Customer experience software

Measure, manage, and improve your customer’s experience with a modern CX platform.

What is customer experience software?

Customer experience (CX) software is technology that enables teams to manage customer interactions across the entire buyer journey from a unified workspace. Agents can seamlessly move across support channels, access customer data from any external source, and maintain the customer context they need to provide fast, personalized support.

Keep reading to discover:

Top CX software features

Here are a few critical customer experience software features:

  • Self-service options, such as a knowledge base and community forum
  • Automation and AI-powered chatbots
  • Unified customer view, complete with key context to personalize the customer experience
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Ticketing software to track, prioritize, and respond to customers’ requests
  • Integrations
  • Collaboration tools that connect teams with internal and external partners
  • Routing and intelligence
  • Customer feedback collection and curation
  • The ability to support customers across a variety of channels and keep the conversation connected

With these features, customer experience management software helps businesses build better customer relationships by enabling fast, efficient, and personalized support. It also minimizes friction for agents.

Best CX software at a glance

Product

Starting price

Free trial/plan

Key features

Zendesk

$49/agent/month

Free trial

  • No-code chatbot flow builder
  • Unified customer view
  • 1,000+ native integrations and API
  • Tracking and measurement
  • Native automation
  • Canned responses
  • Channel variety, such as messaging and chat, voice, and email
  • Customizable ticket routing, categorization, and tagging
  • Multilingual support
  • Knowledge base
  • Community forum
  • CSAT surveys
Podium

289/month

Free trial

  • Online review collection
  • Website chat
  • Customizable branding
  • Task automation
  • Chat routing
Hubspot

$45 per user/month

Free trial

  • Shared inbox
  • Simple ticket automation
  • Knowledge base functionality
  • HubSpot CRM
  • Team email
  • Conversation routing
Genesys Cloud

$75 per user/month

Free trial

  • Inbound and outbound voice
  • Unlimited chat and email routing
  • Co-browse and screen share
  • Historical reporting
  • Speech and text analytics
Service Dock

Not available

Free trial

  • Survey bot
  • AI-powered dashboards
  • Real-time notifications
  • Data source aggregation
  • Multi-unit reporting
  • All-in-one mobile application
Solvvy

Not available

Free trial

  • CSAT surveys
  • Workflow builders
  • Persona-based routing
  • Multi-support channel
  • Reporting dashboards
Salesforce

$25 per user/month

Free trial

  • Knowledge management
  • Service desk analytics
  • Process automations
  • Omnichannel support
  • Asset management
  • Forums
Qualtrics

Not available

Free plan

  • Tagging and segmentation
  • Thematic and sentiment analysis
  • Custom branding support
  • Social, SMS, web, and app-based surveys
  • Employee lifecycle-based surveys
  • Free survey templates
SAS

Not available

Not available

  • Customizable branding
  • Email management
  • Event-triggered actions
  • Multi-channel attribution
  • Third-party integrations

9 best customer experience platforms

Zendesk

Zendesk customer experience software

Image credit

Zendesk provides a complete customer service experience solution that’s easy to use and scales with your business. Customer experience is about more than the customer. It’s about your business and your teams, too. Zendesk not only makes things easy on your customers, but sets your teams up for success, and keeps your business in sync. It’s everything you need in one powerful package.

Make things easy for your customers

With Zendesk you can provide support over the most convenient channels for your customers, whether that’s messaging, email, voice, or live chat. The conversation stays connected no matter how, or when, a customer reaches out, so they never have to repeat themselves. Customers can also self-serve via a knowledge base or community forum. And our AI-powered chatbot, Answer Bot, ensures they can get immediate answers around the clock while giving agents time back for higher stakes issues.

Set your teams up for success

A good customer experience is next to impossible without a good employee experience. Zendesk empowers agents, admins, and internal teams with out-of-the-box tools that are quick to set up and easy to use. Teams can track, prioritize, and respond to customers with one unified agent workspace, complete with customer context and conversation history. Zendesk also equips agents with collaboration tools and prepared answers. Built-in routing and intelligence enable them to collect critical details, reduce data entry, and ensure customers are routed to the right agent for their inquiry.

Keep your business in sync

Zendesk’s open and flexible customer experience solution provides a holistic view of every interaction throughout the customer lifecycle. Personalize experiences across the entire customer journey by integrating relevant customer data across systems using Zendesk’s code and no-code integration options.

Zendesk also comes with a powerful reporting and analytics solution to measure and improve the entire customer experience. With it, managers can analyze hundreds of customer touchpoints for opportunities to improve based on their customers’ needs.

