The Best CRM Systems for Customer Service for 2024

Man in call centre delivering customer service

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Zendesk is the best overall customer service CRM software, based on our in-depth analysis. It provides in-house customer feedback capabilities as well as the possibility to integrate with a vast array of third-party apps, meaning it will slot right in with your existing system. It has a reasonably priced starting plan as well as opportunities to upscale, so it can grow along with your business.

If you’re seeking an even more affordable option, Freshdesk offers a free plan, so you can reap the benefits of a dedicated customer service CRM without any of the financial investment.

The Top 6 Customer Service CRM Systems

These are the providers we recommend based on our research. Clicking on the links will take you to the provider’s website.

  1. Zendesk Best overall
  2. Freshdesk – Best for communicating with customers
  3. Zoho Desk – Best value for money
  4. Salesforce Service Best for software integrations
  5. MS Dynamics – Best for customisation
  6. Sugar Serve – Best for data analysis

While your team may be geographically scattered due to hybrid working, you want to ensure that you have a centralised system for receiving incoming communication and troubleshooting customer queries. This is where a dedicated customer service system becomes a crucial addition to your CRM software suite.

We extensively researched the top customer service CRM systems on the market and compared them on a number of criteria. We looked at the available features, how well the product can be customised to individual business processes, the help and support options on offer, how easy the software makes managing large teams as well as the all-important, pricing.

If you’re short on time and want to cut to the chase, go directly to our free comparison tool. We’ll connect you with your best-suited provider, who will then be in touch with tailored quotes at no extra cost.

Try our top four customer service CRM systems...

The Best Customer Service CRM Software At a Glance

We’ve selected the top seven options for a customer service software solution. Below find our shortlist, with essential details such as pricing, free trial and key features.

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£15 – £89 per user, per month

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£0 – £89 per user, per month

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£0 – £35 per user, per month

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£20 – £264 per user, per month

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£41.10 – £78.10 per user, per month

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£64 per user, per month

Free Trial

30 days

Free Trial

21 days

Free Trial

15 days

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30 days

Free Trial

30 days

Free Trial
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What is Customer Service CRM?

Customer service CRM refers to platforms that assist companies in dealing with incoming communication. They can be used for external communication, such as customer service requests, inquiries and complaints but also for internal communication, such as for IT teams to handle requests from employees. Similar to CRM software for sales and marketing teams, customer service software handles a form of customer-relationship building but is more focused on problem-solving.

If you currently operate without customer service CRM software, you may not be operating as efficiently as possible. With the right customer service CRM system, you can save time on repetitive tasks, quickly troubleshoot issues, create more opportunities for self-service customer service, encourage collaborative working between agents, and improve your external and internal communication, ultimately fostering stronger relationships.

1. Zendesk Best Overall

Zendesk logo
Pricing £15 – £89
Quick overview

Zendesk is our overall no.1 recommendation for customer service CRM. It offers a low entry-level pricing plan but plenty of room to upscale onto one of its higher tiers when your business expands.

PlanPrice per month (billed monthly)Price per month (billed annually)
Only email ticketing system Support Team £20 per user £15 per user
Support Professional £59 per user £45 per user
Support Enterprise £115 per user £89 per user
Omnichannel system: Zendesk Support, Guide, Chat, and Talk Suite Team £59 per user £45 per user
Suite Growth £99 per user £75 per user
Suite Professional £115 per user £89 per user
Suite Enterprise Contact Sales Contact Sales
Suite Enterprise Plus Contact Sales Contact Sales

Zendesk Review

With the highest score for features (4.6/5), Zendesk shines when it comes to multi-channel communication. With the Suite Team plan and above, your customers can get in touch with your support team via email, built-in VoIP, website live chat, social media, and a variety of instant messaging apps.

From the Suite Professional plan and above, Zendesk offers handy data analytics into metrics such as response time. While both are top scorers for help and support, Zendesk comes in second to Salesforce as we’ve found its training platform to be a little less comprehensive. Zendesk also comes in second to MS Dynamics for customisation but is worthy of a mention for strong scores in both of these categories.

