18 Best Customer Self-Service Software (2023)

best customer self-service software

Unlocking the key to exceptional customer service has always been a top priority for businesses aiming to stay ahead in today’s competitive landscape. With the constant evolution of technology and the ever-increasing demand for efficiency, customer self-service solutions have emerged as the ultimate game-changer. 

The customer self-service support model enables end-users with the help and documentation resources they need to resolve common issues they may experience while using a product or service. These resources are typically available on-demand on channels such as FAQs, how-to guides, bite-sized videos, user documentation, animated GIFs, online community forums, searchable content libraries, chatbots, and pre-recorded demos.

Self-service customer support is a proxy for human agents, making it possible to answer a user query once and reuse it infinitely.

This article will help you understand why you need a customer-driven support infrastructure and how it will help you reduce your ticket backlog, increase customer satisfaction, and build customer loyalty.

What are the best customer self-service software solutions?

  1. Whatfix
  2. Tidio
  3. Zoho Desk
  4. Zendesk
  5. Intercom
  6. Gladly
  7. HubSpot Service
  8. Gorgias
  9. CommBox
  10. GrooveHQ
  11. Document360
  12. HelpScout
  13. Richpanel
  14. DeepConverse
  15. Enchant
  16. Stonly
  17. Gallabox
  18. Crisp


What Is Customer Self-Service Software?

Customer self-service software refers to the infrastructure that makes it possible to empower users to resolve their own issues using support resources designed to help them understand & fix known problems your customers face.


of customers who try to resolve their issues independently before contacting support.

7 Benefits of Using Customer Self-Service Software

Here are seven benefits of enabling your customers with self-service software solutions.

1. Enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty

According to Microsoft’s 2018 State of Global Customer Service survey, 95% of respondents indicated that the quality of support a brand offers influences whether they stay loyal to it (or not).

So, what’s the biggest factor influencing the relative quality of your company’s customer support? This poll of 5K respondents by Statista shows that a third (33%) of customers globally agree that getting their issues resolved in a single interaction is the most important aspect of a good customer service experience, while 60% of customers feel that long holds and wait times are the most frustrating part of the service experience.

Self-service customer support puts the tools your customers need to fix basic issues at their disposal & eliminates the need to contact support, wait on hold aimlessly, have drawn-out conversations before tickets are closed, and get shuffled between poorly-trained or confused reps that can’t pinpoint how to help.

2. Increased efficiency and productivity for customer support teams

The biggest advantage of self-service software is the scale factor – a customer agent can draft answers to FAQs, record an explainer video with Loom, or write a step-by-step guide to resetting your account, changing your password, etc.

From that moment on, millions of users can successfully fix issues by reusing the offered directions and resources, until your product’s architecture is changed. Even in that case, you can update your help library & it’s good to go again.

Self-service support software makes it possible to create a single (or more) product resource & reuse it infinitely as long as your product stays the same.


Above: Example of contextual help and user support built with a Digital Adoption Platform.

Whatfix’s Self-Help overlays on to any web application, desktop application, mobile app, or website. It provides contextual help to users and integrates with your FAQs, support center, LMS, user documentation, and more. Users are presented with common issues and help content for their contextual area in the application, or they can use an open-ended search to find the specific help content they’re looking for. These help support cards often prompt in-app guidance, walking users through the specific workflow they need help on.

3. Reduced workload on support staff

According to benchmarks (collected from their customers’ data) published by helpdesk software maker Jitbit, on average, it takes seven hours and four minutes before a customer gets the first response to a support ticket, while tickets take three days and 10 hours (i.e., 82 hours) to close.

Not surprisingly, a majority of these tickets will be repetitive questions asked with a different slant— these can be conveniently handled by if-then chatbot sequences or by pointing your customers to a searchable content library where they can browse product docs, pre-recorded video explainers and answers to FAQs, enriched with images & GIF illustrations. By deflecting support tickets, your customer-facing teams can spend more time on critical, complex support issues and provide more comprehensive and responsive support.

4. Cost savings by reducing the need for additional support staff

Glassdoor data suggests that the average customer support rep earns $38,113 annually as of May 2023. That’s before you factor in customer service training, ramp time (i.e., time-to-proficiency) & replacement costs, given that support roles see an unusual amount of turnover that can touch 45% annually.

