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Top 8 Tools To Improve Customer Support in 2020

Customers are the lifeline of any business - big or small. That's why every organization today is working hard to acquire as many customers as it possibly can. But is that enough? Absolutely not.

With competition getting fiercer with every passing day, it's time for firms to look beyond widening their customer base. The need of the hour is to channelize their efforts towards retaining the acquired customers, which can turn out to be more beneficial in the long run.   

This is where the customer support function comes in handy. Though most businesses don't realize it, this function plays a critical role in sustaining their connection with customers. Companies that provide good support services are able to provide customers with pleasant experiences that keep them coming back for more.  

So how do you make sure that this happens? By using the right customer support tools that enhance your abilities and help you serve your customers in a better way. 

In this article, we show you the best customer service tools you can use to meet the rising expectations of customers. 

Here are eight tools for customer support that can help you sustain in this ever-evolving business ecosystem: 

1. Strategy State

If you are a business owner, you need to keep tabs on the state of your business at all times. You need to know the strengths of your business and identify its areas of weakness. This knowledge helps you determine the course of action to take in order to propel your business towards the path of growth. 

Strategy State is an affordable evaluation tool that enables you to analyze your business completely. When the evaluation is done right, devising the right strategies that bring in revenue and keeps you ahead of the competition becomes a lot easier. Knowing what is right and what's wrong, gives you an edge, when it comes to bringing an overall improvement in your business, or serving your customers in a better way. 

The tool provides you with a detailed report showing your business score, areas that require improvement, and an action plan to take your business to the next level. 

Pricing - starts at $87.

2. ProProfs Knowledge Base Software


Feature-rich and powered by technology, ProProfs Knowledge Base Software is all you need to improve customer service in 2020. Its stellar features and smart settings work together to help you build an impressive self-help knowledge platform in minutes. Customers can use this platform to find answers to any questions they have about your firm, products, or services, without taking the pain to call or email your support staff. 

The software is simple to use and highly customizable. It helps you on various fronts such as - 

  • Bringing down the incoming customer support tickets 
  • Reducing the workload of support staff 
  • Aiding support staff with ready answers that helps them serve customers in a better way 
  • Facilitating easy access to knowledge 

Pricing: starts at $0. 

3. Podium - Customer Messaging Tool

Many customers are opting to reach out to businesses via text rather than calls, and Podium is here to help you respond faster. A messaging tool with live chat features, Podium consolidates messages sent by customers through different messaging apps and brings them on a single dashboard. This ensures that your service teams do not miss out on anything. 

The tool comes with simple features to facilitate smooth interactions between your support staff and customers.  

Using this customer support tool, you can respond to queries, schedule appointments, and even close deals without keeping customers waiting on calls. By offering customers a convenient way to contact you, Podium also helps in generating leads and turning customers into your brand advocates. 

Pricing: Price provided upon request

4. Feature Upvote - Customer Feedback Tool

This is a customer support tool that enables you to capture customer feedback through simple feedback boards. The boards come with an integrated voting option to ensure you don't spend too much time preparing to gather customer feedback. 

Using this tool, you can gather feedback from your team as well as customers from a single point. This makes it easy to understand what your customers and team members need and use the feedback to make improvements in your products or services. Feature Upvote is an excellent tool that helps you create feedback boards where your employees, as well as customers, can provide you relevant information, ideas, and feedback regarding your offerings. 

Respondents are free to either upvote others or share their thoughts. You can then view the feedback and determine which ideas are most popular based on votes. 

Pricing: $49/board/month. 

5. Hootsuite - Social Media Management


With social media becoming an integral part of people's lives, many customers are using different social media platforms to request help or ask questions. Often, such customers want to get responses as fast as possible, and that's they prefer social media over anything else. 

A tool like Hootsuite can be of tremendous help in serving your customers on social media. Its smooth functionality combined by the unmatched social interaction and management features it offers, Hootsuite has got you covered as far as social media management is concerned. Leverage this tool to instantly find, schedule, manage and report content on social media. 

