The 12 Best Help Desk and Service Desk Software Platforms In 2022 [Features, Pricing, and More]

Written by Dylan Max  on   Apr 4, 2022

The support tech stack has undergone a significant shift since the early 2000s. The backbone of a support organization today is having one of the best help desk software solutions. In today’s business environment, a help desk is a powerful platform that streamlines the entire support process. 

In this post, we’re going to dive deep into these solutions. We’ll explore why companies of all sizes need a help desk, what to look for in a help desk platform, how much it costs and much more, including:

What is a help desk?

A help desk (or service desk) is case management software that helps companies receive, assign, resolve and analyze customer service tickets or queries from internal audiences (IT or HR). As a kind of mission control system, help desk software pulls in conversations from various communication channels, including: incident management, ticket management, customer interaction, live chat, email, social platforms, voice, etc. into a single platform.

Help desk software has a wide range of tools for agents to quickly and accurately access profile data, capture context, analyze sentiment, and provide shortcuts and templates to help customer service reps reply easily.

Help desk platforms often combine customer self service tools like Knowledge Bases as well as AI and human agents working together in real-time to provide efficient support.

Why should companies use a help desk?

Help desk solutions and ticketing systems are instrumental in providing top-notch support and can directly impact customer satisfaction. Help desk software also helps to maintain agent happiness by empowering them with everything they need at their fingertips and even automating many processes.

Companies of all sizes can benefit from a help desk system: whether offering support to external customers or internal audiences (i.e. IT or HR support). There are platforms designed for small teams (less than 20 agents), average size teams (~50 agents), and large enterprise and distributed teams (10,000+ agents).

While the benefits of leveraging help desk software are vast, we’ve rounded up the 7 core benefits in 2022.

Top 7 Benefits of Help Desks

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  • Improved customer satisfaction

Customers today demand quick, effortless resolutions to their issues and hate having to repeat themselves. Help desk software streamlines the support journey, providing the ability for agents to easily review previous interactions, access customer profile data to personalize the interaction and close help desk tickets faster. 

  • A single source of truth

Help desks provide one centralized record of cross-channel support tickets which can be tracked, reviewed and analyzed at any time. This also opens the door for advanced analytics on the issues customers are facing. Help desks can also flag emerging issues that the company can get in front of.

  • Automation

Help desk software has a lot of AI at work behind the scenes. Service desk chatbot tools act as the first line of defense interacting with customers to automatically resolve highly repeatable tickets. They can recommend responses to agents or even coach agents in real-time. The most advanced help desk platforms use a combination of human and machine intelligence.

  • Improved agent experience

Attrition for customer support agents is one of the highest (with turnover rates between 30-40%), which leads to significant hiring, training and onboarding costs. Tools like help desk AI platforms make an agent’s job easier. Automation tools that eliminate the mundane work and make jobs more fulfilling.

  • Intelligent routing

Help desk platforms can route tickets to specific agents based on availability, expertise or seniority. Routing can also be based on profile attributes. This provides a better end-user experience by reducing the passing off of a customer from one agent to another. 

  • Heightened scalability

When you’re up and running on a modern help desk platform, you can easily scale to new channels and manage spikes in tickets during times of hyper-growth. Help desk platforms eliminate teams sharing a single inbox which can lead to delays, duplicate agent work and reduced productivity.

  • Sophisticated analytics

Modern help desk platforms have rich data and reporting so you can track response time, average handle time, first response rate and other key customer service KPIs.

Do small businesses need to use a help desk?

Every company that prioritizes their customer experience should consider a help desk, even small businesses. Even for small teams with 5 agents or less, there are tons of benefits.

Regardless of the size of your company, customer service is important to attract and build customer relationships. Consider these customer service statistics:

  • 95% of consumers cite customer service as important in their choice of and loyalty to a brand
  • Customers expect to receive service through any channel and on any device, with 59% of respondents having used multiple channels to get questions answered
  • 66% of US online adults said that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good online customer experience

Arming your agents with the tools to drive efficiency can ensure no duplicate work is done, tickets are prioritized and addressed in the most pressing order, and customer satisfaction is not compromised.

How much does help desk software cost?

You can find both free and paid subscriptions for most help desk software. Features and the number of agents in the free models are typically limited. Once you’re in a paid model, more agent seats are allotted and advanced tools and functionality are available. There are often plans aimed at small businesses to enterprise users.

