Trying to figure out the best customer self-service software you can work with? I’ve curated my top picks and included all the details you’ll need to make an informed decision.
Running a service-based business for over 10 years now, one of my priorities is to empower customers to solve their concerns in the best way possible.
This means giving them a variety of methods to get them the support they need to resolve issues.
Over time, I’ve learned that while some appreciate another person helping them out, others want to sort things out on their own.
In cases like these, customer self-service software will be their top choice.
If you’re looking to give your customers that option too, then let’s get right to it.
- What Is The Best Customer Self-Service Software?
- 1. Salesforce Service Cloud – Top Pick
- 2. Document360 – Best For Knowledge Base
- 3. Gladly – Most Personalized Service
- 4. Zendesk Support Suite – Top-Notch Insight Functionality
- 5. Freshdesk Support System – Multi-Channel Support
- 6. Intercom – Best For Financial & eCommerce Industries
- 7. Zoho Desk – Excellent Community Functionality
- 8. HubSpot Service Hub – First-Rate Customer Experience Analytics
What Is The Best Customer Self-Service Software?
Want quick options? Check out my top 3 picks at a glance: Salesforce Service Cloud, Document360, and Gladly.
|Best overall. Highly intuitive features and tools available for users. Starts at $25/month.||Best for knowledge libraries. Advanced features for creating online documentation services. Starts at $79/month.||Industry leader. Long-term platform support and updates with 125 million global customers. Starts at $38/month/user.|
|Try Salesforce||Try Document360||Try Gladly|
Interested in knowing your customer self-service options better? Here’s the full detailed review:
1. Salesforce Service Cloud – Top Pick
Best Customer Self-Service Software With The Most Functionalities [Free Trial | $25/mo]
When it comes to Salesforce Service Cloud, you can exert a wide range of functionalities to assist customers with their needs – on their terms.
With this tool, you can set up a self-service help center to handle common questions. In it, you can embed knowledge base articles where you can also extend important data to customers.
It’s also equipped with a Lightning Community Builder which is a drag-and-drop tool to create mobile-responsive self-service portals and communities.
Additionally, you can integrate Salesforce data into the portal and business processes so the following can be done in a flash:
- Bill paying
- Account checking
- Appointment booking
The best feature of this customer self-service software is its Einstein tool which gives customers a personalized experience by providing content based on interest, activities, and profiles to deliver relevant articles when they need it most.
Salesforce Service Cloud Einstein uses artificial intelligence (AI) to perform various tasks:
- Enable automation for functions like triage and routing
- Make accurate predictions on case fields based on incoming cases
- Provide next-step recommendations
It comes with a bot builder so that you can build your very own CRM-connected chatbot. You have the option to connect your chatbot with your back-end systems and entire business processes.
Aside from the Service Cloud, the Einstein feature is also built into your organization’s service channels and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) data.
Pros And Cons Of Salesforce Service Cloud
|Simple to use||Basic reporting|
|Quality customer service||Poor navigation|
|Fast set up||Limited browser compatibility|
|Easy API integrations|
|Fast information mining|
Salesforce Service Cloud Pricing Plan
Salesforce Service Cloud offers a 30-day trial without requiring credit card information. Once the trial period is over, you have to choose between the four paid plans.
- Essentials ($25/user/mo): The Essentials plan provides you with case management, service console apps, 1 service console app, lead-contact account management, and more.
- Professional ($75/user/mo): The Professional plan gets you all the features in the Essentials plan plus service contracts and entitlements, case milestone tracker, service orders, and more.
- Enterprise ($150/user/mo): This third plan includes everything in the Professional plan plus web services API, unlimited service console apps, advanced reporting features, and more.
- Unlimited ($300/user/mo): The last plan offers all the features in the Enterprise plan plus 24/6 support and configuration services, developer sandbox pro, and more.
The Professional plan is already capable of handling customer service needs for teams of any size. But if you want the most comprehensive choice without going overboard, the Enterprise plan is the best choice.
2. Document360 – Best For Knowledge Base
Straightforward Customer Self-Service Software For Businesses of All Sizes [Free Trial | $79/mo]
Document360 offers a multitude of features from simple to detailed tools to help you create the perfect knowledge base for your business whether it’s a startup or a thriving one.
It has six main feature sets:
- Category Manager
For the Editor tools, you get features to help you create more content than being occupied with formatting.
Other than the usual list, tables, and media, you also get a callout functionality to alert your readers on warnings and important tips. With it is an inline preview so you’ll get a real-time look at your content as you type.
For its Security features, you’ll get functionality for team roles to grant each team member just the needed access based on their tasks.
