Customer Service Dashboard

What is customer service software?

Customer service software empowers businesses to provide a better customer experience.

There are many metrics and key performance indicators a business may use to gauge success, but all of them come down to one simple question: How well is your organization helping your customers achieve their goals?

Customer service software is a term used to describe the tools and platforms businesses use to better manage and improve the customer experience. More specifically, these tools may help manage customer support requests—collecting, analyzing, assisting with, and reporting on cases. Businesses may also use customer service software to manage or integrate with customer communication channels, including chat, text, email, and social media.

Backed by effective customer service software, many businesses are able to better coordinate the efforts of teams of service agents. This results in improved efficiency and shorter customer-support response times.

Graphic displaying types of customer service software.

What is support software?

Is customer service software different from customer support software? No; they’re actually the same thing. Some organizations may make a distinction between the two, but in practice both customer service and customer support software fulfill the same role: to help you manage support and service requests from a single, central location.

Elements of customer service software

Customer service and support tools may take many forms. Customer service case-management systems, online forums, automated call-back systems—each are designed to improve the customer-support experience. That said, most customer service tools fall into at least one of the following categories:

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a crucial element in customer service software, offering a range of capabilities that enhance communication and efficiency. With VoIP, businesses can leverage advanced call routing, recording, and monitoring features to ensure calls are directed to the right agents, track and review customer interactions, and monitor call quality for continuous improvement. VoIP also plays a significant role in call metrics and analytics, providing valuable insights into call volume, wait times, call duration, and customer satisfaction. Additionally, VoIP 'click to call' functionality simplifies the customer experience by allowing instant connections with a single click. Integration of VoIP with customer relationship management (CRM) systems further enhances customer service software.

Phone support tools
While the advent of digital communication technologies has given rise to a number of internet-based support channels, the telephone remains one of the most widely used methods for contacting customer support. Phone-support tools, such as call-center software, allow agents to effectively organize and address multiple support cases at once, routing calls to properly skilled agents, automating certain tasks, and still providing knowledgeable, personalized service. Computer telephony integration (CTI) tools are also valuable. CTI makes relevant customer information immediately available to call-support agents, supporting inbound and outbound calls and integrating with existing platforms.

Automated agents
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation have the potential to significantly improve customer support, by resolving customer issues and providing solutions, without always having to involve a human agent. Automated agents can free up support personnel from basic support requests, leading to improved agent productivity and faster issue remediation. At the same time, AI can assist human agents by employing predictive routing to ensure that the right interactions are being sent to the agent who is best suited (and currently available) to handle the task.Whether supporting agents through intelligent routing or handling tasks autonimously to give agents more bandwidth for strategic activities, AI and automation are revolutionizing customer serivce software.

Customer relationship management (CRM)
A logical extension of the shared inbox, CRM functions more as a database of customer information. Agents use CRM software to organize and recall data associated with customers and their history, providing a more consistent and informed service.

Case management software
Case management is often integrated with CRM and shares similar objectives. However, case management focuses more on the cases, or support requests, themselves. Agents can create cases and access all relevant information from a single platform.

Workflow software
Taking automation further, workflow software integrates across disparate systems, routes cases and tasks to the right teams, and automates entire, multi-stage business processes. Workflows optimize customer service interactions and help organizations achieve better, more consistent business outcomes.

Self-service software
Rather than wait on hold for customer support agents—or even automated agents—many customers prefer to look for solutions on their own. Self-service portals are designed to provide customers with access to a searchable knowledge base and other resources a customer can use as an alternative to traditional support requests.

Customer Help Center

Think beyond traditional CRM

Discover the advantages of end-to-end solutions for seamless quality customer experiences that go beyond traditional CRM capabilities.

No matter the company, no matter the industry, an improved focus on customer support is always an advantage. Customer service software allows organizations to offer better support and a more positive customer experience. Here are six quantifiable benefits of adopting customer service software, as addressed in a 2022 Forrester Total Economic Impact study from Forrester and ServiceNow.

Increased web contact

Better online support options led to a decrease in telephone contact, and an increase in web contact. This provides customers with a better experience on their own terms, boosts customer satisfaction, and allows agents more time to focus on solutions rather than answering phones.