Zendesk, for instance, starts at $49 per month per agent and goes up to $215 per month per agent with the most functionality (published costs at the time of publication).

There is a growing number of options when it comes to help desk software – from both established players like Salesforce and Zendesk and newer Zendesk alternatives like Gladly. A quick look on GetApp, an online review platform for software, shows over 70 companies in the category. Here’s our list of the best help desk software in 2022.

The 12 best help desk platforms

 

RankHelp DeskRating (Out of 5 Stars)
1.Zendesk5
2.Salesforce Service Cloud5
3.Gladly5
4.Freshdesk4.7
5.Zoho4.6
6.Hiver4.5
7.InvGate Service Desk4.5
8.Sprinklr4.4
9.PeopleSoft Enterprise Helpdesk4.4
10.ServiceNow4.4
11.Hubspot Service Hub4.3
12.Happyfox4.3
  • Best help desk software for omnichannel: Zendesk

 

What makes Zendesk one of the best help desks of 2022?

Zendesk is perhaps the most robust and flexible help desk platform. It’s used by over 160,000 companies including large enterprises like Expedia, Tesco and Vodafone. While it works on any channel (email, chat, voice, and even social messaging apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat and more), all the interactions and relevant context are kept in a single, dynamic dashboard. Integrating a top-performing Zendesk chatbot can make your help desk even more powerful. The platform is completely customizable and is designed to help companies quickly close tickets. The company reports that it increases customer satisfaction by 25% and agent productivity by 30% at any scale.

Real Testimonials: What customers have to say about Zendesk’s help desk

“Zеndеsk hеlрs yоu іmрrоvе yоur соmmunісatіоns еvеrywhеrе and еvеry mоmеnt.”

Key features

    • Sophisticated ticketing system and automated routing
    • Omnichannel experience and support – including real-time chat and email
    • Advanced reporting & analytics
    • Knowledge Base
    • Automation and service desk chatbot options
    • Ticket collaboration
    • SLA Management
    • Alerts / Escalation

Hear how AI can improve the customer experience in this webinar featuring Greg Dreyfus from Zendesk.


 

What makes Salesforce Service Cloud one of the best help desks of 2022?

Salesforce is the leading customer relationship management (CRM) platform used by businesses to manage customer data, connect across a variety of channels and streamline customer support. The company’s Service Cloud automates service processes, streamlines workflows, and surfaces key articles to elevate agent productivity.

The platform boasts many of the same features as the other help desk platforms on this list, but also has thousands of apps and integrations in the Salesforce AppExchange that extend the power of Salesforce. Whether you’re looking for customized surveys, AI-powered Salesforce chatbots, agent routing and productivity.

“Service Cloud – the platform for success and customer centricity”

Key features

    • Ticketing and automatic routing
    • Reporting and analytics dashboard
    • SLA management and routing
    • Knowledge base management
    • CRM
    • Automation
    • Omnichannel: voice, email, live chat, social media
  • Best help desk for hyper-personalization: Gladly

 

What makes Gladly one of the best help desks of 2022?

Gladly talks about its “radically personal service.” The help desk is designed to provide the ultimate customer experience that “treats customers like people, not tickets.” The platform provides this personalized customer service by enabling a single lifelong customer conversation across all channels. The customer’s context is carried forward, regardless of the channel on which they reach out. This customer-centric mindset  turns customer service teams into revenue-generating machines by providing agents with tools that can increase contact center generated revenue by up to 10%.

Although the platform is used by companies across industries, Gladly has a ton of experience with retailers like Crate & Barrel, Ugg, Warby Parker, Ulta Beauty and Ralph Lauren.

Drew Chamberlain, Director of Customer Experience for JOANN recounts that “’In less than a month we’d cut our email backlog by 93% and our email response times by 70%—it’s all thanks to how simple and efficient Gladly is to use.”

Key features

    • Customer profiles with saved preferences, purchase history, attributes and relationships
    • Conversation timeline
    • Intelligent routing
    • Native knowledge base
    • Contextual engagement
    • Intelligent routing and seamless escalation
    • Task management and collaboration tools
    • Payments
    • Omnichannel – native voice, email, text, chat, and more tools

Hear how support teams benefit from smart automation in this webinar featuring Mike McCarron from Gladly.


  • Best help desk software for small businesses: Freshdesk

 

What makes Freshdesk one of the best help desks of 2022?

