May 17, 2023

CRM Services: Customer Support Features for Small Business

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Key takeaways:

  • CRM services are essential for streamlining customer support in small businesses.
  • Customer service software features such as ticketing systems, live chat, and self-service portals can enhance customer experience. 
  • Top CRM solutions for small businesses include Zendesk, HubSpot, Freshworks, and Zoho.

As small businesses grow, managing customer relationships becomes crucial. That’s where customer relationship management (CRM) services come into play. CRM services not only streamline sales and marketing efforts but also play a pivotal role in providing automated customer support

In this article, we’ll explore the essential customer support features of CRM services for small businesses as well as a few notable CRM solutions that offer exceptional customer service tools. 

How can CRM services boost customer support for small businesses?

In today’s competitive business environment, delivering exceptional customer support is more important than ever. With a plethora of options available, customers often base their purchasing decisions on the quality of customer service they receive. Investing in customer service CRM software can help small businesses not only retain their existing customers but also attract new ones.

CRM services make it easier for small businesses to manage customer interactions by consolidating all customer interactions in one place. CRM services enable businesses to keep track of customer conversations across different communication channels. A well-organized customer support system also improves response times by ensuring customer queries are addressed promptly and efficiently. CRM services measure performance and provide businesses with valuable insights into their customer support team’s performance, allowing for continuous improvement.

Top CRMs for customer support

While the primary focus of this article is on customer support features, it’s essential to mention a few CRM solutions that cater specifically to small businesses. Some popular options include:

Zendesk Sell

Zendesk offers a comprehensive suite of customer support tools, including a powerful ticketing system, live chat, and a self-service portal.

Unique features of Zendesk for customer support include:

  • AI-powered chatbots: Zendesk’s Answer Bot can automatically resolve common customer queries, freeing up your support agents for more complex issues.
  • Social media integration: Zendesk allows businesses to manage customer interactions on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter directly from the CRM.
  • Customizable reporting: Zendesk offers in-depth analytics and customizable reports to help businesses measure the effectiveness of their customer support efforts.

HubSpot

HubSpot is a popular CRM solution for small businesses, offering a range of customer support features in addition to its sales and marketing tools. Notable customer support features include:

  • Conversational bots: HubSpot’s chatbot builder allows businesses to create custom chatbots that can handle routine customer inquiries.
  • Shared inbox: HubSpot’s shared inbox feature enables support agents to collaborate on customer issues, ensuring a seamless customer experience.
  • Knowledge base: HubSpot offers a built-in knowledge base tool that allows businesses to create and manage a comprehensive self-service portal for customers.

Freshsales

Freshworks offers a suite of CRM services, with Freshdesk being its dedicated customer support software. Freshdesk provides a range of customer support features tailored to small businesses, such as:

  • Collaboration tools: Freshdesk’s Team Huddle feature allows support agents to collaborate on tickets, ensuring faster resolutions and improved teamwork.
  • SLA management: Freshdesk’s SLA feature helps businesses set and manage service level agreements to ensure prompt and efficient support.
  • Gamification: Freshdesk’s gamification features motivate support agents through leaderboards, achievements, and rewards, fostering a competitive yet collaborative work environment.

Zoho

Zoho offers a comprehensive CRM solution with a range of customer support features suitable for small businesses.

Key customer support features in Zoho include:

  • Omnichannel support: Zoho enables businesses to manage customer interactions across multiple channels, including email, phone, live chat, and social media, all within the CRM platform.
  • Blueprints: Zoho’s Blueprint feature allows businesses to create custom workflows for their support processes, ensuring a consistent and efficient approach to handling customer issues.
  • Contextual AI: Zoho’s AI-powered assistant, Zia, offers smart suggestions and insights based on customer data, helping support agents provide more personalized support.

Key customer support features in CRM services

When evaluating CRM services for your small business, consider the following essential customer support features:

Ticketing system

A ticketing system is the backbone of any customer support software. It organizes customer requests, assigns them to the appropriate support agents, and tracks their progress until resolution. Look for CRM services that offer a robust ticketing system with features like ticket prioritization, routing and automation. 

