficient.
Keep reading to know more about these tools and how they can help your business excel in providing support and improving customer satisfaction.
Popular e-commerce customer service channels
In the era of the picky, empowered customer, more and more organizations use customer support tools to automate their customer service processes and encourage more interactions between the brand and the client. This helps companies build trust, increase customer retention, and hence grow revenue.
People want to connect to the customer service team by each possible channel, from more traditional phone calls and email to SMS and Messenger, and actively join in the purchasing processes from payments to purchase to delivery.
Some of the current top customer service channels are the following:
- Live chat
- SMS messaging
- Knowledge base and FAQ page
- Social media channels
- Phone support
As a rule, the more communication channels your company can offer to support your customers, the more advantages you have over your competitors.
Why are customer service tools so important for e-commerce?
E-commerce has seen explosive growth in recent years, especially after the start of the pandemic, when online sales saw a 76% increase in year-over-year sales.
Customer service is an integral part of any business that offers products and services online, where people can’t physically see or touch the items, so it directly impacts the company’s reputation and sales.
Excellent customer care presupposes, first of all, dealing with the growing volume of objections, inquiries, orders, and heightened customer expectations, which are usually a result of the increased market competition. As an outcome, you get happy clients who have fewer complaints and bring you a positive Net Promoter Score, better word-of-mouth marketing, and organic sales growth.
That is why as soon as you choose your e-commerce platform, you should leverage customer service tools to enhance and automate the support you’ll provide your customers with through all stages of their buyer’s journey.
Customer service software tools specializing in e-commerce often provide such functionalities as order management, customer data collection, ERP integration, or marketing solutions enhancing cooperation and communication. This helps increase conversion rates and boost customer loyalty.
How to choose your customer service tool
When it comes to choosing your customer service tool, there is no one-size-fits-all solution; different services will provide you with various features, so you should pay attention to those that better correlate with your needs. Yet, there are some specific things to consider before starting your search.
Here are basic questions you should ask yourself prior to choosing your customer service tool:
- Implementation: Is this solution easy to integrate with your store? Do you need a cloud-based system? Is it intuitive? How easy is it to use ‒ can you afford to train the whole team?
- Value: What is the return on investment in terms of value? Can the implementation of this tool improve customer service metrics like first response time, resolution rate, first contact resolution rate, and customer satisfaction overall? Will the team become more effective in terms of operational processes after you implement the solution?
- Effectiveness: Is the customer service tool designed explicitly for your business type? Does it fulfill the maximum capacity and tick all boxes for solving problems? Does the software need other additional services and software to function fully?
Best e-commerce customer service software to use
We’ve listed five top e-commerce customer service tools that integrate with large e-commerce platforms, such as Shopify or BigCommerce, and have other capabilities to enhance e-commerce, in general, and customer service, in particular.
1. Zendesk — Best customer service tool for larger e-commerce businesses
Zendesk is the number one software-as-a-service enterprise that offers end-to-end customer service solutions.
It caters to various industries and offers products related to customer service, sales, and other customer communications. Zendesk comes with a wide array of features and integrates with almost all apps and platforms related to e-commerce across the industry.
By obtaining Zendesk licenses, companies gain access to a comprehensive suite of tools for customer service and sales, enhancing their ability to connect with customers at every journey stage.
No wonder it’s used by large enterprises like Shopify, Tesco, Uber, or Netflix, providing a complete array of solutions that cover all client needs at each step of the customer journey.
- Help desk
- Ticketing system
- Self-service portal
- IT service desk
- Customer knowledge base
- SMS messaging and phone calls
Zendesk integrates with all major e-commerce players like Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, plus many other apps and solutions across different industries.
Zendesk offers separate subscriptions for businesses and enterprises, with the basic foundational support plan starting from €19/month for essential support for email, Facebook, and Twitter. The most popular plan costs €99/month, while large companies can opt for a customized enterprise plan. All standard plans offer free trials.
Besides, Zendesk has a special offer to startups: they can get the tool for free for six months.
2. Gorgias — Best integration possibilities with other e-commerce platforms
Gorgias is a well-known customer service software customized explicitly for e-commerce stores. Even though it started as a Shopify app, it has since extended its reach by integrating with several other large e-commerce platforms like BigCommerce and WooCommerce.
Gorgias’s motto being to help independent e-commerce brands offer excellent customer experiences and provide outstanding online customer service, this cloud-based helpdesk solution assists companies in resolving their customer’s issues by pulling data from past interactions, orders, payments, and refunds.
It also syncs with widely used social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, making communication with consumers super-convenient.
- Live chat
- Email integration
- Ticket management
- Customer history tracking
- Request assignment
The tool integrates with all large e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and other apps for online businesses.
Its basic plan comes at $60/month, which is why it’s perfect for medium-sized and larger e-commerce businesses. Companies are allowed 350 monthly tickets for the basic plan, while the enterprise plan offers customized programs for large organizations.
3. HelpCenter — Best customer service tool for Shopify stores
HelpCenter app is an excellent customer support tool for stores on Shopify. It’s one of the best and most accessible customer service solutions on this platform to enhance and automate online customer service processes.