Hootsuite helps you curate content, filter conversations via keywords, hashtags, and location of customers, monitor performance, and analyze results. 

Pricing: $29 every month

6. InSided - Community Forum Tool

Community forums are a great way of connecting customers with one another. When done correctly, these forums become spaces for demonstrating various product uses and sharing knowledge. Customers can exchange ideas, share best practices, and receive advice from other people who have used the same products. 

If you know the positive impact that a community forum can bring on your customers, you must definitely invest in inSided. It's a great community forum tool that helps you provide customers with a central platform where they can share knowledge and get instant answers to any questions they have regarding your offerings. 

It helps you gather customer feedback, know what they think of your product, the problems they are facing, and engage with them at a deeper level. Also, inSided combines community forum with in-app support and knowledge base, offering you a complete customer support package. 

Pricing: Price provided upon request

7. LiveAgent

Chat is the easiest way to reach out to a company, as opposed to calls or emails. So, it's crucial that you have a tool in place that helps you interact directly with your customers. 

LiveAgent is one such tool that can be of immense help. Besides the live chat option, it offers you a ticketing system wherein customer requests coming from different channels are consolidated on a single dashboard, helping your staff resolve issues faster. 

Comprising unmatched features and designed mainly for small teams, this tool uses the gamification approach to keep your customer support game on point. Your staff can score points and get rewarded once they complete a task, which motivates them to better their performance and give their cent percent when it comes to serving customers.  

The tool is very simple, easy to use, and works on both desktop and mobile devices. On the back end, businesses can create profiles for individual service reps to offer customers more personalized experiences. Businesses that use this tool can monitor chats and identify those that generate sales. 

Pricing: $39/month (all features included)

8. Kustomer - Personalized Customer Interactions

This customer support tool is great for businesses that want to give customers personalized experiences. Kustomer features a timeline that consolidates customer data into a single, simple report. This makes it easy for service teams to view customer history, including details on previous interactions and purchases. 

With this data, service teams can personalize their interactions with customers and give them pleasant experiences. Kustomer is also designed to pool customer messages from different communication channels into a single conversation string. This gives customers and service reps a real omnichannel experience as they have the freedom to switch from one channel to another, without worrying about missing out on any communication.

Pricing: starts with $99/user/month. 

Wrapping Up

Customer expectations are constantly changing. The challenge for businesses today is how to keep up with these changes to deliver pleasant experiences to their customers. 

Luckily, there are numerous customer support tools to help you keep pace with rising customer expectations. From creating a robust knowledge base and providing personalized customer interactions to evaluating business strengths and managing social media engagements, there is a tool for just about everything a business needs to keep customers happy. 

When buying a customer support tool, evaluate its features to see how well it addresses your problem. Opt for a tool that is easy to use and one that offers you value for money. 

Essential KPI’s for Your Business In 2020

KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) are very important for any business. This is critical for ​evaluating your business's financial performance and it can also be used for monitoring customer satisfaction and other company objectives necessary for the growth and development of the business.

Too often we see business owners be unsuccessful in fully understanding how their business operates; and because they fail in logging in any existing departmental metrics of their company operations all throughout the year, these entrepreneurs often end up with an idling business pondering where the problems lay.

Business KPIs list

What are business KPI's?

Key Performance Indicators are a significant part of measuring or evaluating the successes and failures of any business. KPI is a measurable value that shows how successfully a company is achieving key objectives for the business. Various business organizations use KPI’s to assess their success at reaching targets that is why selecting the right KPI’s will depend on the industry the business belongs to and which part of the business the company is planning to track.

Also known as a dashboard or flash report, KPI’s enables business owners and department heads to get a summary of how the business or individual departments are performing at any given moment throughout the year. A KPI evaluates the objectives of the business against the concrete, tangible data over a specified period.