You also get an IP restriction feature to limit access to the documentation, so it’s only accessible to users in a defined UP range.
The Analytics tools help you understand end-user engagement to derive data-driven decisions. It also has a performance feature to get you insight into engagement rates.
For Documentation, this customer self-service solution will give you localization features to provide custom homepages for each language.
You’ll also get access to a difference viewer to see a bird’s eye view of two article versions in rendered format.
Lastly, for the Category Manager feature, this tool provides category-level user access to allow access for just specific people involved in the task.
Pros And Cons Of Document360
|Easy-to-use cloud-based help desk software||Hard to set up with other apps|
|Completely customizable||Limited API options for integrations|
|Customer service team respond fast||Occasional bugs|
|Regular briefings on new features|
|Great organization capability|
Document360 Pricing Plan
Document360 has a 14-day free trial to get you better acquainted with the tool before committing to a paid version.
Once the trial period is over, you have four pricing plans to choose from.
- Startup ($79/project/mo): The Enterprise plan allows for 2 team accounts. 50 GB storage, unlimited articles and revisions, custom domain with SSL, article templates, and more.
- Business ($239/project/mo): This plan provides you all the features of the Startup plan but with 5 team accounts, unlimited reader accounts, a link analyzer, a knowledge base assistant, smart bars, integration, and more.
- Enterprise ($399/project/mo): The third plan gets you everything in the Business plan bit with 10 team accounts, security group and roles, enterprise SSO, audit logging, ticket deflector, and more
- Enterprise Plus (contact sales to get a quote): This Plus version of the Enterprise plan gets you everything in the Enterprise plan plus a private hosting for our knowledge base, premium support, control on compliance, additional security, and more.
If you plan to use it for the long term, choose the annual billing to get 20% savings in any of the first three plans.
Interested in Document360? Visit their site.
3. Gladly – Most Personalized Service
Multilingual Customer Self-Service Software [Free Plan | $38/user/mo]
Gladly provides the most personalized customer self-service tools to cater to easy and complex customer problems quickly.
With this tool, you can customize responses to simple questions like:
- Past bookings
- Delivery status
- Upcoming reservations
It’s equipped with a personalized IVR to pull key customer data to answer any questions related to the queries listed above.
It also comes with a centralized system so you can ensure consistent answers across various channels.
With it is a webchat widget which they call Sidekick.
It can be accessed on any page so customers can get questions answered wherever they are within the website.
With it, you can also create a help center or a knowledge base where FAQs can be embedded with answers to concerns that also reflect uniformly to other help channels.
To cater to customers globally, this customer self-service software has a feature to provide answers in multiple languages across different channels.
Customer satisfaction is achievable because Gladly is built as a people-centered customer service platform. Implement its self-service features right, and it will reduce your support costs while maintaining an outstanding customer service experience.
All channels are also built-in for ease of use and navigation.
Pros And Cons Of Gladly
|Organized customers||Errors when timing out|
|Easy to use||Limited reporting capability|
|Uniform responses across channels|
|Personalized responses to simple questions|
Gladly Pricing Plan
Gladly doesn’t outline all the inclusion in each of the plans provided. They mainly describe who each plan is for.
- Free: The free tool is designed for admin and reporting users. This is for users who mainly deal with reports and key performance metrics.
- $38/user/mo: This paid plan is made for task-based users or those who assign to collaborate on tasks internally to solve customer issues.
- $150/user/mo: This last plan is for customer-facing agents who work with customers directly
The last plan isn’t necessarily part of the subject of this review; I just included it since it’s part of Gladly’s pricing structure.
Starting out, you can go with the free plan until you see the need for more functionality.
4. Zendesk Support Suite – Top-Notch Insight Functionality
Most Accessible Customer Self-Service Software [Free Trial | $19/agent/mo]
Zendesk offers various solutions for customer support.
Specifically for customer self-service support, it offers a knowledge base that’s easily accessible to anyone.
This tool prides itself as an easy-to-use and customized internal knowledge base.
Since it’s always accessible, customers and even support agents can use the right portal to mine the right information anytime they need it.
In the middle of a work process?
This tool lets you draft and saves your work using either a pre-made template or a format in the way you want.
But while you can make information available to anyone, it also has an option to restrict access to just certain groups.
Another reason it’s so accessible is that it can translate your articles into over 40 languages so you can provide a localized experience for each customer wherever they are living.
To offer better support, this customer self-service software also comes with an insight functionality to expose gaps and determine what other support articles you need to provide.