Self-service software reduces the headcount you need to run a tight ship by tackling basic customer queries so that your customer support team can focus on wildcard scenarios where there’s no known fix or other out-of-the-way issues that require more technical tinkering to resolve.

5. Improved customer engagement and retention

Most brands often assume by default that going above & beyond to “wow” customers is the sure way to secure their loyalty and guarantee return purchases. And on the surface level, it seems almost flawless— but upon a closer look, it appears that there’s a stronger correlation between customer loyalty & effortless experiences.

Back in 2013, executives at Gartner conducted a study (of customer support organizations + 97K customers) to understand how customer experience affects brand loyalty & how organizations can leverage it as a customer retention tactic.

Their research revealed that by far, the single biggest factor influencing loyalty is customer effort—not satisfaction—and having to do more work to resolve an issue makes customers more likely to become disloyal to a brand. Whether they’re trying to upgrade to a pricier tier, change their password, or learn more about a product, customers are turned off when they have to contact support more than once or repeat information.

“We found that the majority of customers, notably 96%, who had high-effort experiences reported being disloyal, compared to only 9% of customers with low-effort experience.”
Nick Toman

Self-service customer service tools simplify support experiences so that customers can solve their own issues without even reaching out to support, opening multiple tickets, waiting on hold, and being passed between agents.


6. Accessible and convenient service

Chances are that your company hasn’t grown to the scale at which you can afford 24/7 support. As a result, customers will often have to wait until normal working hours before support agents can get back to the ticket queue. Likewise, if you have international customers, you’ll need to hire agents distributed globally to ensure your customers always have a live support line at all times.

Self-service software is always-on and available on-demand, and users can access it no matter where they’re located on their preferred devices and at their own convenience – providing organizations with a stellar solution to one of the most difficult customer support challenges for growing products and services.

7. Valuable insights and analytics on customer behavior and needs

Judging by the number of tickets they process daily, it’s impractical to ask your support agents to manually log customer experience metrics for each ticket they close, including KPIs such as CSAT, customer effort score (CES), CRR, time-to-resolution, average handle time (AHT), NPS, etc. On the other hand, self-service platforms can help you automatically capture and track customer engagement metrics for your content library, such as page views, scroll depth, time spent on-screen, NPS scores, etc.


18 Best Customer Self-Service Software

Depending on your organization, you’ll need specific self-service software, solutions, feature sets, etc. We’ve compiled a list of the best customer self-service software vendors and provided research into why each solution can help provide self-help support to your customers, on-demand, 24/7, and at the moment of need.

oracle fusion

1. Whatfix

While we are biased, Whatfix is an excellent self-service solution that provides 24/7, contextual help and support to customers, when and where they need it. Whatfix is a digital adoption platform and user behavior analytics software that enables customer and product teams to:

  • Utilize Whatfix’s Self Help to provide customers and users with a 24/7 self-help solution that overlays on to your website or application. 
  • Guide and coach users through your product to better understand how it works, driving adoption and building expertise,
  • Nudging end-users to adopt the best user flows and practices that drive productivity and business outcomes.
  • Understand how your customers are interacting with your digital assets, products, website, in-app guidance and more, using our behavioral analytics.

Using Whatfix, you can embed a self-help widget right inside your product’s UX to make it easy for customers to search for self-help resources without leaving the product experience or browsing dozens of helpdesk articles.


This Self Help integrates with your FAQs, knowledge base, product documentation, release notes, support community, video tutorials, and any other product support-related content you may want to include in your Self Help. The Self Help widget prompts users with contextual support and help resources depending on where they are within your product or website. Users can also search for any contextual issues they’re experiencing.

These Self Help entries are also attached to in-app guided Flows, which are prompted when a users clicks on a support entry. This provides contextual learning to customers at the moment of need.