But not every key performance indicator measures the overall performance of the business. This depends usually on the size of the business. Bigger corporations with multiple departments often have multiple KPI’s assigned to each department. Different departments have different operations and scope of work so the KPI must be specifically patterned to this. But even with having multiple KPI’s, each report must be tied together into a single flash for the business as a whole.

Key performance indicators can vary over multiple businesses. For example, the KPI for a distribution company will differ from a manufacturing company, and so on and so forth. Even similar companies within the same industry can have different KPI’s since not all businesses have the same goals and metrics. These key indicators are existent and monitored in most businesses for different reasons. In a flash report, these are evaluated meticulously and put under a magnifying glass so they can inspect it with a fine-toothed comb. When accomplished weekly, a flash report will show business owners the important areas of the business in which the company is underperforming and provides time for correction.

Why KPI’s Are Important

KPI’s are essential to all business objectives because they enable these goals to be at the forefront of every decision making. It is important that business objectives are properly communicated across the company because when people understand and are responsible for their KPI’s, it will make sure that the business objectives are on top of their minds. Simply put, you cannot manage anything what you cannot measure.

A KPI is as versatile as it is strong. From evaluating your finances to measuring the productivity of your employees based on the status of a job in progress, KPI’s are put in place to help an organization be guided in achieving their goals. Depending on what objectives you plan to achieve, your KPI may shift or vary depending on your goals, current project and timelines.

For example, by knowing on a weekly basis just how much money is coming in and going out, it provides you just enough time to correct the course when something is wrong. Instead of fixing the problem twenty days after the end of the month, you can now make necessary modifications throughout the week based on KPI management tools.

For measuring employee productivity, you will see things such as the number of hours an employee worked on including overtime, revenue generated and the status of a current job that is up for completion. When evaluating the work hours of an employee against performance, this can provide you with a general idea of the number of overtime needed to complete a specific project and help you see if you paid overtime for a much lesser productive work. For bigger companies, using KPI for employee’s productivity can also be used to measure performance for every department.

Implementing KPI’s for Your Business

KPI’s serves as your guide to recognizing every moving part in your business, and may possibly just be the most essential part of management. This is why it is equally important to choose the right KPI’s to implement for your business. To do so, you need to know the process of selecting the right KPI for your company such as:

  • Choose KPI’s that are exactly related to your business objectives.
  • Focus on a several important metrics instead on loads of data points.
  • Evaluate your company's stage of growth and include it in the data you need to consider.
  • Distinguish and pinpoint both lagging and leading performance indicators.
  • You must know that KPI’s are different vary for every industry and business model.

The KPI’s that you choose to implement for your business will be greatly influenced by your company’s existing business model and the industry that your business belongs to. For instance, a B2B software service company may opt to focus on customer acquisition and mix, while a retail company with a brick and mortar operation may focus on sales per square foot or average customer payout.

It is highly recommended to use KPI's template, to help you track your business performance and progress.

Business KPIs

Example of Business KPI’s Template


Click below to download your Free Business KPI’s Template:

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Recap

As an endnote, always makes sure that your KPI’s will specifically measure your progress towards overarching company objectives. Less is more so you have to understand that choosing between 4 to 10 KPI’s to focus will be more beneficial for your organization. The significance of certain metrics will definitely vary as the priorities of your organization changes so you have to carefully consider the stage of growth of your company. And while you may reference industry KPI’s, always remember that you need to choose the KPI’s that are most relevant and applicable for your specific situation and organization. This will ensure that you are being guided towards something attainable which will result to the success of your goals.

Marketing Strategy – How To Develop The Best Strategy For Your Business In 2020

With the world getting highly competitive, it is not easy to bring development in any business. There are times when the business owners fail to understand the importance of real marketing plan. Despite of their huge spending on different types of marketing strategy, they do not achieve the expected results. It happens because their approach in marketing is not really good and effective.

Marketing Strategy - How To Develop The Best Strategy For Your Business In 2020

The motive of every business is to reach as many potential customers as possible. But if the approach is not correct, then reaching to them becomes a bit difficult. With the advent of modern marketing platforms and resources, it has become easier to approach the targeted customers at cost effective prices with the help of a good and well planned marketing strategy. It basically targets the people showing interest in the products and services of the organization or in the certain line of business.