Zendesk Support Suite is known for its omnichannel approach to customer support. The company also keeps a contextual approach to ensure the customers will never have to repeat themselves for optimal efficacy. You can enjoy the perks using its AI-powered bots.
Pros And Cons Of Zendesk Support Suite
|Easy to use||Poor ticket tracking|
|Customizable||Support needs improvement|
|Ticket opening capabilities||API is difficult to utilize|
|Topic suggestions for smart knowledge base|
Zendesk Support Suite Pricing Plan
Zendesk Support Suite has four pricing plans. The first one is mainly for help desk basics while the rest is made for full omnichannel solutions.
- Foundational Support ($19/agent/mo): This plan offers functionalities for essential support in Twitter, Facebook, and email.
- Suite Team ($49/agent/mo): The Suite Team plan includes 50 AI-powered automated answers, 1000 pre-built apps and integrations, out-of-the-box analytics, and more.
- Suite Growth ($79/agent/mo): The Suite Growth plan has everything in the Suite Team plan but with 100 AI-powered automated answers, a self-service customer portal, AI-powered knowledge management, and more.
- Suite Professional; ($99agent/mo): This last plan has all the features in the Suite Growth plan but with 500 AI-powered automated answers, integrated community forums, and more.
The best plan to cater to customer self-service needs will be the Suite Growth plan. It includes all the capabilities needed to provide support and solutions to clients without needing an agent to talk to.
If you choose otherwise, all plans have a 21-day free trial you can explore to find which fits your needs best. Visit their site to get started.
5. Freshdesk Support System – Multi-Channel Support
Customer Self-Service Software With Bot & Automated Chat Widget [Free Plan | $15/agent/mo]
The Freshdesk Support System has a vast range of functionalities in providing customer self-help.
It leverages the following:
- Web widget
- Knowledge base
- Integrated forums
Freshdesk features Freddy Answers, a bot that enhances the help customers get in getting to the solutions of issues and answers to questions they have.
It also comes with an automated chat widget for when customers want an interactive way to get the answers they need without necessarily reaching out to an agent.
Moreover, Freshdesk’s knowledge base is designed to bring the collective efforts of all in the team together in one platform.
This knowledge base feature comes with a scalable content management system where small to large teams can build content while at the same time injecting approval workflows and versioning.
In that particular feature, you can also create product-focused information that’s embedded to appear on product pages.
This customer self-service software also comes with an integrated forum that leverages past discussions to help new users find the answers they need.
This way, agents can forgo answering recurring questions so they can focus on more complex problems.
Lastly, this tool supports 42 languages so customers from around the world can get the answers in the language they understand best.
Pros And Cons Of Freshdesk Support System
|Keeps data secure||Tedious report customization|
|Personalized customer engagement||Steep learning curve for new users|
|Offers various support channels|
|Knowledge base integrated into other channels|
Freshdesk Support System Pricing Plan
Freshdesk Support System has four pricing plans with the first one completely free.
- Free: The Free version gets you access to the knowledge base tool, datacenter location, team collaboration, email and social ticketing, and more.
- Growth ($15/agent/mo): The Growth plan includes everything in the Free version plus automation of tasks, helpdesk reports, custom SSL, and more.
- Pro ($49/agent/mo): The Pro plan has everything in the Growth plan plus custom roles, custom reports and dashboards, versions in the knowledge base, and more.
- Enterprise ($79/agent/mo): The Enterprise plan comprises all the benefits in the Pro plan plus a knowledge base approval workflow, IP range restrictions, assist bot, and more.
All the plans cater to customer self-service as well as direct interactions. To get all the features for the former, you can go for the Enterprise plan.
They also offer 21-day free trials for the paid plans so you can leverage that as well.
If you want to use Freshdesk, visit their site to start your free trial.
6. Intercom – Best For Financial & eCommerce Industries
User-Friendly Customer Self-Service Software For Startups & Enterprises [Starts at $79/mo]
Intercom leverages a bot and a knowledge base in offering customer self-service functionalities.
First, it has a resolution bot that uses machine learning to accelerate providing solutions to customers.
This bot has easy-to-train automation to recognize similar questions and pull up answers from past conversations.
It comes in 32 languages to provide localized support for global clients.
For its knowledge base, this customer self-service tool sets up a central place for tips, answers, and important information that a customer may need.
You can also integrate the information in this knowledge base for the following:
- Mobile app
- Product messages
Customers will get instant answers to 29% of the most asked questions and problem resolution without ever getting in touch with an agent.
