Outbound Dialers: Benefits and Essential Use Cases

July 2, 2024 7 min read

Jeremiah Zerby

Jeremiah Zerby

If you’re planning any kind of outbound call campaign for your organization, you’ll need an outbound dialer. By leveraging advanced dialing technology, you can significantly boost your team’s productivity and ensure that every call counts.

In this guide, we’ll explain how outbound dialers help you automate the calling process, free up time for agents to focus on closing deals, collect customer feedback, and achieve other goals tied to your core business outcomes.

What Are Outbound Dialers?

An outbound dialer is a cloud-based telephone dialing system used in contact centers to make outgoing calls. It’s sometimes referred to as an auto-dialer. The purpose of an outbound dialer is to connect live agents with prospects in a reliable and professional manner.

Instead of searching for contacts and dialing numbers manually, outbound call center software automatically dials numbers on a contact list and routes answered calls to available agents. This allows agents to focus on actual customer conversations instead of getting bogged down by manual dialing and other time-consuming tasks.

Nextiva call center solution for desk phone, mobile phone, and laptop

Outbound dialers also reduce downtime between outbound calls and increase the number of successful connections with customers — making your call center more efficient.

Types of Outbound Dialers

Call centers deploy one or more of these outbound dialer software. 

1. Predictive dialers

A predictive dialer places calls to multiple numbers simultaneously, aiming to connect agents to a live person as soon as they’re available.

predictive-vs-automated-auto-dialer

It uses algorithms to forecast when an agent will be done with a call and dials multiple numbers ahead of time. It then routes the next answered call to the agent as soon as they complete their current conversation. 

Predictive dialing is typically used in environments with high call volumes such as telemarketing campaigns. It ensures that agents spend more time speaking with customers and less time waiting for calls to be answered — boosting agent efficiency and productivity. However, good forecasting is required to avoid overwhelming agents with calls.

2. Progressive dialers

A progressive dialer places calls to one number after another based on the agent’s availability. 

Unlike predictive dialers that dial multiple numbers while the agent is still on a call, progressive dialers only dial the next number on the list after the agent has finished the conversation and is available to take a new call. 

This gives the agent a bit of time to review customer information, allowing for more personalized outbound calls. Progressive dialing is often used in sales and customer service environments where personalized and attentive customer interactions are crucial.

3. Power dialers

A power dialer gives live agents more control and flexibility over the outbound calling sequence. 

Unlike progressive dialers that dial the next customer as soon as the agent completes a phone call, power dialers allow the agent to determine the speed for automated outgoing calls. 

For example, let’s say you want to take a quick break after every call. In that case, you can configure the power dialer to automatically dial the next phone number on your call list one minute after a conversation. 

Due to its high degree of flexibility, power dialers work best for contact centers with low call volumes and those seeking highly personalized interactions.

Benefits of Outbound Dialers

Let’s look at a few reasons why auto-dialer software is an excellent addition to your outbound call center.

1. Improves contact rates

Outbound dialers reduce the idle time agents experience between calls. 

The system automatically dials the next number as soon as an agent is available, minimizing downtime and keeping agents engaged in active calls. That way, they can speak with more people — boosting agent performance

Most outbound dialers have a filtering feature for weeding out unproductive calls, such as busy signals, no-answers, disconnected numbers, and answering machines. This means agents spend more time speaking with actual contacts rather than dealing with these interruptions.

2. Boosts campaign efficiency

An outbound dialing system streamlines your marketing outreaches and similar campaign efforts. 

Automated dialing modes, such as predictive, power, and preview dialers, reduce downtime and ensure that your agents spend more time talking to potential customers than manually dialing numbers. 

An outbound dialing system can prioritize and segment your call lists based on predefined criteria, ensuring that the most critical calls are made first. It uses intelligent routing and automatic call distribution to direct live conversations to the most appropriate agents, balancing workloads and enhancing call outcomes.

3. Increases agent talk time

Picture this: You’re an agent who needs to make 1,000 phone calls for a predictive dialer campaign. You manually dial each number on your call list and wait for a response before moving to the next one. It’s a tedious process — apart from all the time spent, you might mix up a few numbers.  

5 reasons to use a predictive dialer campaign

An outbound dialer solves this problem. It automatically dials numbers and connects agents to answered calls, minimizing errors and wait times. Agents get more talk time and can focus on having productive conversations with prospects and customers.

4. Provides data-driven insights

Outbound call center software provides insights into the performance of outbound calling campaigns, agent productivity, and overall call center performance.

First, it provides high-level metrics, such as the total number of calls made, answered, and missed. Then you can drill down further to monitor the number of calls per agent, average call length, and the average time agents spend between calls. 

Contact Center Reporting Metrics - Overview - Nextiva

You’ll use these insights to improve outbound campaigns and optimize call center operations. For example, let’s say you discover that some agents spend too much time on calls. You can provide scripts to guide conversations and help them complete calls more efficiently.

5. Integrates with CRM systems

Outbound dialers sync data with CRM software like Salesforce, providing a unified view of customer interactions and campaign results.

CRM integration allows agents to access up-to-date customer information in the dialer to personalize interactions. Any updates in the dialer are automatically reflected in the CRM software, giving you accurate customer information.

Use Cases and Examples of Outbound Dialers

Outbound dialer systems are useful for every aspect of your organization.

1. Sales and marketing

Outbound dialers are integral to successful sales and marketing campaigns. You can use them to cold call prospects to introduce products or services, follow up with leads and sales conversations, and set up appointments for sales meetings, product demonstrations, and consultations. 

Sales teams can also use outbound dialers to engage with existing customers for upselling, cross-selling, or renewals to maximize customer lifetime value.

2. Customer service

Outbound calling software makes it easy for customer service teams to facilitate one-on-one conversations with your users and collect real-time feedback. 

They’ll use it to administer customer satisfaction surveys and collect qualitative feedback on your products and services for marketing insights. This process personalizes the feedback collection, allowing you to uncover a valuable perspective to improve the overall customer experience.

Customer survey and feedback results

3. Debt collection 

Use outbound dialers to follow up on outstanding payments and work out a repayment plan. 

You can develop and load call scripts into the dialer to guide agents’ conversations with debtors — ensuring that they comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and other related legal requirements. 

Outbound dialing solutions also have call recording and monitoring features for tracking agent-customer interactions, maintaining call quality, and improving call center performance.

4. Nonprofit fundraising

Nonprofit organizations can use outbound dialers to reach out to potential donors and supporters to share information about their cause, upcoming events, and fundraising campaigns. These personalized conversations help you build stronger relationships with the people passionate about your nonprofit’s causes — typically translating into more donations and awareness. 

Outbound dialers also play a crucial role in recruiting volunteers for various nonprofit activities and events. You’ll use it to contact individuals interested in volunteering, learn more about their motivations, and find the perfect fit for your team. It’s a great way to quickly build your volunteer base and support network.

Step Up Your Outbound Game With Nextiva

Nextiva offers a unified contact center solution that helps agents field blended calls (outbound and inbound calls) with ease in a single platform that integrates well with their customer data sources. It’s flexible and has affordable pricing plans for businesses at every growth stage. 

Check out Nextiva’s contact center solution to see how we can help your business. 👇

Your flexible contact center solution.

With Nextiva’s contact center offerings, you’ll find a perfectly suited package for your organization.

Outbound Dialers FAQs

Find answers to frequently asked questions about outbound dialers. 

Are outbound dialers legal?

Outbound dialers are legal in many jurisdictions, but there are usually regulations that govern their use. 

In the United States, for example, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule impose restrictions on using outbound dialers for telemarketing and commercial purposes. Research Do Not Call lists and follow telemarketing laws in your region to ensure full regulatory compliance when using outbound dialers.

Can outbound dialers leave pre-recorded messages?

In most cases, yes. Typically, agentless dialers used for surveys and reminders can send pre-recorded messages. In some instances, outbound agent dialers have a voicemail drop functionality that allows call center agents to leave pre-recorded messages when a dialed phone number goes to voicemail.

Do outbound dialers improve customer experience?

When used ethically, outbound dialers reduce frustrating call wait times, providing timely, relevant, and personalized communication to enhance the overall customer experience.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeremiah Zerby

Jeremiah Zerby is a marketing specialist at Nextiva. He spent three years on the front lines of technical support, troubleshooting internet and VoIP topics. He moved forward into the technical writing and content creation space. He’s helped set up hundreds of businesses and advised thousands of people with their cloud communications.

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Avaya Contact Center Pricing: Is It Worth It?

July 2, 2024 6 min read

Alex Doan

Alex Doan

Originally known for its on-premises business phone system, Avaya has evolved into a cloud contact center solution that helps businesses manage their customer interactions across multiple channels, including voice, email, chat, and social media. 

However, its rigid pricing and complex setup often push users to seek more flexible and reliable Avaya alternatives like Nextiva. 

In this article, we’ll discuss Avaya’s features, capabilities, and pricing packages and show you why Nextiva is a better option for your contact center. 

Avaya Contact Center Explained

Avaya started as an onsite business phone system for enterprise organizations. Over time, it has evolved into a cloud-based contact center solution for omnichannel customer engagement.

However, its evolution has been riddled with challenges. Since 2017, the company has filed for bankruptcy twice and still struggles to balance its on-premises solutions with more modern cloud contact center services.

Avaya dashboard showing customer interactions

Nevertheless, it has many features suited to enterprise-level organizations, including attribute resource selection, self-service automation, and Bring Your Own Channel.

Avaya components

Avaya offers a wide range of contact center products designed to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes and in all industries. Its most popular UCaaS products include: 

  • Avaya Aura Contact Center: A modern contact center solution that provides multimedia routing, workforce optimization, and outbound self-service for mid-sized enterprises. 
  • Avaya Enterprise Cloud: Running on Microsoft Azure, Avaya Enterprise gives you the best of two worlds: an on-premises contact center that’s fully integrated with the cloud. This integration allows customers to leverage the power of Azure’s cloud infrastructure to deploy and manage their communication and collaboration solutions. 
  • Avaya Contact Center Select: Avaya Contact Center Select is a real-time telephony platform. It integrates with Avaya IP Office, providing a wide range of call center features, including skill-based call routing and reporting and unified agent management.

Services and features

Here’s what users love the most about Avaya.

1. Omnichannel integration

Avaya Cloud Office application powers your entire business communication setup from a central platform. That way, you can make calls, host video meetings, and chat with your team in one application instead of switching between multiple channels — making your contact center more efficient. 

2. Cloud integration

Avaya’s hybrid cloud experience allows businesses to take advantage of the benefits of both cloud and on-premise solutions. With Avaya’s hybrid cloud approach, businesses can leverage the scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness of cloud solutions while still maintaining control over their critical data and applications. 

This approach allows businesses to choose the deployment model that best suits their needs, whether that’s a fully cloud-based solution, a fully on-premises solution, or something in between.

3. Integrations 

Avaya is known for its extensive integration capabilities that enable businesses to seamlessly connect their contact center with a wide range of native applications and third-party platforms. 

Businesses can create a highly customized and streamlined communication and collaboration environment that meets their specific needs and workflows. For example, you can connect the Avaya Experience Platform to your CRM software, allowing your agents to access updated customer information for personalized interactions. 

4. Management and support

Avaya provides end-to-end contact center management and support, and Avaya Enterprise Cloud manages your contact center on-premises or as a dedicated cloud. 

Avaya Managed Services provides continual updates and backend maintenance. There’s also a consulting arm that provides expert advice on optimizing customer journeys and communications strategies.

Avaya Contact Center Pricing

Avaya’s published pricing is based on a three-year contract for call centers with 200–399 users. 

The actual pricing may be much higher for smaller businesses over a shorter term. You also need to contact sales for an exact pricing quote based on your preferred package. 

That said, here’s a quick table showing what each Avaya pricing package offers: 

Best ForTop FeaturesPricing (Per User/Month)

Digital (non-voice)
Small and medium-sized centers looking for comprehensive call center software Unlimited email, web chat, and text messaging
Bring Your Own Channel​ and chatbot
AI-powered self-service automation​Intelligent routing​
Conversational AI

$35

Voice (non-digital)
Organizations that are scaling their customer experience across multiple digital channelsInbound voice​
Preview outbound dialing
AI-powered self-service automation​Intelligent routing​
Conversational AI​
Voice recording​

$60

All media
Medium-scale and enterprise organizations that are scaling to omnichannel customer engagementAll digital capabilities
All voice capabilities
Blended media that simultaneously serves voice and digital inquiries​
Workforce engagement that drives employee performance and enhances compliance

$89

Avaya also offers a highly customizable package that lets you create a solution that meets your unique contact center needs. But, while this can be seen as a benefit for enterprise contact centers seeking tailored solutions, it adds complexity to the budget planning process for smaller organizations. 

Why Nextiva Contact Center Is Better

Although Avaya offers decent features, its complex pricing and user experience often push organizations to switch to more reliable contact center platforms like Nextiva. 

Nextiva-call-pop

Nextiva provides a comprehensive range of call center and digital capabilities, making it a versatile solution for various contact center needs. 

1. Transparent and flexible pricing 

Unlike Avaya, where customers must contact sales to get an accurate quote, Nextiva’s pricing is right there on its website so you know what to expect from the get-go. This means you can purchase your contact center software and enjoy its ROI early instead of wasting time on lengthy sales conversations. 

Nextiva also offers more flexible pricing options than Avaya. While Avaya mostly locks you into three-year contracts, Nextiva allows monthly or annual payments to suit different budgets. 

Nextiva-intelligent-contact-center-pricing

For $99 per month, Nextiva gives you a contact center with outbound and inbound calling capabilities, real-time reporting, and workflow management. And, you can upgrade anytime to access more contact center features as your organization scales. 

2. Comprehensive features

Nextiva offers everything you need to run an efficient contact center at scale, including unlimited calling, video conferencing, and advanced call routing, as well as access to real-time analytics.

Let’s discuss each of these a bit more:

  • Unlimited calling: Enjoy unlimited VoIP calls in Canada, the U.S., and Puerto Rico — which eliminates the need for landlines and reduces phone costs. 
  • Video conferencing: Nextiva has built-in video conferencing software that lets you host and join video meetings right in your VoIP phone system.
  • Advanced call routing: Automatically queue and distribute incoming calls to the best-fit agent based on a predefined set of rules and criteria, such as an agent’s skill set. This improves agents’ efficiency, reducing call wait times and improving customer experience. 
  • Real-time analytics: Monitor your call center performance in real time using Nextiva’s robust analytics features. You can track call metrics, record and analyze calls for insights, and share data with your team using customized dashboards. 

And those aren’t all. There are other benefits of signing up for Nextiva’s contact center as a service offering. 

3. User-friendly

Something that stands out for our users is how easy it is to set up and start using Nextiva. You don’t need any special tech skills to implement our contact center solution — simply follow our implementation guidelines, and the software will be up and running in no time. 

But don’t just take our word for it. Hear from one of our users:

Nextiva 5-star user review

While Avaya is easy to use, some customers struggle to implement certain capabilities like SIP trunking. Avaya’s platform can also get buggy, affecting your agents’ productivity. 

4. Highly reliable

With eight points of presence and carrier-grade data centers, Nextiva offers a superior 99.999% network uptime, ensuring practically zero disruptions. You can also see its uptime status in real time to check if its performance has slowed for any reason.

Some Avaya users experience frequent downtime, leading to call disruptions. At their worst, calls are missed, dropped, or experience audio glitches or pops. 

You Get It All With Nextiva

While Avaya offers decent contact center capabilities, its expensive pricing plans and complex implementation processes will likely hold you back. 

Nextiva, on the other hand, offers an all-in-one contact center solution with comprehensive features, flexible price plans, and a great user experience. It’s the best choice for organizations looking to efficiently scale their contact center operations. 

Click the “Get started” button below to check out our detailed breakdown of Nextiva’s contact center solutions to find a package that’s right for your business. 

The top-ranked, AI-powered contact center.

All conversations in one platform: empowering agents, satisfying customers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alex Doan

Alex Doan is an experienced senior marketing professional specializing in propelling growth for both B2B and B2C companies. Proficient in streamlining marketing operations for seamless sales transitions, utilizing analytics and consumer insights to achieve measurable outcomes. Committed to enhancing lead and customer experiences through effective journey mapping.

Posts from this author

It’s been a long time since customer support teams only had to cover phones and email. Customers are now everywhere, and they expect the brands they buy from to be there, too.

As many as 72% of consumers expect a fast response when they use social media to raise an issue or ask a question, but, according to the National Customer Rage Study from Customer Care Measurement & Consulting, a whopping half of all customer complaints on social media go unaddressed.

With social media interactions alone, you can now provide product guidance, kick off the refund process, solve issues, and help customers choose the right solution for their needs. It’s not just customer service — it’s your marketing, sales, and customer retention efforts combined.

The sooner you embrace it, the more you’ll win. Read on for a complete guide on nailing social media customer service in your business.

How to Prioritize Your Social Media Customer Service Program

There are four building blocks that turn your social media presence into a thriving customer service operation: channels, people, strategy, and resources.

1. Dedicated channels and social media monitoring

First, define the channels your customer service team will cover. Of course, there’s no point in wasting resources where your customers don’t spend time. They might be on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, as well as platforms for direct messages (DMs) like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

Social Network Number of Active Monthly Users (Billions)
Facebook2.95
YouTube2.51
WhatsApp2
Instagram2
WeChat 1.3
TikTok 1.05

Social customer care is about meeting your customers on a platform they already use and keeping them there to make the experience extra smooth. Imagine the frustration a customer would feel if they asked a question on your Instagram post and you directed them to LinkedIn to see your response.