Marketing Objectives

At the center of any well-written marketing plan is a list of clear and strategic marketing objectives. These are your defined goals that outline your marketing efforts intentions while providing your team with a clear and precise direction to execute and follow. This also provides the necessary information for business executives to evaluate and support.

To have a successful marketing campaign, you need to know exactly what your goals are. You must also be able to develop focus in order to achieve your goals. You have to understand that things do not happen by themselves so by defining your marketing objectives; you will know what to do in order to achieve it. This will also allow you not to be easily distracted by typical get – rich – sales pitch because if you know where you are really going, you will not end up somewhere else but on the path towards marketing success.

To help with your marketing objectives, you can follow the AIDA model.

The AIDA Model
  • Awareness – your marketing objective must be based on brand awareness or affiliation with your product or service.
  • Interest - creating interest in the benefits of your brand, and enough interest to urge the buyer to start to research further.
  • Desire – creating desire for your product or service using an 'emotional connection', and showcasing your brand’s personality. Make sure you are able to transform a consumer from 'liking' your product or services to 'wanting it'.
  • Action – ensure a call to action strategy. From basic interaction you’re your company, urge the buyer to take the next step such as fill up the contact information sheet, download a brochure, joins your newsletter or make a phone inquiry among others.

Audience Targeting

In modern marketing strategy, Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning or STP is a well-known strategic approach in creating a successful marketing plan. The STP approach is helpful when creating marketing communications plans because it guides marketers to prioritize proposals and then establish and dispense personalized and pertinent messages to connect with different audiences. If you want to have a successful marketing campaign, you need to know what your audience really need and you can do this by simply listening to what they want instead of focusing on what you need to accomplish.

Audience targeting allows you to reach out to consumers interested in your business. This approach helps you get your message to the right people and customized your campaigns based on your audiences’ preferences. This way, you know your marketing strategy performs better because it is targeting the specific market segment for your business. With audience marketing, you will be able to spend less on your marketing campaigns and focus on getting more conversions.

Through audience targeting, you have more chance of reaching consumers who are interested in your products or services and deliver relevant messaging. It also reduces the odds that you will waste vital resources on your marketing campaign on uninterested viewership and help move potential clients down the proverbial funnel.

Competitive Analysis

When developing a marketing strategy, it is best to first evaluate your marketing campaign and determine how it is performing based on your objectives. Look for solutions on how you can optimize or revise your approaches, marketing channels and marketing activities.

When creating strategic planning using competitive analysis method, it is important to take into account not only the company’s business but also the activities of your competitors as well as the current events in the industry your company belongs to. Most of the time, having a competitive analysis enables you to significantly minimize the direct effect of your weaknesses to the opportunities that may present for your business. This also allows you to maximize your strengths and create advanced strategies for known threats that may negatively impact your marketing.

Competitor Analysis

Don’t be afraid to explore the competitive landscape. Find out what companies have interesting products? Whose brand gets talked about on social media? A competitive analysis will help you identify different challenges and threats before they become serious problems in the future.


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From Marketing Strategy to Marketing Tactics

Marketing tactics refer to every strategic action you carry out that direct the marketing of a product to influence specific marketing goals. From your marketing strategies, you can develop high level marketing tactics that will ensure the success of your marketing efforts. When you define your marketing tactics, it must reflect the present situation and have a clear plan on how you will be able to maintain and nurture it so these factors will always be the driving forces of your marketing campaign. When you know your audience, you can also see the actual needs of your target market that are not being met. In essence, these opportunities are actually your future strengths and must be prioritized among others.

Know by heart all the effective strategies of marketing. Your marketing strategies will only be successful if you know the right tactics to employ. Without them, you will never know how to make your business click to your target market. It will also be better to develop a market niche so you can have a specific group to focus on.