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What makes a customer service application stand out?

5th Oct 2015
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According to a report from Software Advice in March, the market for CRM software, including help desk and customer support platforms, grew nearly 2,000% in the 10 years leading up to 2007 and continued to grow year-on-year thereafter.

Within the diverse mix of CRM, customer service-specific products (software used to track and manage service and support interactions, by phone, over the web, through email or by social media) have seen a particular rise to prominence, and Software Advice’s research states there are now hundreds of products available on the market.

With so much choice, which customer service applications stand out amongst the glut of available options?

"A good customer service platform is one that includes all needed functionality while still maintaining a high degree of usability," says Craig Borowski, managing director, Software Advice. "Most inexperienced buyers end up going for too much of the former and end up sacrificing the latter. This can slow down the process of providing support, often considerably, and the quality of service can decline.

"We get many calls from companies who’d over-purchased on service software and are looking to switch to a simpler platform that will increase efficiency. Our most popular ranking gets to the heart of peer recommendations which is what many shoppers are looking for.

Software Advice’s latest research into this particular CRM subset used a combination of metrics to measure the overall popularity of the available products, including user adoption levels, search traffic and social media preference as key indicators. This is combined with user reviews via the Software Advice network.

It found Zendesk rated top of class, with a ‘combined score’ of 4.8 out of 5, followed by Freshdesk, Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.

Zendesk currently accounts for 31% of users, followed by Freshdesk with 19%, Salesforce with 16% and Dynamics with 10%.

In terms of social followers across networks as a key indicator, Microsoft Dynamics CRM leads the way with over 16m, followed by Oracle Siebel CRM with 2,4m and Salesforce with 1.1m.

However, Zendesk also tops month search volume, with 29%, compared with 16% for Zoho and 11% for GoToAssist.

"Zendesk stands out in our most popular ranking first and foremost for its name recognition," Borowski adds.
"Their recognition is, however, very well deserved. The Zendesk platform strikes the functionality/usability balance very well. Many companies find that it provides the applications they need without going overboard. If the company requires more specialised support applications, then they can often find them in the collection of add-ons available in the Zendesk apps marketplace. With these features in mind, it's no wonder Zendesk rose to the top of our 2015 most popular ranking."
Software Advice 10 most popular customer service products

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