These e-commerce customer service tools are budget-friendly, easy to set up, and ready to scale for growing businesses.
Overnight successes are rare in e-commerce.
But an overnight surge in customer service requests?
Yeah, that happens quite a lot.
Before you’re forced to ramp up on customer support software out of necessity, build a strong foundation with these ten basic e-commerce customer service tools.
You don’t need to invest a lot of money—we curated a list of budget-friendly options that can expand as your business grows. And the ROI will more than prove itself in the long-run.
Get proactive by suiting up with this list of the top ten e-commerce customer service tools.
Table of contents
Your starter pack for e-commerce customer service tools
Each of these tools is simple enough to start using today. And yet, flexible enough to grow with your business. You’ll continue to get value from them ten years (and millions of customers) from now.
1. All-in-one helpdesk software
Helpdesk software acts as the foundation for all your support tools. It houses a basic set of tools, like an inbox and reporting dashboard. But it allows for added integrations and more advanced features as you grow.
So instead of purchasing a shared inbox, knowledge base, or reporting tools separately (numbers 2, 3, and 4 on this list), you could just get an all-in-one helpdesk that includes them all.
Some e-commerce store owners prefer to buy one tool at a time, though. For that reason, I’ll list each option separately below (it’s easier to explain each one individually anyway).
But as a customer support expert, I highly recommend getting an all-in-one helpdesk ticketing system rather than one-off solutions. It will increase your ROI and save you the headache of having to switch platforms in the future.
This list was built with growth in mind. Presumably, your e-commerce business was too.
Maybe you only offer email support right now but plan to offer live chat or phone support in the future. A helpdesk will lay the foundation for these multiple channels.
A good helpdesk houses all past, present, and future customer communications in the same place, regardless of how or when they contact you:
- Social media channels
- Live chat support
- Phone support
- Email support
- Reviews and rankings
- Marketing emails
- Self-service interaction
Simple helpdesk software (like Groove) is a great starting point for most online businesses. You can optimize your current workflow using basic tools like a shared inbox. Then simply add more advanced integrations as your business grows.
2. Shared inbox
A shared inbox is the most essential tool for e-commerce customer service.
It provides everything you need to organize customer inquiries and enhance productivity:
- Customer support history
- Team member assignments
- Conversation status
- Internal notes
- Collision detection
- Canned replies
- Rules and automations
Make sure one of the features included is an integration with your e-commerce platform. This enables you to see a complete customer breakdown with information like recent purchases, total spend, total orders, etc.
Here’s a look at the Shopify integration within Groove’s shared inbox:
That said, canned and auto replies will probably be the most immediately useful feature for your business. You can add, edit, and send these saved templates to common questions with just a few clicks:
Shared inboxes offer a ton of features like this to exponentially increase your productivity. You’ll be able to respond to every support ticket without cloning yourself or hiring more people.
3. Knowledge base
A knowledge base empowers prospective customers to make informed purchases by providing detailed answers to a wide range of common questions. After they make a purchase, self-service reduces support volume and increases customer satisfaction.
Why? Because online shoppers genuinely want to help themselves…
The first step is getting a knowledge base (if you use an all-in-one helpdesk like Groove, we include one with every plan). Then, it’s just a matter of adding content, organizing it, and making it easy to search.
Include all relevant information for your e-commerce store like faqs, delivery options, return policy, etc. Building a solid knowledge base saves both your customers and your own time.
4. Reporting dashboard
From a business-wide perspective, there’s plenty to measure in e-commerce.
In fact, I’ve written extensively about e-commerce customer experience metrics—A guide that (to be honest) almost murdered me during the creation process!
The good news is—if I can master e-commerce customer analytics—anyone can.
The even better news here is we can boil all that down to a handful of customer-related key-performance indicators (KPIs) within your helpdesk.
For e-commerce, you’ll want to track metrics like customer happiness, total conversations per day, and knowledge base performance.
Aim to reduce total conversations with a comprehensive knowledge base and website. See if you can improve customer happiness by personalizing responses or reducing response time. And encourage your team to tag trending topics as they see them, so you can alter your products or communicate better.