Pricing

  • Suite Team: $49 per agent, per month
  • Suite Growth: $79 per agent, per month
  • Suite Professional: $99 per agent, per month

Free trial: 30 days

Features

  • No-code chatbot flow builder
  • Unified customer view
  • Native integrations and API
  • Tracking and measurement
  • Native automation
  • Canned responses
  • Channel variety, such as messaging, live chat, voice, and email
  • Customizable ticket routing, categorization, and tagging
  • Multilingual support
  • Community forums
  • Shared inbox
  • Customization
  • Knowledge base management
  • Omnichannel support
  • CSAT surveys

Podium

Podium customer experience software

Image credit

The Podium solution includes text marketing, payment processing, online review collection, live website chat, and a unified agent inbox. You can use Podium’s native integrations to pull your CRM data into the intuitive Podium interface.

Interestingly, Podium uses your customer’s phone numbers so you can continue messaging with them via text after they leave your site. This feature alone can help you establish closer connections with your prospective customers and avoid losing significant numbers of leads. If you’re curious about the software, you can try Podium for free for 14 days to get a feel for the software.

Just be aware that, compared to other solutions on this list, Podium is primarily designed for generating and converting leads and less so for managing the post-purchase customer experience. Of course, if you like the lead generation capabilities of Podium but also need broader CX capabilities, you can deploy a platform like Zendesk and build integrations between the tools.

Pricing

  • Essentials: $289 per month
  • Standard: $449 per month
  • Professional: $649 per month

Free trial: 14 days

Features

  • Online review collection
  • Website chat
  • Payment processing
  • Website reporting
  • Customizable branding
  • Task automation
  • Round-robin lead routing
  • Unlimited contacts
  • Unlimited users
  • Chat routing

HubSpot

HubSpot customer experience software

Image credit

HubSpot’s customer experience platform provided through the HubSpot Service Hub. This solution combines a ticketing system, customer service analytics, knowledge base publishing tools, workflow automation, a native CRM, a wide range of integrations, and many more useful features.

Also, because HubSpot provides a large selection of service packages, businesses of all sizes can find a HubSpot plan that suits their needs.

If you’re already a HubSpot user, you’ll benefit from the tight integration between HubSpot Service Hub and the familiar interface. And if you’re using HubSpot’s CRM, you don’t have to worry about importing customer data.

Try a paid version of HubSpot for free for fourteen days, or test drive HubSpot’s free plan. While the free plan has limited features, it does include a unified inbox, ticketing, and basic reporting functions. To top it all off, Zendesk’s free integration to HubSpot enables you to leverage what you like about HubSpot in your unified Zendesk workspace so you don’t have to choose.

Pricing

  • Free: $0/month
  • Starter: $45/month
  • Professional: $450/month
  • Enterprise: $1,200/month

Free trial: 14 days

Features

  • One shared inbox
  • Two ticket pipelines
  • Knowledge base functionality
  • Customer portal
  • HubSpot CRM
  • Team email
  • Live chat
  • 10 reporting dashboards
  • Email reply tracking
  • Conversation routing
  • Simple ticket automation

Learn more about Zendesk for HubSpot

Genesys Cloud

Genesys Cloud customer experience software

Image credit

At the center of the Genesys Cloud solution is its contact center, which is designed to host fluid, effortless conversations across all channels. Along with unified CX, Genesys features workforce engagement management (WEM) powered by artificial intelligence to outsource mundane, repetitive tasks to machines, so your agents can focus on high-value tasks. You can also customize the solution thanks to the Genesys API and its partner ecosystem.

In addition to handling customer experiences that originate from social media, your website, and live chat, Genesys can handle outbound and inbound calling.

It’s worth noting, though, that Genesys isn’t necessarily geared towards small businesses or service operations looking to start small. While their packages start at just $75 per user/month, the Genesys Cloud CX platform has a minimum commitment of $2,000 per month. The good news is that if you have Zendesk, you can use our free integration to expand on Zendesk’s impressive CX functionality with Genesys. This is an ideal option for users who may be already using Genesys’s call center functionality but prefer Zendesk for its broader set of CX tools.

Pricing

  • Genesys Cloud CX 1: $75 per user/month
  • Genesys Cloud CX 2: $110 per user/month
  • Genesys Cloud CX 3: $150 per user/month

Free trial: 30 days

Features Genesys Cloud

  • Inbound and outbound voice
  • Voice transcription minutes
  • Speech-enabled IVR
  • Unlimited chat and email routing
  • Co-browse and screen share
  • Screen recording
  • Performance dashboards
  • Historical reporting
  • Speech and text analytics

Learn more about Zendesk for Genesys.

Service Dock

 customer experience software

Image credit

Service Dock was built for retailers with brick-and-mortar stores. The platform is centered around leveraging messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to enable retailers to provide an experience that blends the best parts of e-commerce and physical stores. Using Service Dock, your physical stores can capture and respond to feedback in real- time. The real-time dashboard is always live and provides immediate notifications so your team can spot issues quickly and follow up before your customers have left the store.

