11 Best Customer Communication Tools To Use
There’s zero doubt that effective client communication is essential for your agency’s success. Good communication can help you better serve clients, build relationships, and increase loyalty. Not to mention, it can help you avoid the kind of awkward situations that eventually lead to client churn.
When it comes to the preferred communication methods, email is still popular. However, according to research by The Radicati Group, the average person gets more than 100 business emails every day. It’s easy to see how communication with your clients could get lost in inboxes. As such, if you want to make sure you are on the same page, you need to invest in user-friendly, automated, and effective client communication tools.
While the market’s not falling short of options when it comes to client communication software, it doesn’t mean all of them are worth your time—not even the most touted ones. At the end of the day, you need the right tool; something that works for your specific needs, and that will help you contact, engage with and keep your clients in the loop.
Here are some options to consider.
SPP: client portal software for agencies
Although not just a communication tool, Service Provider Pro stands out from the crowd in a league of its own (and I’m not saying this because it’s our product). SPP was built as a tool to help service providers better manage their business and clients. It takes customer communication to the next level with features like order tracking, ticketing, billing, and even referral management—all to make sure agencies can easily keep track of their clients’ projects.
The simply interface, the variety of features and integrations, as well as the affordable pricing recommend SPP for any type of freelancer or agency aiming to streamline communication with their clients.
The tool’s pricing is structured in two main tiers (at $99/month and $249/month when billed annually). Furthermore, we also offer an additional Enterprise option for large agencies who are looking to automate their business with the help of our API. Plus, if you’re not sure whether SPP is right for you, you can always start with a free trial.
Intercom: live chat for customer support
Intercom is a very popular choice for live chat and customer support. It allows businesses to easily connect with their customers in real-time, as opposed to via email. This helps ease anxiety for clients, provide them with quick support, and even gives you the opportunity to upsell or cross-sell products.
Although wildly popular, it is worth mentioning Intercom is not for everyone. For instance, if some users have complained about lack of user-friendliness and little access to data. Furthermore, the pricing can be a bit complex to understand too, as Intercom only features one pre-set pricing tier (at $74/ month when billed annually). The other two pricing tiers are custom—meaning that you will have to get in touch with their team to get a quote.
The good news is that you can test Intercom for free, for 14 days, and they don’t require a credit card for the trial.
ManyChat: button-based chatbot
ManyChat is a great solution if you’re looking to improve the efficiency of your customer communication via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and SMS text messages. This chatbot platform helps automate conversations with customers using predefined answers to a set of standard questions. While it might not be the most sophisticated option out there, ManyChat is perfect when you need something quick and easy to set up.
If you’re just looking for a quick solution to reduce overhead and answer quick questions or provide your customers with guidance when your team is offline, ManyChat is a great choice. The interface is clean and easy to use, plus it offers an amazing customer service team that can help you with any questions you may have.
ManyChat is a very affordable solution. Their free pricing tier offers enough features to allow you to test out the tool; their middle tier pricing level is $15/month. They also have an Enterprise tier, which is custom, so you’ll have to contact them to learn more.
Pandorabots: AI chatbot
To say AI large language models (LLMs) have risen to fame would be the understatement of the decade. Everyone knows about ChatGPT—and a lot of businesses are considering implementing similar, contextual-based AIs in their workflows.
If you’re in this category, you could consider an AI chatbot like Pandorabots. With this tool, you can create and deploy AI chatbot models in various messaging channels (such as Twitter, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, etc). to automate customer conversations.
It is worth mentioning that adopting Pandorabots (or other similar AI-driven chatbot) may come with a learning curve. These LLMs need to be trained first, so it is important you have a decent understanding of ML and AI concepts before getting started.
Pandorabots has a free pricing tier but it’s very limited (it just gives you access to the developer sandbox and the open source chatbot libraries). As such, you might want to consider one of the three paid versions: at $19/month, $199/month, or custom pricing (for complex needs).
Zendesk: knowledge base software
Knowledge base software isn’t a replacement for direct communication platforms, but it can be a great addition to your toolkit. Giving your clients access to documentation to study when you’re offline (or as a support to a discussion you’re having with them) will ease communication and make sure your clients feel heard and taken care of.
Zendesk is a great example of knowledge base software, as it’s a good fit both for large companies as well as smaller businesses and entrepreneurs. This tool will allow you to build every type of knowledge base you may want to use: IT, internal, agent-only, or customer-facing FAQ format.