Increased customer retention

Customers are more likely to want to do more business with your company if you can provide seamless, effective support. Customer service software reduces customer effort, allowing for a more satisfying customer experience while also optimizing internal service tasks. This leads to increased customer renewals and retention, and more revenue overall.
Improved service contributed to an improvement in customer retention accounting for $4.2 million across three years.

Increased ROI

Every new business technology is an investment, one that should be expected to pay for itself. Customer service software provides a significant return on investment.

Organizations saw an ROI of 170% and a net present value (NPV) of $9.03 million through the proper integration of customer service software.

Reduced operational costs from legacy solutions

Customer service software brings together and improves upon the functionality of many different legacy technologies. Switching to a unified customer service platform reduces operational costs.
Over a three year period, customer service software provided $950,000 in savings from reduced operational costs.

Increased efficiency

Self-service options deflect support requests from agents and lead to increased employee efficiency. By offering self-service solutions, supporting agents through enhanced case visibility, and ensuring that contacts are being transferred to the most efficient channels available, customer service software provides significant value.
Across three years and adjusted for risk, customer service software resulted in a 20% increase in case routing and $4.9 million in gains.

Anyone in the organization who helps respond to customer problems or requests can and should use customer service software when it resides on a single platform. Typical CRM-based software limits usage to contact center or front-line customer service agents. This means that when cases or tasks move beyond the contact center, front-line users lose visibility, and communications are managed manually. This slows down case resolution. Customer service software provides the answer, by giving employees across your organization a reliable tool for coordinating customer-service tasks. Customer service software connects every part of your organization—front, middle, and back office—to help streamline operations and more consistently meet customer needs. Whether from finance, engineering, billing, operations, or any other line of business, users across departments can gain access to the same information. 

Leading Customer service software provides the tools and resources any organization may need to improve their customer experience. Best-in-class customer service software includes these key solutions:

  • Agent workspace
  • Case and major issue management

  • Knowledge management 

  • Omni-channel capability

  • Intelligent routing 

  • Visual task boards

  • Customer data management 

  • Self-service and chatbots

  • Visual workflows and automation 

  • Surveys, reports, and dashboards

  • Issue resolution 

  • Service catalog

  • User communities 

  • Agent-assist options

  • Advanced work assignment 

  • Knowledge API

  • Agent mobile applications 

  • Agent workspace third-party integration

  • Problem management 

  • Proactive outage notifications

Additionally, options may also include:

  • Predictive intelligence

  • Performance analytics 

  • Virtual agents

  • Proactive customer service operations 

  • Customer project management

  • Service-aware install base 

  • Agent affinity

  • Playbooks 

  • Messaging

  • Outsourced customer service 

  • Industry data models

  • Messaging channels 

  • Estimated time to resolve

Customer service software streamlines and enhances communication between businesses and their customers, enabling efficient issue resolution and improved customer satisfaction. However, with numerous CSM options available, choosing the right solution can be a daunting task. To help you make an informed decision, consider the following important factors:

  • Training Support
    Implementing new software requires training your support team to effectively utilize its features. Look for a customer service software provider that offers comprehensive training resources, including documentation, tutorials, and webinars. Inquire about the availability of ongoing support options to address any questions or issues that may arise during (or after) the implementation process.
  • Provided contact options
    Effective customer service means being available when and where your customers need you. As such, you should consider the various contact options the customer service software offers. It should provide a range of channels for customers when they want to reach out (such as phone, email, live chat, and social media integration). Additionally, the software should allow for easy integration with your existing communication platforms to ensure seamless interactions with customers across different channels.
  • Scalability
    As your business grows, so will your customer service requirements. It is essential to choose software that can scale along with your business. Look for solutions that offer flexible pricing plans and can accommodate your evolving needs without major disruptions. Scalable customer service software ensures that your customer support operations can adapt to changes in your customer base and business demands.
  • Software limitations
    Even the best software solutions have their limitations, so it's crucial to understand what the customer service software can and cannot do. Evaluate the software's functionalities and features against your specific requirements. Consider factors such as ticket management, automation capabilities, reporting and analytics, customization options, and integration capabilities with other business tools you rely on.
  • Collaboration options
    Customer service is a team sport; effective collaboration is vital for coordinating responses and ensuring a consistent customer experience. Look for software that facilitates collaboration among your customer service team members. Features like shared inboxes, internal communication tools, task management, and knowledge base sharing can greatly enhance teamwork, improve efficiency, and reduce the amount of effort your customers have to invest when interacting with your organization.
  • Price
    Determine your budget and evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the customer service software options available. Look for software that offers a balance between affordability and the features that align with your business needs. That said, be aware that while cost can be a major determining factor, it should not be the only consideration. A powerful CSM that costs more upfront may be an investment capable of more than paying for itself in a short amount of time.