Whatfix Self-help widget

Marketboomer, a SaaS hospitality platform, utilized Whatfix to provide in-app guidance and self-help support to its customers and end-users. With Whatfix, Marketboomer deflected over 3,000 support tickets each quarter, and 98% of all customer support questions were successfully answered with its new, embedded Self Help wiki.

tidio logo

2. Tidio

Tidio is a multichannel support platform designed to help you engage your customers wherever they are, with features such as:

  • Live chat: Engage users who’re browsing your website & application with live conversations where you agents can provide context with attachments, canned responses, custom messages, and post-chat surveys that gauge your customers’ satisfaction
  • A powerful chatbot builder you can use to create if-then sequences that answer your customer’s questions without a human in the loop, and
  • Support analytics that breakdown your performance by agents, channel, and per conversation with customer experience metrics that show where you can improve

Tidio is infinitely customizable and it integrates with hundreds of third-party applications.

zoho desk logo

3. Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk simplifies customer service ops for growing teams and makes it easy to engage customers across channels, reassign tickets between support agents, track your KPIs at a glance, and extend your support capabilities by integrating with Zapier, Slack, etc.

Zoho Desk
zendesk logo

4. Zendesk

Zendesk makes it easy to engage customers and help them resolve issues preemptively without contracting support. And, for those edge cases where they can’t, your customers can escalate to human agents in a few clicks.

To make it possible, Zendesk Support offers a powerful messaging center where you can automatically engage customers with AI-powered chatbots; and a smart knowledge base you can use to deflect tickets and empower customers to fix issues on their own terms.

intercom logo

5. Intercom

Intercom helps Internet businesses resolve issues quickly and boost satisfaction with a self-service approach to support that makes it possible for customers to resolve issues with self-help resources, such as Fin, their GPT-4-powered chatbot, article suggestions, and if-then workflows that are programmed to take specific actions, depending on the current circumstances.

gladly logo

6. Gladly

Gladly’s combines a self-help model and a multichannel approach to assisting customers. The support platform offers automated channels such as IVR, chatbot, and knowledge bases, as well as localized replies that show customers different info depending on their location and language preferences.


7. HubSpot Service

HubSpot Service ranks alongside Zendesk, Intercom, and Freshworks in their approach to building an all-in-one customer support suite that includes self-service knowledge bases, customer portals, and omnichannel access so that customers can reference helpful information quickly and via social media, live chat, etc.

hubspot service
gorgias logo

8. Gorgias

Gorgias’ mirrors most of the features of the mainstream support software platforms like Intercom and HubSpot, except that they’re niched down to serve specifically e-commerce businesses.

Beyond that filter, it’s an equally powerful product that helps e-commerce support teams reduce their ticket backlog with instant answers, offer customized support with sentiment detection, and automate repetitive tasks like canceling orders, changing customers’ passwords, etc.

commboc logo

9. CommBox

CommBox’s approach to self-help focuses on automating repetitive support tasks, suggesting helpful resources for fixing known issues, and guiding customers through them step-by-step.

groovehq logo

10. GrooveHQ

GrooveHQ markets itself as a simple yet powerful Zendesk alternative that combines shared inboxes, knowledge bases, live chat, and multichannel support into one product. Their platform’s self-help angle focuses mainly on providing 24/7 support via knowledge bases that can be embedded on any page and unlimited integrations that enable your customers to get assistance wherever they are.

document360 logo

11. Document360

Unlike most of the support platforms (we’ve featured) that focus on being an all-in-one customer service solution, Document360 is exclusively a knowledge management platform that promises to help you scale up customer support cheaply. Using D360, you can create how-to guides, tutorials, changelogs, and SOPs, both for internal and external use.

HelpScout logo

12. HelpScout

HelpScout uses AI-powered chatbots to answer brief queries, suggest helpful support articles, and only escalate requests if customers still need a human in the loop.

HelpScout - user onboarding tools
richpanel logo

13. Richpanel

Founded in 2020, Richpanel is yet another micro-scale support platform that closely mirrors products like Zendesk, Gorgias, and Freshdesk. But it aims to complement and not replace them. Richpanel acts as a layer on top of your existing support platforms and helps you deploy a branded help center, and offer customers the option to manage orders, subscriptions, returns, and exchanges, without a human in the loop.

deepconverse logo

14. DeepConverse

DeepConverse promises to help you automate your support processes with AI-powered chatbots that integrate with your backend, share relevant helpdesk articles and external links, and know when to handover tickets to human agents when necessary.