How can you know where your customers like to hang out online? Try these methods:

  • Ask your customers in surveys or customer service conversations about their social media use.
  • Use website analytics (like Google Analytics) to see which platforms your traffic comes from.
  • Comb through demographic data and different social media trends with a resource like Pew Research Center.
  • Look at a specific platform’s audience breakdown, demographics, industries, and interests; here are examples for Facebook and TikTok.

With a list of platforms handy, set up a social listening tool that will track every brand mention and customer conversation for you. Instead of feeling overwhelmed with too many platform options, you’ll know exactly which channels to focus your social media customer support efforts on.

2. Responsive team

You might be tempted to simply assign your customer issues to the team in charge of your social media plan, aka the people who brainstorm post ideas, publish images and videos, and build your brand awareness.

Don’t make that mistake. If they try to look after your marketing and your customer service requests at the same time, you’ll spread them too thin and do poorly on both fronts.

Instead, have a dedicated customer service team that will look after customer inquiries on social media just like they do on email, phone, or live chat. You’ll want reps that are:

  • Familiar with your brand, tone of voice, and communication style
  • Comfortable navigating the intricacies of each social media platform
  • Fully trained on handling customer queries professionally and with care and speed

This team will merge the best of both worlds — social media proficiency and a first-class approach to customer care.

3. Defined strategy

Once you know who looks after customers on which channels, you need to define how that gets done. 

You’ll need guidelines that explain:

  • Your tone of voice in social media conversations: The goal of social media customer service is to make your customers feel heard and taken care of, no matter what. That’s the case even if your usual tone of voice online is sarcastic or filled with memes. Create guidelines with examples and must-have phrases for customer service interactions on social media.
  • Response times: Responding to a customer within a day is quite a different game than responding within an hour. Of course, the faster you can get back to them, the better, but take into account your team size and frequency of issues when setting expectations. Whichever way you go, be intentional and strategic about it.
  • Escalation procedures: What types of issues can you solve in a public interaction like comments and tweets? At what point does a conversation need to move to the privacy of an inbox or involve other pros on your team? Define rules that make it easy to categorize every conversation from the start.
  • Response templates and must-have details: Want to get to the bottom of each issue and negative comment quickly, every time? Templates are the way to do so within one or two exchanges. Your response can be an acknowledgment of the issue, an apology, and a search for more details all at once, so all you need is a library of templates that accomplish this and streamline each customer interaction.

Take it from Wendy’s, a fast food chain. Every time they respond to a customer complaint on X, they acknowledge the problem and ask for additional information based on the complaint in a template-based but efficient (and effective) way.

Wendy's handles customer complaints on Twitter

4. Knowledge base and resources

What’s the best way to make sure your customers reach out to you when they really need your help? Help them help themselves.

Self-service customer support options give your customers autonomy in their customer journey. They save them time and energy waiting for a response. Many will prefer that, even if your response happens in minutes.

It gets better. When your customers can help themselves using resources you built, it reassures them you understand and anticipate their needs. It’s a fantastic trust builder.

Some examples of self-service options you can create for customers include:

  • Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
  • A knowledge base with videos, photos, screenshots, and step-by-step instructions
  • A chatbot that answers commonly asked questions
  • A customer forum or community group (on your website, on Facebook, etc.)

Key Drivers for Social Media Success

What are the markers of success for your customer service efforts on social media platforms?

Here are the four drivers of a successful strategy:

1. Listening to the voice of the customer

Having your ear to the proverbial ground isn’t just good for putting out fires and resolving issues. It’s also a fantastic way to deeply understand your customer needs so you can improve and launch products based on what you learn and create an exceptional customer experience.

Social media is a goldmine of customer feedback. With a social listening tool like Nextiva, you can actively listen to customer concerns and look for patterns of issues, needs, and requests that keep coming up. This way, you can:

  • Launch a new product version, like Yubico did with YubiKey.
  • Add a highly requested product feature, like Rent The Runway did with pocket filters.
  • Offer a different way to shop, like Cometeer did with a bundling option.
Yubico on Twitter

The best customer service examples are those that don’t just react to issues but turn them into opportunities for long-term customer happiness.

2. Using powerful call deflection

What’s one of the best things social media platforms can do for your customer service reps? Act as a first line of defense and deflect issues that would otherwise end up on your traditional support channels like phone and email.

Let’s say your customer wants to upgrade their subscription to the next tier and asks you how to do so in an Instagram comment. You can respond quickly in a matter of minutes using one of your response templates. Not just that: a dozen other followers with the same question will see your response and take action based on it.

This took a total of 60 seconds on your end. If that person, and those other 12 people, called your support team, 60 seconds to serve them could have easily turned into an hour.

Call deflection with social networks means you can spend your call center resources on more complex issues that require a personalized approach, like:

  • Order-specific issues
  • Country-specific settings and requirements
  • Complex or technical problems that require a multi-step solution
  • Custom solutions for high-value customers

3. Improving customer effort scores

Customer effort scores measure how easy it is for your customers to accomplish what they want with your product or get help from you. 

The easiest way to measure this is by running a survey with just one question or statement focused on ease of use and offering a numbered scale as possible answers. Companies usually use a scale of 1–5, 1–7, or 1–10 along with a question or statement like:

Folks at Gartner found that 96% of customers with a high-effort service interaction become disloyal compared to just 9% with a low-effort experience. Generic service, switching between reps, and channel switching are the biggest culprits in high-effort interactions.

Quick response times, clear answers, and one-interaction solutions are the way to happy customers, both on social media and off.

4. Establishing a strong brand reputation

How you treat each customer’s question or complaint on social media speaks to your brand image and your online reputation as a whole. Each interaction — each effort to improve your customer satisfaction — is a small piece of a huge puzzle that everyone can see.

Nextiva-lets-you-engage-customers-and-prospects-with-an-all-in-one-social-media-management-tool-2

With every new mention of your brand, every social media post, and even a negative review, you get a choice to:

  • Respond to it with kindness, empathy, and professionalism
  • Get defensive and argumentative
  • Ignore it altogether

It’s not hard to see that responding every time, even when it’s less than great, is the way to go. It speaks to your brand values and shows you’re ready to handle any type of crisis. It builds trust.

Each of your choices compounds. You can be the brand everyone either loves for its product or respects for its customer-first approach on social media — or you can be the rude, ignorant company no one particularly loves dealing with. The choice is yours.

Best Practices for Better Customer Service Interactions

Follow these five principles of outstanding customer support, both on social media and off.

1. Be prompt and professional

Speed, ease, and customer focus are the name of this game. These are the activities that matter:

2. Personalize every interaction

Want to make each customer feel special after they interact with you? Here’s how you can, every time:

3. Be transparent

Honesty and openness are the ultimate trust builders between a business and its customers. Do this to ensure it in your customer care on social media:

4. Cover multiple channels

Real multi-channel support is smooth and seamless. This is how to make it happen:

5. Measure and adapt

Your social media customer service strategy is never truly done. Here are some ways to regularly level it up:

Top 5 Social Media Customer Service Platforms

Let’s be real: doing all this well is impossible without some help in the form of a specialized software solution.

These are our top picks to manage all your social media customer service channels in one place:

1. Nextiva

Nextiva is a unified customer experience platform that tracks customer interactions holistically and in real time across almost any channel you can imagine.

Nextiva is a unified customer experience platform that tracks customer interactions in real time across almost any channel

Here’s how Nextiva helps you run an extraordinary customer service operation on social media:

  • Social media tools: Publish and schedule content to different social media accounts, monitor and listen to your audience, and enhance your presence and customer engagement — all from a single platform, not 12 different browser tabs.
  • Marketing suite: Fully integrate your customer experience from first marketing interactions to sales and support conversations, including answering questions and replying to feedback in social media comments, messages, and brand mentions.
  • Workflow automation: Save time by automating and streamlining tasks like tracking social mentions, managing reviews, and organizing inboxes.
  • Collaboration: Get team members to make each other’s life easier with custom tags, role assignments, and keyword monitoring.
  • Reporting and analytics: A robust dashboard tracks performance metrics and measures customer satisfaction.

2. Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a social media management platform for brands and agencies seeking robust publishing, scheduling, reporting, and collaboration functionalities.

Sprout Social is a social media management platform for brands and agencies

It has built-in customer service features, which include:

  • Unified inbox: Manage messages, comments, and mentions across different social platforms in one place and with a consistent brand voice and experience.
  • Social listening: Monitor brand mentions, keywords, and industry trends with alerts.
  • Collaboration: Work with team members in real time with case-specific communication features like mentions and editing.
  • Analytics: Reports, automations, and surveys track engagement metrics, response times, sentiment analysis, and customer satisfaction.

3. Freshdesk

Freshdesk is an omnichannel help desk and ticketing software with social media integrations for streamlining customer service operations.

Freshdesk is an omnichannel help desk and ticketing software with social media integrations

Here’s what it offers:

  • Digital customer care: Convert social media comments and messages into tickets for efficient tracking and resolution.
  • Self-service options: Get AI-powered conversation chatbots to tap into the right article and summary to answer questions and handle high ticket volumes.
  • Integrations: Merge your platform with an ecommerce solution like Shopify, a CRM like Salesforce, and different messaging apps.
  • Streamlined admin: Use a unified agent workspace, workflows, and customizations to automatically route and assign social media inquiries to the right support reps.

4. LiveAgent

LiveAgent is a help desk software platform that manages customer requests across various channels.

LiveAgent is a help desk software platform

It’s an affordable solution with a user-friendly interface, with features like:

  • Integrations: Support customers on Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, Viber, Slack, and WhatsApp.
  • Universal inbox: Follow a customer’s progress through an issue in one convenient place.
  • Workflows and automation: Use customizable rules, canned messages, predefined answers, and ticket notes to collaborate and work faster.
  • Categories: Divide your team members into departments and route the right customer to the right expert every time.

5. Kustomer

Kustomer is an AI-powered customer service CRM platform that brings phone, email, chat, and social messaging customer support together.

Kustomer is an AI-powered customer service CRM platform

Here’s what it offers:

  • Threaded conversations: Get a single customer view that integrates Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp conversations and comments.
  • Timeline view: View orders, reviews, appointments, and other customer actions in a chronological view.
  • Agent productivity: Use auto-translation, canned responses, suggested actions, dynamic text, and tags to work faster.
  • AI: Detect customer intent and use historical data to classify and route conversations to the right customer service rep.

Manage All Your Social Media Better With Nextiva

By now it’s clear: If your customers are on social media, you can’t afford not to be there.

Speed, efficiency, empathy, and a personalized approach are the ways to do it. The way not to do it? Manually logging into every single social media platform and keeping up with dozens or hundreds of notifications.

Not only will that burn you out, but you’ll also struggle to look after those customers well. You’ll have comments and real customer issues slip through the cracks, which is a recipe for chaos.

Instead, lean on a single, integrated customer experience platform like Nextiva that lets you track, manage, and respond to customers wherever they are on social media. Add to that our smart features, like advanced filtering, ticketing, and routing, and you’re unstoppable.

Use Nextiva’s social media management solution to provide integrated, world-class customer service across all your social media channels from a single location.

Manage all social media in one place

Nextiva makes it easy to engage on social media – from one, integrated customer experience platform.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alex Doan

Alex Doan is an experienced senior marketing professional specializing in propelling growth for both B2B and B2C companies. Proficient in streamlining marketing operations for seamless sales transitions, utilizing analytics and consumer insights to achieve measurable outcomes. Committed to enhancing lead and customer experiences through effective journey mapping.

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Social CRM Definition

Social customer relationship management, or social CRM, combines traditional relationship management practices with social media engagement to provide a more personalized experience.

Social media management helps your business engage directly with their customers and monitor what they say and how they feel about your brand in real time. The right social media management platform with social CRM tools helps you track and manage interactions and gain a deeper understanding of your current and potential customers. Each interaction offers valuable insights, consolidating data in one place. 

Our guide dives into the world of social CRM, how it can benefit your business, and the tools you can use to enhance your operations through social insights.

Why Do Businesses Need Social CRM?

Social customer relationship management allows businesses to provide convenient support where customers already are, engage with them in real time, improve brand reputation, and personalize messaging.

Our contact center statistics survey found that 25% of customer service requests are handled via social media channels. If you aren’t present on social media with a social CRM, you risk missing out on these crucial interactions. 

A customer service representative uses social CRM to handle customer support requests more effectively.

Social CRM vs. Traditional CRM Differences 

Traditional CRM and Social CRM overlap in principle, as they’re both rooted in managing customer relationships. However, their key differences lie in their approach, data sources, and communication channels. 

An image shows an analogy between traditional and social CRM.

Traditional CRM relies on insights and internal data from customer interactions and purchase history. These interactions are from traditional channels, like phone, email, and live chat, and focus on gathering data, prospecting, lead nurturing, and sales pipeline management.

Social CRM taps into data from social media and online review sites, emphasizing customer engagement, social listening, relationship building, and brand loyalty. It offers a comprehensive view of customer behavior and sentiment on social media and helps spark social media conversations across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Threads, and X (formerly Twitter). 

Social CRM Use Cases

Your business can use social customer relationship management across various departments within your organization. Here’s how to apply it to customer service, sales, and marketing.

Customer service 

Social media enables real-time problem-solving by allowing businesses to monitor and quickly address public customer concerns, enhancing satisfaction. Social CRM tools provide insights into customer preferences, allowing for personalized support experiences. By offering responsive service through social media, businesses can build trust and loyalty while also gathering feedback to improve customer service processes.

🚨 A customer tweets about a negative experience with your product. Your social CRM system flags the mention, allowing a customer service representative to reach out, apologize, and offer a replacement from a single interface.

Sales

Social media platforms are rich sources of potential leads, and social CRM tools help identify the people interested in your products or services based on their activity. These tools also aid in nurturing leads by providing valuable content and building relationships. Additionally, social media CRM empowers salespeople to connect with prospects more personally and professionally, showcasing expertise and building trust.

✉️ A social CRM tool identifies someone who keeps posting about a specific product category. A sales rep can send a personalized message offering additional product information or a free consultation.

Marketing

Social media CRM enhances brand awareness by enabling the creation of engaging content and participation in relevant social media conversations. It leverages social media data to craft targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with specific customer segments. Plus, social CRM tools facilitate social listening, allowing businesses to monitor brand mentions and trends and adapt their marketing strategies based on customer perceptions and emerging trends.

🤝 A social CRM tool reveals that a specific social media influencer consistently generates positive buzz about your product. You can then collaborate with the influencer to create sponsored content or promotions.

Product research

Social customer relationship management helps product managers understand their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) by analyzing social media content and revealing key interests, challenges, and perspectives. This understanding informs data-driven decisions for product development, allowing managers to identify feature requests, areas for improvement, and emerging trends. Social media CRM also enhances research and development efforts by aligning them with customers’ real-world needs and frustrations.

🗣️ A social CRM tool reveals that a large segment of your ICP is consistently voicing frustration about a specific limitation of your product. This can inform product development efforts by prioritizing the creation of a new feature that addresses that pain point.

Social CRM Benefits

Social customer relationship management offers a multitude of benefits for businesses. Here are some key advantages:

  • Enhances social listening: Social CRM empowers businesses to monitor online conversations and brand mentions across various social media platforms, allowing you to identify customer sentiment, track brand perception, and address any emerging issues promptly before social media crisis management is necessary.
  • Helps lead generation: Social media CRM tools can help you identify potential customers interested in your products or services based on their social media activity and interactions. This allows your marketing and sales teams to focus on qualified leads.
  • Provides actionable insights: Social CRM goes beyond simply collecting social media data. It provides valuable insights into customer behavior, preferences, and pain points. Businesses can make data-driven decisions about product development, marketing campaigns, and overall customer experience strategies by analyzing this data.
  • Enables omnichannel support: Social CRM creates a unified platform for managing customer interactions across all channels, including social media. This eliminates silos between departments and ensures a consistent and seamless customer experience.

Social CRM Challenges

While a CRM for social media offers significant benefits, there are also challenges to consider. These include:

  • Data privacy: Social media data raises privacy concerns, requiring businesses to comply with data protection regulations and be transparent about data collection and its use.
  • Data management: The vast amount of social media data can be overwhelming, necessitating efficient data management tools and strategies in social customer relationship management to organize, analyze, and extract valuable insights.
  • Scalability: As your social media presence grows, choosing a scalable social CRM solution is crucial to managing the increasing volume of interactions and data across platforms.

Social CRM Metrics 

Social customer relationship management can surface a wide range of metrics that management and decision makers can tap into to find valuable insights about your customer base.

Icons highlight the descriptions of key social CRM metrics.

Here are a few key metrics:

  • Traffic: Tracking the number of people who visit your website or landing pages from social media links will help you understand the effectiveness of your social channels driving traffic.
  • Engagement: Measure how people interact with your content, account, or social media post via likes, comments, and reposts.
  • Brand mentions: Monitor how often your brand is mentioned on social media, even if it’s not directly tagged. This helps you understand brand awareness and identify any emerging trends or conversations about your brand.
  • Customer demographics: Gain insights into the demographics of your social media audience, such as age, location, gender, and interests. This allows you to tailor your social media content and marketing strategies to target your ideal customer better.
  • Sentiment: Analyze the emotional tone of social media conversations about your brand. Sentiments can be positive, negative, or neutral. Identifying negative sentiment allows you to address customer concerns promptly.
  • Brand affinity: Measure how emotionally connected or loyal customers are to your brand, which can result in advocacy.
Customer sentiment dashboard

3 Examples of Social CRM Software

While there are many options available, here are three social customer relationship management examples:

  1. Nextiva: Nextiva offers an AI-powered omnichannel contact center that integrates social media management alongside features like email, phone systems, and video conferencing. This can be a good fit for businesses seeking an all-in-one communication and social customer relationship management solution.
  2. Sprout Social: Sprout Social is a social CRM platform known for its user-friendly interface and social listening capabilities. It allows businesses to monitor brand mentions, schedule social media posts, and engage with customers across various platforms.
  3. Hootsuite: Hootsuite is another social CRM solution for social media management. It provides features for scheduling posts, managing multiple social media accounts, and running social media campaigns. 