Freshdesk converts requests coming in via email, web, phone, chat, and social into tickets, and unifies ticket resolution across channels. Additionally, Freshdesk lets you automate workflows, provide self-service, manage SLAs, and measure metrics, so you can stay on top of all things customer support. Highly repeatable questions can be replied to in a single keystroke with templated responses. Integrating a Freshdesk chatbot into the help desk might allow you to unlock 80% or higher automation rates.

While the company has over 150,000 customers of all sizes, it is the gold standard for help desk offerings aimed at smaller businesses, according to PC Magazine.

Key features

    • Ticket creation
    • Automation
    • SLA Management
    • Multilingual
    • Reporting and analytics
    • Multi-channel

Get 5 strategies for successful customer service automation in this webinar featuring Rajiv Ramanan from Freshworks.


  • Best help desk software for the value: Zoho

 

What makes Zoho one of the best help desks of 2022?

“In its own words, Zoho Desk is a “straightforward help desk for a great price.”

The Zoho cloud-based platform has an incredible list of features like automatic localization and automated ticket routing, and supports many of the top channels. The best part?  It’s very competitive in pricing with a free tier and paid plans starting at $12/agent for a month. To provide additional value to agents, many companies like Megabus deploy a Zoho chatbot.

Key features

    • Multi-channel, including email, social, chat and telephony
    • Sentiment analysis
    • Auto-tagging of tickets
    • Knowledge base management
    • Ticket assignment and routing
    • Immediate escalations and alerts
    • SLA management
    • Multi-brand help center
  • Best help desk software for teams that use Google Workspaces: Hiver

 

What makes Hiver one of the best help desks of 2022?

As the world’s first Gmail-based helpdesk, Hiver is the best fit for all types of business verticals, as it is extremely easy to adapt. With Hiver, support agents are able to collaborate and act on support queries, automate workflows, and track support metrics – all within Gmail. This means that it is not necessary for support reps to switch tabs while working on a customer query – ensuring timely resolution and an excellent customer experience.

Key features

    • Works within Gmail
    • Quick, seamless internal collaboration through Email notes (without using CCs and forwards)
    • Automation of specific workflows and repetitive tasks
    • Advanced analytics to track key support metrics such as first response time and average resolution time

 

What makes InvGate Service Desk one of the best help desks of 2022?

Enterprise Service Management is the extension of IT Service Management (ITSM) principles and capabilities to other areas of an organization, such as Human Resources, facilities, finance, legal, sales and marketing. InvGate Service Desk is a help desk software commonly used by IT and other areas of large and medium organizations, with a clear ticket management interface, smart workflows, and knowledge base capabilities. It can also be integrated with InvGate’s Asset Management software.

Key features

    • Ticket Management
    • Knowledge Base
    • Workflows and automation
    • Self-service portal
    • SLAs
    • Ticket collaboration
    • IT Asset Management integrations
  • Best help desk software for social media support: Sprinklr

 

What makes Sprinklr one of the best help desks of 2022?

Social media has emerged as a core support channel in recent years. The Sprinklr platform is a robust social media experience platform, Unified CXM, that spans marketing, ads, engagement and care. Sprinklr scales across 35+ digital channels.

With consumers increasingly turning to platforms like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and others for support, a big part of today’s social media management is customer service. Sprinklr’s Modern Care product is a unified agent desk that includes features like guided workflows, 360-degree customer profiling and CSAT prediction. The company’s AI identifies customer intent and sentiment; automatically creates support cases; and routes them to the right agent with the right information.

If you have a big presence on social media and need a unified place to listen, triage, engage and analyze social conversations, Sprinklr is the perfect choice. Brands that use Sprinklr include hospitality brands Choice Hotels and AAA – many of which pair this platform with a travel chatbot. Cisco is also a known brand using their solutions.

Key features

    • Social Analytics
    • Social Engagement
    • Sentiment Analysis
    • Ticketing
    • Influencer Identification
    • CSAT Prediction
    • AI Routing
    • Conversational AI
    • Quality Alerts

 

What makes PeopleSoft one of the best help desks of 2022?

Oracle’s PeopleSoft Enterprise HelpDesk leverages real-time enterprise data to provide faster, more accurate internal support, maximize employee productivity, monitor service performance, and control service costs. The platform allows agents to view a 360-degree view of the employee to provide the most accurate solution.