Pros And Cons Of Intercom
|Simple to create self-service tutorials and articles||Limited service ticket tracking|
|Easy integration of knowledge base in other channels||Basic reporting functionality|
|Has automatic guide offers for products|
Intercom Pricing Plan
Intercom caters to startups and thriving businesses.
Only the startup plan has an outlined pricing, while the other three paid plans require contacting the sales team to get more information. Also, the latter three mostly include functionality for direct customer contact.
- Starter ($79/mo): The Starter plan has in-product messaging, shared inbox, help center, insight on behavioral data, reporting dashboard, integrations, and more.
- Support (contact sales to get pricing): The Support plan gets you the resolution bots and help articles functionalities.
- Customer Engagement (contact sales to get pricing): The Customer Engagement plan includes the features in the Support plan plus custom bots, message versioning, and more.
- Marketing (contact sales to get pricing): The Marketing plan gets you everything in the Customer Engagement plan, plus performance reporting and other marketing functionalities.
It’s best to contact the support team first to get the pricing details and an informed recommendation on what fits your needs best.
But if you decide on paying for a paid plan right there and then, the best choice would be the Support plan. Get started with Intercom on their website.
7. Zoho Desk – Excellent Community Functionality
Customizable Customer Self-Service Software For Productivity [Free Plan | $14/mo]
Zoho Desk has come up with a multi-brand help center where customers can find answers without having to wait for an agent to answer them
With this tool, you can create a personalized help center that mirrors the identity of your brand and mimics the feel of your website.
In it, customers get:
- Knowledge Base
- Service Channels
You don’t even have to worry about data safety for your team and your customers.
This software can let you decide who to make the help center available to, setting it to either public access to an account registration requirement.
Other than the knowledge base, this tool also comes with a community functionality so customers can engage with others, your team, and other professionals that are capable of offering help.
Lastly, it comes with conversational assistant ticket submissions to get personalized solutions for complex problems not answered by any article or discussion in the knowledge base or community.
Pros And Cons Of Zoho Desk
|Easy to use widget and ticket tracking||Poor navigation|
|Simple to navigate||Limited ticketing functionality|
|Insightful report feature||Hangs up sometimes|
Zoho Desk Pricing Plan
Zoho Desk has a Free version and three paid plans.
- Free: The Free version allows for 3 agents, a help center, a private knowledge base, predefined SLAs, a multi-language help desk, and more.
- Standard ($14/agent/mo): The Standard plan includes all the features of the Free version plus social and community channels, public knowledge base, reports and dashboards, and more.
- Professional ($23/agent/mo): The Professional plan comes with all the inclusions in the Standard plan plus multi-department ticketing, ticket templates, and more.
- Enterprise ($40/agent/mo): The Enterprise plan includes all the features of the Standard plan plus an artificially intelligent tool, role-based data sharing, and more.
Other than the Free version, Zoho Desk offers a 15-day free trial for any paid plan. You can test each one out before deciding on what plan to go for.
8. HubSpot Service Hub – First-Rate Customer Experience Analytics
Automated Customer Self-Service Software For Small To Enterprise Businesses [Free Trial | $45/mo]
HubSpot Service Hub offers a knowledge base and automated customer service for self-service functionalities.
So that recurring questions will have answers handy, the knowledge base will convert FAQs into searchable libraries of the following:
It also comes with automated customer service to eliminate manual processes and get them taken care of so agents can focus on providing personalized experiences.
Pros And Cons Of HubSpot Service Hub
|Standardizes email and chat response||Poor chat flows|
|Includes a customer experience analytics||Non-flexible contracts|
|Easy to maintain and install|
HubSpot Service Hub Pricing Plan
HubSpot Service Hub comes with 3 paid plans.
- Starter ($45/mo): The Starter plan allows for 2 users and gets you access to basic bots, simple ticket automation, reporting dashboard, and more.
- Professional ($360/mo): The Professional plan gets you everything in the Starter plan, allows for 5 users, help desk automation, custom reporting, custom surveys, and more.
- Enterprise ($1,200/mo): The Enterprise plan includes all the perks in the Professional plan, allows for 10 users, user roles, field-level permissions, record customization, and more.
Each of the paid plans comes with free tools ranging from a live chat widget to canned snippets and email templates. Utilize the Starter plan first until you need more functionality.
Want to use HubSpot Service Hub? Check out their website to get started.
If you want a no-brainer choice, go for Salesforce Service Cloud.
It has a wide range of functionalities from a knowledge base, a portal, communities, and a unique Einstein tool.
This customer self-service software makes it easy for customers to get any questions answered and issues fixed without waiting for an agent to reply.
Problems will be solved faster, and your customers will have a better experience with your brand.