When choosing a social customer relationship management platform, consider your specific needs and budget. Some platforms offer a wider range of features, while others specialize in specific areas like social listening or social media marketing.

Maximize Your Customer Relationships with Nextiva

Creating a social CRM strategy is crucial for businesses to provide personalized experiences where the customer already is: social media. From small businesses to large enterprises, social customer relationship management enables omnichannel support, enhances social listening, helps generate leads, and provides actionable insights for data-driven decisions.

Nextiva’s marketing suite with social CRM tools can help you achieve your business goals and meet customer needs. Try Nextiva today and start engaging more with people across channels so you can build lasting customer relationships and become brand champions.

Elevate your online brand reputation.

Never miss a reply, comment or message again. Read and respond across all channels in real time.

Social CRM FAQs

Learn more about social customer relationship management with these FAQs.

What are social CRM software examples?

There are many social customer relationship management options available, but here are three popular choices. Nextiva offers a unified communication platform integrating social media management with email, phone systems, and video conferencing, ideal for businesses seeking an all-in-one solution. 

Other social customer relationship management platform options include Sprout Social, which is known for its user-friendliness and social listening capabilities. It allows businesses to monitor brand mentions, schedule posts, and engage with customers. Hootsuite focuses on social media management, providing features for scheduling posts, managing multiple accounts, running campaigns, and offering robust analytics tools.

What are potential social CRM risks?

While social CRM offers benefits, managing data from various platforms can be complex and requires social media strategies to ensure accuracy and avoid silos. Businesses must clearly define their goals and choose appropriate solutions to get the most out of their social customer relationship management. Plus, social media data raises privacy concerns, making it important to comply with data protection regulations.

How do businesses use social CRMs?

Businesses use social CRMs to enhance customer service by responding directly to inquiries and complaints on social media. They generate leads by identifying potential customers through social media interactions and build brand awareness through engaging content and relevant conversations.

Social customer relationship management also help develop targeted marketing campaigns by leveraging social media data to understand customer demographics and preferences, and they provide insights into customer sentiment, pain points, and brand perception.

How does a social CRM integrate with social media?

Social customer relationship management software integrates with various social media platforms through APIs, allowing businesses to manage all social media interactions from a single platform. This integration enables scheduling and publishing posts across different platforms, monitoring brand mentions and conversations in real-time, and analyzing social media data to gain insights into customer behavior and sentiment.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ken McMahon

Ken McMahon leads Customer Success for Nextiva. His 25 years of experience leading various aspects of the customer experience including professional services, customer success, customer care, national operations, and sales. Before Nextiva, he held senior leadership roles with TPx, Vonage, and CenturyLink. He lives in Phoenix with his wife and two children.

Posts from this author
Omnichannel Customer Support Definition: Omnichannel customer support means providing a seamless and connected customer experience across all communication channels, like phone, email, live chat, and social media. It allows customers to connect with your support teams through their preferred channels, creating a convenient customer experience.

When customers have endless choices, how can your brand stand out from competitors? Omnichannel customer support is the key. 

Providing seamless, consistent experiences — especially when your customer switches between phone, email, social media, or live chat — will create loyal customers and brand champions who spread the good word about your business. 

Our guide to omnichannel customer support breaks down the benefits, challenges, and the right tools you need to create a successful strategy to help your business build lifelong relationships with your customers. 

Benefits of Omnichannel Customer Service

Omnichannel customer support offers various advantages. From happy customers to higher sales, implementing omnichannel communication into your contact center is a recipe for success.

A customer support agent enjoys the benefits provided by an omnichannel customer support system.

Helps provide more personalized experiences 

Customers expect personalized support with each interaction, making that a customer service standard. By unifying customer data across channels, you gain a 360-degree view of their needs and preferences. This valuable information allows you to tailor interactions, provide personalized product recommendations, and build lasting customer relationships.

Improves customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention

When customers need support, they don’t want the added challenge of connecting with your customer service team. A convenient, effortless omnichannel customer support experience allows customers to reach support agents quickly and easily on their preferred channel. This improves customer retention, satisfaction, and loyalty, increasing their chances of sticking with your brand over competitors.

Increases sales and conversions

Seamless omnichannel customer support removes friction from the customer journey. For example, when a customer browsing your website has a question, making it easy for them to switch to live chat for a quick answer can remove the roadblock hindering the purchase. Easy omnichannel communication across customer touchpoints makes the experience smooth, boosting conversions.

how-to-create-a-digital-customer-journey-map

Enables better insights into customer behaviors

Tracking interactions and gathering customer data across all channels allows you to uncover valuable insights about customer behaviors and preferences. You can see which channels they prefer, what pain paints or issues they commonly face, and how long they typically wait for support. This creates a data-driven decision-making process that helps you continuously improve your customer service strategy.

Ensures fast, convenient support where customers already are

Customers want support wherever they are, making omnichannel customer support a necessity. They might start their research on social media channels, like Instagram or Facebook, then switch to live chat for a quick question or place a call for more complex issues. An omnichannel approach to customer support ensures that your support team is there at every touchpoint.

Omnichannel Support vs. Multichannel Support

Both omnichannel and multichannel contact centers offer customers multiple ways to get help. The key differences lie in how these channels work together. 

Multichannel support provides a variety of channel options, like phone, email, or social media, but the data can be siloed. There’s no guarantee of consistency between channels, and agents might not have the full context of past interactions. 

With omnichannel support, all channels work together seamlessly, and customer history and preferences are accessible no matter which channels the customer switches to during the conversation. This creates a more personalized experience and allows agents to provide faster, more effective support.

Omnichannel vs. Multichannel

Omnichannel SupportMultichannel Support
Channels are interconnected, allowing a seamless transition between channels during a conversation 
Unified view of customer data
Focuses on creating consistent and personalized experiences
Channels operate independently
Customer data gets siloed in each channel
Customer experience varies depending on the channel

The Challenges of Omnichannel Customer Support (and How to Solve Them)

While omnichannel support offers a plethora of benefits, implementing it smoothly requires overcoming a few hurdles.

Providing consistent experiences across channels

Customers switching between channels expect consistent service and access to their history. The challenge lies in ensuring all agents, regardless of channel, have the information and training to deliver a unified customer experience.

💲 Invest in an omnichannel ticketing system like Nextiva that provides a complete view of customer interactions. Standardize service procedures and offer comprehensive training for agents across all channels.
Unified customer experience with Nextiva contact center

Breaking down data silos across departments

Without the right CRM or customer experience software, customer data can be trapped in silos making collaboration between departments — like sales and support — difficult. Fragmented data between systems makes it difficult to personalize interactions and understand the complete customer journey.

📊 Implement Nextiva’s centralized customer data platform (CDP) that unifies data from all departments. This allows for a holistic view of the customer, facilitates targeted support based on their needs, and enhances collaboration between departments.

Ensuring seamless handoffs between teams

A seamless handoff is crucial when a customer’s issue needs to be escalated to a manager, transferred to the right department, or from an AI agent to a human agent. Without proper handoffs, information can get lost, increasing customer frustrations.

🤝 Nextiva’s omnichannel call center software allows for seamless handoffs between AI agents and human agents. Our software allows agents to easily share customer context and history during transfers, ensuring a smooth transition.

Omnichannel Customer Support Tools

Providing your team with the right tools is crucial for successful omnichannel support experiences. Here are some key tools to consider in your omnichannel contact center.

A list of icons depict examples of omnichannel customer support tools.

AI and automation 

AI chatbots and intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) can provide 24/7 support, answer common questions, troubleshoot issues, and personalize product recommendations. This frees up agents for complex inquiries while offering customers self-service options, which can reduce wait times and improve overall satisfaction.

Live chat and messaging

Live chat and messaging platforms allow for real-time conversations directly on your website or social media. Customers get immediate assistance from human or conversational AI agents, creating positive customer experiences.

Ways to use conversational AI in your business

Omnichannel contact center software

The right customer service contact center consolidates customer interactions from all channels — like phone, email, live chat, or social media — into a single workspace. Agents can access customer history, manage tickets efficiently, and collaborate seamlessly across teams, leading to faster resolutions and improved agent productivity.

Reporting and analytics

Advanced reporting tools provide valuable insights into customer behavior and support performance. By tracking metrics like resolution rates and customer satisfaction across channels, businesses can identify areas for improvement and optimize their omnichannel strategy, ensuring they’re meeting customer needs and maximizing the return on their investment.

Omnichannel Support Examples and Use Cases 

Businesses across industries can enhance customer experiences and internal operations using omnichannel communication solutions. For example, the Florida Panthers, an NHL team, upgraded to Nextiva’s platform to engage fans across various channels and improve internal workflows, overcoming the limitations of their old system. 

Believe, Ltd. needed an omnichannel customer support platform that could unify communications across their four global brands. Their legacy customer support system couldn’t meet their business needs, causing delays, manual ticket processing, and providing inaccurate data. 

Switching to Nextiva’s platform streamlined their operations by consolidating over 50 support channels into one central dashboard, automating responses, and prioritizing complex requests. This improved productivity, enabled 24/7 support, and allowed the team to focus on delivering exceptional customer experiences. 

Best Practices to Maximize Your Omnichannel Customer Support Strategy

Implementing a successful omnichannel customer support strategy can be easier than you think. Here are some best practices to get you started:

Target one business use case at a time

Consider starting with a specific area where omnichannel support can have the biggest impact. This could be a high-volume channel like social media customer support or an internal department like your IT help desk. By focusing on a single use case, you can streamline the implementation process, gather valuable learnings, and demonstrate the benefits of omnichannel support within your organization. 

Use omnichannel support software

Investing in the right software is crucial. Omnichannel contact center platforms consolidate customer interactions across all channels into a single workspace. This empowers agents with a complete view of customer history, simplifies ticket management, and facilitates seamless collaboration across teams. This translates to faster resolutions for customers and increased agent productivity.

Collect and implement customer feedback

Your customers are the ultimate source of insight. Regularly gather feedback through surveys or polls to understand their preferred channels, satisfaction levels, and areas for improvement. Actively listen to their input and use it to refine your omnichannel strategy. Demonstrating that you value customer feedback fosters trust and loyalty.

Customer feedback

Prioritize the right channels

Not all channels are created equal. Identify which channels your customers use most frequently and tailor your strategy accordingly. Analyze the types of inquiries received through each channel and allocate resources accordingly.

For example, live chat might be ideal for real-time troubleshooting, while email could be better suited for detailed explanations or complex issues. By prioritizing the right channels, you ensure that you’re present where your customers need you most.

Consolidate Support Channels With Nextiva

Customers expect a seamless and connected experience across all touchpoints. By implementing an omnichannel customer support strategy, you can empower your agents, improve customer satisfaction, and boost your bottom line.

Nextiva’s AI-powered contact center solutions can help you consolidate your support channels, gain valuable insights, and personalize the customer journey. Let Nextiva help you unlock the full potential of omnichannel customer support today.

Chat with customers anywhere, anytime.

A true end-to-end omnichannel platform for sales and customer service.

Omnichannel Customer Support FAQs

If you want to dive deeper into the world of omnichannel support, look no further. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.

What are some examples of omnichannel support channels?

Omnichannel support encompasses various channels where customers can reach you, such as email, live chat on your website, social media messaging platforms, SMS text messaging, and even self-service options like knowledge bases and FAQs.

What are the 4 C’s of omnichannel?

The four C’s of omnichannel customer support serve as a guiding principle for a successful strategy and they are:

Context: Understanding the customer’s situation and past interactions across all channels.
Channel: Providing a seamless and consistent experience across all touchpoints.
Content: Delivering the right information at the right time through the right channel.
Continuity: Ensuring a smooth flow of communication regardless of channel transitions.

What are some examples of businesses that have successful omnichannel customer support strategies?

Several companies have mastered the art of omnichannel customer experiences. Here are a few examples:

Nextiva: Trusted by businesses of all sizes and industries, including billion-dollar sports franchises like the San Antonio Spurs and Florida Panthers. Nextiva’s omnichannel support software makes providing exceptional customer support across channels easy.
Zappos: The gold standard for stellar customer service experiences, Zappos provides proactive customer support and empowers agents to handle inquiries across all channels, offering personalized and flexible support.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ken McMahon

Ken McMahon leads Customer Success for Nextiva. His 25 years of experience leading various aspects of the customer experience including professional services, customer success, customer care, national operations, and sales. Before Nextiva, he held senior leadership roles with TPx, Vonage, and CenturyLink. He lives in Phoenix with his wife and two children.

Posts from this author

What Is 24/7 Customer Support?

24/7 customer support is a service model where businesses provide round-the-clock assistance to their customers, 365 days a year. This approach ensures that help is always available, regardless of time zones or holidays.

Why does it matter for your business?

Consider the potential revenue lost when a customer can’t reach you during a critical moment. That’s a risk many businesses can’t afford to take. With 24/7 support, you essentially maintain constant availability for your customers.

Customers are no longer confined to traditional business hours. They engage with products and services at all hours. By offering 24/7 customer service, you don’t just meet expectations but position your business as customer-centric.

91% of customers say they’re more likely to make another purchase after a great customer service experience. That’s a significant opportunity for increased sales and customer retention.

customer service stats via Salesforce
Via Salesforce

Benefits of 24/7 Customer Support

24/7 customer support isn’t just about being available round the clock — it’s about creating a business model that drives customer loyalty, satisfaction, and business growth while balancing your employee well-being.

The commitment to support 24/7 offers several key advantages:

📈 Increased customer satisfaction and loyalty

24/7 customer care is your always-open front door. When customers know they can reach you anytime, it creates a sense of security and trust. They’re not left hanging if they encounter an issue at 11 PM or on a holiday.

Offering 24/7 customer service translates directly into higher satisfaction rates. Good support impacts your bottom line.

Satisfied customers become your brand advocates. They recommend your business to others, effectively becoming an extension of your marketing team — at no extra cost.

💼 Improved brand image and reputation

Your business reputation and brand image speak volumes about your service. Offering 24/7 service sends a powerful message: “We care about our customers, no matter what time it is.”

This commitment doesn’t go unnoticed. It gives you a competitive advantage, differentiating you from competitors offering limited support hours. In fact, 68% of customers say a positive experience over a particular messaging channel significantly improved their brand loyalty.

Every interaction is an opportunity to shape your brand’s reputation in a digital space. A single positive late-night support experience can turn into a glowing review that attracts new customers.

📉 Reduced customer churn and increased customer lifetime value

Customer churn is a silent killer for businesses. But 24/7 customer support can effectively mitigate churn.

When you resolve issues quickly, customers are less likely to get frustrated and look for alternatives. Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing one, so why not invest in 24/7 support instead?

Preventing churn doesn’t just save acquisition costs, it increases the lifetime value of each customer, which, over time, boosts your revenue.

Increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%.

Relationship between customer retention and customer lifetime value

⏳Faster issue resolution and improved efficiency

24/7 support allows you to address issues as they arise, preventing small problems from snowballing into bigger ones.

The real-time response capability reduces your average resolution time. It also prevents the Monday morning backlog that many businesses face after a weekend of accumulated customer inquiries.

Moreover, spreading your support 24/7 lets you handle more inquiries with the same number of staff, which improves operational efficiency.

🌐 Ability to cater to a global customer base

Your next big customer could be halfway across the globe. 24/7 customer service eliminates time zone barriers, allowing you to serve customers wherever they are, whenever they need you.

Global accessibility is critical for businesses looking to expand internationally. It shows that you’re committed to serving a global market, helping you win and retain international customers.

According to (CSA Research), 74% of consumers say they’re more likely to buy from a company that provides service in their language. With 24/7 support, you can staff your customer support team with multilingual support agents across different time zones, catering to a global audience.

Key Components of Effective 24/7 Customer Service

Omnichannel communication and self-service

A robust 24/7 support system caters to diverse customer preferences and offers omnichannel customer support. This means integrating multiple channels — phone, live chat, email, social media, and SMS — into a seamless communication network.

omnichannel cx benefits

Customers should be able to start a conversation on one channel and continue it on another without losing context. Alongside these, self-service options are crucial.

A comprehensive knowledge base, community forums, and AI-powered chatbots empower customers to find solutions independently, reducing the load on your customer service team.

Intelligent ticketing and workforce management

A 24/7 help desk integrated with sophisticated workforce management tools goes a long way. Your ticketing system should automatically assign and prioritize support tickets and inquiries, track response times, and maintain a comprehensive history of customer interactions.

Pair this with workforce management tools that forecast call volumes, manage shift rotations, and track productivity across different time slots.

These systems work in tandem to staff you adequately at all hours without overstretching your team, improving your workflows, and maintaining service quality around the clock.

Communicate across all channels

Data-driven quality assurance and continuous improvement

Enhancing the quality of support means a stronger focus on data analytics and quality assurance. Implementing robust analytics lets you track peak hours, common issues, customer satisfaction scores, and agent performance metrics across all shifts.

You can use this data to refine your processes and identify areas for improvement. Couple this with a comprehensive training program and regular quality checks and you ensure consistent service quality, regardless of the time of day.

You also need clear escalation protocols for complex issues to address critical problems 24/7. A feedback loop that collects insights from both customers and support staff is key to continuously refining and enhancing your support system.

