What is Customer Self-Service Software?

Customer Self-Service Software (CSS) is a combination of customer and service interaction solutions, which are intended to empower customers to provision themselves. 

Top Customer Self-Service Software Vendors in 2020:

  • Oracle Corporation
  • Nuance Communications Inc.
  • Egain Corporation
  • Verint Systems Inc.
  • SAP SE
  • Avaya Inc.
  • Salesforcecom Inc.
  • Pregasystems Inc.
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • Aspect Software Inc.

Customer self-service is a kind of electronic support that enables end-users to use technology to access information and perform routine tasks without requiring the assistance of a live customer service representative. It offers end users with 24x7 support and immediate access to information without having to wait for a customer representative. Customer self-service (CSS) software market is expected to grow from USD 7.2 billion in 2019 to USD 21.91 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 20.94% during the forecast period of 2020-2025.

COMPETITIVE LEADERSHIP MAPPING TERMINOLOGY

Top 25 companies offering Customer Self-Service Software features were analyzed, shortlisted and categorized on a quadrant under Visionary Leaders, Innovators, Dynamic Differentiators, and Emerging Companies to identified best Customer Self-Service Software providers.

VISIONARY LEADERS

Customer Self-Service Software Vendors who fall into this category generally receive high scores for most of the evaluation criteria. They have a robust and established product portfolio and a very strong market presence. Moreover, these vendors also have strong business strategies. This category includes top Customer Self-Service Software Vendors such as Oracle Corporation, Nuance Communications Inc., Egain Corporation, Verint Systems Inc., SAP SE, and Avaya Inc.

DYNAMIC DIFFERENTIATORS

The dynamic differentiator's category includes established vendors with very strong business strategies. However, they are low in the product portfolio. This category includes vendors such as Aptean Corporation and Freshdesk.

INNOVATORS

Innovators are vendors who have demonstrated substantial product innovations as compared to their competitors. They have a focused product portfolio. However, they do not have very strong growth strategies for their overall business. This category includes best Customer Self-Service Software Vendors such as Salesforcecom Inc., Pregasystems Inc., Microsoft Corporation, Aspect Software Inc., BMC Software Inc., Zendesk Inc., Rightanswers Inc., Jive Software and Creative Virtual.

EMERGING COMPANIES

Emerging companies’ category comprises vendors with niche product offerings, who are starting to gain their position in the market. They do not have very strong business strategies as compared to other established vendors. They might be new entrants in the market and require some more time before getting significant traction. This category includes vendors such as 24/7 Customer Inc., and Astute Inc.

Benefits of Customer Self-Service Software:

  • Self Service Portals decreases customer service costs
  • Self Service Portals increase agent productivity
  • Self Service Portals teach customers new skills
  • Self Service Portals increases site traffic
  • Self Service Portals leverage personalized information
  • Self Service Portals improve social engagement

Customer self-service technologies include:

  • Web self-service: Customers can access information and perform daily tasks over the Internet by searching a knowledge base or reviewing an FAQ.
  • Interactive voice response: Customers can interact with an automated telephonic system to complete specific tasks.
  • Apps: Customers can interact with a software program on a mobile device to carry out particular tasks, such as check an account balance or transfer funds from one bank account to another.
  • Self-checkout: Customers can scan, bag, and pay for purchases without human assistance.

Important features to be considered while choosing Customer Self-Service Technology:

Automated Ticketing: Automated ticketing system for customer service has the potential to speed up ticket resolution times. It provides quick answers to most support queries, it can make representatives more readily available to handle tougher issues.

Knowledgebase management: A knowledgebase management system is designed for managing large and complex databases of support content. The system is comprised of a software application and a set of guidelines and procedures for managing knowledge.

Self-service portal: Allows customers and employees to track their own tickets, solve issues themselves via the knowledge base, and communicate with service agents.

Analytics: Reporting and analytics tools in self-service portals tracks valuable data from all angles and provide insights into website performance and customer relationships.

Community Platform: Community platform is an online space where a group of unified individuals is encouraged to interact with each other and hold open discussions about their common interests, goals or beliefs.