Tickets are routed to the agent with the best knowledge of a subject. This product also offers productivity tools like quick codes that populate the category, specialty type, and details fields of a ticket.

Key features

    • Skills-based routing
    • Central repository of diagnostic tools
    • Shortcut data entry
    • Self-service tools
  • Best help desk software for internal IT support (ITSM): ServiceNow

 

What makes ServiceNow one of the best help desks of 2022?

ServiceNow is a platform-as-a-service provider of IT service applications. The company provides a range of pre-built ITSM products to automate and manage numerous IT enterprise services. Using the single software you can automate processes and create custom applications to meet all your IT service needs.

Key features

    • Drag & Drop
    • Compliance management
    • Data visualization
    • Workflow management
    • Alerts / escalations
    • Data mapping and visualization
    • Configurable Workflows

 

What makes Hubspot Service Hub one of the best help desks of 2022?

If you use the Hubspot CRM, the Service Hub is a great solution. While it does offer paid plans, the free plan has unlimited users and significantly more features than other free plans. With the Service Hub, customer service data and channels are brought together into a single platform.

Key features include

    • Comprehensive Ticketing
    • Live chat
    • Conversations inbox to offer transparency for the entire team
    • Detailed reports on closed tickets, agent productivity, and time-to-close
    • Email templates
    • integrations with Gmail, Outlook, Facebook Messenger, and other programs, including mobile apps
    • Snippets – or reusable answers to most commonly asked questions
  • Best practical help desk: Happyfox

 

What makes Happyfox one of the best help desks of 2022?

Easy to use and “practical,” HappyFox provides multi-channel support for customer requests coming from email, web, phone and social media. Although it lacks some integration capabilities as the other platforms, HappyFox integrates with business applications for accounting, customer feedback, CRM and commerce.

Key features

  • Ticket creation and automated routing
  • Alerts and escalation
  • Knowledge base management
  • Automation
  • Ticket collaboration
  • SLA management
  • Multilingual

Service Desk Chatbot Integration with AI: A must-have feature for any help desk platform

Getting set up on a help desk platform is essential for any modern day support team. Integrating with an AI-powered service desk chatbot can extend the power of the platforms, and help to further improve the customer experience, boost agent productivity and reduce costs.

Netomi, for instance, has out-of-the-box integrations with Zendesk, Freshdesk, Gladly, Salesforce, Zoho and Sprinklr, amongst others. Netomi brings its powerful AI chatbots natively into the agent experience. With these integrations, Netomi’s AI service desk chatbot works alongside human agents seamlessly and can benefit a customer service team in many ways:

  • Automatically resolving mundane, repetitive tickets enabling human agents to focus on higher-level tasks
  • Triaging tickets by gathering information from customers and back-end systems before escalating to human agents
  • Drafting responses for an agent to quickly approve, edit or reject
  • Scaling support across every digital channel –  email, chat, messaging, social, as well as SMS customer service – without increasing headcount
  • Service desk chatbot tools can provide 24/7/365 coverage
  • Reducing customer service costs by optimizing human agent resources
  • Increasing customer satisfaction by reducing resolution time

Customer service becomes a competitive differentiator

When support teams have the right technology and service desk chatbot behind them, agents are able to work better and faster, and meet the demands of today’s modern consumer. Increasingly, companies are competing on customer service, as much as price and product.

Without top-of-the-line help desk software, and layering powerful customer service tools like AI service desk chatbot tools to elevate the experience, it’s hard for support teams to measure up to the experience of customer-centric organizations that prioritize the customer experience and invest in the proper tools.

Want to learn more about how AI and the right service desk chatbot can transform customer service operations? Watch our featured on-demand webinar featuring Zendesk.

For more information on customer service, visit:

Everything You Need To Know About Omnichannel Customer Experiences in 2021

Written by Emily Cummins  on   Jul 27, 2021

Today’s digital world is littered with companies providing omnichannel experience scenarios for their customers.

Here’s a real-life example of an omnichannel experience: While looking through photos, you see an ad on Instagram for an all-inclusive tropical getaway from an online travel agency. You click on the ad and start researching the property. You open your laptop to read reviews before you complete your booking. On the OTA’s app, you book activities to do while you’re there and receive restaurant recommendations via email (did we just describe your Thursday?) You get an email alert when it’s time to check in for your flight and SMS customer service updates when your flight is delayed. Your itinerary of booked activities and restaurants is printed off for you when you check in at the hotel, and you ask the concierge to change your evening’s dinner reservation as you arrive later than expected.