You can also use Service Dock to capture customer emails, convert in-store customers, and collect more reviews from your happiest customers. Using Service Dock, you can aggregate reviews from physical survey kiosks, website popups, in-app messaging surveys, and more. Plus, Zendesk has an app for Service Dock which means you can leverage all the power of Service Dock without ever leaving your Zendesk workspace.

Pricing not available

Free trial: 60 days

Features

  • Survey bot
  • AI-powered dashboards
  • Real-time notifications
  • Data source aggregation
  • Multi-unit reporting
  • All-in-one mobile application
  • GDPR compliant

Learn more about Zendesk for ServiceDock.

Solvvy

Solvvy customer experience software

Image credit

Solvvy is a customer experience solution that focuses on using conversational artificial intelligence and automation to lighten the load on customer service agents. Solvvy’s software gets better over time by using historical ticket data to learn how to recognize your customer’s intent and direct their queries accordingly. The solution deals with simple requests, like FAQs, and directs more complicated issues to agents when needed.

For Zendesk users, the Solvvy app can be integrated in hours (not days) without the intervention of engineers. According to one review of the app, “With minimal maintenance, Solvvy is able to solve about the same amount of tickets each month as a full-time technical support representative.” In 2023, Zoom is expected to finalize its acquisition of Solvvy, further demonstrating the software’s attractive capabilities.

Pricing not available

Free trial: 14 days

Features

  • Intelligent self-service Q&A
  • CSAT surveys
  • Workflow builders
  • Persona-based routing
  • Multi-support channel
  • Reporting dashboards
  • Custom integrations

Learn more about Zendesk for Solvvy.

Salesforce

Salesforce customer experience software

Image credit

Salesforce tends to be known for its customizable CRM, but it also has a customer experience solution, the Salesforce Service Cloud. Its CX platform arms your team with a suite of productivity tools, a unified dashboard, and omnichannel support. Customer 360, another Salesforce product, can enhance your Service Cloud deployment by providing a single view of your customers throughout their journey which includes their history, interests, and prior feedback.

Just keep in mind that Salesforce can be costly and complicated to implement depending on your customization requirements. However, if you’re already a Salesforce user, it will likely be easier to implement Service Cloud since (hopefully) most of your customer data is already integrated. In any case, you can expect all the basics of what you’d require in a CX platform from Salesforce—knowledge base management, workflow automations, ticketing management, and more.

Pricing

  • Essentials: $25 per user/month
  • Professional: $75 per user/month
  • Enterprise: $150 per user/month
  • Unlimited: $300 per user/month

Free trial: 30 days

Features

  • AI-powered bots
  • Skill and availability-based routing
  • Full ticket history
  • Customer activity notifications
  • Service process automation
  • Knowledge management
  • Service desk analytics
  • Online training and on-demand webinars
  • APIs, SDKs, native, and 3rd party integrations
  • Omnichannel support
  • Asset management
  • Community forums

Learn more about using Salesforce with Zendesk

Qualtrics

Qualtrics customer experience software

Image credit

Qualtrics can pull in feedback from service channels, such as your website, mobile app, SMS, and social media. You can use Qualtrics to build custom surveys specific to customer segments, buyer journey stages, and more. Or you can use its NPS software to gauge how likely customers are to promote your brand.

Qualtrics also helps teams measure and analyze customer feedback. And you can close the loop on customer feedback in real-time with automated inbound ticketing processes. Or, as with the other tools on this list, you can combine Qualtrics with Zendesk so you can do things like trigger customized surveys based on Zendesk events.

Pricing not available

Free trial not available

Features

  • Embedded feedback collection
  • Precision targeting
  • Online reputation management
  • Contact center
  • NPS, CSAT, and CES analytics
  • Multi-language support
  • Tagging and segmentation
  • Thematic and sentiment analysis
  • Online reviews and surveys
  • Custom branding support
  • Social, SMS, web, and app-based surveys
  • Employee lifecycle-based surveys

Learn more about Zendesk for Qualtrics

SAS

SAS customer experience software

Image credit

SAS provides a suite of solutions they call the SAS Adaptive Customer Experience. It’s geared towards marketers to collect important customer data and use it to construct complete customer profiles that can inform more effective, personalized marketing communications. Where SAS sets itself apart is in its unification of customer data across online and offline sources—data from your call center and point of sale device as well as your website and mobile applications can all be brought to bear within the SAS customer experience platform.

It’s also worth noting that you can extend upon the SAS CX platform through a full integration with the SAS Customer Intelligence Suite. This solution includes tools to help you put your insights into action and execute multi-channel, fully automated marketing campaigns. You can even leverage analytics from social media to segment real-time offers based on insights pulled from social channels.