We gave Zendesk a more humble score of 3.8/5 for its team infrastructure features, relating to multi-team collaboration, organisation and management. Zendesk has some helpful organisation features such as manual and automated ticket routing, team hierarchies and separate case queues. However, it lacks a calendar feature and task dashboard, and its team communication feature is only available on its Suite Professional plan and up. These are features which can help teams organise their workload much better and are all offered by competitors, Salesforce and MS Dynamics, who earned a 4.8/5 in this department.

We also think it could improve on pricing. While £15 per user, per month is not the most expensive plan, Zendesk does not offer a free option as seen with Freshdesk and Zoho Desk, so in that respect, it is not as accessible for all budgets.

2. Freshdesk Best for Communicating with Customers

Pricing Free – £89
Quick overview

Freshdesk is our top choice for communicating with customers across a broad range of channels.


On average, one of the cheapest providers available

Strong software integration options

Workload management features


No in-built customer feedback system

Less advanced ticketing features than competitors

PlanPrice per month (billed monthly)Price per month (billed annually)
Comprehensive support Support Desk: Free Free Free
Support Desk: Growth £15 per user £12 per user
Support Desk: Pro £42 per user £35 per user
Support Desk: Enterprise £72 per user £60 per user
Combined plan for self-service, conversational support and ticketing Omnichannel: Growth £30 per user £25 per user
Omnichannel: Pro £66 per user £55 per user
Omnichannel: Enterprise £107per user £89 per user

Freshdesk Review

On one of Freshdesk’s lowest price plans, Omnichannel Growth (£25 per user, per month), customers will be able to get in touch via five channels of communication: email, VoIP, website live chat, social media and instant messaging apps. It also supports self-service support models, so customers can be directed to help options without needing to rely on your agents. This saves time for both your team and your customers.

For comparison, to access the same amount of communication modes with Zendesk, you would be paying £45 per user, per month, or £78.10 per user, per month plus add-on fees with MS Dynamics. So this really is a generous feature from Freshdesk, earning it a 4.6/5 overall for pricing.

Across the board, Freshdesk’s scores do not dip below a 4/5, so it’s a solid option. It particularly stands out for its software integrations. Freshdesk has the capacity to link invoicing software such as Quickbooks and Xero, engineering and support via JIRA, Google Apps, live chat, email marketing like MailChimp, cloud document sharing like Dropbox and CRM software too. This means that Freshdesk can slot right in with your existing software framework and make for a straightforward onboarding process.

Its data analysis features are particularly strong, especially in the Pro and Enterprise plans, with metrics showing sentiment analysis, response time, ticket volume and resolution rate. These insights are valuable for performance reviews of your customer service agents and also to better understand how your team can improve.

Freshdesk is best suited for external communication as it lacks the functionality for asset management, problem management, contract management and change management – which are necessary for an internal service solution.

3. Zoho Desk Best Value for Money

Zoho Desk
Pricing Free – £35
Quick overview

Zoho Desk is our no.1 choice for value for money. Scoring a perfect 5/5 for pricing, it beats its competitors by being super reasonable while still offering a professional customer service software solution.


On average, the cheapest platform in our shortlist

Many options for customers to submit queries

Workload management tools


Not as customisable as competitors

No in-house customer feedback feature

Fewer communication channels than competitors

PlanPrice (billed monthly)Price (billed annually)
Free Free Free
Standard £16 per user £12 per user
Professional £28 per user £18 per user
Enterprise £40 per user £35 per user

Zoho Desk Review

Like Freshdesk, Zoho Desk offers a free plan, but its most expensive Enterprise plan is still cheaper at £35 per user, per month than some competitors’ entry-level plans. This makes it ideal for smaller businesses looking to upscale their communications without the investment, or for larger businesses wanting an affordable option. Who doesn’t want to save money?

It’s not only cheap, but it also offers some sophisticated features such as data insights into response time, ticket resolution rate and custom reports. This is a feature offered by Zendesk, but for £89 per user, per month vs. Zoho’s £12-£35 per user, per month.

Customers can only communicate via email with Zoho Desk, or website live chat and social media if you choose a premium plan. They could improve by offering more communication channels, as demonstrated by Freshdesk, which additionally offers built-in VoIP and instant messaging.