Lastly, combine and monitor bottom-line metrics—like retention, repeat orders, and onsite reviews and rating—alongside your customer data.
5. Support widget
A support widget is a small tab that you embed on your website to give customers immediate access to your knowledge base or support team in real time.
It looks like this:
Widgets make it super easy for customers to get help on every page of your website. No need to scroll to find an FAQ link. Or to search the site for a “contact us” form. This little bubble packs a big CX punch.
The goals of a widget are to:
- Nudge customers to use self-service resources,
- Allow visitors to easily message your team, and
- Enable them to start a live chat conversation.
A widget increases support visibility, customer engagement, and just about every other aspect of the customer experience.
Every single tool above—helpdesk, shared inbox, knowledge base, reports, widget—comes standard with Groove. Pricing starts at just 9$ per user per month for everything. Start your free trial now.
6. Email marketing software
As the name implies, this is technically a marketing tool. But e-commerce customer service teams should absolutely know how to use email marketing software for their own needs.
Send out proactive messaging about shipment delays or inventory updates. Or connect this tool to your helpdesk to edit a customer’s subscription status without leaving the inbox.
You’ll shave hours off your workflow by eliminating context switching between your marketing software and your customer support software.
We use ConvertKit for email marketing software. They offer a free plan.
7. Review and rating platform
This tool also straddles the line between customer service and marketing. But if you’re running a lean e-commerce business, chances are it’s the same person overseeing customer reviews and customer service.
Make the job easier by using a dedicated platform to send review request emails to happy customers, monitor community Q&As, and customize review questions to dig deeper into customer satisfaction.
You’ll want to check in on these reviews and respond to customers just as much as your support inbox. So it’s worth investing in a tool to help carry the load.
Yotpo offers a free basic platform with the ability to upgrade as you grow.
8. Image and video capture
A video and image sharing platform enables customer support teams to create screen recordings, screenshots, and markups to communicate more efficiently with customers.
Use this e-commerce customer service tool to clearly explain steps over email (i.e. how to return a shipment) or to enrich knowledge base articles (i.e. how to track my shipment).
Easy-to-use image and video capture tools help provide clear visuals to assist customers, without requiring them to interact with an actual team member.
9. File storage and sharing
File sharing tools (like Google Drive or Dropbox) are probably already part of your tool kit. They’re easy to get ramped up on for early-stage e-commerce businesses. And by choosing a flexible file storage platform now, you’ll ensure that the service cloud will be able to grow as your company grows.
For customer service, keep drafts of customer marketing emails here, store images for how-to guides, or create folders with past product SKUs for reference.
By storing everything in one easily accessible platform, you’ll ensure every team member can access these resources to help customers.
We use G Suite for file storage. It starts at $6 per user per month.
10. Issue and task tracking
Project management apps help keep everything transparent in e-commerce. Even if it’s just you or a small team working together, you can create cards and timelines to show what you’re working on and track progress.
Use it as an e-commerce customer service tool to document a range of customer support-related issues like:
- pricing discrepancies
- coupon codes
- refund issues
- new products
- out of stock products
- incorrect product information or description
- missing tracking status
This is where your company really becomes a well-oiled machine.
When you realize that every part of your business affects your customers, you’ll be sure to document every issue and communicate them effectively.
We use Trello for project management. They offer a free plan.
Start with the best e-commerce customer service software
We’re not ashamed to admit we love using our own customer service software. The hundreds of e-commerce store owners who use our platform everyday would agree.
Groove offers an all-in-one customer support helpdesk built with growing e-commerce businesses in mind. The interface is easy to grasp—no prior customer service experience required. Anyone can resolve customer issues and track feedback with ease.
If you’re serious about buying the best e-commerce customer service tool for your business, start your free trial of Groove right now.
Get access to five of the top ten tools on this list in an instant. And start providing world-class customer support today to grow your business for the future.
120-day free trial
Organize, prioritize, and respond to customer emails with Groove. Our simple solution enables teams to collaborate in real-time on customer requests.
Due to the recent pandemic, we're offering a 120-day free trial (which includes all our features) on every plan—No strings attached.
- Unlimited users
- 40+ Integrations
- Access to all our features
- Free 1-1 onboarding assistance