Your customer service team is trying to be more efficient while handling a high volume of emails, but you’ve outgrown your current tools.
You know you need to be able to monitor performance and augment your team’s efforts with automations that optimize your efficiency.
In your search to improve your team’s response rates and customer satisfaction, you’ve figured out you need to manage email as a group through dedicated customer service email management software.
So many choices for customer service email management software
You know you need a solution focused on email, but what’s the right customer service email software for your team?
So do customer service email software solutions with complex agreements, multiple tiers, varying commitments, a dizzying range of features—and a price tag to match. It can seem impossible to find a simpler, more affordable team email options that get the job done.
But what does this mean for your software budget? When businesses like yours are trying to balance features and budget, basic packages are usually a good sweet spot.
Plus, you can focus on paying for the features you need, while avoiding costly bells and whistles that don’t help your team or your customers.
We’ll take a look at the standard or basic tiers for the various services we’re examining in this article, and see how they stack up against Outpost’s all-in-one single plan.
Let’s focus your choice on the top 4 options
Finding the best customer service email management software for your team can take up your valuable time, so we’d like to make it easier for you. That’s why our team has examined Outpost along with three other email management solutions.
We’re going to help you consider Outpost as a solution, while offering a comparison of three other top customer service tools, and how they stack up against Outpost:
- Groove HQ
All of these services can help your customer service team manage email more effectively and efficiently. We think you’ll see why Outpost is the best choice if you’re looking for a simple, affordable, powerful tool, not to mention one that offers analytics, routing rules, and a team of people who are ready to help you get set up. But you don’t have to take our word for it—you can try Outpost free for 30 days to see for yourself.
Key email management features
We’ll give you an overview of each service’s pros and cons, plus how each stacks up with eight key features of top customer service email management software packages:
1. How many mailboxes or channels
Different solutions or plans include varying numbers of mailboxes. Make sure the plan you choose accommodates all the email touchpoints your team oversees.
Delegating emails to team members helps your team reduce response time and cut the risk of duplicate replies. Plus, customers like it when they deal with one point of contact.
3. Internal notes
Instead of forwarded emails or error-prone CCs, your team can go into a private huddle. When team members can discuss a customer issue internally, you never have to worry about a forward or reply accidentally going out to the customer.
If your organization has multiple touchpoints beyond email, a ticketing system can funnel all requests into one workflow.
Set priority levels, organize emails, and provide additional context.
Save time and maintain consistent messaging with standard replies. Your customer service team can pull customizable responses from a library of templates. You and your team members can also add and modify messages as your needs evolve.
7. Routing rules and auto replies
Automation for incoming emails. Routing rules take back your team’s time via template-based auto-replies, automatic assignment to a team member, and much more. Routing rules also allow you to send auto-replies to incoming emails, so customers know you’ve received their message and are working on their issue.
8. Analytics and history
How is your customer service team performing overall? How long does it take on average for your team to resolve a customer’s problem? Where can you do better? What you don’t know is what you can’t improve. It’s one thing to have best-in-class team email tools, but if you can’t access data points on how your team is performing, then you can’t know what’s working well and where your team can further optimize its service level.
“Deliver better customer service right from your inbox”
Yup, you bet we’re starting with Outpost, our own customer service email management software.
With you in mind, we built Outpost as a best-in-class benchmark service for customer service teams. Why? Your growing business means a basic inbox isn’t working for your team anymore. However, all-in-one ticketing software can be overpriced overkill. We saw that businesses like yours needed a sweet spot of useful features, simplicity, and affordability.
Outpost excels at helping customer service teams respond to customers and resolve issues in less time. We developed Outpost to be powerful, yet simple. And with one all-inclusive, hassle-free pricing plan, you get access to all of our features, no expensive upgrades required and no confusing tiers to navigate.
For starters, setup is fast, but help from a real person is there when you need it too. You can connect an unlimited number of mailboxes from any email service—Gmail, Outlook365—whatever you’re using.
We also believe that a lot of email management should happen behind the scenes, without you having to spend time on repetitive actions such as moving, archiving, deleting, tagging, forwarding, and so on and so on.
When you set up Outpost’s routing rules, Outpost will automatically do those repetitive tasks for you. You can create rules to automatically assign, tag, star, and archive emails—even automatically reply with a template. Routing rules are a great way to avoid bottlenecks, build trust with the customer, and improve your team’s response times.
To see how your team is performing and where you can continue improving, Outpost also includes robust analytics and reporting tools. Track email response times by user, mailbox, and date. By default, you’ll see metrics for the past seven days, and you can modify that range to show any timeframe going back as long as you’ve been an Outpost customer.
Consistent brand messaging is key to consistent solid customer service. Outpost makes it easy to set up, save, and send templated responses, such as answers to frequently asked questions. Instead of writing replies from scratch and trying to send emails in a hurry, you can pull from ready-to-go responses and send quickly. However, you can still customize and craft your response to be warm and personal—while remaining efficient. You can even have select messages send automatically, saving you time and helping your customer in seconds, not hours or days.