4. Salesforce Service Cloud Best for Software Integrations

Salesforce Logo
Salesforce Service Cloud
Pricing £20 – £264
Quick overview

Salesforce Service Cloud stands out for its vast library of software integrations, making it a convenient choice for businesses with large software suites who need a customer service CRM system that will slot right in.


Highly customisable

Strong help and support options

Extensive app integration


A more expensive option than competitors

Fewer communication and ticketing channels than competitors

You will need a third party platform to obtain customer feedback

Only works on annual subscription which is a bigger commitment than monthly

PlanPrice per month (billed annually)
Starter £20 per user
Professional £64 per user
Enterprise £132 per user
Unlimited £264 per user

Salesforce Service Cloud Review

While it is on the pricier side with a starting price of £20 per user, per month, compared with Freshdesk (£12), Zendesk (£15) and  Zoho Desk (£12), Salesforce stands above the rest for its help and support options. Scoring a 5/5 for help and support options, its Trailhead training platform offers tons of courses, some free, some paid, for in-demand skills such as Google Workspace and AI. This offers great opportunities for your business to upskill and get the maximum potential out of your software.

In terms of integrations, Salesforce offers many first and third-party integrations such as customer service apps, CRM apps, VoIP and other communication apps. This means that you don’t need to change anything about your existing software framework when implementing Salesforce and its help and support options will ensure that it’s a smooth transition.

It’s worth mentioning that Salesforce also earned perfect scores for its high-end security features, customisation features and capacity for creating a strong team infrastructure.

Its main downside is again, that it’s one of the most expensive options on the market. However, if you’re looking for a trusted software that is a household name, with strong features, reliable onboarding support, extensive integrations, ultimately helping you create a strong customer service infrastructure, then Salesforce may be worth the investment.

5. MS Dynamics Best for Customisation

MS Dynamics
Pricing £41.10 – £78.10
Quick overview

While MS Dynamics stands out for its customisation features, it's far more expensive than equivalent competitors. With a starting price of £41.10 per user, per month, this is much higher than Freshdesk and Zoho Desk (£12) so it's not an accessible price point for all budgets.


Extensive library of app integrations for a seamless experience

Helps create a solid customer support infrastructure

Highly customisable


More expensive than competitors

Lacks a standard ticketing channel

More advanced features are paid add-ons

Must integrate with MS D, a paid add-on, to access customer feedback function

PlanPrice per month (billed annually)
Professional £41.10
Enterprise £78.10

MS Dynamics Review

In terms of features, it offers great flexibility for customising objects, task types, ticket types, dashboards, fully editable forms and a custom automation builder, which earns it top scores in this area.

It also does well in its software integrations, so this suits businesses with pre-existing software platforms who want their customer service software to fit in with their processes, not change their whole workflow to suit a new software platform. MS Dynamics is compatible with third-party apps as well as its own extensive first-party library. Microsoft has also begun implementing generative AI within its apps, to provide an even more proactive approach to problem-solving. There is also no in-built method of collecting customer feedback, which means you may have to link a third-party app to achieve this goal. Luckily, MS Dynamics has many opportunities for integration. If you’re seeking a customer service software that has this feature built-in, then Zendesk may be your best bet.

Even though it is an expensive product, there are still some drawbacks. It doesn’t offer multi-channel communication and customers can still only contact you via email on the Professional plan. Whereas on Freshdesk’s rival ‘Omnichannel’ plan, customers have access to support via social media, built-in VoIP and instant messaging features and it’s a whole lot cheaper too.

6. Sugar Serve Best for Data Analysis

Sugar Serve
Pricing £64
Quick overview

Sugar Serve offers handy features for data analysis of customer sentiment, response time, ticket resolution rate, handling time and custom reports, making it a smart choice for businesses who want to gain maximum visibility over their customer service practices.


Can be tailored to unique business needs

Fosters well-managed customer support teams

Simple pricing plan


More expensive than competitors

Fewer customer support options than competitors

Limited options for third party integrations

Sugar Serve £64 per user

Sugar Serve Review

While it’s renowned for its data analysis capabilities, Sugar Serve is one of the most expensive offerings on our list at £64 per user, per month.