Not all customer service software options are the right fit for every business. Finding the best solution means having a clear idea of the kind of support experience you want your customer to have. Identifying customer needs and goals, while aligning those goals with your own objectives, will help inform your choice of customer service software.

Here are several suggestions to ensure that you find a customer service software solution that fits your customers and your business.

Identify pain points

Different tools offer different capabilities, but all should focus on providing better support for your customers. Make note of where your customers—and your agents—are experiencing bottlenecks in the resolution process. You can then begin developing an idea of what kinds of jobs you want your customer service software to perform.

Take inventory of your resources

Your choice of customer service software may depend heavily on your available budget. Likewise, other resources such as the number of agents, availability of your IT department, presence of other tools, etc. may limit your options when it comes time to choose.

Determine the size and scale you need

Choosing customer service software that aligns with your business size and scale is essential. Enterprise businesses with complex support operations benefit from robust service software offering automation, analytics, and integration with enterprise systems. High-volume call centers need customer service software with efficient call routing, queuing, and real-time monitoring. Customer service software solutions cater to various needs, such as small business CRM integration and field service organizations. Matching customer service software to your specific requirements optimizes performance and ensures the right features for your business type.

Make a list of essential features

Are there any deal-breaker features you should be considering—capabilities that, if absent, will disqualify the customer service software from your list of options? If the system needs to be able to automate intelligent interactions or integrate with an existing set of tools, making note of this before you start your research can help you narrow down your choices more effectively.

Research your options

Dive into user reviews and recommendations from leaders in your industry. See which organizations are using which solutions, and look for honest insights into their effectiveness. As you uncover promising candidates, make a list of your top favorites  . If possible, you may also consider putting in an inquiry with an analyst firm or asking third-party partners for their opinions.

See Gartner reviews for ServiceNow Customer Service Management

Conduct a business value assessment

Budget isn’t always completely cut and dry. If you’re considering a CSS customer service software solution and you’re not sure whether you can justify the cost, a business value assessment may help you reach a decision. Working with vendors to understand what kinds of problems a CSS customer service software can solve and what kind of a return on investment you can expect, you should be able to better quantify your outcomes.

Take advantage of demos and trials

With a handful of top possibilities, it’s time to go to the source. Check out demos, sign up for free trials, and contact service agents to get a more accurate user experience from the customer service software options you’re considering.


At the end of the day, you’re going to have to make a final decision. Fortunately, if you’ve done your research and know your needs and resources, then you should be able locate a customer service software solution that’s right for your business. 
Man reading pricing on mobile device

Pricing for ServiceNow Customer Service Management

Get ServiceNow Customer Management pricing here. Connect customer service with other teams to resolve issues quickly and proactively.

How effectively you help your customers achieve their goals is the ultimate indicator of business success. ServiceNow Customer Service Management (CSM) offers a comprehensive set of features that make it a valuable customer service software solution.  
With ServiceNow CSM, businesses gain access to a unified platform that streamlines customer support operations, enhances agent productivity, and improves customer satisfaction. Its advanced ticketing system efficiently manages customer inquiries and support issues, while automation capabilities enable streamlined workflows and faster response times, and CSM's knowledge management functionality empowers both agents and customers with self-service options to reduce support requests. Additionally, ServiceNow CSM integrates seamlessly with other ServiceNow solutions on the Now Platform® along with third-party applications, allowing for efficient collaboration and enhanced cross-functional processes.

CSM from ServiceNow provides the tools and the resources you need to optimize your support offering, creating a better customer experience in the process.

Interested in seeing what top-rated customer service software can do for your business? Click here to demo Customer Service Management.

Make customer service flow

Results-driven solutions to help your company reach its full potential.
Loading spinner