DeepConverse also uses interactive walkthroughs to guide customers through onboarding and navigating your product’s UX, and troubleshooting known issues.

enchant logo

15. Enchant

Compared to the general customer support software landscape, Enchant is an older product (founded in 2012) but its features are nearly identical with its peers, including a strong focus on live chat, reporting, a searchable self-help library, and integrations that enable you to connect it with the rest of your stack.

stonly logo

16. Stonly

Stonly helps you build interactive walkthroughs and guide docs for navigating products, troubleshooting common issues, and onboarding new customers, right where your customers are. You can embed Stonly’s step-by-step guides on your webpages, applications, and serve them across multiple platforms (e.g. mobile, desktop, etc.).

gallabox logo

17. Gallabox

Gallabox is designed for businesses who communicate with customers exclusively via WhatsApp—the platform makes it possible for customers to open tickets, make orders, report issues, and get redirected to helpful resources, through if-then messaging sequences that narrow down queries to determine exactly what a customer needs.

crisp logo

18. Crisp

Crisp combines a customer support CRM, email marketing suite, along with DIY support tools designed for self-help assistance—precisely a no-code chatbot builder you can customize with conditional logic, and use to point users to an all-in-one content library hosted on Crisp.


How to Evaluate Customer Self-Service Software

Your rating criteria for customer self-service software should start with usability:

1. Ease of use and navigation

Your rating criteria for customer self-service software should start with usability:

  • How many steps do users need to take to complete a simple action?
  • Does it (e.g., a chatbot) recommend probable actions or options for users to choose from?
  • Is it searchable—can a new user cycle through resources without having to browse page after page?
  • Is it accessible—does the platform provide captions and transcripts for videos, localize content in different languages, or offer a high-contrast UI option for visually-impaired readers?

2. Customization and branding options

Whether it’s a help center, a chatbot, or FAQ gallery, can you insert your logo & customize the experience with your brand colors? Is it limited to a certain pricing tier?

3. Integration capabilities with other systems and software

Ideally, a customer self-service suite should support integrations with the rest of your customer experience stack; if it doesn’t, it should have an open ecosystem so that you can build custom integrations or write simple scripts to automate repetitive tasks, customize the product, or add new functionality to it.

For instance, you can embed Intercom’s help center articles, build your own chatbots, or integrate data sources like Redshift by writing custom scripts or building schemas.

4. Accessibility across multiple devices and platforms

Can users interact with the prospective self-help tool on Android, iOS, or Windows? If you’re marketing to a technical audience (e.g., developers), you’ll probably need to account for Linux. Is it mobile-friendly or just a scaled down version of the desktop experience?

Here, you need to examine your customers’ demographics to determine how they access your websites and applications so you can ensure the self-help platforms you’re considering can offer them a native experience.

5. Analytics and reporting capabilities

User & behavioral analytics turns self-service into a powerful tool for understanding your users better. Out of the box, a self-help platform should be able to help you track page visits and time spent on-page, and to use heatmaps to see where users interact with your resources the most.

If not, you need to ensure you can integrate the platform in questions with third-party behavioral analytics that’ll help you collect, segment, and use that data to refine your customer engagement strategy.

6. Security and data privacy features

There are several questions that’ll help you cut through the marketing hype & understand the quality of security a customer service software can offer, when handling your customers’ data:

  • How much uptime can they guarantee? If they depend on cloud computing platforms like AWS or Azure, is their data backed up across different regional data centers to ensure their services will stay online if one of those go offline?
  • Make sure all your customer interactions are encrypted in transit with at least 128-bit encryption. Do they regularly pentest their systems for vulnerabilities?
  • Review their technical security certifications, such as ISO 270001, ISO 27018, HIPAA, CSA, etc.

7. Pricing and scalability options

How does their pricing scale up as your team grows? If a particular pricing tier serves your organization’s needs well, can you opt to add more users instead of bumping into a costlier plan? Factor in what you can expect to pay as your team scales up to avoid having to make the switch to a new platform halfway down the line.

7 Tips for Implementing Customer Self-Service Software

These goals will double as benchmarks that measure the effectiveness of your self-help program and will help you track how much your customers are using them & whether they’re contributing to an improved customer experience.

1. Define your self-service goals and requirements

These goals will double as benchmarks that measure the effectiveness of your self-help program and will help you track how much your customers are using them & whether they’re contributing to an improved customer experience.