Grow your industry knowledge
Good knowledge base software also integrates with other customer communication tools. As long as the domain allows it, you can simply use an iFrame to display your knoweldge base (which in case of Zendesk is sadly not the case).
Zendesk is not cheap, but considering the range of features, support, and reputation, it comes at a fair price. Specifically, Zendesk is available in four pricing tiers: $49/month per agent, $79/month per agent, $99/month per agent, and a custom enterprise-level plan. They will also allow you to test the tool out for free for 14 days.
Whereby: virtual meeting software
Nothing can replace face-to-face communication, but video meeting tools can be pretty close. If you’re tired of Zoom’s shenanigans and Google Meets’ unreliability, you could try out Whereby.
This video conferencing tool lets you have small meetings securely, straight from your browser. Although Google Meets can do this, the advantage of using Whereby is that you can customize your room to match your branding. Last but not least, Whereby also offers an embeddable version, which allows people to join your meeting from anywhere on the web.
Whereby’s pricing is split into two main categories. For the meetings version, you can get a free plan, a $6.99/month one, or a $9.99/month one. For the embedded version, you can either try it for free, choose the $9.99 version, or talk to the team about their custom pricing.
UptimeRobot: status page software
Although this is not a client communication tool per se, it helps you to maintain a positive image with your clients. UptimeRobot is a status page software that allows you to display the uptime of all your services.
This is particularly helpful if you have customers that rely on you for their own business operations. By displaying the real-time status of your website or other services, you show them you’re serious about their success.
UptimeRobot has a free plan and three paid ones. The free plan comes with 5-minute monitoring intervals and has limited features across the board. The paid pricing tiers are currently available at $7/month, $29/month, and $54/month.
ActiveCampaign: CRM software
Software for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) may not be a direct client communication tool—but it can help a lot with your customer communication efforts. By having a CRM in place, you have an efficient way to store all of your customer data and manage relationships with them.
ActiveCampaign is a good example of CRM software. It’s intuitive to use, and comes with features like contact segmentation, automated workflows, and customer behavior tracking. All are very helpful when you want to create campaigns that actually speak to your audience.
ActiveCampaign’s pricing is based on their two main products: the marketing (email automation) tool and the sales and customer care one (the CRM). Additionally, ActiveCampaign also allows you to send transactional emails, as a separate product category altogether. As a CRM, ActiveCampaign is available in three pricing tiers: $19/month, $49/month, and Enterprise (custom pricing).
WhatsApp: instant messaging software
Sometimes, client communication can be as simple as an instant message. The key is to maintain a clear delineation between your personal communications and your professional ones—and to allow the entire team to have access to the client conversations.
WhatsApp is one of the most popular instant messaging services out there and is also available as a business tool. This app version is designed to help businesses communicate and engage with their customers.
If you’re interested in getting WhatsApp for Business, learn that they charge based on the 24-hour conversations you have across four verticals (marketing, utility, authentication, and service). For more information on how this pricing model works, you can get in touch with them.
Twilio: SMS-based messaging software
Text messages are another great way to engage with your clients in a simpler, more direct way. However, simply texting your clients may not be efficient (as it will lock other team members outside the conversation). Tools like Twilio come to fix this solution with SMS APIs you can integrate into your existing systems.
Pricing for Twilio depends on the phone number you want to use (long number, toll-free, or shortcode), the destination of your interlocutor, as well as what type of message you want to send (SMS or MMS, inbound or outbound).
Mention: social listening tool
Social listening tools help you pick up on the conversations people have about your brand online. These chats may happen on social media, for example, on channels you do not monitor (such as someone else’s posts or comments).
Mention is a good example of social listening software. It allows you to track customer interactions and conversations across various social networks and get insights into what people say about you. It also offers real-time alerts, so you can stay on top of any new mentions.
Mention’s pricing model is split into four tiers: Solo ($41/month), Pro ($83/month), ProPlus ($149/month), and Company (custom pricing, so you will have to contact them to learn more).
Client communication best practices say that you don’t need all these types of tools. You just need the ones that fit your agency’s business model and customer base. For instance, if you don’t use many processes or technical products, you may not need a knowledge base. Likewise, if you like to connect with customers on a more personal level and provide them with customized help, a WhatsApp or SMS-based messaging tool could be more useful than a knowledge base.
Whatever tool you end up choosing to communicate with customers, make sure to invest time and resources into understanding how your chosen tool works, how it integrates with other software applications in your tool stack, and how it can benefit your customer communication efforts. In the end, you’ll be able to better manage client expectations, reduce friction in your team, and provide a better service.