This is a true omnichannel experience. 

Today’s customer journey is complicated. Every customer has their own preferences of when and how to research and purchase, and follow up with questions and issues on their channel of choice. There is a growing expectation from consumers to have a truly seamless omnichannel experience: being able to start something on one channel and pick it up on another at a different time. 

Having a fluid omnichannel experience is critical to satisfying customers, driving loyalty and building long-term relationships. Customer expectations and what companies are providing, though, are not aligning:  71% of consumers want a consistent experience across all channels, but only 29% say they actually get it1.

In this post, we’re diving deep into everything companies need to know about omnichannel experiences in 2021. We’re answering these questions:

  • What is an omnichannel experience?
  • What’s the difference between multichannel and omnichannel?
  • Why is an omnichannel customer experience important?
  • What’s a good omnichannel strategy?
  • What makes an omnichannel experience great?
  • What are examples of great omnichannel experiences?

What is an omnichannel experience?

Omnichannel experience definition: An omnichannel customer experience enables a customer to interchange devices and move fluidly between channels, carrying context forward with every interaction. Omnichannel experiences merge and integrate the online, offline and physical (in-store, on-flight, on-property, etc.) worlds together, creating a truly seamless and consistent experience regardless of channel. Omnichannel experiences span sales, marketing and support and align messaging across platforms and internal business groups. 

Are omnichannel and multichannel experiences the same? 

“Omnichannel” and “multichannel” experiences are often used interchangeably, but there are a few key differences. Multichannel solutions offer customers the ability to perform tasks on many channels, but the channels are not integrated. Customer context is not carried forward. Communication is fragmented and disconnected. This compares to omnichannel experiences which create a cohesive, synchronized journey as a person moves between channels. A person does not have to repeat themselves, or restart a task. Most brands have implemented a solid multichannel strategy, but as expectations from customers increase for effortless and frictionless cross-channel interactions, there will be a significant shift towards truly omnichannel interactions. 

Why is omnichannel customer experience important?

Customer expectations for great experiences have never been higher: half of all customers say that Customer Experience (CX) is more important to them now than it was a year ago2. A big part of providing a good CX is being omnichannel. Here are the top five reasons why providing an omnichannel customer experience is important for brands in 2021. 

  1. Omnichannel is what your customers expect: The mindset shift of customers has accelerated significantly in recent years. Today, nine out of 10 consumers want an omnichannel experience with seamless service between communication methods3and approximately 60% of millennials expect consistent brand experiences—whether in-store, online or by phone4
  2. Omnichannel is how your customers are shopping and receiving support: It’s not just what people expect in some far-flung reality, it’s actually the behavior of the modern customer. Numerous studies have revealed the underlying shift in customer behavior. Two of the most well-regarded studies reveal that 73% of consumers use more than one channel on their shopping journey5 and as many as 85% of digital consumers start the purchasing workflow on one device yet finish it on another6. When we drill down into travel as one example, an Amadeus study found that the average accommodation purchase journey involves as many as 45 touchpoints across different devices and websites7. Customer behavior has shifted, and companies need to shift their marketing, sales and support strategies to accommodate this evolving behavior. 
  3. Omnichannel drives relationships: Investing in omnichannel experiences is a key ingredient in keeping customers loyal. Businesses that adopt omnichannel strategies see 91% higher year-over-year customer retention rates compared to businesses that don’t8
  4. Omnichannel unlocks new revenue: Companies will see revenue payoffs from long-term relationships, but also in the short-term. A study in the Harvard Business Journal finds that omnichannel customers spend 4% more in-store and 10% more online than single-channel customers. For every additional channel they use, customers spend more money5. Another study finds that shoppers who used three or more channels to interact with brands had a purchasing frequency rate that was 250% higher than single-channel users9
  5. Your competitors are omnichannel: Sometimes, even businesses need to keep up with the Joneses. Companies no longer compete just with competitors in their space. When it comes to customer experience, companies have to rise to the standards set by Amazon, Netflix and other customer-obsessed brands. As a result, investment in omnichannel experiences is on the rise:  the number of companies investing in this has jumped from 20% to more than 80% since 201210

To learn how Netomi is a one-stop, self-service solution for delivering omnichannel experiences, read this.