  • Resolve at least 80% of customer queries using self-help resources (e.g., chatbot, help center articles, etc.)
  • Increase customer experience KPIs like your customer satisfaction score, customer effort score, and retention rate, which measure the effectiveness of your support program & how much work users need to do to get their issues resolved
  • Reduce average handle time & time-to-resolution—since your agents now have to handle fewer conversations, they can dedicate more attention to more pressing issues

2. Choose software with an intuitive user experience and easy navigation

Effective design is built on the mantra that, “less is more.” Your goals should be to gently coach your customers to figure things out themselves with as little disruption as possible. To achieve that, you can:

  • Aggregate your content library—including videos, articles, and FAQs into a searchable hub
  • Opt for self-help platforms that use the minimum viable UX elements, with few bells and whistles—think Craigslist & Wikipedia style
  • Use a digital adoption platform to offer contextual support; tools like hotspots, tooltips, and highlights can be used to inject prompts & cues into your product that’ll explain how different features work when a user tries interacting with them

3. Look for software with customizable branding and design options

Opt for self-help platforms that can be customized to suit your branding & design choices so you can maintain a consistent brand image across all channels.

4. Consider integration capabilities with your existing systems and software

What integrations does the self-support software suite offer out-of-the-box? Your support stack needs to be interoperable so that you can build workflows that automate repetitive tasks & route customer suggestions, ratings, and inquiries to the right person if your DIY resources don’t solve their issues.

  • Enable customers rate help center articles & route their replies to a human team so that a rep can reach out if a resource still doesn’t answer a customer’s questions
  • Use tools like Zapier & RESTful APIs to automate workflows between your support stack. For example, you can program a trigger that sends updates to a Slack channel when a user rates a support article poorly.

5. Evaluate the level of support and resources provided by the vendor

Do you have to pay an additional support fee or does it come included with your product’s license? Talk to their existing customers, browse reviews on G2 & Capterra and try to paint a picture of what their support reliability looks like on average. Do they have an ecosystem of third-party technicians that can assist you? How much do their services cost?

6. Test the software with a small group of users before launch

Conduct a sandboxed rollout with a small chunk of your user to understand:

  • How effective they think your self-service model is,
  • How you can better synchronize your self-service & real-time support, and
  • Where you can reduce cycling back-and-forth between self-service resources & human agents

7. Promote the self-service option to customers and encourage adoption

Here’s where you need to be extremely transparent: on one hand, you need to make your customers understand that you have limited support resources & it might take a while before a human agent fixes their issues; on the other, they can try out your DIY resources to fix their issues themselves, especially if theirs is a problem that has a known fix.

Your communication needs to reassure users that self-help will actually work and that they’ll be connected with a human agent if they can’t figure out a problem on their own.

Enable your customers with Whatfix’s in-app guidance and self-help support

Zendesk’s 2020 Customer Experience Trends Report shows that 69% of customers first try to resolve their issues independently before contacting support. Sadly, less than a third of companies offer self-service customer help resources like knowledge bases, despite the clear preference customers have for figuring out issues on their own whenever it’s an option.

On one hand, you need a combination of self-help resources—FAQ hubs, knowledge bases, and chatbots that can guide users step-by-step to resolve their issues. On the other, you can take it a step further with contextual support that highlights helpful tips and unused features, without disrupting your customers’ experience.

Whatfix is an in-app guidance & self-help platform designed to serve as a second brain for your customers—our platform makes it easy for users to find self-help resources and fully interact with your product using:

  • A search widget embedded in your product, where they can browse your knowledge base & find helpful resources with a click
  • Tooltips, hotspots, and beacons that expand to offer more details on specific buttons & UI elements
  • Product analytics that shows you which features your customers are interacting with

Learn how Whatfix can transform your customer experience by putting the resources your customers need to resolve their issues at their disposal.

What Is Whatfix?
Whatfix is a digital adoption platform that provides organizations with a no-code editor to create in-app guidance on any application that looks 100% native. With Whatfix, create interactive walkthroughs, product tours, task lists, smart tips, field validation, self-help wikis, hotspots, and more. Understand how users are engaging with your applications with advanced product analytics.
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Whatfix's digital adoption platform empowers your employees, customers, and end-users with in-app guidance, reinforcement learning, and contextual self-help support to find maximum value from software.

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