Quality assurance for customer service agents to improve CX.

How To Implement a 24/7 Support System

Implementing 24/7 support is a journey, not a destination. You’ll across many challenges and it requires ongoing commitment. But, the payoff in customer satisfaction and loyalty is worth investing in.

With a well-implemented support strategy, you can better meet and exceed customer expectations. Here’s how to get started:

1. Assess your needs and choose the right technology

Before diving into 24/7 customer support, take a good look at your current setup. What are your busiest hours? Where are your customers? What issues do they face? This information is your roadmap.

Then, gear up with the right tech. You’ll need:

Rather than investing in too many disparate systems, invest in a unified digital customer service tool that offers everything in one platform.

Nextiva unified CX platform

Cloud-based customer service solutions allow for remote work, making 24/7 coverage easier. CRM integration provides context for personalized support, while analytics tools help you continuously improve your support services.

Customers love self-service options, so make sure your tech supports this too. A good tech stack is versatile and reliable, no matter the hour.

2. Develop a staffing strategy and prioritize employee well-being

Staffing is often the trickiest part of 24/7 support. You might hire dedicated night staff, implement rotating shifts, outsource to a different time zone, or mix these approaches.

Whatever you choose, make sure your team is well-trained and aligned with your values.

Don’t forget about employee well-being. Odd hours can be tough, so offer competitive pay for night shifts, comprehensive health benefits, and create a supportive work environment. Happy employees lead to happy customers, it’s that simple.

impact of collaboration on the employee

3. Create clear processes and start with a pilot program

Consistency is key. Develop standard procedures for common issues, escalation protocols for complex problems, and communication guidelines to maintain a consistent brand voice. Your 3 AM team should provide the same level of service as your 3 PM team.

Don’t flip the switch to 24/7 overnight. Start with a pilot program — may be extended hours or weekend support. This allows you to iron out problems before going fully round-the-clock.

4. Implement performance metrics and gather customer feedback

What gets measured gets managed. Track key customer service metrics like first-contact resolution, average handling time, customer satisfaction scores, and resolution rates. Use these to refine your support system.

Also, gather feedback from both customers and employees regularly to make data-driven improvements. Have a continuous improvement engine running in the background.

5. Bank on automation and plan for scalability

Use AI-powered chatbots to handle simple queries, freeing up your human agents for complex issues. Customer service automation should enhance, not replace, human support.

As your business grows, so will your support needs. Design your system with scalability in mind from the start. You want a strong foundation that can support future additions.

Tips & Best Practices for 24/7 Customer Service

Ready to implement 24/7 customer support? Here are some tips and best practices to keep your customer service flowing smoothly:

CX implementation tips

The Future of 24/7 Customer Support

24/7 support is shaping up to be more proactive, personalized, and technologically advanced. Here’s a quick look at emerging trends:

These trends are already transforming 24/7 customer service from being merely available to being intelligently responsive, offering the right help at the right time in the most effective way. Businesses that adopt these innovations will well-position themselves to meet changing customer expectations.

Nextiva's AI contact center

If you don’t have 24/7 support, you’re already behind.

Business leaders shouldn’t contemplate the cost of 24/7 support but rather the cost of not providing it. Simply put, providing round-the-clock support is the cost of doing business.

Customers won’t wait for your business hours to get help — they’ll simply go to a competitor. You’re just one Google search away from losing the next sale, which could be worth thousands.

As CX leaders take on a holistic approach to improve customer experience, the fundamentals still matter. Listen to your customers, follow the data, and provide several ways to get live help.

And don’t limit yourself to call centers, either. Unified customer support tools enable you to surpass customer expectations. Plus, you won’t need a massive IT support budget to use them.

Benefits of customer service solutions

When you know your customer’s needs, you can adopt a 24/7 support operation to help customers, partners, and employees at any hour.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joe Manna

Joe Manna was a senior content marketing manager at Nextiva. He blends his marketing acumen and deep technical background to improve people's lives with technology. His expertise helps companies large and small serve more customers. He enjoys a rich iced latte and a non-fiction business book when he's not pressing words.

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6 Best Conference Call Services for Every Need in 2024

June 28, 2024 12 min read

Cameron Johnson

Cameron Johnson

Remote work has transformed team collaboration, making online conference call services essential for modern businesses. These tools enable seamless communication across geographical boundaries, supporting productive meetings and better teamwork regardless of location.

However, not all conference call solutions are created equal. Poor call quality, dropped connections, and limited participant capacity can disrupt crucial meetings, frustrate users, and damage your professional image.

This comprehensive guide will help you choose the perfect conference call service for your business. We’ll explore essential features, compare top-rated options, and offer valuable tips to drive better communication and collaboration.

Whether you’re a small business owner or part of a large enterprise, you’ll find the information you need to make an informed decision and enhance your collaboration capabilities.

What Is a Conference Call Service?

Conference call services are communication platforms that enable multiple participants to join a single audio or video conversation simultaneously. These services have evolved from traditional phone systems to sophisticated internet-powered solutions.

Modern conference call services typically offer:

These platforms use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology to make calls over the internet. The shift to conference calling has dramatically improved accessibility, reduced costs, and expanded feature sets compared to traditional phone systems.

Conference call services cater to various business needs, from small team meetings to large-scale webinars, and are indispensable tools for remote collaboration, client communications, and virtual events.

Must-Have Features for Effective Conference Calling

Plenty of video meeting platforms offer a wide range of functionality, from basic to advanced features. No matter which platform you choose, make sure that it offers these essential conference call features.

Nextiva voip service

6 Best Conference Call Services

Here’s a quick overview and comparison of some popular conference call services we’ll discuss:

FeatureNextivaVast ConferenceDialpadCisco WebexZoomMicrosoft Teams
Price (per user/month)$32.95 (Enterprise)$31.99/month
(Professional)
$15
(Business)
$14.50
(Webex Business)
$18.32 (Business)$10 (Business standard)
Participants UnlimitedUpto 250 participantsUpto 150 participantsUpto 200
participants
Upto 300
participants
Upto 300
Key StrengthsUnlimited participant capacity, Integration, scalabilityCost-effective, large callsAI features, integrationsSecurity, scalabilityUser-friendly, free planCollaboration, affordability

Let’s dive deeper into these six top conferencing services for 2024, each offering unique features to meet diverse business needs.

1. Nextiva

Nextiva is a comprehensive VoIP provider offering reliable conference call solutions as part of its Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) product. It’s a popular choice for remote teams of all sizes.

Key features

A product shot from Nextiva

Nextiva reviews

Nextiva has a 4.5 rating on G2 with 3182 reviews. Those customer testimonials often highlight the following: 

Where can Nextiva improve?

Pricing

Nextiva offers an all-in-one communications platform, and conference calls are available in our Professional and Enterprise plans

2. Vast Conference

Vast Conference specializes exclusively in conference calls and virtual events, unlike full-service VoIP providers.

Key features

Vast Conference reviews

Vast Conference has a 4.6 G2 rating but only 17 reviews. Customers appreciate:

Where can it improve?

When considering Vast Conference’s conferencing software, you will want to consider these potential disadvantages:

Pricing

Vast Conference’s paid plans are based on the number of participants. The Essentials plan is $13.19 per user per month but only includes 10 participants. 

3. Dialpad

Dialpad is a reputable VoIP and conference call provider, offering a standalone conferencing solution that must be purchased separately. 

Key features

A product shot from Dialpad
Via Dialpad

Dialpad reviews

Dialpad’s Ai Meetings product has a G2 rating of 4.4 stars and 2,069 reviews. Highlights include:

Where can it improve?

When considering Dialpad, you should consider the following potential downsides: 

Pricing

Dialpad’s Ai Meetings offers the following two plans:

4. Cisco Webex

Cisco Webex offers a comprehensive cloud-calling solution with dedicated products for various communication needs. Its Meetings product is what you’ll focus on for audio and video conferencing. 

Key features

A product shot from Cisco
Via Cisco

Cisco Webex reviews

Cisco Webex Meetings has a 4.3 G2 rating, with 15,360 reviews. Here’s what customers were happy with: 

Where can it improve?

Here are some potential drawbacks of the Cisco Webex conference service provider.

Pricing

Webex’s Meetings product offers the following three plans:

Related: Cisco Webex Contact Center Pricing: Is It Worth It?

5. Zoom

Zoom skyrocketed in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering a free video meeting solution for businesses shifting to remote work. It’s a simple but effective platform for those who don’t need advanced features.

Key features

A product shot from Zoom
Via Zoom

Zoom reviews

Zoom has a 4.5 G2 rating, with over 53,000 reviews. Users appreciate:

Where can it improve?

Keep in mind some potential considerations with this conference call service:

Pricing

Zoom One, which includes the Meetings platform offers three main plans:

6. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams provides robust video conferencing, meeting, and conference calling software, ideal for businesses already in the Microsoft ecosystem.

Key features

Microsoft Teams reviews

Microsoft Teams has a 4.3 G2 rating with 15,103 reviews. Users highlight:

Where can it improve?

Before choosing Teams as your conferencing solution, consider these downsides:

Pricing

Microsoft Teams starts at $4 per user per month, with up to 300 participants per meeting. 

What To Look for in a Conference Call Service

Many conference call solutions come from business phone providers, especially if you’re looking for high-quality call and video conferencing options with strong reliability and consistent performance. 

When choosing a conference call provider, look for a solution with the following 10 qualities. 

📈 Scalability for large teams

Scalability is essential when choosing a conference call provider. You want a tool that supports a large number of participants in a single call, catering to the current size and potential expansion of your business.

Keep in mind that many conferencing solutions — for video and audio calls — may struggle to support a large number of participants. Choose a business plan that allows for the number of callers you need and actually supports them when you host conference calls.

Consider future growth as well – a solution that can accommodate your needs now and scale up as your business expands is ideal.

✅ Reliability and performance

When it comes to conference calls, nothing is more frustrating than poor audio quality or dropped connections. Look for a provider that offers stable, consistent audio and video quality with minimal latency.

Don’t just take their word for it — check customer reviews to get a real sense of the service’s performance. Remember, reliability is key to ensuring smooth, effective communication.

Also, check for published uptime statistics and service level agreements (SLAs).

🔏 Security & encryption

Every conference line should be secure so no one else can listen in. Choose a conferencing solution that offers strong data encryption and security measures to protect sensitive corporate and customer information.

Ideally, look for the following features:

♻️ Strong integration ecosystem

A strong integration system will give more functionality to your conferencing tool of choice.

Seamless integrations with your existing tech stack and cloud systems are essential, so look for a tool that works with the business tools and systems you’re already using, including the following:

🤙🏻 User-friendliness for all skill levels

Not all employees are naturally tech-savvy, so it’s essential to have a user-friendly audio and video conference tool that is easy for managers, employees, and executives to use.

While you should offer training, the goal is to minimize the time spent on implementing the new tool and ensure that everyone can use it without issues.

Look for features like one-click meeting joins, easy screen sharing, and intuitive meeting controls.

Strike a balance between the number of features a tool has and the complexity of the interface. The tool should have as many features as possible while providing basic features, such as making a simple call, but it should also have an intuitive interface that won’t overwhelm anyone.

📞 Responsive customer support

Reliable and responsive customer service is a must for any tool your business relies on. 

A provider’s customer service should ideally meet these standards:

🖍 Customization options

Every business has unique needs when it comes to conference solutions, so there’s no perfect one-size-fits-all solution.

The ability to tailor your service to your specific business needs and preferences should be a priority. Find a tool that supports your desired number of call participants, meeting time limits, collaboration features, and pricing.

At the most basic, your conference calling system should let you customize virtual backgrounds, brand your meeting rooms with company logos, set up recurring meetings with saved preferences, and create custom meeting templates for different types of calls

💰 Cost-effectiveness

There are plenty of outstanding conferencing solutions on the market, but they aren’t all within your budget.

Consider the cost and pricing models of different tools. One platform may seem appealing at $15 per month, with solid features and unlimited meetings included, until you realize the price only covers five callers.

When assessing cost-effectiveness, consider the total cost of each plan by looking at the following factors:

🌎 Global accessibility

The ability to have secure and stable conference lines with employees, vendors, and clients all over the world has never been more important.

Make sure that the tool you choose provides access to multilingual customer support and can connect global locations with ease, even if your business is located within the U.S.

Consider features like:

🪜Cross-platform and cross-device compatibility 

While people love debating the benefits of iOS vs. Android, you don’t want to pick a conferencing tool that only works on one or the other.

Ensure ease of use by choosing a conferencing solution that works on both iOS and Android, as well as on multiple web browsers and mobile devices. Conference bridge lines are a perfect way to ensure everyone can dial into your next conference call.

Choosing the Right Conference Call Service Provider

Here are a few more tips to close out on choosing the right conference call provider.

While features are important, consider your company culture and employee comfort level. Opt for a service that aligns with your team’s technical proficiency and provides adequate training materials. A good practice is to evaluate free demos before committing to a paid plan.

Power Your Virtual Meetings With Nextiva

Large and growing businesses need to choose a conference call service that’s so reliable you don’t have to think about it again. You should never be worried about faltering or dropped calls or whether you can get through to customer support if you need assistance.

We offer all the solutions needed for video and audio conferencing, including team chat, whiteboards, call recording, and screen sharing.

Nextiva also comes with extensive integration options along with an entire suite of VoIP functionality. These features include virtual business phone numbers, toll-free numbers, SMS messaging, auto-attendants, voicemail transcription, call routing, and more. 

Collaborating, disseminating information, and sharing insights is a breeze with Nextiva’s scalable conference call services. Our Enterprise plan allows for unlimited conference calls up to 45 minutes with an unlimited number of participants. Get started today. 

Meetings made simple.

See how Nextiva powers your virtual meetings

Conference Call Service FAQs

Is there a free conference call service?


Yes, many free conference call services are available. However, free services often come with limitations, such as a limited number of participants per call, limitations on call length, and a lack of key features like screen sharing, recording, or international dial-in numbers.

How much does a conference call service cost?

Conference call cost varies depending on the provider, features offered, and the number of participants. A subscription-based conference call service could typically cost anywhere between $20 to $50 per user per month (depending on features and participant capacity).

You can also choose free plans (with limitations) and freemium services with a basic plan. Large organizations with extensive needs might require enterprise plans with dedicated support and custom features. Pricing is usually determined through quotes based on specific requirements.

How does conference calling work on mobile?

It’s simple to make conference calls on mobile (iOS and Android) using mobile apps from popular conference call services. The mobile network connects all participants into a single conversation.
Most of these mobile apps have built-in conference calling capabilities, allowing multiple people to join the same audio call simultaneously.

How can I make video conference calls?

Dedicated conference call services provide a virtual meeting space in the cloud. Users connect via mobile apps or web browsers, with the service handling the routing of audio and video streams between participants.

These platforms typically offer features like screen sharing, chat, and participant management. They require only a device with a camera, microphone, and internet connection, making it easy for people to join from various locations and enjoy web conferencing. Security measures and additional features like cloud storage and cloud recording are often included.

How can I improve my conference call quality?

To improve conference call quality, focus on technical aspects and etiquette. Use a reliable internet connection, invest in quality audio equipment, and choose a quiet location. Test your setup before calls, encourage muting when not speaking, and use video to enhance engagement.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cameron Johnson

Cameron Johnson was a market segment leader at Nextiva. Along with his well-researched contributions to the Nextiva Blog, Cameron has written for a variety of publications including Inc. and Business.com. Cameron was recently recognized as Utah's Marketer of the Year.

Posts from this author

Cisco Webex Contact Center Pricing: Is It Worth It?

June 27, 2024 7 min read

Danny Grainger

Danny Grainger

Today’s businesses use enterprise-grade contact center services to equip their support and sales teams to handle high call volumes. 

One of the noteworthy contact center providers is Cisco’s Webex Contact Center. It packs a serious punch with advanced features and scalability. But the big question is, “What’s the price tag, and does it really move the needle on ROI?”

Here, we break it all down and look into Webex’s pricing particulars. By the end of this blog, you’ll know if its cost aligns with your budget realities and if there’s a better solution for you.

Cisco Webex Contact Center Pricing Explained

Though Cisco posts some of its other collaboration offerings’ pricing online, it keeps Webex Contact Center’s pricing undisclosed. You’ll need to jump through some hoops — filling out demo request forms and speaking to the company’s sales team — before it discloses any hard numbers.

No public pricing

For some businesses, this lack of transparent pricing from the get-go is a drawback. How can you properly evaluate whether Webex fits your budget if the baseline costs are ambiguous? Smaller teams and start-ups, in particular, may be wary of any solution with opaque pricing.

The upside is that Webex Contact Call Center pricing scales based on your business size and specific needs. 

Key factors that will impact your final quote include:

  • The number of agents you need concurrent user licenses for
  • Cell center features and capabilities required for your contact routing, workforce management, call recording, and analytics
  • Implementation complexity based on existing systems or telephony that needs integration
Psst! Nextiva’s contact center starts at $99/month per agent. Check it out→

To give you a rough ballpark figure, a 2022 report said Webex’s Cloud Contact Center pricing was structured something like this:

  • Licensing: $150/agent/month
  • IVR port license: $150/port/month
  • PSTN cost: $12/agent/month
  • Installation and onboarding: $75,000
  • Support: $3,000/month

For a 40-agent contact center, this comes to around $260,000 for the first year of Webex’s service, or around $190,000 annually, not including installation fees.