Improving customer service response times also means having a smooth workflow. Assignments and collision alerts help each team member know who is in charge of which email—and prevents duplicate work. Tags, internal notes, and @mentions give emails context and enable internal conversations and problem-solving.
Our comprehensive online knowledge base is always available, and we also stand out with best-in-class online and phone support. When you need personal help, you can hop on a call or chat with your dedicated, West Coast-based customer success guide. They’re at the ready to make sure your team is set up for success.
Instead of confusing tiers, Outpost has one simple, affordable plan. For only $14.95 per user per month, Outpost has no minimum user requirement. Plus it can be billed on a monthly basis (or you can save 16% with an annual plan). It’s our way to offer great value in a hassle-free, all-access subscription.
“Shared inbox for teams
All your messages—All in one place!”
When you need tight integration with third-party ecommerce players such as Amazon or eBay, ReplyManager can help you manage those, plus unlimited email channels, from one screen.
ReplyManager’s Standard plan includes email channels and up to three Amazon or eBay accounts. All their plans also incorporate templates, auto-responses, performance reports, Amazon and eBay integration, collision detection, internal notes, and assignments. You can also take advantage of full integrations with eBay and Amazon.
An SLA countdown timer lets you set targets for response times, and language detection tools help you more effectively translate and respond to emails from customers using languages other than English. In addition to its online knowledge base, ReplyManager offers phone support.
ReplyManager’s Standard plan is $29 per user per month when billed monthly. However, all ReplyManager plans require a minimum of three users, so the Standard plan’s real monthly cost begins at $87. If you need to integrate Facebook, Twitter, or platforms such as Brightpearl or ChannelAdvisor, you’ll need to upgrade to the highest tier, the Enterprise plan. At $65 per user per month, with the three-user minimum Enterprise’s real cost is $195 per month.
“Turn Gmail into a help desk
Deliver better customer support from your current mailbox
No external help desk needed!”
Need a ticketing system but don’t want to invest in a traditional help desk service? Keeping focuses on being a ticketing system that funnels requests into Gmail and G Suite, to help teams manage their support workflow from one interface.
Team members can benefit from ticket assignments, internal notes, and being able to change ticket status. Keeping also supports multiple mailboxes, and you can set permissions for each team member. Analytics give you insight into response times, averages for how many inquiries you receive over a given time span, and per-agent performance. In addition to saving and accessing templates, Keeping also tracks which templates get used the most.
However, Keeping only works with Gmail and G Suite email, so if you use a different email platform you’ll need to look elsewhere. If you need help, support is available via a contact form on the Keeping website, along with an online knowledge base.
Keeping’s Startup plan is $15 per month. It includes one shared mailbox and access to all of Keeping’s features, but the Startup plan caps teams at three users. If you have more than three users, you’ll have to upgrade. Larger teams can use the $29 per month Pro plan, which also allows you to use Keeping with an unlimited number of mailboxes. Teams with six or more users will need to bump up to the $49 per month Unlimited plan.
“A new and better way to support your customers”
Groove HQ can give your team robust collaborative email features, reporting, and templates—as long as you’re willing to accept some limits.
If you have one mailbox and up to four users, Groove HQ’s Starter Plan gives you access to assignments, internal notes, and collision detection. You can also loop a team member into an internal conversation with simple @mentions, or add context to emails via tags. A simple at-a-glance Status icon tells you is an email is Open, Snoozed, or Closed. Collision detection shows you if a team member is already handling an email, so there’s less chance of duplicate replies. Need a customer-facing knowledge base in addition to your email support? Groove HQ includes a basic knowledge base with your account.
Groove HQ’s Starter plan is $15 per user per month when billed monthly. Since all Groove HQ plans require a minimum of two users, the Starter plan’s real monthly cost begins at $30. That’s limited to one mailbox and one knowledge base (but if you want an unbranded knowledge base or need more than one knowledge base, you’ll have to use a separate product that costs an additional $19 per month).
Many features are also limited in the Starter plan: reports can only include the past 30 days of data, and you can save up to 10 templates.
Other features are only available at higher-priced plans. Routing rules, up to five mailboxes, and integrations become options at the $29 per user per month Pro Plan, with a real cost of $58 given the 2-user minimum. A $39 per user per month Pro plan is in the works, but was not available at the time this article was written.
Your team inbox, perfected
The right customer service email management software for your team is out there—and there’s a good chance it’s one of the four we’ve discussed here. We want you to pick the best solution for your team, so your team members can do their best work and your customers can get the best support.
A growing number of companies find Outpost to be an easy-to-set-up, user-friendly shared inbox that improves response rates, and increases customer satisfaction. Customers also tell us they love Outpost’s dedicated support, unlimited mailboxes, lack of distractions, and straightforward, simple pricing.