Ticket prioritization ensures high-priority issues are addressed first. Ticket routing automatically assigns tickets to the most appropriate agents based on their skills and workload. Ticket Automation allows users to create automated workflows for handling routine tasks, such as sending follow-up emails or updating ticket statuses.

Live chat

Live chat is a vital customer support feature that allows customers to communicate with support agents in real-time. It can help your business resolve issues faster, leading to quicker resolutions and happier customers. Engaging with potential customers through live chat can help address their concerns, leading to higher conversion rates. By handling multiple chat conversations simultaneously, live chat can reduce support costs compared to traditional phone support.

Self-service portal

A self-service portal enables customers to find answers to their questions without contacting the support team. It typically includes a knowledge base, FAQ section, and community forums. A well-designed self-service portal can reduce support volume by providing quick access to information, empower customers by giving them the tools they need to solve their problems independently, and improve support efficiency by handling routine queries through the self-service portal. These advantages ultimately enable your support team to focus on more complex issues.

Social media integration

Customers often turn to social media platforms to seek support or voice their concerns. Integrating social media into your CRM services enables your support team to monitor and respond by tracking customer mentions, comments, and messages on social media platforms and respond promptly. You can build relationships by engaging with customers proactively, addressing their concerns and building brand loyalty. Also, measure impact by social media interactions to gauge the effectiveness of your customer support efforts on various platforms.

Multilingual support

As your business grows and reaches a global audience, offering multilingual support becomes crucial. CRM services with multilingual support capabilities can cater to customers who speak different languages, thereby ensuring a more inclusive customer experience. Multilingual support improves communication by reducing language barriers and misunderstandings, and customer satisfaction will be boosted by a personalized support option that makes users feel valued and appreciated. 

Reporting and analytics

A comprehensive reporting and analytics feature in your CRM services can help you track, measure, and improve your customer support efforts. Look for CRM services that offer detailed, customizable reports, real-time analytics and trend analysis. 

Customizable reports provide data on various customer support metrics, such as response times, resolution rates, and customer satisfaction scores. Real-time analytics monitor your support team’s performance in real-time, enabling you to make data-driven decisions and adjustments. Trend analysis identifies patterns and trends in your customer support data to uncover areas for improvement and potential growth opportunities.

Taking your customer support to the next level

Choosing the right CRM services for your small business is essential for delivering exceptional customer support. By considering the key features discussed in this article, such as ticketing systems, live chat, and self-service portals, you can identify the CRM solution that best meets your business’s unique needs. Whether you choose Zendesk, HubSpot, Freshworks, Zoho, or another CRM solution, investing in customer service CRM software is a critical step toward enhancing the customer experience and growing your business.

Looking for the latest in CRM solutions? Check out our CRM Software Buyer’s Guide.

1 HubSpot CRM

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HubSpot is an intuitive CRM that makes managing your sales pipeline a breeze. Everything you need to track important metrics, set up time-saving flows and automations, manage clients seamlessly, and grow your business is available in one tidy dashboard. Plans are available for businesses at every stage of growth, starting at 100% free. Start taking the guesswork out of business management today with HubSpot CRM.

Learn more about HubSpot CRM

2 Fireberry

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Fireberry is an all inclusive and customizable platform made to centralize all your business needs. Expedite your processes and pipelines with automations and data analytics. Work comfortably and efficiently to manage all your business needs and up your revenue.

Learn more about Fireberry

3 Pipedrive

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Pipedrive is a sales-focused customer relationship management tool that teams of all sizes love using. It visualizes your sales pipeline and helps to make sure important activities and conversations won’t get dropped. It also sports built-in forecasting, integrations with other software such as Google Apps, MailChimp and Zapier and an API for those who like to “roll their own” software solutions.

Learn more about Pipedrive

FAQs

What is a service CRM?

A service CRM is a customer relationship management system specifically designed to help businesses manage and streamline their customer service and support processes. It typically includes features such as ticketing systems, live chat, self-service portals, and reporting tools.

Why do small businesses need CRM services?

Small businesses need CRM services to manage customer interactions, improve response times, and measure support team performance.

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