Sugar Serve is strongest when it comes to data. Offering insights into metrics such as AI-based sentiment, agent response time, ticket resolution rate, ticket volume and handling time. It generates custom reports and also offers suggestions powered by generative AI tech to give a predictive edge to your problem-solving and customer support. Having the capacity to analyse these intricacies is invaluable as it’ll allow you to spot seasonal trends, and patterns and gauge customer pain points so that you can optimise your support methods.

Sugar Serve supports email communication and with an add-on from Amazon Connect, built-in VoIP and website live chat too. For such an expensive plan, you may expect more channels of communication, as demonstrated by Freshdesk, which offers built-in VoIP, instant messaging and social media on top of Sugar Serve’s communication channels.

Another plus is that it only offers one plan, which makes life easier when deciding on which plan to choose. On the other hand, there is less scalability than with Zendesk, which offers a range of pricing tiers.

What Are Some Essential Customer Service CRM System Features?

Here are some of the key customer service CRM software features to be aware of when selecting the right provider for your needs.

  • Ticket tracking – Customer service software allows support tickets to be logged, assigned, prioritised, and tracked through resolution. This provides visibility into open issues and service level status.
  • Self-service – Customers can often log and track their own tickets or find answers via self-service knowledge articles which eases the workload of agents.
  • Reporting – Customer service software reports on metrics like ticket volume, resolution time, agent workload and more, to show areas of success and improvement.
  • Automation – Some customer service CRM platforms have automation capabilities like auto replies and reminders. This saves agents time by outsourcing repetitive tasks.
  • Multi-channel support – Many customer service CRM tools allow customers to contact via email, phone, live chat, social media and other channels.
  • Agent collaboration – Features like shared ticket queues and notes allow agents to efficiently work together.
  • Integration – Customer service CRM can integrate with your existing software systems to enrich tickets and give more insight into queries.

Our top recommendation for customer service CRM is Zendesk. With scalable pricing plans, Zendesk is an option that can expand with a growing business. Its stand-out feature is its broad range of communication channels, allowing your customers the choice of email, social media, VoIP, website live chat and instant messaging apps.

These factors combined make Zendesk a wonderful choice for businesses seeking a flexible customer service CRM solution.

While it’s not the most expensive option on our shortlist, Zendesk does not offer a free plan, and some of the most valuable features, such as data analytics, are not accessible on lower plans. For a more affordable option, consider Freshdesk or Zoho Desk, which both offer a free plan.

Try our top four customer service CRM systems...

How We Test Customer Service CRM for Businesses

We tested 7 market-leading customer service software products to evaluate them in terms of functionality, usability, cost, scalability, and more so we can make the most useful recommendations to UK businesses.

Our rigorous testing process means these products have been scored and rated in five main categories of investigation and 17 subcategories – in fact, we covered 75 areas of investigation in total. We then gave each category score a ‘relevance weighting’ to ensure the product’s final score perfectly reflects the needs and requirements of Expert Market readers – and that’s our product testing algorithm in a nutshell!

Our main testing categories for customer service CRM are:

Help & Support: the resources and assistance available to users when they encounter issues or require guidance while using the customer service CRM, including email, online chat, and phone support as well as 24/7 help availability and staff training.

Customisation: the ability to tailor the customer service CRM to suit the specific needs and processes of the organisation, e.g. customising task and ticket types, adding integrations, and more.

Features: the functionalities and capabilities provided by the customer service CRM, such as case management tools, self-service functionality, and the available ticket channels.

Team Infrastructure: determining if a platform makes it easier to manage large teams, including team dashboards, team hierarchies, and unified case queues.

Pricing: the cost associated with using the customer service CRM. It includes factors such as licensing fees, subscription plans, and additional charges for add-on modules or features.

Written by:
Alice is one of Expert Market's resident software experts, helping businesses improve their efficiency or reach, with an emphasis on productivity software, CRM and telecommunications.
Reviewed by:
James thinks all businesses can improve if they use the right technology. At Expert Market, he utilises his 4+ years experience as a researcher to offer specialised advice on a wide range of categories from CRM to Fleet Management.