Of course, with the SAS CX platform being marketer-focused, it’s important to have tools that also empower your service and support teams. Fortunately, you can integrate a tool like Zendesk to supplement the SAS CX solution so you can empower your team to deliver a top-notch customer experience from start to finish.

Pricing not available

Free trial not available

Features

  • Customizable branding
  • Data connectors
  • Email management
  • Event-triggered actions
  • Multi-channel attribution
  • NLP
  • Real-time analytics
  • Surveys and feedback
  • Website analytics
  • Third-party integrations

How to choose a CX platform

CX platforms come in wide varieties, so knowing how to choose the right customer experience platform for your business can be overwhelming. It’s not just a question of which solution has the best combination of features, cost, and interface. It’s also about what works best for your current team, fits in with your short and long-term goals, and is compatible with your existing tech stack. Plus, many CX platforms are geared toward certain industries—like retail—or business models—like SaaS.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing a customer experience solution.

Balance of ease of use and functionality: Plenty of tech buyers fall into the trap of chasing functionality. They find the option with the longest list of features for the most affordable price and they assume that’s their best bet. But features are only as good as your employees’ abilities to leverage those features. Customer service analytics, for example, are a great way to find opportunities for service improvement, but only if you can get sufficiently granular with those analytics to discover valuable insights.

Another great example of balance between ease of use and functionality is Zendesk’s intuitive chatbot conversation builder, Flow Builder, which allows users to create and manage AI conversation flows out of the box.

Time-to-value: Initial time-to-value and continuous time-to-value are key considerations when choosing the right customer experience solution. You’ll want to find a solution that enables you to get up and running quickly. But it could also not be more important to pick an open platform that allows you to change quickly, and go wherever your customers go next.

Integration with your existing business systems: No technology exists in a vacuum, and CX solutions are no exception. So when choosing between tools for your team, you want to pay close attention to how those tools fit (or don’t fit) with the software and systems you currently use.

And since change is constant, you shouldn’t just audit your current setup. Instead, think through the service channels and customer experience tools you want to offer in the near and long-term, and consider what workflows might be needed to support those channels. This will save you and your team time and resources in the future.

Return on investment: While attitudes are changing, our CX Trends 2022 Report shows that many executives still treat customer service as a cost center. That thinking inevitably trickles down to the rest of the organization and into CX platform purchasing decisions. As a result, many CX technology buyers center purchases around cost, rather than their total return on investment.

Yet our report also shows that customers are exceedingly willing and likely to spend more money with the companies that provide them the best service. When choosing a CX platform, consider the following stats:

  • 93% of customers will spend more with companies that offer their preferred option to reach customer service.
  • 92% will spend more with companies that ensure they won’t need to repeat information.
  • 90% of customers will spend more with companies that offer personalized customer service.
  • 89% will spend more with companies that allow them to find answers online without needing to contact the company.

Of course, to capture this additional customer value, you need a CX platform that enables you to offer these customer benefits.

Customer experience management software FAQs

How much does CX software cost?

The cost of CX software can range widely. You can find a basic CX software license for free or a paid license starting at $25 per user per month. You may also find CX software licenses that cost a minimum of $2000 per month. However, you should also consider that licensing fees are not the only cost of CX software. Implementation and maintenance costs can be equal to or even greater than licensing costs, and you tend to get what you pay for.

What is SaaS customer experience?

SaaS customer experience refers to the customer interactions that take place across the entire SaaS buyer journey. This includes how, when, and where prospects find and contact with your SaaS brand, convert into customers, and interact with your company post-purchase.

The only high-level difference between traditional CX and SaaS CX is that the latter involves SaaS companies. However, the fact that SaaS companies have a service-oriented business model often means that CX teams are comparatively more involved throughout the SaaS customer experience.

What is CX vs UX?

Customer experience refers to the series of interactions between prospects and customers and your company throughout the buying process. User experience refers to the interactions that end users have with a specific system, such as your website, mobile app, or other application. Put simply, UX is one part of the larger CX.

Is CRM the same as CX?

The short answer is no. The acronym CRM stands for customer relationship management, and it’s often used as shorthand for CRM software. On the contrary, CX refers to the customer experience. That said, CRMs and CX are inextricably linked.

Create amazing experiences with Zendesk

A great customer experience requires an end-to-end view of all customer engagements. You need to track and analyze interactions across social media, inbound contact centers, email, and any other service channel your business uses.

Zendesk makes it easy to understand all of the ways customers interact with your company. And it helps you identify and remove bottlenecks in the customer journey. With the analytics and insights, our customer experience software provides, you’ll understand your customers better and, in turn, provide the best experiences possible. To top it all off, your team will work together more efficiently, meaning customer satisfaction improves while costs go down and customer value goes up.

Tap into more knowledge

Keep exploring the world of customer experience software, global customer management, and customer service platforms.

See which Zendesk plan works best for you.

Get started