Add-ons can increase costs

Cisco offers some notable Webex Contact Center add-on products that can quickly increase your monthly spend beyond its baseline pricing:

  • Workforce optimization ($40+/user/month): This suite includes workforce management tools for scheduling shifts, forecasting demands, and managing performance. It also has quality management for monitoring service levels.
  • Webex calling integration (from $8/user/month): For an additional fee, you can integrate Webex Contact Center with Cisco’s cloud-based calling solution to enable voice capabilities.
  • Digital engagement (usage-based billing): Rather than billing per user, this add-on for advanced digital channels like proactive outbound messaging is billed based on your actual usage volume.

These additional products significantly amplify Webex’s functionality. But they also increase your total price tag — potentially by hundreds or even thousands of dollars monthly depending on your business size. Before signing on the dotted line, you’ll need to carefully evaluate whether the incremental benefits each add-on offers your organization justify the extra investment.

Other Factors When Considering Webex Contact Center

Of course, no software-buying decision should be based on pricing alone. Let’s look at some other key considerations around the overall experience and value proposition.

Feature innovation

Webex’s suite of features includes Webex Meetings and Webex Calling for inbound and outbound calls. Webex also offers connectivity products such as webinar screen sharing and events management, contact center software, and workspace solutions like voicemail.

However, some users have cited concerns that Cisco Webex isn’t quite on the cutting edge when it comes to rolling out innovative new features and solutions.

Cloud contact center solution competitors like Nextiva, Five9, RingCentral, and Genesys are more modern. The competitors’ offerings are far more advanced, with capabilities like AI, collaborative document-sharing between agents, and tools to improve agent interactions.

Nextiva-acquired-leading-contact-center-platform-Thrio-to-bring-AI-powered-contact-center-functionality-to-its-offering

If being on the forefront of new contact center technology is a huge priority, you may want to keep an eye on how Webex’s road map and innovation pipeline stack up going forward.

AI/ML integration

Another area where Webex has historically lagged is in AI and ML integration. To be fair, this contact center solution has started implementing some very basic AI functions like intelligent virtual agents and assistants and predictive modeling. But the capabilities are still relatively limited compared with more AI-driven platforms.

If you’re looking to be an early adopter of sophisticated AI within your contact center, Webex may not quite check all those boxes yet compared with other, more disruptive solutions that have invested in ML innovation.

Flexibility and integration

Webex offers strong CRM flexibility and integration. However, user reviews suggest that the platform could improve in its flexibility and the depth of its integration capabilities.

Webex supports a range of on-premises communication channels beyond just business voice — messaging, SMS, video, email, self-service, and collaboration tools. That said, some feedback does suggest that the process of actually deploying new integrations and workflows workflows could be easier. More seamless integration without heavy customization and coding would create a smoother experience.

So, while Webex can do this, there’s still room for improvement in simplifying the setup process and reducing friction points.

User interface and usability

Some user reviews note Webex’s overall interface and ease of use fall short compared with more modern alternatives. The reviewers claim the learning curve is steep, especially for nontechnical staff simply looking to quickly find info and efficiently handle customer cases. Too many disparate features and functionalities are buried in layers of menus.

An overhauled user interface focused on simplicity and intuitiveness could go a long way. Streamlining the agent desktop and the Webex app into a more user-friendly experience would prevent headaches and ensure teams can be productive from day one rather than mired in training.

Why Contact Centers Prefer Nextiva

When you stack up all these factors of cost, innovation, AI integration, flexibility, and usability, it’s no wonder that Nextiva frequently comes out on top for many businesses.

Nextiva customer 5-star rating and review

Here’s why Nextiva’s solution often wins out over Webex.

Simple, intuitive user experience

Whereas some knock Webex for being overly complex and clunky, Nextiva’s contact center is universally praised for its simple, modern user interface and ease of use. Visualizations are clear, navigation is intuitive, and nontechnical employees can be up and running quickly without extensive training.

Features are powerful yet streamlined — there’s no bloat to overcomplicate the agent desktop experience. Everything agents need for efficient call handling and case management is surfaced intelligently. No digging through disparate menus and layers of options is necessary just to do basic tasks.

Nextiva-Contact-Center-dashboard

Out-of-the-box integration with key apps

Like Webex, Nextiva integrates with many popular business applications and CRM software right out of the box. But the implementation is often simpler and more turnkey. In particular, Nextiva’s seamless integration with Salesforce, Zendesk, Microsoft Dynamics, and other foundational platforms gets high marks.

Rather than complex coding requirements, Nextiva uses low-code integration and recipes to more easily map data flows and workflows between all your systems. The result is quicker deployments without extensive development and testing cycles. You get functionality like click-to-dial, screen pops, real-time syncing and more for streamlining agent efficiency.

Nextiva-integrations

Transparent, affordable pricing

One of Nextiva’s biggest advantages over a platform like Webex is its simple, affordable, and transparent pricing across all tiers. All pricing, features, and add-ons are clearly listed up front on its website. You don’t waste time filling out forms and waiting endlessly for custom quotes.

Nextiva’s pricing for a full-featured omnichannel CCaaS platform starts at just $99/user monthly. That’s a considerably lower entry point than Webex’s, as the limited public data on its pricing indicates. 

Even Nextiva’s premium Enterprise UCaaS package, with unlimited participants on voice and video conferencing, call recording, AI voicemail transcription, and single sign-on features, maxes out at $32.95/user/month. That’s highly competitive when you consider Webex’s complicated add-on fees for items like calling integration.

Nextiva pricing

For budget-conscious teams, Nextiva is the much more cost-effective, transparent option — especially for smaller businesses that can’t afford to play opaque enterprise-pricing games.

Award-winning customer support

Beyond pricing and usability advantages, Nextiva frequently gets top marks for its exceptional customer support and service experience. Its support team is available 24/7 over phone, chat, and email to provide timely assistance.

This level of always-on, omnichannel support proves crucial when it comes to a mission-critical platform like your contact center solution. If issues like downtime or system failures occur, you need super-responsive support to resolve problems quickly.

Nextiva has won numerous awards for its support experience, including:

With so many independent reviewers and analysts validating Nextiva’s service quality, you can deploy it with confidence.

The Verdict: Should You Choose Webex Contact Center?

At the end of the day, there’s no definitive answer on whether Webex Contact Center pricing delivers sufficient value for every business. It truly depends on your specific requirements, budget, and priorities around innovation.

For larger enterprises with sizable budgets and very complex, robust contact center needs, Webex’s depth of features and scalability could justify the investment. Open integration capabilities for CRM software, support for essentially all digital channels, workforce optimization, advanced analytics, and global reach make Webex compelling, particularly if you’re already utilizing Cisco Webex’s broader collaboration ecosystem.

However, for small businesses valuing simplicity and transparency, Nextiva provides a superior price-to-value ratio. Its straightforward pricing with no hidden fees, combined with an incredibly user-friendly experience and award-winning support, makes it tough to beat.

You get all the core functionality for efficient routing and stellar customer interactions — voice, chat, SMS, social channels, self-service, IVR systems, and analytics. You also get tight integration with leading CRM systems and business apps. The monthly cost is very reasonable, with no nickel-and-diming through complicated add-ons or custom-pricing games.

The choice really comes down to your priorities around depth of features versus cost-effectiveness. Whichever provider you prefer, the key is carefully mapping out all requirements now and into the future. Opt for the best solution to empower your teams while fitting your budget.

Related: Cisco Contact Center: Is UCCX Right for Your Business?

Ready to see if Nextiva is the right fit for elevating your customer experience? Book a personalized demo of its straightforward contact center platform to get started. 👇

It’s a win-win with Nextiva.

Customers get personalized phone support. Your sales teams get a flexible inbound call center.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Danny Grainger

Danny Grainger is a seasoned copywriter who specializes in helping brands build awareness and effectively communicate their value to both businesses and clients. With a focus on business marketing, advertising, and SaaS, he has a knack for translating the intrinsic worth of products and services into compelling narratives.

Posts from this author

10 Best Social Media Customer Service Software in 2024

June 27, 2024 13 min read

Ken McMahon

Ken McMahon

What is social media customer service software?

Social media customer service software is a tool that centralizes and streamlines customer interactions from various social media platforms.

Customer service has evolved from traditional channels like phone calls and emails and now includes support directly on social media. Social media customer service enables real-time engagement, personalized support, and the potential to convert frustrated posts into loyal customers. 

Managing multiple social media platforms and responding quickly doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Our guide to social media customer service software details how to transform your social media presence into a dynamic customer service hub, making it easier to handle conversations and provide exceptional support. Ready to embrace the power of social media customer service? Let’s explore how the right tools can help you create a winning strategy.

SoftwareBest ForFeaturesStarting Price
NextivaMost businessesAll-in-one omnichannel inbox Social tagging and monitoring Competitor and social listening$149 per month + 99/mo for each additional user, billed annually
Sprout SocialMid-sized businessesSocial media publishing Conversation management Reporting and analytics$199 per user/month, billed annually
HootsuiteScheduling and collaborationCentralized dashboard Social media engagement AI-powered features$99 per month (one user), billed annually
Salesforce Service CloudEnterprisesSocial media listening and monitoring Social media scheduling Social media analytics$25 per user/month, billed annually
ZendeskCustomizationZendesk AI for social media Omnichannel agent workspace Unified ticketing system$55 per agent/month, billed annually
FreshdeskEase of useCentralized social media management Automated workflows Advanced ticketing$0 per month (up to 10 agents), billed annually
Zoho DeskIntegrationsUnlimited scheduled posts Social monitoring Analytics$7 per user/month, billed annually
LiveAgentOmnichannel ticketingUniversal inbox Social media integrations Productivity tools$9 per agent/month, billed annually
HubSpot Service HubMarketing automationPost scheduling Keyword monitoring Lead tracking$90 per seat/month, billed annually
FrontTeam collaborationCentralized inbox Omnichannel communication Customer history profiles$19 per seat/month (up to 10 seats), billed annually

1. Nextiva

Best for most businesses

A screenshot shows Nextiva’s social media customer service software

Nextiva’s social media management platform integrates marketing, engagement, and customer support across various social media channels into one unified dashboard. It supports platforms like Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, and YouTube, with Pinterest coming soon. 

Key features include scheduling and publishing posts, real-time interaction and engagement, and advanced analytics for monitoring social media performance. The platform also offers workflows and automation tools such as an all-in-one inbox, advanced filtering, social tagging, intelligent routing, performance monitoring, and competitor listening. These capabilities help streamline social media management, improve customer interactions, and enhance overall social media presence.

Features 

  • All-in-one omnichannel Inbox: View and manage incoming customer reviews in real time from various channels in a unified interface.
  • Social tagging and monitoring: Create custom tags to categorize reviews and track keywords across social channels for efficient search and analysis.
  • Competitor and social listening: Track brand mentions, conversations, and competitor performance across social media platforms, forums, blogs, and custom sources to stay informed about customer sentiment, industry trends, and areas for improvement.
  • Case automation and escalations: Ensure customers never fall through the cracks using automation to elevate issues to senior support reps and managers with complete visibility.

Pricing

Nextiva offers various packages for businesses of all sizes, ranging from standard plans for small businesses to custom plans with all the bells and whistles.   

  • Standard: $149 + $99 for each additional user per month, billed annually
  • Growth: $149 + $99 for each additional user per month, billed annually
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing that includes white-glove service
ProsCons
Easy to use
Reliable
Great customer support
No integrations marketplace
Advanced features limited to the Enterprise plan
SMS isn’t in the basic plan

2. Sprout Social

Best for mid-sized businesses

A screenshot shows Sprout Social’s social media customer service software

Sprout Social provides a unified platform for managing cross-channel customer care on social media. Its centralized workspace puts customer interactions into a single dashboard, allowing agents to monitor and respond without switching interfaces. With tools for social listening, post management, automation, and sentiment analysis, Sprout Social helps businesses effectively engage with their audience and measure performance.

Features 

  • Social media publishing: Plan, organize, and deliver social content and campaigns with cross-network scheduling
  • Conversation management: Track campaign performance and identify, personalize, and respond to incoming direct messages (DMs)
  • Reporting and analytics: Evaluate outcomes with access to social data and customizable reporting tools

Pricing

Sprout Social features pricing for four different plans: 

  • Standard: $199 per user per month, billed annually
  • Professional: $299 per user per month, billed annually
  • Advanced: $399 per user per month, billed annually
  • Enterprise: Contact Sprout Social for a custom quote
ProsCons
Free 30-day trial available
User-friendly interface
No contracts
No free plan 
High price
Steeper learning curve with advanced features 

3. Hootsuite

Best for scheduling and collaboration

A screenshot shows Hootsuite’s social media customer service software

Hootsuite is a social media management platform offering a unified dashboard for scheduling posts, interacting with users, and analyzing performance across multiple platforms. Its centralized workspace and integration options allow businesses to connect their CRM systems, marketing tools, and other essential software. Hootsuite’s automation features enable scheduling posts, setting up automated responses, and auto-assigning messages to team members.

Features 

  • Centralized dashboard: Manage all your social media accounts from one central dashboard. This includes scheduling posts, responding to comments and messages, and tracking performance. 
  • Social media engagement: Respond to comments and messages from various platforms within the Hootsuite interface.
  • AI-powered features: Hootsuite’s social media AI writer can help draft content and suggest hashtags.

Pricing

Hootsuite offers three plans: a one-person subscription, team, and customizable enterprise options. 

  • Professional: $99 per month (one user), billed annually
  • Team: $249 per month (three users), billed annually
  • Enterprise: Contact Hootsuite for a custom quote
ProsCons
Ease of use
Customer support
Inbox management
Difficulty adding functionality
Lacks key features
Unable to tag on LinkedIn

4. Salesforce Service Cloud

Best for enterprises

A screenshot shows Salesforce’s social media customer service software.

Salesforce Service Cloud is a customer service solution that helps businesses with social media management. While Salesforce is primarily recognized for its sales CRM tool, Service Cloud offers omnichannel customer support capabilities that extend to social media channels.

In addition to social media, Salesforce includes email, live chat, and self-service channels. It also provides add-ons like field service and AI tools, as well as seamless integration with Salesforce’s CRM for enhanced customer insights.

Features 

  • Social media listening and monitoring: This feature tracks brand mentions, industry conversations, and competitor activity across various social media platforms.
  • Social media scheduling: This feature enables you to schedule and publish social media content directly from the Salesforce platform, streamlining your workflow.
  • Social media analytics: This feature provides insights into the performance of your social media campaigns, including metrics like reach, engagement, and website traffic generated from social media.

Pricing

Salesforce offers a four-tier pricing structure with an add-on for AI chatbot Einstein. Here are the prices:  

  • Starter Suite: $25 per user per month, billed annually
  • Professional: $80 per user per month, billed annually
  • Enterprise: $165 per user per month, billed annually
  • Unlimited: $330 per user per month, billed annually
  • Einstein 1 Service: $500 per user per month, billed annually
ProsCons
Integrates easily
Reliability
Customer support 
Difficult to customize
Complicated to use
Slow setup

5. Zendesk

Best for customizations

A screenshot shows Zendesk’s social media customer service software.

Zendesk is a customer experience platform that provides omnichannel support. Its ticketing systems help manage conversations across various channels, including social media, with options for basic email support on lower-cost plans and expanded support for phone and chat on higher-tier plans. 

Zendesk AI enhances customer and employee experiences by providing instant responses and streamlining workflows. Its analytics suite offers insights into response times and agent performance, enabling businesses to refine their strategies for a seamless customer experience.

Features 

  • Zendesk AI for social media: This service provides AI-powered features like chatbots for social media interactions, including troubleshooting, recommendations, and escalation to human agents.
  • Omnichannel agent workspace: This integrates social media channels with other communication channels — like email, live chat, and social media — into a unified platform for agents, providing a complete customer history.
  • Unified ticketing system: Funnels all customer interactions from various channels into one system for consistent response management.

Pricing

Zendesk offers five different pricing tiers for its customer service suite. 

  • Suite Team: $55 per agent per month, billed annually
  • Suite Growth: $89 per agent per month, billed annually
  • Suite Professional: $115 per agent per month, billed annually
  • Suite Enterprise: Contact Zendesk
  • Suite Enterprise Plus: Contact Zendesk
ProsCons
User-friendly interface
Service-level agreements
Customer support
Cost Complexity
Social listening challenges

6. Freshdesk

Best for ease of use

A screenshot shows Freshdesk’s social media customer service software.

Social media customer service tools like Freshdesk streamline communication by allowing teams to manage high volumes of social media inquiries across multiple platforms in one place. Freshdesk features self-service options, automated workflows, advanced ticketing, and intelligent routing to streamline workflows. Additionally, Freshdesk’s analytics tools empower agents to resolve issues quickly and gain valuable insights.

Features 

  • Centralized social media management: Freshdesk allows businesses to integrate social media platforms like Facebook, Linkedin, WhatsApp, Instagram, and X into a unified dashboard.
  • Automated workflows: Features like automatic ticket creation for incoming social media messages and intelligent routing can streamline workflows.
  • Advanced ticketing: Freshdesk converts social media interactions (comments, messages) into tickets within the platform.

Pricing

Freshdesk offers various packages, from free plans with limited features to enterprise plans with advanced features.  

  • Free: $0 per month (up to 10 agents), billed annually
  • Growth: $15 per agent per month, billed annually
  • Pro: $49 per agent per month, billed annually
  • Enterprise: $79 per agent per month, billed annually
ProsCons
Ease of use
Canned responses
Ticket grouping
Search functionality
Lag issues
Customization flexibility

7. Zoho Desk

Best for integrations

A screenshot shows Zoho Desk’s social media customer service software.

Zoho Desk has social monitoring tools that track brand mentions across platforms like Facebook, X, and Instagram, centralizing communication for efficient ticket management. Capabilities include scheduling unlimited posts with a user-friendly content calendar, real-time engagement features, and basic analytics for insights into audience behavior and performance.

