Seamless customer communication and delightful experiences are critical for every business, regardless of its size. Fortunately, in today’s hyperconnected world, you do not need to manage interactions with customers manually. A wide range of customer communication management tools exists to make customer communications more valuable and personal.

Here are a few types of customer communication tools every business needs. 

Helpdesk Software

When building a customer support team, most companies start out with a shared email platform. That strategy may work for new businesses that only receive several emails daily. However, as your business grows, keeping track of customer inquiries via email inboxes may become daunting for your customer service team. 

That is where helpdesk software, like Zendesk, Help Scout, and Freshdesk, steps in. With the features like SLA views, localized multilingual interfaces, tagging a customer support representative, status marking, and multichannel communication, you will manage customer support inquiries more efficiently. Helpdesk tools let you centralize multichannel customer conversations. They help customers connect with your customer service team via web or mobile or start conversations directly via email, social networks, phone calls, or any other channel they use.

You will be able to manage multichannel customer conversations from a single platform, not needing to juggle the same inbox and multiple logins anymore.

CRM Software

CRM is short for ‘customer relationship management.” Similar to helpdesk software, CRM also keeps customer communications across multiple channels in a single location. The main difference between CRM and helpdesk software lies in the fact that the first focus on sales, while the latter improves customer support.

The aim of CRM systems, such as Pipedrive, Salesforce, Zoho, Freshsales, and HubSpot CRM, is to connect your different departments, from marketing to sales and customer support. It allows them to share files, centralize customer communications, organize notes, and track metrics and activities from a single cohesive platform. That way, it helps you track interactions with each customer across multiple touchpoints and create personalized, one-to-one customer experiences.

The main advantage of CRM software lies in its multiple integrations. You can integrate it with almost any third-party tool you use, from eCommerce platforms and accounting tools to VoIP software and email software.

Call Center Software

Studies show that most local customers prefer direct phone interactions with call center agents over email and chat. BrightLocal’s study backs me up on that. It states that 24% of customers would call your business before visiting it.

One of the most effective ways to boost the effectiveness of your call center is to switch from analog business phone systems to online ones. Standing for Voice over Internet Protocol systems, VoIP is more flexible. It allows you to communicate with both local and international customers at a lower fee. VoIP is delivered over the internet, meaning your teams only need to have fast internet connections and install a VoIP app to communicate with customers.

Apart from traditional call center features, such as call routing, auto-attendant, unlimited calling, text messaging, and holding music, many SaaS phone providers also offer comprehensive customer communication suites. With an advanced call analytics feature, your teams will be able to record phone calls and analyze customer sentiment and experiences. 

Most importantly, VoIP centralizes customer data. For example, Nextiva offers a sales and support CRM solution that collects data about a customer from multiple channels and keeps it in a single location. That way, your agents will be able to monitor customers as they move down the sales pipeline and provide faster and more relevant feedback. 

Website Chat Tools

Website chat improves user experiences and converts customers faster. It allows customers to communicate with your customer support team, not having to leave your website. People love live chat options for a simple reason – they are natural, casual, fast, and they resemble messaging apps we use every day.

There are many live chat tools to use, including HubSpot Live Chat, Drift, Userlike, SnapEngage, etc.

Chatbot Software

In today’s hyperconnected era, customer demands have changed. They expect brands to answer their sales and marketing inquiries almost instantly. Therefore, if you do not schedule your customer service agents for coordinated shifts to provide 24/7 customer service, then it is the right time to consider investing in an AI chatbot. 

Chatbot software, like IBM, Botsociety, or Chatfuel, uses machine learning and natural language processing to interpret customers’ requests and provide natural feedback. Chatbots will be able to respond to repetitive customer inquiries without compromising user experiences. Statistics say that most customers are not even aware that they are talking to a bot and not a live chat agent. 

Online Communities

Building an online community may benefit customer relationships in multiple ways. First, it is an opportunity to bring your customers together and let them help each other. Second, it is a great way to boost your online authority. Third, it helps you strengthen relationships with customers and inspire their loyalty. 

As an admin, you should not spam group members with a bunch of branded content and promotions. Use these channels naturally to build trust with your target audience, prove your credibility, and encourage brand loyalty. Share quality and relevant content from both your website and other industry sources. You will also need to choose whether the community will be open or close.

For starters, you can create groups on popular social media platforms, such as LinkedIn or Facebook. Slack is also a perfect option for building an online community. 

Slack is a distraction-free environment, used only for customer communication. The conversation happens across multiple channels, direct messages, and private groups. Above all, Slack is indexed and searchable, meaning users do not need to scroll down to find information. All they need to do is type a keyword into the search bar.

Over to You

There are many software solutions designed to help you improve the efficiency of your customer support, marketing, and sales teams and enhance customer interactions. Equip your teams with the tools that will help them automate repetitive tasks and provide faster and more personalized customer experiences.

What tools do you use to improve customer communication?

Posted by Raul Harman