Today’s customers have high expectations for support. They want answers to their questions—and they want them quickly. In order to meet this demand, your team needs modern customer support tools that aid their efforts in providing the best customer experience possible.

Whether you run a tiny support team with just a few team members or a large team with hundreds, you’ll need a number of software tools to make sure that you’re efficient, productive, and organized. These tools prevent lost tickets, facilitate better communication, and ultimately make it possible for you to deliver the best customer experience you can.

Here I’ll share the top 5 customer support tools that you need for your team. We’ll dive into why these tools are so important and offer up a number of features to look for. Even if your support team already has some tools on the list, it may be time to upgrade or improve what you’ve got.

1. Advanced ticketing software

Many of today’s support teams use email for support. While email is a natural way to get in touch, using a Gmail inbox isn’t a great solution. It’s too easy for messages to get lost or dropped.

Perhaps the most important customer support tool you need to run a support team is an advanced ticketing system. A ticketing system not only allows customers to submit their requests but provides a workflow so that your team can manage these questions in a timely manner.

When looking for advanced ticketing software, be sure to look into the integrations that are offered. The best solutions will integrate with your customer relationship management (CRM) system. You can also integrate ticketing software with an email system so that customers feel as though they’re communicating with you via email.

2. Live chat customer support

Have you implemented live chat support? According to Harris Research, more than half of all customers prefer chatting via live chat than calling a customer support line. As a result of this preference, live chat is expected to grow as much as 87% in the next 12-18 months.

In order to offer live chat, you need a tool that supports your team. Like ticketing software, your live chat tool should integrate with your CRM so that it automatically pulls in customer information.

Live chat offers more than customer support. It also offers an opportunity to gain customer feedback.

3. Robust customer survey tools

Your support team is on the front lines with your customers, interacting with them every day. This gives you an opportunity to ask customers about the overall customer experience. Additionally, you’ll want to measure how well your support team is doing. Are customers satisfied? Do they feel their questions are getting answered?

In order to get this information, you need to equip your support team with robust customer survey tools. These tools should provide you with the ability to create a variety of serves, as well as help you measure Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES), and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT).

4. Internal communication tools

You need tools to talk to your customers, but you also need tools that help you communicate internally. After all, team members will need to communicate details, ask questions, and provide project status updates.

Depending on how your support team is structured, you may want to use chat tools, (such as Slack, Skype, or HipChat), as well as project management tools (such as Trello, Asana, and Basecamp). The specific tools you use don’t matter as much as making sure that everyone on your team uses the same communication channels.

When it comes to assessing internal communication tools, consider solutions that integrate with other tools you use. For example, Slack easily integrates with Google Drive. So, if your team manages projects using Google Drive, Slack could be a natural choice for an internal communication tool.

5. A self-service knowledge base

Did you know that 91% of customers will use a self-service knowledge base if it’s provided?

It turns out that when people are given the opportunity to help themselves, they’re highly likely to take advantage. This is good news for support teams. The better your knowledge base, the less time you spend directly interfacing with customers. That means you’ll have more time for new projects and advanced tasks.

But creating a knowledge base is no easy feat. You need to find something that is easy to use for your customers, meaning they can easily find what they’re looking for. But you also need to make sure that the knowledge base is easy for your team to update. If they want to add a new support doc or update an existing one, will this be easy to do?

Another important feature of the knowledge base is how well it helps you gain insights. A robust solution should include analytics or integrate with an existing analytics program so that your team understands which articles are most read, which issues are most pressing, and which articles aren’t helpful at all.

Choosing customer support tools

There are hundreds of support tools on the market right now, which means there are plenty of options available for your team. Choosing the right solutions for your unique needs can still be a challenge.

You’ll need to assess what works about the tools you have, and where you think you can find improvement. No matter what, you’ll want to use modern tools that provide a host of analytics so you can continue to iterate and improve the support you offer.