Additionally, features like automatic ticket assignments, predefined response templates, and workflow automations streamline support processes.

Features 

  • Unlimited scheduled posts: Save time by scheduling social media content in advance for optimal reach and consistent posting.
  • Social monitoring: Track brand mentions and customer conversations across social media platforms. 
  • Analytics: Track metrics like follower growth, engagement rates, and website traffic generated from social media.

Pricing

Zoho Desk offers affordable pricing tiers. Here are their options: 

  • Express: $7 per user per month, billed annually
  • Standard: $14 per user per month, billed annually
  • Professional: $23 per user per month, billed annually
  • Enterprise: $40 per user month, billed annually

Zoho Desk also has a free plan for minimal support needs. 

ProsCons
Scheduled social media posts
Social media content calendar
Easy to customize
Hashtag tracking
Competitor monitoring
Reporting and analytics

8. LiveAgent

Best for omnichannel ticketing

A screenshot shows LiveAgent’s social media customer service software.

LiveAgent offers a unified customer support platform that consolidates email, calls, and social media communication into a single dashboard. Its gamification approach makes customer support engaging by rewarding teams for task completion.

The platform integrates with social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, streamlining workflows with automated routing and responses. Additionally, LiveAgent provides valuable insights through robust reporting capabilities and supports team collaboration with integrations like Slack and WhatsApp.

Features 

  • Universal inbox: Centralizes all social media inquiries into a single platform for efficient management and omnichannel support.
  • Social media integrations: Connects with popular social media platforms to convert messages and mentions into trackable tickets automatically.
  • Productivity tools: Templates and canned responses improve efficiency in social media communication.

Pricing

LiveAgent offers a tiered pricing structure with different plans catering to various business needs. Here’s a breakdown of their pricing. 

  • Small: $9 per agent per month, billed annually
  • Medium: $29 per agent per month, billed annually
  • Large: $49 per agent per month, billed annually
  • Enterprise: $69 per agent per month, billed annually
ProsCons
Easy-to-use interface
Affordable
Flexibility
Not very intuitive for editing tickets
Too many features
Difficulty sorting through calls

9. HubSpot Service Hub

Best for marketing automation

A screenshot shows HubSpot’s social media customer service software

HubSpot offers comprehensive social media customer service tools within their HubSpot Service Hub platform. Core functionalities include a Social Inbox for unified management of social media conversations, conversation management for direct response and resolution, and social monitoring to track brand mentions and industry discussions.

Additional features include ticketing to convert social interactions into trackable tickets, reporting and analytics for performance insights, and automation for tasks like scheduling posts and pre-written responses.

Features 

  • Post scheduling: Plan and schedule your social media posts in advance so that you can publish them at the best times for your audience.
  • Keyword monitoring: Alert your agents in real time when brand mentions (or other  keywords) are used across social media platforms.
  • Lead tracking: Attribute business value by tracking the leads and customers that your social media marketing generates.

Pricing

HubSpot features different pricing models for businesses of different needs and sizes. Depending on the plan you choose, HubSpot may require a one-time onboarding fee.

  • Marketing Hub Starter: $15 per seat per month, billed annually 
  • Starter Customer Platform: $15 per seat per month, billed annually
  • Service Hub Professional: $90 per seat per month, billed annually
  • Service Hub Enterprise: $130 per seat per month, billed annually

HubSpot Service Hub also offers a free plan with limited tools for up to five users.

ProsCons
Easy to use
Integrates well with other software
Robust features
Cost and hidden fees
Limited automation
Difficult to modify templates

10. Front

Best for team collaboration

A screenshot shows Front’s social media customer service software

The social customer service platform from Front features a simple, user-friendly interface. Automated workflows handle routing and ticket handoff, ensuring fair workload distribution. It supports omnichannel communication across various channels, including social media, and empowers agents to provide personalized service through customer history profiles and in-app note-taking. Detailed analytics offer insights into response times, resolution rates, and team performance.

Features 

  • Centralized inbox: Manage all customer interactions in a single workspace.
  • Omnichannel communication: Seamlessly switch between channels while maintaining context for the customer.
  • Customer history profiles: Store past interactions with a customer, regardless of channel for personalized responses and a more consistent customer experience.

Pricing

Front’s pricing plans come in four different packages.

  • Starter: $19 per seat per month (up to 10 seats), billed annually
  • Growth: $59 per seat per month, billed annually
  • Scale: $99 per seat per month, billed annually
  • Premier: $229 per seat per month (50 seat minimum), billed annually
ProsCons
Collaboration tools
Intuitive interface
Customization
Limited reporting
Difficulty setting up complex workflows
Customer support

Top Features of Social Customer Service Software

The right social media management platform provides businesses with the customer service tools to handle interactions across various social media channels effectively.

Here are a few valuable features to look for:

Benefits of Social Support Software

Social media customer support software does more than simply help you respond to customer messages and online reviews. It centralizes customer interactions and streamlines workflows, making it easy to track and engage with customers from one place, no matter the social media channel.

Here are a few key benefits of social media customer service software:

  • Respond faster: Social media customer service software helps you respond to all social media messages and reviews from one centralized inbox. It streamlines workflows through categorization, tagging, filtering, and intelligent routing, while AI-powered tools assist agents by surfacing instant information and suggesting responses, reducing research and response time.
  • Increase customer retention: In addition to faster customer service and social media support, the software enables proactive interactions, personalized responses, and social listening. It fosters a positive community, encourages brand advocacy, and ensures prompt replies, building trust, creating loyal customers, boosting engagement, and increasing sales.
  • Track issues and opportunities in real time: With tools that provide real-time social listening, monitoring, and analysis, you can track brand mentions and custom keywords, analyze customer sentiment, and identify trends, ensuring you’re addressing issues and customer inquiries promptly.

How to Choose the Best Social Media Customer Service Platform

Providing exceptional customer service on social media requires the right tools. Here’s a guide to help you find the right platform to elevate your social customer interactions:

Solve Social Customer Service With Nextiva

Choosing the right social media customer service software is crucial for providing fast, efficient support, enhancing customer engagement, and proactively addressing issues before they begin. 

Nextiva provides an AI-powered reputation management platform that offers an all-in-one inbox with advanced ticketing for real-time interaction across social media channels, intelligent routing for efficient team collaboration, performance monitoring, competitor and social listening, and more. Try Nextiva and enhance your customer experience today.

Manage online interactions, create brand loyalty.

Actively engage in customer conversations about your brand with a fully integrated engagement platform.

Social Media Customer Service FAQs

Here are answers to common questions about social media customer service.

What is social media customer service software?

Social media customer service software is a toolbox that helps businesses manage and improve their interactions with customers on social media platforms. It centralizes conversations, streamlines responses, and offers features like automation and analytics to deliver positive experiences to meet and exceed customer expectations.

Why use a social media customer service platform?

Social media customer service platforms can significantly improve response times, boost agent efficiency, and provide valuable insights into customer sentiment. They also help businesses build stronger customer relationships and enhance their brand reputation.

Is social media customer service software good for small businesses?

Social media is a powerful tool for small businesses to connect with customers. Customer service software can help them manage this effectively, even with limited resources. Many platforms offer affordable plans specifically designed for small businesses.

What are examples of good customer service on social media?

Here are a few examples of good customer service on social media:

* Responding to comments and messages promptly and professionally
* Taking ownership of customer issues and working towards resolutions
* Using a friendly and helpful tone in all interactions
* Going the extra mile to surprise and delight customers

What is the best social media customer service software?

The best social customer service software depends on your specific needs and budget. However, Nextiva offers a comprehensive social media customer service solution that is scalable, feature-rich, and easy to use. It empowers businesses of all sizes to deliver exceptional customer service on social media.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ken McMahon

Ken McMahon leads Customer Success for Nextiva. His 25 years of experience leading various aspects of the customer experience including professional services, customer success, customer care, national operations, and sales. Before Nextiva, he held senior leadership roles with TPx, Vonage, and CenturyLink. He lives in Phoenix with his wife and two children.

Posts from this author

When it comes to customer service, not every interaction is a walk in the park. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some useful customer service scripts on hand?

There’s no way of knowing the stress or problems a customer may be facing in their day before they pick up the phone to call a business, making the job of a customer service rep all the more challenging.  

Because no two customers and interactions are the same, it’s important to prepare your team to navigate every kind of customer conversation. And while the best types of customer interactions include personalization and empathy on the part of the representative, it can be helpful to have scripts on hand for when agents find themselves in an emotional or tricky situation. 

This post will provide you with customer service scripts to help you navigate twenty-four different situations.

What Are Customer Service Scripts?

Customer service scripts are predefined dialogues or guidelines used by customer support representatives to handle various customer interactions. They are particularly useful during difficult situations a contact center rep may experience on the job, such as not knowing the answer or talking with an angry customer.

Practicing how to respond when faced with a strange ask or an upset customer can help a support agent feel more confident when they find themselves in such scenarios.

Additionally, using a customer service call script in training can help agents develop crucial customer support skills like conflict resolution, listening, empathy and self-control.

defensive-vs-neutral-language

The real-life scenarios that call center scripting revolves around can be used for ongoing training as a way to role-play tricky conversations or difficult customer complaints.

These scripts help ensure consistency, efficiency, and quality in customer service by providing a structured approach to responding to common inquiries and scenarios. 

These are the key aspects of customer service scripts:

Now, let’s get on to the customer service scripts!

How to Navigate 24 Difficult Customer Scenarios with Customer Service Scripts

Here are twenty-four example customer experience scenarios and suggested scripts for dealing with them. 

  1. You received tough feedback on social media
  2. You don’t know the answer
  3. The customer wants a refund
  4. You have to put the customer on hold
  5. You need to transfer the customer
  6. The customer wants to know why your product is the best alternative
  7. You have to tell a customer no
  8. The customer wants a product that is unavailable
  9. The customer requests new features to an existing product
  10. The customer violated the terms of service or terms of use
  11. The product arrived damaged
  12. A problem is the company’s fault
  13. The customer wants to speak to a manager
  14. The customer thinks the price is too high
  15. There is a shipping delay
  16. The customer is extremely angry
  17. The customer wants a discount
  18. The customer wants to cancel their subscription/service
  19. You need to tactfully tell a customer they’re in the wrong
  20. The customer is asking how secure your website/service is 
  21. You need more time to follow-up on a customer’s request
  22. The customer has called more than once about the same problem
  23. The customer speaks another language 
  24. The customer is happy with the service or product

1. You received tough feedback on social media

While you may be tempted not to respond to negative feedback about your business on social media, data shows that consumers expect a response when they take their issue online. According to ReviewTrackers, 53% of consumers expect businesses to respond to their negative reviews within seven days.

When replying to a customer who had a negative experience, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Get to the heart of the problem. Make sure you understand the customer issue fully and do some investigating if necessary.
  • Give a sincere apology that acknowledges any mistakes on your part, and use the customer name so they know it’s not an automated response.
  • Offer to take the conversation offline. This can be helpful if you have additional questions. It can also help de-escalate emotions by showing the customer that you’re empathetic to their problem and seeking a positive solution.
  • Remember that criticism is a chance to learn and grow as a company. So avoid getting defensive and instead focus on fixing the problem and avoiding similar mishaps in the future.
5 elements of great customer service - put customer needs first, show genuine interest and empathy, create omnichannel support options, learn from customers, set CX goals and objectives.

Here’s an example of a script you could use when replying online to negative customer feedback:

Thank you for your review, [name]. I’m sorry to hear you had a frustrating experience, but I really appreciate your bringing this issue to my attention.

That’s not the kind of service we aim to offer and want to do what we can to make it right. One of our customer service reps will be reaching out to you to learn more about your experience.

It may also be a good idea to have a dedicated social media team with a specific handle (like “customer satisfaction”) that responds to customer complaints. This helps make replies more uniform and keeps better track of both positive and negative interactions.

Here are a few brands’ social media support handles: @NikeSupport, @AmazonHelp and @SpotifyCares

Amazon's customer service handle on Twitter

2. You don’t know the answer

There are times when you’re not the best person to answer a customer’s question, and that’s okay. It’s all about how you respond when that does happen. While some experts recommend avoiding saying you don’t know, Apple teaches reps to say, “I don’t know, let’s find out!” This process of learning together can make for a more collaborative and memorable experience.

If you aren’t sure how to respond, check with another coworker or department or offer to follow up with them with a callback. Transferring an impatient or angry customer to someone else should be used as a last step.

Let’s say that a customer has called to ask why the prices of two similar items are so different. The customer service agent isn’t sure about the way these items are priced, so instead of telling the customer he doesn’t know, he says this:

I don’t want to give you inaccurate information so I’m going to talk with my colleague Brian to find an answer for you. Can you hold just a minute while I check with him?

3. The customer wants a full refund

A refund is something you’ll want to avoid issuing if possible. This is when it’s important to understand your company’s return policy inside and out. It will help you speed up these conversations and think of creative ways to turn a refund into an alternative, like sending a new product to replace a damaged one or compensating services that weren’t up to par.

Let’s say a customer wants to return a jacket. Start by pinpointing the exact reason they’re seeking a return. Once you do that, you can use the return policy to help frame your response. Here’s one of many customer service scripts that you can use for this:

If the interaction ultimately ends in a refund, the customer will still appreciate the option to try on the smaller size. Another option in this scenario would be to provide a discount code as a way to thank the customer for their business even if it didn’t go as planned.

I’m sorry that the jacket ended up being too large when you tried it on. Would you like to try the next size down?

We’d be happy to ship it to you free of charge so you can try both sizes before making a decision. If the smaller size works, we can do an exchange, and if neither fits, we’re happy to give you a refund. How does that sound?

4. You have to put the customer on hold

If you have to put a customer on hold, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, know that customers dislike being put on hold, and two-thirds of customers are only willing to wait on hold for two minutes or less.

Next, be sure to ask the customer if you have permission to put them on hold, and give them an estimated wait time:

Hi Laura, let me check on that for you. Is it all right if I put you on a brief hold while I talk with our shipping department? It should only take a few minutes.

If you anticipate the wait time being longer than a few minutes and your customer service department has the capability to do outbound calls, you could also offer to call the customer back so they don’t have to wait. Be sure to verify their callback number.

If not, keep the customer updated while they’re on hold if the matter is taking longer to resolve. These check-ins will let them know you haven’t forgotten about them and lower the risk of the their becoming frustrated.

5. You need to transfer the customer 

Occasionally, a customer may call the customer service department when their issue is actually related to another department such as billing. When this happens, let them know why they’re being transferred. Keep in mind that transferring customers should be kept to a minimum.

Before transferring the customer, it may be a good idea to alert your colleague about the situation so they have context before taking the call. You can do this by placing the customer on a brief hold, connecting with someone in the right department, and then letting the customer know whom they’ll be speaking to before transferring them. This is known as a warm transfer.

If no introduction is needed or the customer’s issue is very straightforward, you can do a cold transfer where you send a call through to another agent without speaking to them first.

cold-vs-warm-transfers

Here’s an example call center script you can use:

Hi Jessica, thanks for contacting our customer service team. I’m sorry for any confusion, but our billing department will be happy to help answer your question. If it’s all right with you, I’ll transfer you now. 

6. The customer wants to know why your product is the best alternative 

As a customer service representative, it’s important to have a working knowledge of the products or services your company provides. You may not need to know a product inside and out, but having a good understanding will help you field more general questions without needing to transfer a customer to another department.

If a customer asks why your product is better than an alternative, you may be tempted to immediately pass them on to the sales team. However, having your company’s value proposition handy could help you at least attempt to answer their question.

Cross-departmental employee training offers a chance for reps to learn responses to frequently asked questions and better equip themselves for these scenarios.

Here’s a general template you can use to respond in this scenario:

Hi Mark, thanks for reaching out for more info about our [specific product]. [Alternative company] makes a good product, but ours stands out because of the additional features X, Y and Z.

If you’d like additional information, I can schedule a demo to show you our product in action. I can also email you a more detailed comparison to. 

Here are a few other things to keep in mind when you’re answering a question like this:

  • Be respectful of your competitors. Talking trash about them makes you look bad.
  • Provide concrete facts and numbers.
  • Offer to share a competitor comparison or a versus page if you have one handy.

7. You have to tell a customer no

While the age-old adage “the customer is always right” holds true in certain situations, sometimes you do have to tell a customer that the answer is no. This can be a delicate situation, so here are a few tips to keep the interaction from escalating.

  • First, ask additional questions to help you understand what exactly the customer is requesting. You can also try phrases like “What I’m understanding is that you’d like X” to help you and the customer get on the same page.
  • Keep your tone positive. While these situations can be tricky, changing your tone from positive to robotic can seem as though you’re not empathetic to the customer.
3-ways-convey-empathy
  • Loop the customer into the solution. As you’re working to resolve the customer’s issue, try phrases like “How does that sound?” or “What do you think would be a fair solution?” This can open up a fruitful dialogue and make the customer feel that their problem is being taken seriously.
  • When you do have to say no, explain why. If a customer has requested a feature that is not yet available, let them know that the product team is working on another highly requested feature but that you will share her feedback with them. Or if something is unavailable or out of stock, explain why. This will help the customer feel as though you are listening to her even if the answer is no.

Here’s an example of how that conversation could look

Hi Allison, thanks for giving me a bit more information about your request. At this time, we don’t sell that particular product. I’m sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

While it’s not the exact product you mentioned, we do have [product name] that has [list similar features or a feature that makes it better than the product the customer inquired about]. Would you be interested in trying this product out?

