It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of support tools out there. Here are the ones we use the most.
The more online businesses begin to see the massive value in excellent customer service, the more apps and tools get made to help deliver better support.
To be sure, tools are not what’s most important.
But tools do matter. Using the right tools can be the difference between spending hundreds of hours each year doing repetitive work, or finding a tool that automates that work and lets you focus on actually delivering support.
There are a number of areas where tools help us be more effective, and I’ve gotten a lot of emails asking for recommendations for the best customer service tools.
Today, I’m sharing the tools—both the obvious and less-obvious ones—that our team uses to support Groove’s 10,000+ users.
1) Help desk: Groove
No big surprise here.
Groove is the hub of our customer support operations.
All customer messages, whether they’re sent via email, social media or our website support widget, come in through our Groove mailbox.
We’re heavy users of the collaboration features like ticket assignments (which let us assign things like technical tickets to the developers) and private notes (to chat about tickets behind the scenes before we respond to a customer).
Groove’s Knowledge Base lets us offer 24/7 self-serve support…
And the support widget gives our customers access to help wherever they are inside our app.
We’re obviously biased here, but there isn’t a single support tool we use more often throughout the day.
2) Bug tracking: Pivotal Tracker
While many of us spend much of our day in email as part of our jobs, emails can be huge productivity crushers for developers, who are focused on writing code.
So instead of emailing them every time a bug gets reported, we add the bug to Pivotal Tracker, a tool they’re already using heavily.
This helps us keep bugs easily trackable in one single place, and it keeps our developers productive and focused.
3) Project Management: Trello
Customer service isn’t just about answering support tickets all day.
There are more long-term projects to be done, too.
There are knowledge base articles to be written. There are feature explainer videos to be recorded. There are onboarding emails that need improving. And much, much more.
To keep those projects and tasks organized, we use Trello.
We prefer Trello to the other project management tools we’ve tried because its drag-and-drop interface is really easy to use and because collaboration and synching are pretty seamless.
4) Team Chat: Slack
There are a number of reasons that Slack is valuable to our team for customer support.
First, we’ve set up the Groove/Slack integration, so we can always see incoming tickets in realtime (and get pinged in Slack when a ticket assigned to us is updated).
Second, Slack is the tool our team uses for almost all of our communication, so it’s a no-brainer to use it to chat about support tickets.
Third, we use a dedicated room in Slack to share customer feedback with the team, keeping us all aware of what our customers are thinking and saying about our product.
And fourth, the development team posts updates to Slack any time a new fix or feature is pushed live, keeping anyone answering support tickets up-to-date on what’s new in Groove.
5) Customer Calls/Screen-sharing: Skype
Sometimes, it’s more effective to get on a call or screen-share with a customer to talk through an issue, or walk them through a process, than it is to try and resolve the ticket via email.
For that, we use Skype. It has its bugs and isn’t always the most reliable, but its adoption is nearly ubiquitous, so it’s rare to find a customer without a Skype account.
Skype is also the home of our weekly team update calls where larger customer support issues and feedback get shared.
6) In-App Messages: Intercom
Whenever we implement a new feature that we want to explain, or publish a post on our product update blog, we let our customers know with an in-app popup that we send via Intercom.
This ensures that important messages get seen by our customers where it matters most—inside of the app—and doesn’t clog up their inboxes with product update emails.
7) Net Promoter Score Surveys: Promoter.io
If you’ve been following either of Groove’s blogs for some time now, you know that we’re big fans of NPS surveys for gauging how our customers feel about Groove.
Net Promoter Score Surveys ask two simple questions:
Results from the first question tell us how many of our customers are promoters (those who respond with a 9 or 10), passives (7 or 8) and detractors (0 to 6) of Groove. Results from the second question tell us why, and most importantly, give us clear direction on what we need to do to increase customer happiness, both for individual customers and across the board for all users.
While you can use pretty much any survey tool to deploy NPS surveys, we love Promoter.io, which makes the whole process easy, and compiles the responses in an easy to understand format.
And, importantly, it keeps past NPS surveys in one place, so we can track our progress at a glance.
What Customer Service Tools Do You Use?
The tools above are the ones that we love; they might not all be the best fit for your business.
But if you’re looking for the best app to solve a particular problem, this list should give you a great place to start your search.
Have you used any of the tools mentioned above? What tools do you prefer?
Let me know in the comments below!