Choosing the Right Customer Service and Support Solution

The practical need for customer service and support software is fairly clear: you have customers, you provide customer service to them, and you need an established set of tools to organize, track, and measure these services. Many software solutions available today offer the tools you need; however, it’s necessary to understand your specific needs before comparing products.

This guide will help narrow your requirements and provide a framework for comparison as you look to find a customer service and support solution that best fits your company’s needs.

At the core of every great customer service experience is the customer’s ability to quickly and accurately resolve an issue. Regardless of contact channel—voice, e-mail, chat, self-service—customers want the right answer as quickly as possible. And your support agents’ productivity relies on this same principle. While it’s important to provide multi-channel support; the people, technology, and processes supporting these customer inquiries form the foundation for excellent customer service.

Solution elements

To build a strong, effective, and adaptable foundation for your customer support organization, look to implement a customer service and support solution with exceptional performance in the following key areas:

  • Case management: Enable your agents to quickly, effectively work through customer support cases by providing complete customer and case history, note-taking and documentation tools, task management, and a searchable knowledgebase within a single, easy-to-use interface
  • Workflow management: Establish set workflows according to your own internal processes to ensure a consistent customer experience, while providing a repeatable framework that drives agent productivity
  • Knowledge management: Provide a centralized, searchable content repository to properly share customer support information across your organization, accelerate resolution times, and improve agent productivity
  • Performance management: Gain access to real-time performance metrics and overall customer support trends with a customizable reporting dashboard; also monitor and share individual agent performance to recognize success and drive further improvement
  • Multi-channel support: Create support tickets and distribute cases to the appropriate agent or support department, quickly and easily, through your customers’ preferred support channel—voice, e-mail, chat, and self-service
  • Security and access control: Protect customer information and maintain regulatory compliance with customizable security authorization levels
  • Infrastructure and implementation: Optimize your investment by choosing a vendor with the best service delivery model (hosted or on-premise) for your needs, a short and painless implementation period, and a robust training program

Features for comparison

The following feature list provides an outline of what your chosen solution should provide in order to deliver the solution elements described above:

  • Alerts and escalation
  • Customizable reporting
  • Mobile access
  • Automatic customer notices
  • Data import/export
  • Online forums
  • Call tracking
  • Download manager
  • Reporting/periodic reporting
  • Chat functionality
  • Dynamic FAQ
  • Rich content management
  • Complaint monitoring
  • E-mail tracking
  • Service renewal notices
  • Customer user interface
  • Knowledgebase integration
  • Software development kit
  • Customer management
  • Lead tracking integration
  • Trouble ticketing
  • Customizable fields


From the agent perspective, your investment in a customer service and support solution will improve their productivity and performance by providing a single interface for managing customer information, prioritizing cases, documenting case histories, researching solutions, managing tasks and alerts, escalating cases, and monitoring performance. For the customer, a streamlined customer service environment creates a more consistent and effective customer service experience; resulting in increased customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty.

Overall, your organization should expect to benefit from agent performance and productivity improvements; transparency in reporting on performance metrics and customer trends; as well as greater accountability in each step of the customer support process.


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