8. The customer wants a product that is unavailable

Positivity is key with scenarios like this one. Even if a product is out of stock or unavailable, try to offer a similar product or issue a discount code for a future purchase.

Businesses using Shopify have the ability to offer stock updates through email or push notifications. Customers can receive automatic notifications when the item they’ve been eyeing is available again.

Here’s an example of how you could respond to a customer:

Hi Ethan, I’m sorry to hear that the product you wanted is out of stock. That’s one of our most popular products! After taking a quick look, I see that the product will actually be available next month.

I can place the order for you right now and make sure that it is sent to you as soon as it reaches our warehouse! Does that sound all right?

9. The customer requests new features to an existing product

Occasionally, a customer may request new features for an existing product that aren’t currently available. You might be unable to implement those features for a number of reasons, but a standard response can help make it a smooth interaction.

Here’s an example phone or live chat script of how you could respond:

Thank you for taking the time to share this idea with us. I’ll be sure to pass it along to our product team. Unfortunately, we can’t implement it at the moment as our team is working on X. If that should change, I have your contact information on file and will reach out to you personally to let you know.

Feature requests also offer an opportunity to cross-sell or upsell another product with similar features and functionality.

10. The customer violated the terms of service or terms of use

Another potentially uncomfortable situation you may face is letting customers know they violated the terms of service. In this instance, it’s best to assume positive intent and seek to remind them about the terms of service.

They might be unaware they’ve done anything wrong. Either way, contacting them will help you understand their origin and find an alternative solution.

Here’s an example of how you could approach this conversation:

I’m calling to let you know that the TOS you agreed to on [insert date it was signed] has been violated. That includes [provide more detail about what was specifically violated]. I wanted to let you know about this and see if you had any questions regarding your account? I’m happy to address any further questions or concerns.

11. The product arrived damaged

If a customer has received a defective product, swift customer service intervention could help alleviate any anger or annoyance the customer may feel. The first thing you should do is ascertain what was damaged.

One of the best ways to do this is to have the customer send a picture of the damaged item. From there, you can offer to ship a replacement as soon as possible. If the product is out of stock, you may need to provide a refund.

Either way, be apologetic and take responsibility for the mishap — even if it’s not your fault. This could also offer an opportunity to work with or send specific customer feedback to the fulfillment team. Maybe they packaged the product to save costs or time which led to a damaged product (and an unhappy customer!).

Sharing this type of feedback with the greater team helps to put the customer first and improve every aspect of the customer experience.

Here’s an example of how you might navigate this scenario:

I’m so sorry to hear that your [product name] arrived damaged. This is not the experience we aim to provide for our customers and we want to make this right. After looking at the photo you sent, it does appear that the screen arrived cracked. We would be happy to send you a replacement free of charge with priority shipping. How does that sound?

12. A problem is the company’s fault

Mistakes happen, but how you resolve them leaves an impression long after the customer interaction is over. If a problem is the company’s fault, it’s best to address the issue as soon as possible and proactively reach out to the customer in advance, if feasible.

Let’s say a customer spoke to a representative to cancel their monthly subscription but ended up receiving a notification email the next day that the order was on its way. The customer also noticed they had been charged for the order.

Here’s an example of an effective call center script to let them know what’s going on:

I’m so sorry for this inconvenience and this is completely on us. It does look like you spoke with Anna yesterday, but your order wasn’t actually cancelled. I’m not sure why this happened but here’s what I can do. I’ll credit you back the cost of the order so you can keep the delivery for free. How does that sound?

It’s also a great customer service practice to initiate the conversation about a problem to get ahead of customer communication. 

HelloFresh does a great job of this regarding recalled produce that may have been included in certain meal kits. The company outlines exactly what type of product to check on and apologizes for any problems the recall may have caused.

HelloFresh recalled produce email

13. The customer wants to speak to a manager

If a customer insists on speaking to a manager, it’s best to listen to the customer to see if you can prevent the situation from escalating.

Oftentimes, your leadership will offer the same explanation as you anyway, but hearing it twice can be enough to convince the customer.

Here’s an example of how to reply:

I completely understand and thank you for your patience. My manager, Laura, is happy to talk to you. I’ll transfer you over right now.

14. The customer thinks the price is too high

If a customer thinks that the price for a product is too high, you can start by justifying the price by describing the product’s unique features. Talk up the value of your product and dive into key features that make your product worth buying.

Here’s a scripting example of how to respond:

I understand that this is an investment and wanted to share a bit more about what makes our product stand out. [Explain benefits of feature one, two, and three.] If the price seems too expensive, we do offer a semi-annual sale on [date] and this product will be on sale. Does that help?

If the customer is still not satisfied, you share a discount code if you are able to do so.

15. There is a shipping delay

Shipping delays happen, and they’re often out of your control. When a customer calls to ask where their item is, it’s important to be transparent about the situation. Are there industry-wide problems? Supply chain issues?

For example, when Boxycharm, a cosmetics subscription box company, discovered their shipments would be delayed two weeks, they immediately sent an email out to all their customers letting them know and providing a timeline for when they would receive the box.

Communication is key in this customer service scenario, and agents should look to provide a realistic – not an idealistic – date of when the individual can expect their package. It’s better to have the product arrive early than tell them an unrealistic arrival date and risk letting your customer down.

Here’s a sample script to help you navigate this situation:

Hi Chris, I’m so sorry for the delay. We understand how frustrating it can be to have orders not go out on time. Many of our most popular items are out of stock unexpectedly, which has caused us to not be able to ship in a timely fashion.

We apologize for the inconvenience this is causing. To help address the situation as quickly as we can, your order has been split into two separate shipments so that you can at least receive the products that are currently available.

One example of a company that handled this issue well is Pura, a home fragrance provider. When supply chain issues impacted monthly shipments, they sent an email to customers with an explanation of why this was happening along with a solution and a promo code of 50% off a future order.

Pura supply chain issues email to customers

16. The customer is extremely angry 

When an angry customer reaches out and gives you an earful about their experience, it can be easy to go on the defense. Instead, try to keep a positive mindset and get to the root of the customer’s unhappiness.

Remember to treat your customer with respect and use positive phrases such as “I appreciate your bringing this to our attention” and “Your business means a lot to us.”

Positive phrases for customer service

Let’s say that an upset customer is calling about an item they were billed for that never arrived. Here’s an example of how you could begin this type of situation:

Hi Aaron, thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. This is not the type of experience we want to provide for our customers and I can understand your frustration. Let’s find out why this has happened. 

If your solution or explanation doesn’t de-escalate the situation, it might be a good time to loop in your supervisor. And if the customer uses curse words or disrespectful language, it’s probably time to end the conversation.

As Shep Hyken points out, not every customer is right for you: “If the customer crosses the line, it may be time to fire the customer, politely sending them on their way to the competition.”

Graph showing reasons for customers losing their tempers at a customer service rep

17. The customer wants a discount

Customers may be looking for a discount for a number of reasons. And discounts are more common in certain industries like e-commerce than in the service industry, meaning that how you approach the customer conversation will differ depending on your industry.

Let’s say you work at a cleaning company, and a customer calls to ask about a discount on a home cleaning service. It’s not in your company policy to give discounts on cleanings. To find out more information, you ask why the customer is looking for a discount. It turns out that they don’t want their entire house cleaned, just a portion of it.

Here’s how you can approach that conversation:

Hi Ben, I completely understand your not wanting to pay for a full house cleaning if you only want to have the bathrooms cleaned. We do offer cleanings by room. You mentioned you have two bathrooms that need to be cleaned.

The price for that would be $50 — which is half of what a full home cleaning would cost. Is that something you’re interested in?

Alternatively, a customer may come to you with an expired coupon asking if they can still use it. You can use your best judgment based on your experience and your company’s policy on whether or not to honor the expired coupon. Or you could try offering an ongoing coupon code instead.

18. The customer wants to cancel their subscription/service

A customer looking to cancel their subscription offers a great opportunity for you to convince them to stay by giving them a discount or additional incentive. This is a common occurrence with subscription services. In fact, a McKinsey report found that 40% of e-commerce subscribers have canceled their subscriptions.

You can get to the root of why they want to cancel by asking additional questions during your conversation. Here’s an example of how that could go:

Hi Preston, thanks for reaching out. I understand you’re looking to cancel your monthly subscription. I can certainly help you with that, but first, may I ask why you want to cancel?

If price is an issue, offer a discount if possible or monthly payments rather than one lump sum. If the customer still wants to cancel after exploring additional options, honor her wishes. Let her know that you’re grateful for her business, and if she’s open to it, share a survey link to learn more about her experience to help you with future customers.

19. You need to tactfully tell a customer they’re in the wrong

A key thing to remember if you encounter a customer who’s in the wrong is to avoid the words “you’re wrong.” And don’t place blame on the customer.

Let’s say a customer typed in the wrong shipping address when they did their online checkout.

Here’s an example of a customer service script you could use:

I’m so sorry your package arrived at the wrong address. After looking into your order, it does appear that the address you typed in is where it arrived. I’m happy to ship out a new package while we wait for the original to be returned to sender.

Would that work? I’m also happy to update your customer preferences to remove the incorrect address to help avoid this in the future.

Offer clear examples of things they can try to resolve the issue. If sharing a video or more in-depth article on your FAQ page is easier, you can also do that. These simple online reputation examples can improve your standing with customers.

20. The customer is asking how secure your website/service is 

Understandably, security and privacy are top concerns for customers when choosing a product or service. It’s important to have a working knowledge of what your product does and does not offer security-wise.

You can do this by focusing on your product’s strengths and giving clear examples of how your product offers security.

Here’s an example of how you could respond:

I appreciate your taking the time to ask about our [product name]. We understand that security is a top concern for our customers so we’ve worked hard to implement [feature] to avoid data breaches. We also have [feature] and a dedicated staff of data engineers to help keep your information safe. Does that help?

21. You need more time to follow up on a customer’s request 

If a customer’s request requires contacting several departments or getting approval from the manager of your customer service team, it may benefit the customer to give them a call back rather than put them on hold.

You could also try the sandwich method of information delivery by giving them a compliment, telling them the bad news, and ending with another compliment.

Here’s an effective call center script for that:

What a great question. To provide you with the best possible answer, I’m going to need to check with a few of my colleagues. Is it alright if I give you a call back later this afternoon after I’ve spoken to them? I appreciate your patience and thanks again for bearing with me as we work through this.

22. The customer has called more than once about the same problem 

Customers may contact you multiple times with the same question or problem. Billing-related questions are often reasons that they call multiple times, as you can see in this McKinsey study:

McKinsey report showing that billing-related questions are often reasons that customers call multiple times

As a general rule of thumb, a customer’s problem should be resolved after the first call. This is called first call resolution (FCR) or first contact resolution. The more times a customer has to contact a business to get their question answered or their problem solved, the more likely they are to get angry.

You can keep your FCR rate high by actively listening to your customer and seeking solutions to help make the process easier for them. If they’ve called multiple times about where to find their bill, you might help them bookmark that page on their browser for easy future access.

Let’s say a customer calls monthly to make sure their payment went through. Here’s an example of how you can help them:

Hi Christy. After taking a quick look at your account, it does appear that your payment went through. Did you see a notification after you hit “submit” letting you know that your payment was approved?

Next month, if you wait a few seconds after submitting, you should see that notification. You can take a picture of it for your records and if any problems arise, we’ll be sure to reach out to you.

For a more long-term solution, think about adding the customer’s question to your FAQ page or creating automated emails that let a customer know that their payment went through correctly. 

23. The customer speaks another language 

When communicating with a customer whose native language is different from yours, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Keep your words simple and avoid jargon or slang words that can be easily misinterpreted.
  • Talk slower, not louder.
  • Repeat what you’re hearing by using phrases like “I’m hearing that you’re experiencing X, is that correct?”
  • Use Google Translate or a similar website to translate phrases.
  • Try omnichannel methods like chat or SMS if both you and your customer continue having trouble understanding one another.
omnichannel-cx-benefits

Here’s an example of what you can say if you pivot to chat or SMS from a phone call:

Hi Jessica, thank you for your patience. Would you be okay with finishing our conversation through text to help us better understand each other? I will stay on the line as we communicate in case you have any trouble.  

If you have an international customer base or want to grow it, it’s a good idea to increase the number of bilingual support staff agents or invest in an interpretation service to show that you value your customers.

24. The customer is happy with the service or product

For our final call center scripts example, let’s end on a high note!

Not every customer interaction is negative, so receiving a call that a customer is happy with the service or experience can be a breath of fresh air. Always start these conversations by thanking the customer for sharing their thoughts and finding out a bit more about what made their experience a great one.

Here’s an example of how to reply in this case:

I’m so happy to hear that you had such a positive experience, Sierra! We really appreciate your taking the time to share your experience with us — and are delighted to hear that you loved [insert the specifics about their positive experience]. We look forward to working with you again in the future!

You could also offer the customer a link to help them share their thoughts with other customers through a short survey or online review.

Nextiva’s Helpdesk Tools Solution

Difficult customer conversations are bound to happen, but combating them with helpful customer service scripts can help minimize the number of disgruntled customers.

Try using inbound call center scripts during customer service scenario examples as a role-playing exercise to troubleshoot before the situation involves an actual customer.

For additional resources to help you provide an excellent customer experience, Nextiva’s Service Tools makes it easy for your teams to know more about their customers and answer questions faster — something customers (and agents) will love!

The tools you need to provide amazing service.

Your customer service + our helpdesk tools will make your call center more productive.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Blair Williamson

Blair Williamson was a Content Marketing Manager at Nextiva. Her background is marketing in higher education and tech. She geeks out on WordPress, kettlebells, and whatever book she's currently reading.

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Customer Lifecycle Management: CLM is the process of understanding, managing, and optimizing a customer’s entire journey with your brand. It covers all the customer interactions at every touchpoint, from the initial awareness stage through consideration, decision, retention, and advocacy.

Some businesses have a knack for effortlessly turning first-time buyers into loyal brand advocates. It isn’t beginner’s luck — it’s a carefully crafted secret sauce made from understanding and nurturing consumers through exceptional customer lifecycle management (CLM). 

From initial awareness to repeat buyers, each step of the customer lifecycle contributes to building stronger relationships and customer loyalty. Our guide dives deep into the different stages of the customer journey and explores strategies to optimize every touchpoint so you can turn prospects into lifelong fans.

What Is the Customer Lifecycle?

Before diving into customer lifecycle management, it’s important to understand the customer lifecycle itself.

The customer lifecycle represents the entire journey a customer takes with your brand. It begins with brand awareness and continues through a series of stages that result in purchase and brand loyalty before starting the cycle again. Creating an exceptional customer experience (CX) at every touchpoint is important to keep them moving to the next stage.

customer experience dashboard

The Customer Lifecycle Stages

The customer lifecycle is typically made from these key stages:

By understanding these stages and implementing strategies for each through successful customer lifecycle management, you can create a seamless and positive customer experience that fosters customer retention and loyalty.

“A well-executed CX strategy drives a lift in customer lifetime value. Not only will customers be more inclined to buy more products or upgrade service levels, they are also far less likely to churn. This powerful combination creates a stickiness that will make it hard for other businesses to steal market share.”

~Chris Bryant, Director, Strategic Growth

Why Customer Lifecycle Management Is Important

To achieve sustainable business growth and get a competitive advantage, businesses must create long-term customer relationships. Enter customer lifecycle management.

Here are a few ways CLM is essential for businesses of all sizes:

💲 Boosts customer lifetime value (CLTV): When people love your brand, they become loyal customers. Customer lifetime management helps you create positive customer experiences at each stage of the customer lifecycle. It encourages repeat buying habits and increased spending over time, often translating to increased CLTV, a key metric of customer profitability.

Customer lifetime value (CLV) formula

🤝 Reduces customer churn: Fun fact: keeping existing customers is more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. Customer lifecycle management helps you retain existing customers by addressing their needs proactively throughout their journey. Anticipating and resolving potential issues before they begin creates a seamless customer experience that minimizes customer churn and boosts customer engagement.

🥰 Increases brand advocacy: When loyal customers swear by your brand, they tell their friends and family, post positive online reviews, and recommend your business on social media. Effective customer lifecycle management fosters positive experiences, builds customer trust, and encourages organic word-of-mouth marketing that attracts new customers (without additional marketing spend).

📊 Informs data-driven decisions: Customer lifecycle management empowers data-driven decision-making by tracking customer behavior and interactions at every stage of the life cycle. This allows you to gain valuable insights into customer needs and preferences. You can then use this data to personalize messaging, optimize marketing campaigns, and create a customer-centric experience across touchpoints.

⭐ Enhances customer experience: A smooth, engaging, and positive customer journey goes a long way. Through personalized communication, helpful self-service resources, and convenient customer support, you can anticipate customer needs at each stage and create a seamless experience that increases customer satisfaction.

Nextiva-customer-journey

How to Manage the Customer Lifecycle in 10 Steps

Effectively managing the consumer lifecycle is a blueprint for success. Follow these 10 steps to help you create a strategic approach to maximizing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

10 steps to Manage the Customer Lifecycle

1. Identify your ideal customer

Building a strong customer lifecycle starts with knowing your target audience. Define your ideal customer profile by understanding their demographics, needs, pain points, and how your products and services can solve them. Conduct market research, analyze customer data, and create buyer personas to tailor your messaging and offerings to your clientele.

💡 PRO TIP: Craft a buyer persona that details your ideal customer’s needs and challenges for targeted marketing. This allows you to tailor messaging and features that resonate directly with them.