Helpdesk Automation: Helpdesk Automation relieves customer service agents of monotonous repetitive customer service interactions, enables smart ticket assignment, manages SLA, automates follow-ups and streamlines the complete workflow.

How to choose Best Customer Self-Service Software in 2020?

Figuring out the type and quality of customer support and service you want to offer can be a tedious task. Here are some questions to help you understand:

  • What type of support do your customers expect?

Your specific customer base will come to you with their own requirements. Do they prefer email? Are they comfortable using self-service tools? Do they expect an answer within an hour or a day?

  • What experience do you want to offer your customers?
Do they need to use a website to get help, or can they fire off a quick email? Can they choose to contact support via multiple channels? Can they answer their own questions easily using self-service tools?
  • What experience do you want to offer your support team?

Customer self-Service software that is clear, usable and attractive will save them time and effort that they can spend on your customers.

  • What can you change about your current customer service? 
Look at your existing customer service activities and consider the following:

Is this still the best way to solve this issue?
Is this approach essential to our customer experience, or could we get the same result another way?
What is our team capable of now that we weren’t capable of the last time we thought about our tools?

  • Select your crucial help desk features
  • Create a help desk software evaluation team
  • Test the customer experience of each Customer self-service solution
  • Consider scalability and review reporting options

What’s Trending?

  • Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots
  • Real-Time Communication
  • Internet of Things
  • Webinars
  • Personalized Customer Service
  • Empowered Customer Service Representatives
  • Ticketing Systems
  • Knowledge Base
  • Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much is the forecasted value of Customer Self-service market?
    The customer self-service software market is estimated to grow from USD 4.33 Billion in 2016 to USD 9.38 Billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16.7% during the forecast period 2018-2021
  • What different types of solutions does customer self service software provide?
    The different and unique solutions provided by customer self service software are: Mobile self-service, Intelligent virtual assistants, Social media & community self-service, Email management, IVR & ITR and Web Self-Service
  • Who are the key players or major vendors in Customer Self-Service Market?
    The customer self-service software ecosystem comprises companies such as Microsoft Corporation, Nuance Communications, Inc., Oracle Corporation, SAP SE, Salesforce.com, Inc., Aspect Software, Avaya, Inc., BMC Software, Verint Systems, Inc., and Zendesk, Inc. Further, the solutions developed by these companies are used by education, healthcare and life sciences, BFSI, retail, government and public, manufacturing, telecom and IT, transportation and logistics sectors.
  • Who are the target audience of the Customer Self-Service software?
    Customer self-service software solution vendors, Customer self-service software service providers, CRM software vendors, IT service providers, Consulting service providers, Managed service providers, Telecom service providers, Companies/organizations/enterprises using customer self-service software solutions, Software developers are the key target audience or end users of the customer self-service software
  • Which are the major restraining factors and opportunities for the new entrants in CSS market?
    Hesitation among organization’s employee to adapt new self-service technologies and less awareness among customers is the major restraining factor in this market. However, integration of artificial intelligence (AI) & business Intelligence (BI), and big data with CSS technologies to understand consumer behavior is expected to provide good opportunities for the growth of the CSS software market.