What makes an omnichannel experience great?

Now that we’ve covered why an omnichannel strategy is important, let’s discuss what exactly makes an omnichannel experience superior. 

First and foremost, companies need to be available on a variety of channels, empowering customers to complete tasks at each touchpoint – including email, chat, web, mobile app, SMS, etc. Being omnichannel doesn’t necessarily mean having all functionality available on each channel, but rather unlocking features and functionality on the channels that make sense, would provide value and offer a good experience. Take advantage of what makes each channel unique. Invite a person to ask friends for feedback on outfits on Messenger or vote on your next trip destination, for instance. Even when the same task might be available on multiple channels – like interacting with customer service, browsing or purchasing – the experience needs to be optimized for the particular channel. 

The core of omnichannel experiences is carrying context forward. Remove silos of customer data that live on different channels and within different departments to have a single view of the customer. This way, a customer is able to start a task on one channel and pick it up where they left off on another device or at another time. Customers don’t have to start a conversation over or repeat themselves. 

On its website, Zendesk talks about customer service agents who use its help desk platform have the power to “easily transfer the conversation from a chat app to a web chat, from an email to SMS, from social media to the phone—or any other combination that makes sense.11” For instance, if a customer reaches out on live chat with an issue, and the customer ends the chat thinking they have all of the answers they need, only to realize later there is one thing they forgot to ask. Away from her computer, she calls customer service instead. The agent quickly pulls up her profile and sees the interaction she previously had on chat and has all of the context to quickly resolve her issue.  

What is an omnichannel strategy?  

Creating an omnichannel experience requires sales, marketing, product and support teams to come together to align on messaging, functionality and strategy. Here’s the core components of an omnichannel strategy: 

  • Map your customer journey: Understand exactly when, why and where customers are interacting with your brand, and understand what context and data is needed to personalize each touchpoint. 
  • Continuously scale to new and emerging interaction channels: A few short years ago, WhatsApp was not on the radar as a channel for consumer and brand interaction. Today, there are over 5 million business users on the popular messaging app12. The channels that are on your radar today, may not account for what’s going to be important for your customers and business five, three or even one year from now. Ensure your technology stack is flexible to scale to new channels. 
  • Optimize the experience on every channel: As you scale to new channels, remove sources of friction. Be obsessive about finding ways to make tasks simpler or removing steps. 
  • Leverage the right technology: You can’t have a true omnichannel experience without the right tech stack. Have a single view of the customer in a cross-channel CRM platform. Leverage AI chatbots to manage some of the interactions autonomously, or pull data from back-end systems to arm human sales or support agents with digestible, relevant customer info in real-time. 
  • Apply predictive and machine learning: Identify patterns in behavior and opportunities to surprise and delight customers with new experiences or proactive care at key points along the customer journey. 

To find out what over 700 US consumers think about customer service,check out The State of Customer Service: 2021 Edition.


What are examples of great omnichannel experiences?

There are a few companies that have truly nailed the omnichannel customer experience. 

Starbucks is one of them. It’s mobile app, loyalty program and order-ahead functionality merges the digital and physical worlds effortlessly. On the app, you easily place your order. Payments are completed with the tap of a button.  You walk into the store, and your order is waiting for you. Your loyalty points are tallied up and stored on your account. Truly seamless. 

Another famous example of a great omnichannel experience is Walt Disney World. Nearly 21 million people visited its Florida park alone13. These visitors can plan their trip in advance, book shows and restaurants, reserve and manage fast passes, and more using the My Disney Experience tool. The Disney’s Magicbands enables visitors to unlock hotel rooms, check in at FastPass+ entrances, get directions and charge food and drink purchases to their hotel room…. all from a device on their wrist. 

To learn more about improving customer experience, visit:

