7 Cool Customer Service Apps for Small Business

With tablet shipments projected to exceed 240 million units this year, you should consider these 7 apps to help your business engage with your customers.
Contributing Writer, SmallBizTrends.com
January 30, 2013

If you got an iPad or other tablet for the holidays or recently bought mobile devices for your sales staff, you’re not alone. Market research firm NPD predicts “tablet shipments will reach more than 240 million units worldwide in 2013,” compared to a projected 207 million laptops. This is three years ahead of NPD’s original predictions, so now would be a good time to integrate tablet apps into your customer service functions. Here are seven of the coolest tablet apps we found that help you provide better customer service and engage with your customers.

1. ZenDesk 

The leading cloud-based customer service software solution, ZenDesk helps more than 20,000 companies, including Groupon, Box and OpenTable, improve customer satisfaction while lowering costs. ZenDesk provides easy-to-use self-service tools, as well as one-on-one customer support, all through (as the name implies) a streamlined and simple product. Price: Plans start as low as $29 per month; you can do a free trial to see if you like it. 

2. Parature for Facebook 

Why not provide customer service in the place where customers naturally go to share frustrations: Facebook? Parature’s cloud-based software lets you integrate a dedicated, 24/7 customer service center into your business’s Facebook page. You can incorporate customer service solutions ranging from the self-service Parature Knowledge Base to the Parature Ticket customer support system and Parature Chat. Mobile accessibility means your Parature Service Desk and Portal can be accessed via all major mobile and tablet devices. Price: Varies based on number of users within your business.

3. Desk.com 

Designed specially for small business, Desk.com (from Salesforce.com) is an easy-to-use customer service solution that allows companies to create one “universal inbox” to connect with their customers via social media like Twitter and Facebook, as well as customer support methods including phone, chat and email. The Desk.com application helps your business keep all its customer service channels in one place, boosting efficiency and productivity. You don’t need IT staff to set up and run Desk.com; setup is easy and support is available. Price: The first agent is free—for life; beyond that, there are per-hour or monthly plans.

4. BlazeLoop 

BlazeLoop’s customer engagement solution helps small businesses increase revenues through repeat business and positive word-of-mouth referrals. The solution directs what’s said about your business on social media to your front-line staff so they can take action in real-time and resolve the issue. You designate the employee(s) who receive the input and use BlazeLoop’s real-time metrics to replicate good practices and improve business operations. Price: Varies.

5. SmarterTrack 

SmarterTrack is a powerful helpdesk solution that can help your small business track, manage and report on customer service and communications, including sales opportunities and support issues. The software includes a support ticket system, live chat, knowledge base and a self-service helpdesk. SmarterTrack lets you easily manage employee and customer communications across multiple channels on any tablet or mobile device. Price: First agent is free; after that, prices start at $199 for two agents.

6. Get Satisfaction 

Get Satisfaction is a customer engagement platform that offers more than just customer service. One of its strengths is its Social Support Suite, which enables you to create a customer support community. Customers can share problems and ask questions; your customer service team can respond, but so can other customers, creating a user-generated knowledge base. Get Satisfaction, powered by Salesforce Service Cloud, also provides CRM tools to track customer records, manage and route customer issues, have private communications and generate service reports. Price: Basic functionality is free; paid plans start at $49 a month. 

7. Blue Label 

Want a custom customer service app? Try Blue Label. This mobile development lab builds apps for iOS, Android and Windows, and provides design, engineering and implementation services. They offer rapid-prototyping services and on-demand engineering. Price: Varies.

Read more customer service articles.

Photo: Desk.com 

Contributing Writer, SmallBizTrends.com