Best Customer Self-Service Software

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Comparing 20 vendors in Customer Self-Service Software across 131 criteria.
Oracle caters to various verticals, such as automotive, chemicals, communications, education, financials services, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, public sector, utilities, travel & transportation, and aerospace & defense. Oracle is a global provider of CRM solutions and has a dedicated CX cloud suite that helps the companies in leveraging the customer experience to differentiate, innovate, and improve their business results. In the CSS software market, the Oracle Service Cloud's RightNow package provides the customers many self-service tools, such as community & web self-service, knowledgebase, virtual assistants, live chats, and mobile self-service.
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The company has a small business division that is only dedicated to offering Customer Self-Service Software solutions and services to the government agencies and military sector. The company has the distinction of maintaining world's largest voice data library. It uses advanced algorithms and analytics to change the way people interact with technology and information. In the CRM and CSS software markets, Nuance provides its distinct offerings, such as virtual assistants, IVR, Omni-channel solutions, web self-service solutions, and mobile self-service solutions through TouchCommerce, which it acquired in August 2016. nuance communications, inc.
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eGain suite comprises mobile applications, social applications, web applications, desktop applications, management applications and analytics, messaging applications, eGain OpenCEH, and eGain Connectors for eGain OpenCEH is a multichannel customer engagement hub and eGain Connectors help to connect CRM, content, CTI, and e-commerce systems. The company caters to a wide range of industry verticals, such as healthcare, retail, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, outsourced services, technology, utilities, government, and manufacturing.
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Verint has a very strong R&D team of about 1,400 professionals, which is backed by more than 15% of the company's annual revenue and 700 patents and patent applications worldwide. The company boosted its presence in the CSS and CRM software market with the acquisition of KANA, a hosted CRM software provider in 2014. The dedicated offerings pertaining to the CSS software market offered by Verint include web self-service tools, such as knowledgebase, case management, live chat, co-browsing, email management, and social communities.
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SAP HANA is based on the in-memory computing technology. The Customer Self-Service Software offerings of the company are part of its CRM suite that has been consolidated under Hybris brand, which it acquired in 2013 as a part of its realigned strategy to tackle the strong competitors, such as Salesforce.com and Oracle. The dedicated CSS offerings of the company are provided through SAP HANA cloud portal.
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In the Customer Self-Service Software market, the company provides its offerings through Dynamic Self-Service and Avaya Aura Experience portals. Some of the CSS offerings of Avaya include automated multichannel experience management, predictive self-service, IVR, and web self-service.
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In the CSS and CRM software market, Salesforce Customer Self-Service provides its offerings through Desk.com, which is a cloud-based helpdesk system for interacting with customers and solving customer issues. Desk.com has the multichannel capabilities for self-service, such as knowledgebase, live chats, email, and callback. Primary competitors of Salesforce.com in the CSS software market include Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Oracle, and SAP CRM.
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Pega CRM's ability to integrate real-time predictive analytics and automated decisioning into customer interactions in any channel is the major USP of the their Customer Self-Service solution. The company makes use of historical and contextual analysis to decide upon the next move to take at each point within each customer conversation. For Web self-service, this means that customer’s historical data and their current screen movement triggers results on the UI. Pega’s solution also makes it easy for customers engaging in a self-service inquiry to escalate to an agent-assisted interaction. The company's Self-Service Advisor has the ability to turn a confusing and costly experience into a positive one with a quicker resolution, reduced customer effort and effective cross-sell for the business.
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Microsoft also offers cloud-based solutions and services, such as Microsoft Office 365, Windows Azure, Skype, Bing, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Microsoft operates in more than 190 countries and has its presence around the world in the regions of Europe, MEA, Latin America, North America, and APAC. The offerings of the company cater to various verticals, such as education, government, health, discrete manufacturing, hospitality & travel, and retail & consumer goods. In the segments of CRM and CSS, the company has credible offerings, such as Microsoft Dynamics suite and Microsoft Parature self-service portal. Oracle Corporation, Salesforce.com, and SAP SE are the chief competitors of Microsoft in these segments.
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It thrives to attain excellence and impart an Omni-channel customer experience by developing fully native contact center interaction management, workforce optimization, and self-service capabilities within a single CEC. Some of the CSS offerings of Aspect include Aspect Augmented Chat, Aspect Callback Mobile, and Aspect InQueue Self-Service.