References 

  1. https://go.gladly.com/customer-expectations-report-2020 
  2. https://www.zendesk.com/customer-experience-trends/ 
  3. https://www.uctoday.com/contact-centre/delivering-an-excellent-omni-channel-experience/
  4. https://www.sdl.com/about/news-media/press/2014/sdl-study-reveals-channels-are-irrelevant-to-consumers.html
  5. https://hbr.org/2017/01/a-study-of-46000-shoppers-shows-that-omnichannel-retailing-works
  6. https://www.tallysoft.com/5-omnichannel-retail-trends-2019/
  7. https://amadeus.com/en/insights/blog/omnichannel-vision-for-new-world-of-travel
  8. https://loyalty360.org/content-gallery/daily-news/survey-businesses-that-use-omni-channel-strategies-have-far-better-customer 
  9. https://www.clickz.com/onmichannel-marketing-automation-statistics-for-2019/231381-2/231381/
  10. https://www.pwc.com/us/en/retail-consumer/publications/assets/pwc-retailing-2020.pdf 
  11. https://www.zendesk.com/blog/omnichannel-really-means/
  12. https://www.pymnts.com/mobile-applications/2019/whatsapp-business-messaging-app-users/ 
  13. https://www.statista.com/statistics/232966/attendance-at-the-walt-disney-world-magic-kingdom-theme-park/ 

Choice Matters: The Importance of Multi-channel Customer Service

Written by Can Ozdoruk  on   Jun 23, 2020

In order to meet customer expectations, companies must provide multi channel customer service 

We live in an on-demand society. We expect anything delivered any time, anywhere. Receiving resolutions to our customer service issues is no different than getting caught up on the daily news. The expectation is for 24/7 access to multi channel customer service.

Multi-channel support has emerged as a major point of differentiation for companies of all sizes. The payoff for great customer satisfaction is huge. Good support pays in terms of revenue, retention, and reputation. The following customer service statistics will give you an idea of just how important it is for companies to invest in customer support:

  • 16%: Premium people will pay when accompanied by good customer experiences
  • 95%: Say customer service plays into brand loyalty
  • 33%: Switch companies after 1 instance of poor customer service

Core to a good experience is offering your customers a choice. Customers want choice for the channels on which they receive support. They also want a choice about when they are able to get problems resolved.  There are a growing number of futuristic (hello, Alexa) channels where people expect to be able to get a question answered or a problem resolved. Providing quick, convenient support experiences on the channels your customers prefer is key to great support. 

It’s no longer enough to be readily available on one or two channels, staffing agents to answer phones during limited business hours. The expectation is for 24/7, low-effort support on the channels of choice. Companies are not doing this today: Less than half of consumers find any customer service channel easy to use.  

How to offer multi-channel customer support 

Focus on making your customers happy by making them feel appreciated and listened to. Your customers expect customer support on these primary channels: 


Check out The Ultimate Guide to Delivering Exceptional Customer Support in 2022.


Circumstances change, and channel preferences are fluid 

Customers don’t usually have a single channel that they prefer 100% of the time. A person might prefer a customer self service website portal for a question about a return policy. While a more urgent matter is better suited for live chat. Some customers might prefer sending a refund request in a customer support email, while others might want to submit a complaint in between chats with friends on social media.

For every customer, the situation, their situational context, the urgency of a resolution and the nature of the issue directly changes their preferences for how they get in touch with service reps. It’s not just younger consumers who seamlessly flow between channels. There is an undeniable shift across age groups adopting more channels. The omnichannel experience is here to stay. 

Bring Humans and AI together, in union, across every channel 

It’s not just enough to offer a support team on these channels, you also have to provide personal support instantaneously. Consider this: 32% of people expect a response within 30 minutes on messaging platforms, and  57% expect the same response time at night and on weekends as during normal business hours. [To learn about specific response time expectations by channel, check out Hubspot’s blog here]. 

Most companies cannot afford to staff human agents round-the-clock, across every channel. It’s simply cost-prohibitive. Companies need to deploy AI across channels to act as the first line of defense. AI can solve repeatable queries autonomously, while escalating complex issues to human agents. While some companies are wary about AI, “45% of consumers don’t care who they interact with — live agent or chatbot — as long as the service is effective, accurate, and handled quickly.

A human and machine team effort is the only way to scale personal support across multiple channels without multiplying the current resource allocation to customer service. With customer service now directly impacting buying decisions and building loyalty, it’s essential that companies meet demands for convenient, cross-channel support. 

Celebrate each channel’s differences, and adapt your service accordingly 

Your interaction needs to be adapted to fit each channel. Messaging and chat are less formal, more conversational and expected to be immediate. Long-form sentences are hard to read in a chat environment. Short-form and abbreviations, on the other hand, don’t usually work on email.  

Choice matters. Let your customers decide how they want to resolve an issue and be a hero in their eyes. 

Interested in learning how we can increase your knowledge base and empower your company to scale multi channel customer service? Get in touch today.