The most prominent feature of the tool is the possibility of managing all inquiries from emails, live chat, and Facebook Messenger on a single HelpDesk. What is more, this app works well with several different Shopify stores under the same account.
- Live chat
- Product description tabs
- Help desk ticketing system
- FAQ builder
The tool integrates with Shopify and works with Shopify app store leading technology companies and marketing agencies.
The pricing for the HelpCenter app is based primarily on how many help desk tickets per month users get. The basic forever free plan comes at exactly $0/month for 50 tickets, while the most popular plan combines a FAQ page set-up and product tabs with 3500 tickets/year.
HelpCenter also offers separate subscriptions for the HelpDesk, FAQ builder, or product description tabs features.
4. Help Scout — Best customer service tool for email-based support
Help Scout is another excellent customer service software tool for e-commerce businesses of all sizes.
It’s an email-based customer support platform that helps manage several workflows across different departments, from marketing and sales to customer service, under the same account, automating workflows through effective collaboration.
For example, users can tag their customer interactions to categorize these conversations, use templates and pre-saved or most commonly used replies, or send bulk answers, automating repetitive tasks.
What is more, Help Scout offers reports and analytics for tracking team performance and trends in customer issues to implement improvements and increase customer satisfaction.
- Shared inbox
- Knowledge base
- Live chat
- Customer management
- Reports and analytics
- Live chat
Help Count integrates with all major e-commerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Magento, etc., as well as with many solutions for marketing and sales (HubSpot, Jira, Salesforce).
Help Scout offers flexible pricing. For an annual subscription, the standard fee is $20/user/month for two mailboxes, up to 25 users, and a live chat function. Its Plus subscription is the most popular offer — at $35/user/month, you’ll get five separate mailboxes, unlimited users, and custom fields.
Besides, Help Scout offers a 10% lifetime discount to non-profit organizations and special pricing options for startups.
5. HubSpot — Best free customer service tool and product bundles
HubSpot is a developer of software tools for inbound marketing, sales, and customer service. For e-commerce companies looking for an end-to-end solution to connect customer service, marketing, and sales operations, HubSpot offers its Service Hub — a customer service software, which is one of the best solutions on the market.
Service Hub brings all your customer service data and channels together on one CRM platform, so you can efficiently onboard, support, retain, and grow your customer base. As a result, you improve your customer service management and deal with delighted clients at every stage of their journey.
- Ticketing system
- Ticket creation bots
- Help desk
- Team email
- Email templates
- Live chat
- Customer feedback and surveys
- Knowledge base builder
- Customer data and analytics
- Data sync
HubSpot integrates with all major e-commerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Magento, etc.
Besides paid options, HubSpot offers free live chat software, a landing page builder, and a chatbot builder. The basic starter plan, which will cost you €45/month, will provide you with two paid users and essential customer support functionalities like a live chat and a help desk support system.
6. LiveAgent — Best customer service tool for multi-channel communication
LiveAgent is a well-known customer service software that started as the company’s help desk solution for its other software.
The company decided to create its help desk software after finding other solutions insufficient. LiveAgent is used by a large number of companies worldwide, and it’s a popular choice in various industries thanks to its multi-channel capabilities.
LiveAgent’s ticketing system can handle all popular channels, including emails, live chat, calls, social media, messaging apps, and a customer portal. It’s used by companies like BMW, Yamaha, Huawei, and Slido, among others.
- Ticketing system
- Live chat
- Call center
- Social media
- Messaging apps
- Customer portal
- Reports & gamification
LiveAgent offers 200+ integrations with all varieties of popular software, including collaboration tools, eCommerce, CRM, tracking tools, and more.
LiveAgent offers flexible paid plans and a free plan for all types of businesses. The Ticket plan starts at $15/month and offers a ticketing system with email support and a customer portal with a knowledge base, among other features. The All-Inclusive plan with the complete feature set starts at $49/month.
LiveAgent also has a special offer for startups with the first 6 months for free and additional 6 months for 50% off.
7. Tidio — Best customer service tool for small and medium businesses
Tidio is a customer communication and marketing solution allowing one to deliver a top-notch customer experience.
Adding Tidio to a website can be done in 5 minutes, and no coding is required. At the same time, the live chat is easily customizable so that the widget can blend with the look of any website. All interactions are located in one panel, and a mobile application is available to simplify the processes.
Tidio is easy to use with all CRMs, social media, and marketing platforms. In addition, you can get information about what visitors are doing on your website, check where they are coming from, and carefully monitor all critical analytics.
- Live chat
- Email marketing templates
- Ticketing system
- AI response bots
- Visitors list live preview
Tidio can be smoothly integrated with most shopping platforms (e.g., Shopify, Magento, WordPress, Woocommerce, Wix, etc.). In addition, live chat and chatbots can be added to social media messengers (Instagram, Facebook Messenger, etc.).
Tidio offers a freemium version. Paid plans start from $33 per month.
Each customer service tool described above comes with unique features, functionalities, and pricing. To choose the right software for your e-commerce business, you should understand your position in the market, your needs and expectations, as well as the needs and wants of your customers.
And if you’re comfortable with your customer service tool but looking for a versatile platform for sales outreach, the one with CRM features, possibilities for prospecting, and an integrated email service, there’s one just in front of your eyes – Snov.io.