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Freshdesk Self-Service allows users to leverage past conversations to find answers on any topic without even involving the support teams. Freshdesk Knowledge Base offers solutions in video, images or attached files format to help customers more efficiently. It also allows agents to create answers in multiple languages and keep the transaltions up to date. Freshdesk Widget has the ability to understand customer sentiments and it proactively reaches out to them and offers help. Furthermore, Freshdesk has developed Community Forums where customers can ask questions, post tips and resolve each other's queries on any topic.
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The Inbenta Chatbot identifies conversation context, uses webhooks to conduct transactions and is quickly available 24/7. It uses NLP to understand the customers queries in their own language. Inbenta collaborates enterprise-grade AI and ML with their unique NLP engine to address user queries with unmatched precision. Inbenta's Federated and Faceted Search enable organizations to search across various sources of content and respond with precise answers to detailed customer queries. With Discovery and Gap Analysis, users can easily enhance their content and customer service quality.
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In the Customer Self-Service Software market, the company has expertise in IT self-service. BMC MyIT self-service software and BMCTrack-it suite have many self-service functionalities, such as self-service mobile apps, social tools, virtual chat, and knowledgebase to aid the enterprises and their stakeholders.
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Aptean Self-Service possesses Context-sensitive pagelets which can be developed proactively in the course of a search to deliver relevant news, notifications and offers for products and services. The solution is equipped with Self-improving search, which means the system gets learns more as it is used, consistently increasing the relevancy of search results and recommendations. It can be integrated with CRM which allows capture of session information to the customer record. Aptean's Resolution flows direct customers through a specific process to resolve their high value issues. Moreover, Microsites allow managers to send out alerts news, and messages to the right agent segment.
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Zendesk support provide customers with the resources needed to help themselves. The company first creates a help center for customers with a smart knowledge base. Then provides them with a Community and a dedicated space where they can with a Customer Portal. It then applies AI to automate tasks, offer recommendations and predictions to create better experiences wherever the agents and customers are. Zendesk support also provides Answer Bot that uses machine learning to answer customer questions with content from the knowledge base.
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RightAnswers web self-service portal provides customized brand experience along with the information required by the customers to address their queries. It minimizes calls to the user's contact center or service desk and also helps them in reducing the wait time. RightAnswers Knowledge Centered Service methodology (KCS)has been developed with a purpose to enable the management, employees and customers develop and handle a centralized knowledge base. RightAnswers' Knowledge-Paks deliver more than ninety thousand precise knowledge solutions to the most common issues faced by the users.
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Jive is the most preferred collaboration platform globally. Jive Software claims 15% higher productivity, 38% greater job satisfaction, 24% lower turnover and 17% fewer IT tickets after implemenation. Jive Platform doesn’t require any learning curve or specific traning in order to user it, as it is extremely intuitive. The company claims to save 51 minutes per day of the users by making information easily available. Jive’s groundbreaking PeopleGraph technology leverages machine intelligence and social graph analytics from Amazon to allow employees to discover the people, expertise and insights required to perform thier jobs.
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Creative Virtual's V-Person helps customers in increasing conversion and customer satisfaction rates. It also helps them to capitalise on cross-selling and up-selling opportunities. It also helps in preventing information overload by generating, handling and engaging customers in entire conversations to totally understand the query, return the right answer and present the right web page. It makes use of NLP which makes the customers feel like having real conversations. V-Person virtual agent develops an easy way to self-serve and minimizes live chat sessions by up to 80%. V-Person Mobile uses the most advanced natural language and knowledge management technologies to support users in deliverinf personalised, self-service mobile experiences on a variety of devices.
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AIVA makes use of NLP, NLU, deep learning, and self-learning AI to learn the intent and context, offer customization and break down complex phrases, all in a conversational tone that appears natural. It is the first enterprise-grade VA that has the ability to track and respond to user sentiments. 24/7 Chat delivers drastic support cost reduction and improved sales revenue by redirecting contacts from phone and email. It tries to learn what the customers want to do by using intent-driven engagement and deep chat analytics. The solution helps in enhancing sales conversions up to 30% with advanced, repeatable AI models that identify prospects, engagement time, specific recommendations to be made. Also, the company offers an integrated platform approach to real-time and continuous messaging.
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Astute's self-service application can be deployed on a company’s website, integrated within their mobile app or accessed through third-party messaging applications such as Facebook Messenger. Their KMS is capable of generating knowledge base content and fetching answers from existing sources. The application also enables users to deploy self-service across web, mobile, and messengers to deliver optimized answers. The solution fetches data from numerous knowledgebases to provide the most precise answer for each question. Moreover, Astute Agent helps agents in managing their daily work by letting them manage all channels in a single interface.
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