2. Define customer service goals and objectives

Set clear and attainable customer service goals and objectives that help you measure CX success with key performance indicators and metrics. Defining customer service goals, like reducing churn rate or increasing customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores, will shape your customer lifecycle management strategy and track its effectiveness.

best-cx-metrics
💡 PRO TIP: Consider aligning your customer service goals with broader business objectives. For example, if your goal is to increase customer lifetime value, your CLM strategy might prioritize upselling and cross-selling initiatives to existing customers.

3. Create a customer lifecycle journey map

Visualizing each touchpoint with a customer journey map can help you identify areas for improvement and opportunities to personalize the experience. From awareness to post-purchase engagement, map out a customer’s touchpoints with your brand at each stage, including marketing channels, customer support channels (live chat, email, and social media), and calls to action, like free trial signups.

💡 PRO TIP: Consider using customer journey mapping tools or whiteboards to visually represent the journey. For instance, you might discover that potential customers struggle to find product information during the awareness stage. This insight allows you to create more helpful content or optimize your website navigation.

4. Personalize the customer experience

According to McKinsey, 76% of customers say they get frustrated when they don’t receive personalized support. Leveraging customer data, like purchase history, web browsing behavior, and preferences, allows you to personalize recommendations, communication, and customer support interactions. This personalized approach helps foster deeper connections and shows customers you understand and value their individual needs.

💡 PRO TIP:  For example, an e-commerce store might personalize product recommendations based on a customer’s past purchases or browsing behavior. This targeted approach increases the likelihood of customers finding products they’re genuinely interested in, leading to higher conversion rates and customer satisfaction.

5. Provide proactive support during the buyer’s journey

Offering customers proactive support throughout the touchpoints of the customer lifecycle creates positive customer experiences. Providing helpful resources like knowledge base content, tutorials, and FAQs anticipates customer questions and concerns, making the buying process smooth and frictionless.

proactive-vs-reactive-support
💡 PRO TIP: Consider offering live chat support during peak business hours to answer questions in real time. Creating comprehensive FAQs and self-service resources also empowers potential customers to find solutions independently while showcasing your expertise and building trust.

6. Optimize the customer journey with AI, automation, and self-service

AI-powered chatbots and Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVAs) can provide 24/7 customer support, answering basic inquiries and providing conversational service. Automate personalized email sequences based on customer behavior and provide self-service options like help center articles and community forums. This empowers customers to find solutions independently while freeing your team for more complex interactions.

💡 PRO TIP: An AI chatbot can answer frequently asked questions about product features or pricing plans, allowing customers to get immediate answers without waiting for a customer service representative. This improves customer satisfaction by providing convenient and timely support.

7. Engage with the customer after the sale

Overlooking this stage can cost you repeat business — or even worse, leave the customer feeling like a transaction. Follow up with the customer regularly, nurturing post-purchase engagement with onboarding tutorials, personalized product recommendations, and loyalty programs. This ongoing communication keeps your brand top of mind and encourages repeat business.

💡 PRO TIP: Consider offering personalized onboarding experiences based on the customer’s purchased product or service. Additionally, loyalty programs reward repeat customers and incentivize them to continue using your offerings.

8. Encourage and reward customer reviews and referrals

Happy customers are your best advocates. Encourage them to share their positive experiences and generate more reviews and referrals, like discounts and referral bonuses. Many customers read reviews before purchasing, and positive customer testimonials can be a little nudge that gets them across the finish line.

💡 PRO TIP: Create a dedicated review section on your website or social media pages to showcase positive feedback. Additionally, referral programs incentivize existing customers to recommend your business to their network, expanding your reach and acquiring new customers organically.

9. Analyze the customer lifecycle process

Customer data can help you understand your customers and whether your client lifecycle is performing as you want it to. For example, customer lifecycle analysis can provide insight into user behavior if you see a high drop-off rate during the onboarding process. This allows you to improve onboarding tutorials to address customer pain points.

Track key metrics throughout the lifecycle, such as customer acquisition cost (CAC), customer lifetime value (CLTV), and churn rate. Analyze this data to identify areas for improvement and optimize your customer lifecycle management strategy.

💡 PRO TIP: Use analytics dashboards and reporting tools to visualize customer behavior at each stage. Look for trends, identify bottlenecks, and measure the impact of your CLM initiatives.  

10. Continuously improve the CLM process

Regularly review your customer lifecycle map, analyze data, and gather customer feedback through customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys or customer interviews. Adapt your strategies to meet evolving customer needs, business needs, and industry trends. This commitment to continuous improvement ensures you deliver top-tier customer experiences with every interaction.

💡 PRO TIP: Schedule regular reviews to assess your CLM strategy and identify areas for improvement. Embrace a culture of experimentation and be willing to test new approaches based on customer data and feedback.  

Lifecycle Marketing vs. Customer Lifecycle Management

While both Customer Lifecycle Management (CLM) and Lifecycle Marketing (LCM) address the customer journey, they serve distinct purposes and require varying levels of effort. 

Lifecycle Marketing vs. Customer Lifecycle Management

👉 Lifecycle marketing (LCM) focuses on outbound marketing activities like emails and ads, aiming to generate leads and drive sales with a low to moderate effort. 

👉 Customer lifecycle management (CLM) covers the entire customer journey, managing all aspects of the customer experience from product research to post-purchase engagement. It requires moderate to high effort and cross-functional collaboration. 

CLM provides a holistic view of all customer touchpoints, while LCM is a subset focused on marketing during specific stages.

Best Practices in Managing the Customer Lifecycle

Optimizing the customer journey helps you build strong customer relationships and achieve sustainable business growth. Here are a few customer lifecycle management best practices to help you reach your goals.

  • Prioritize understanding your customers: Gain deep insights into customer expectations, needs, behaviors, and preferences to create experiences that resonate and build stronger relationships.
  • Tailor the journey to each customer segment: Customize the customer lifecycle for different segments by offering personalized interactions and recommendations that increase engagement and loyalty.
  • Unify customer data: Integrate data from all touchpoints to create a comprehensive view of each customer, enabling more accurate insights and more effective lifecycle management.

Optimize the Customer Lifecycle with Nextiva

Nextiva’s customer experience platform enables you to streamline your customer lifecycle management by integrating interactions across all channels, giving agents comprehensive histories to minimize repetition and friction. 

With proactive workflows and AI, Nextiva ensures real-time assistance and intuitive guidance, enhancing customer satisfaction. This cohesive approach anticipates customer needs, optimizes engagement, and continuously elevates the customer experience, fostering increased loyalty and reduced churn. Begin your transformative journey with Nextiva today.

Surprise and delight your customers.

Have conversations with customers any way they prefer to communicate, and work with teammates in a single app.

Customer Lifecycle Management FAQs

Check out these customer lifecycle management FAQs for some additional information.

What is the customer lifecycle strategy?

The customer lifecycle strategy maps out the entire journey a customer takes with your brand, from initial awareness to post-purchase engagement. It helps you personalize the customer experience, build relationships, and drive customer loyalty.

What is an example of the customer lifecycle journey?

Imagine a startup is looking to invest in small business contact center software. Their journey might start with online research (awareness), then move to reading reviews and comparing features (consideration), followed by purchasing the tracker (conversion). Post-purchase, the journey continues with onboarding tutorials, personalized recommendations, and loyalty programs (retention and advocacy).

What are some customer lifecycle management tools?

Many tools can support your client lifecycle management efforts. These include customer relationship management (CRM) software for managing customer data, email marketing platforms for personalized communication, and analytics tools to track customer behavior and measure campaign effectiveness.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ken McMahon

Ken McMahon leads Customer Success for Nextiva. His 25 years of experience leading various aspects of the customer experience including professional services, customer success, customer care, national operations, and sales. Before Nextiva, he held senior leadership roles with TPx, Vonage, and CenturyLink. He lives in Phoenix with his wife and two children.

Posts from this author

Digital Customer Journey: A Complete Guide for 2024

June 26, 2024 8 min read

Ken McMahon

Ken McMahon

Understanding what customers think, feel, and do online can help you meet and exceed customer expectations. Because customers have infinite options at their fingertips, delivering personalized, high-quality digital experiences tailored to their needs and interests is crucial. Poor online experiences will result in customers abandoning a purchase — or, even worse, your brand. 

It’s essential to keep your customers engaged with a seamless, easy path to purchase across all devices. Digital customer journey mapping helps businesses identify touchpoints, address pain points, and optimize the journey for better experiences and increased brand loyalty.

What Is a Digital Customer Journey?

A digital customer journey refers to all the online interactions customers have with a brand, from initial awareness to post-purchase. The key stages include:

  • awareness
  • consideration
  • decision
  • retention
  • advocacy

And they exist across various digital touchpoints like websites, social media, and emails. 

Mapping out the digital customer journey 

Mapping out the customer digital journey involves anticipating customer paths and supporting their goals through the sales funnel stages of awareness, interest, decision, and action. By adopting the customer’s perspective, businesses can identify and customize touchpoints, such as social media, reviews, purchase processes, and loyalty programs. 

Creating detailed customer personas and using journey mapping software helps visualize the journey, identify struggles, and set objectives. Finally, evaluating resources and simulating the customer journey ensures you optimize touchpoints for a great customer experience (CX)

Why Optimize Your Digital Customer Journey?

Consumers no longer compare their experiences among competitors. They compare companies to the best experiences they’ve ever had. And, more and more, there is a gap between what the consumer wants and what they actually experience:

Simple graph showing customer expectations vs actual customer experience

So optimizing a digital marketing customer journey is essential for companies ranging from small businesses to corporate giants to create an effortless user experience. This can result in various benefits for customers and businesses alike.

Here are some of the key benefits:

A table showing the types of data that can be collected with digital customer journey mapping

The 5 Stages of the Digital Customer Journey

The digital customer journey maps a customer’s online interactions with your brand, from initial awareness to — hopefully — becoming a loyal advocate. Here’s a breakdown of the five key stages.

1. Awareness

This stage of the customer digital journey is where the customer first becomes aware of your brand and recognizes a need or problem you can solve. They might be browsing online, using a search engine, or consuming social media content. This is where you can make a strong first impression and raise brand awareness.

🧐 Examples of touchpoints in the awareness stage: Search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and display advertising.

2. Consideration

Now the customer has identified their problem and is actively researching potential solutions. They’ll compare your brand to competitors, read reviews, and evaluate your offerings. This stage allows you to educate and convince the customer that your product or service is the best choice.

🤔 Examples of touchpoints in the consideration stage: Informative blog posts, product comparison guides, and customer testimonials.

3. Decision

The customer is ready to buy and is weighing their final options. They might be visiting your website, comparing prices, or contacting customer support with questions. This stage of the digital marketing customer journey allows you to make the purchase process smooth and transparent, addressing any last-minute doubts.

🤑 Examples of touchpoints in the decision stage: Clear product descriptions, easy-to-use checkout process, live chat support, and free trials.

4. Retention

The customer has purchased your product or service. Now, you need to focus on keeping them satisfied and preventing churn. It’s important to continue delivering positive customer experiences after the purchase and nurture the relationship, encouraging repeat purchases and boosting customer retention.

🤩 Examples of touchpoints in the retention stage: Personalized email marketing, customer loyalty programs, collecting and implementing customer feedback, and post-purchase support.

5. Advocacy

In this stage, the customer becomes a loyal brand advocate, recommending your product or service to others. This stage allows you to build stronger relationships, cultivate brand trust, and turn happy customers into brand ambassadors who spread positive word-of-mouth.

🥳 Examples of touchpoints in the advocacy stage: Referral programs, social media engagement programs, and exclusive content for loyal customers.

How to Learn From the Digital Customer Journey 

The digital customer journey offers a wealth of information about how customers interact with your brand online. By analyzing this journey, you can gain valuable customer insights to improve customer experience, increase sales, and build brand loyalty. 

A flow chart showing the steps of creating a digital customer journey map.

Here’s how to unlock the power of your customer journey.

1. Gather data to understand your customers

Use different types of analytics tools to help you learn more about your customer’s behaviors and preferences:

  • Website analytics tools can help you track user behavior on your website, such as page visits, time spent on each page, and click-through rates. 
  • Call center analytics software can provide actionable insights about customer service and agent performance in real time.
Monitor performance with Nextiva

Supplement this with customer surveys — via email, live chat, or on-site pop-ups — and social media listening tools to gather data on customer sentiment, preferences, and pain points. Pay close attention to keywords and phrases customers use to describe your brand and identify common themes or frustrations.

2. Create a customer journey map

Visualize your customer journey by mapping out the touchpoints (website, social media platforms, email marketing, etc.) customers interact with at each stage. Consider creating different customer journey maps for distinct customer personas, as their journeys might differ slightly.

Customer-journey

Include the emotions and motivations customers might have at each touchpoint. This map will reveal strengths and weaknesses in your customer experience, allowing you to pinpoint areas for improvement.

3. Identify customer pain points and opportunities for improvement

Analyze your customer journey map and data to identify areas where customers struggle. Some examples of this include:

  • Confusing website navigation
  • Lack of information on a product page
  • Slow checkout process
  • Unresponsive customer service team

Look for drop-offs in engagement at specific touchpoints, which might indicate areas where customers are losing interest or encountering friction.

4. Prioritize your website’s user experience

Focus on optimizing your website, the primary touchpoint for most customers. Some ways to enhance your website experience include:

  • Creating a clear navigation structure
  • Ensuring mobile responsiveness
  • Using heatmaps and session recordings to identify confusing or frustrating places on your website
  • Conducting A/B testing to optimize your website

By optimizing these elements, your website will be easier to use, driving traffic toward conversion.

5. Personalize the customer experience

Personalization is key to a positive customer experience and can significantly boost engagement and conversions. Use the data you gather to personalize website content, product recommendations, and marketing messages to resonate with individual customer needs and preferences. 

For example, returning customers might receive different product recommendations than first-time visitors. Leverage customer segmentation to tailor your communication strategies based on demographics, purchase history, and online behavior.

6. Continuously improve and refine the map

The customer journey isn’t something you set and forget. It’s a fluid concept that you must adapt to changing business goals, customer needs, and new technologies. Some best practices include:

  • Continuously gathering data to find opportunities to improve
  • Updating your customer journey map regularly to reflect these changes
  • Testing improvements to your website, marketing campaigns, and customer service interactions to see what resonates best with your audience. 

You can optimize the customer experience for long-term success by continuously learning and adapting.

Digital Customer Journey Examples

Understanding how customers interact with your brand online across different industries can provide valuable insights for optimizing your customer journey. Here are some examples.

Retail and e-commerce 

A great digital customer journey boosts sales by reducing friction and providing personalized recommendations, leading to higher conversions. It also enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty through positive experiences and proactive service, improving brand reputation as happy customers become advocates. 

Table showing Digital Customer Journey for Retail and E-commerce

This digital customer experience journey for retail and e-commerce collects valuable data that you can use to refine and further personalize each touchpoint. 

The data collected includes: 

  • Product page views
  • Abandoned carts
  • Website traffic
  • Email open rates
  • Click-through rates

Additionally, businesses can add elements to enhance the user experience, such as:

  • High-quality product images
  • Detailed descriptions
  • Clear size charts
  • Secure payment options
  • Hassle-free returns

Healthcare

A well-crafted digital customer journey in healthcare improves patient experience by enhancing convenience, accessibility, and communication, leading to better outcomes and reduced stress. It also streamlines operations, cuts costs, and strengthens patient-provider relationships through personalized care and proactive engagement. Additionally, meeting patient expectations with a seamless digital experience boosts brand reputation and attracts new patients.

Table showing Digital Customer Journey for Healthcare

Businesses can use patient data collected throughout the healthcare digital customer journey to streamline the process and create an easy customer experience. 

Patient data collected includes: 

  • Personal information via online forms
  • Appointment booking behavior
  • Patient feedback surveys
  • Website traffic sources used to find your business

Elements that businesses can add to enhance the user experience can include:

  • An easy-to-navigate website 
  • Clear information about services and insurance
  • Secure online appointment booking
  • Online patient portal access for self-service
  • Convenient communication channels for questions or concerns

Media

For media companies, creating a great digital customer journey is crucial due to the abundance of content choices available to audiences. It increases engagement and loyalty through frictionless content discovery, personalized recommendations, and a seamless subscription process while also boosting revenue through increased ad revenue and subscription growth. 

Table showing Digital Customer Journey for Media

In the media industry, it’s important to collect data throughout the customer digital journey to keep the user experience engaging. 

The data collected includes: 

  • Content consumption behavior (such as articles read and videos watched)
  • Time spent on the platform
  • Source of website traffic
  • Subscriber demographics
  • User preferences

Adding elements like these can increase engagement and offer helpful resources along the way:

  • High-quality, engaging content across various formats
  • Clear subscription options and benefits
  • Personalized content recommendations
  • Intuitive user interface

Create the Ultimate Digital Customer Journey

You can create the greatest digital customer journey the world has ever seen. Okay, that may be hyperbole — but we know (and our customers know) what our solution is capable of.

Our customer experience management platform integrates all customer interactions across channels, providing agents with context and history to reduce friction. Proactive workflows and AI-powered tools automate the next steps, ensuring real-time assistance and intuitive guidance and boosting customer satisfaction.

By anticipating customer needs and streamlining engagement, you can continuously improve customer experience, increase loyalty, and reduce churn. We’ll guide you through transforming your
customer experience one step, or touchpoint, at a time.

Create an amazing sales & service CX.

Engage on every channel with Nextiva’s platform for the best customer experience.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ken McMahon

Ken McMahon leads Customer Success for Nextiva. His 25 years of experience leading various aspects of the customer experience including professional services, customer success, customer care, national operations, and sales. Before Nextiva, he held senior leadership roles with TPx, Vonage, and CenturyLink. He lives in Phoenix with his wife and two children.

Posts from this author
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