A customer support platform is a tool that helps streamline all customer care processes.
Customer experience is carving its way into becoming the purchase decision-maker, but e-commerce retailers trying to adapt to this shift in buyer behavior are faced with challenges that lack obvious and easy solutions.
However, by integrating customer service processes and embracing the tools that interlink and unify them, e-commerce business owners can get one step ahead of the game.
The Value Of Customer Service in E-commerce
Customer service goes beyond providing answers. On top of this, it shows incredible potential for:
And yet, there are many businesses that still see it as a unidimensional task.
E-commerce can benefit a great deal from investing time and money in customer service that humanizes an otherwise fully virtual shopping experience.
This makes customers more comfortable, trusting, and therefore more likely to buy (and not just once).
In the competitive online retail arena, it’s the extra personal touch that counts.
Recurring Problems in E-commerce Customer Service
Prioritizing customer support in e-commerce is neither easy nor common. The main roadblocks to serving customers include:
- Lack of a strategy and framework
- Poor agent training
- Limited response capabilities
- Lack of documentation and other support resources
These shortcomings often halt customer service efforts altogether, affecting customer experience as a whole. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Searching for Solutions in Customer Support Platforms
Customer support platforms can help you bridge the gap between impossible investments in dedicated support teams and satisfactory ways of addressing your customer’s needs by allowing you to:
- Make multi-channel replies
- Shorten the average response time
- Organize customer queries
- Nourish customer engagement
- Automate recurring tasks
- Build a knowledge base
- Provide security and reliability
There are quite a few customer service options available out there, and some are more comprehensive than others. In this article, we will be focusing on the best customer support solutions that can lend your e-commerce business a much needed helping hand.
Now, let’s take a look at our selection.
The Best Customer Support Platforms for E-commerce
Each customer support platform has its strengths and weaknesses. Before going into depth, here are the main strengths of each of the platforms we analyzed:
- Zendesk: overall versatility, friendly user interface
- HubSpot Service Hub: lots of free service tools and options for full growth integration
- Freshdesk: interesting solutions for small businesses, and free plan available
- Wix Answers: omnichannel capabilities and ease of use
- Groove: back to basics features and affordability
- Help Scout: social and environmental values, “brand personality”, and affordability
Zendesk is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, offering support, sales, and customer engagement products.
It is designed to make customer service software accessible to all, and its friendly user interface is a big reason why Zendesk is one of the most popular customer support solutions available.
More than 160,000 customers across many industries use Zendesk, and the platform prides itself on how adaptable and customizable it is.
Of all the Zendesk products, the full-service Support Suite is the most comprehensive and offers smooth navigation between individual modules like Support, Guide, Chat, Talk, Explore, Sell, and Gather.
Best bits: Friendly user interface and versatility
Made for: Small businesses, start-ups, and enterprises
Pricing: Support Suite Professional from $105/month
Free trial: yes, for 30 days
- Omnichannel live chat and messaging
- Integrated voice software
- Call recording and voicemail transcription
- Customer context
- Multiple ticket forms
- Analytics and reporting
- Self-service and knowledge base
- Platform extensibility with private and public apps
HubSpot Service Hub
HubSpot is famous for its customer relationship management software, but it isn’t lacking in the customer support department either. The HubSpot Service Hub was launched in 2018, and it has been gaining a stellar reputation since then.
HubSpot boasts over 73,400 total customers across its platforms, and it is aimed at providing a complete growth package for businesses, while catering to bootstrapped and emerging companies at the same time.
The Service Hub is powerful, easy to use, and affordable, as it offers a free solution that includes ticketing, live chat, conversations inbox, team email, and closed ticket report features
Best bits: Free service tools and options for full growth integration
Made for: Small businesses to enterprises
Free tier: yes
Free trial: yes, 14 days for all tiers
Pricing: From $45/month
- Conversation inbox
- Help desk and ticket automation
- Knowledge base
- Live chat
- Customer feedback surveys
- 1:1 video creation
Freshdesk is one of the top choices among helpdesk solutions today, and it can back its popularity up. It is powerful, intuitive, sensibly priced, and packed with features.
The fact that Freshdesk targets small businesses, and offers them tailored solutions to their challenges, is what makes the platform interesting and popular.
Over 40,000 companies use and trust Freshdesk, as it helps streamline customer conversations, automate repetitive work, collaborate across teams, and resolve issues better and faster.
Best bits: Small business solutions and free plan
Made for: Small businesses
Free tier: yes
Free trial: yes, 21 days for all tiers.
Pricing: from $18/month
- Support across channels
- Collaboration across teams
- Task automation
- Knowledge base and forums
- Complete customization capabilities
- Data security
Wix Answers is a comprehensive help desk software solution especially handy for - you guessed right - Wix sites. Offering a consolidated approach to customer service, the platform condensates multiple communication channels on a single platform.
Ticketing, chats, calls, knowledge management, and workflows are blended together in a data-driven system to help businesses run a smooth customer support operation.
Wix Answers caters to midsize organizations and small businesses that are scaling fast. The platform is simple to use and makes integration into an existing business easy.
Best bits: Omnichannel capabilities and ease of use
Made for: Small businesses and midsize organizations
Free trial: yes, 14 days for all tiers
Pricing: from $24/month
- Built-in call center
- Tailored knowledge base
- AI-powered reply box
- Custom workflows
- Customizable email templates
- Help widget
- Actionable insights
- Live chat
Groove is a simple customer support tool designed for small businesses. Aiming to cut the clutter and refine the features on offer, Groove makes for a no-frills system that stands out for its directness.
Over 10,000 companies and 70,000 individuals use Groove, and the platform is becoming a popular choice among small businesses looking to grow without a dedicated support team.
Groove is also prized for its team collaboration feature which encourages teamwork by allowing private notes or teammate tagging.
Best bits: Back to basics features and affordability
Made for: Small businesses
Free trial: yes, 120 days for all tiers
Pricing: from $9/month
- Shared inbox
- Intuitive dashboard
- Team collaboration
- Canned replies
- Customer history
- Customizable knowledge base
- Insights and reporting
- Email management
Help Scout is a help desk platform with an authentic and human feel. It offers a high-quality solution, boasting features such as 24/7 support, integrations, embedded knowledge base, and training.
Over 10,000 businesses trust Help Scout, and the company has been active in onboarding customers that share their values. The platform is robust, easy to use, and affordable.
Best bits: Social and environmental values, personality, and pricing
Made for: From small business to enterprises
Free trial: yes, 15 days for all tiers
Pricing: from $10/month
- Shared inboxes
- Embedded knowledge base
- Live Chat
- Measuring and reports
- Platform training and classes
How to Integrate Your Customer Support Platform Into Your E-commerce Workflow
One of the most important aspects you need to look after when choosing a customer support platform lies within its integration features.
This is significant because integrations are a fast-lane toward automation and greater efficiency.
For example, customer care systems lend themselves beautifully to integrations into day-to-day project management workflows.
Whether you use Trello, Asana, Airtable, or any other project management tool, linking them to your customer service platform is an easy way to increase your response time capabilities. If you are curious about customer support platform integrations and automation, we recommend you to start with this article.
Customer support platforms will stick around for a while. They are powerful and versatile, and we hope you got a step closer to seeing their true value and potential for your e-commerce business.
If you are ready to commit to a customer care platform but still unsure about how to pick the best one for your needs, our guide will be your friend. We’ve put together 7 simple tips that will make the process a breeze.
Here’s to happy customers and growing businesses.