Category: Trans

Best Call Center Services

No matter what type of business you run, you need to prioritize customer support. That means giving customers the option to contact you through multiple methods—including the phone.

But managing a call center on your own can be a challenge. Running an in-house call center is usually costly and labor-intensive. This is especially true for smaller businesses and startups with fewer resources.

Fortunately, call center services allow you to outsource your customer service phone support in a simple and cost-effective way.

Call center services typically record information from incoming calls, respond to FAQs based on your company script, and take messages for specific people within your organization.

Advanced call centers can offer assistance for marketing campaigns and lead generation. Some services handle other communication methods as well, like email, live chat, and social media outreach.

If you’re in the market for a call center service, you’ve come to the right place. I’ll show you the top options for you to consider and give you more information about choosing the best one for your business.

The 5 Best Call Center Services of 2020

What’s the best call center service on the market today? It depends on what you’re looking for. After extensive research, I’ve identified the five best customer call center services for you to consider.

This guide contains an in-depth review, including the top features, benefits, and other information about these companies below.

Best Call Center Services Reviews

TeleDirect

• Inbound & outbound services
• Agents available 24/7/365
• For businesses of all sizes
• Friendly and professional
Get a Free Quote

TeleDirect works with Fortune 500 companies, startups, and everything in between.

They offer both inbound and outbound call center services for businesses. Teledirect also has specific solutions for reservations and managing leads.

Businesses can use TeleDirect’s inbound call services for things like processing orders, qualifying leads, tech support, and help desk services. Since Teledirect has agents available 24/7/365, it’s a top solution for after-hours support and call overflows.

TeleDirect has experience handling calls from a wide range of businesses. Common industries that trust this call center service include retail, financial services, healthcare, insurance, and tech.

The outbound calling services from Teledirect are exceptional as well.

Your business can use this call center service for things like appointment setting, market research, lead generation, customer retention, event registration, surveys, and callbacks.

Teledirect specializes in registration services. They’ve handled over 1.6 million customer reservations across multiple industries. It’s a fast and efficient way to get people to RSVP. This service is perfect for seminars, events, workshops, and open enrollments.

The call center reps at Teledirect are friendly and professional. They know how to make an excellent first impression for both inbound and outbound calls, regardless of the call reason.

I’d recommend Teledirect for businesses of all sizes. It’s even a top solution smaller businesses that just need assistance with after-hours calls and overflow.

Five Star Call Center

• Based in the United States
• Inbound & outbound services
• Works with both B2C & B2B
• In business 35+ years
Get a Free Quote

Five Star Call Center has everything your business needs to manage customer service calls. They provide call center outsourcing, inbound voice, outbound voice, contact center software, and call center consulting.

This company has 35+ years in the call center outsourcing industry.

Common inbound call center outsourcing services from Five Star Call Center include:

  • Scheduling
  • Referral services
  • Tech support
  • Help desk
  • Upselling and cross-selling
  • Reservations
  • Order management
  • Customer loyalty programs
  • Consumer information

Five Star Call Center also provides outbound calling for both B2C and B2B companies. Here are some of the popular outbound calling services:

  • Lead generation and lead qualification
  • Sales for products and services
  • Market research, surveys, and polls
  • Quality assurance
  • Customer retention programs
  • Crisis management
  • Membership renewals
  • Email and direct mail follow-up
  • Payment reminders

As you can see from both of these lists, the services offered by the outsourced professionals at Five Star Call Center are extensive. All of the call center hubs are based in the US. There are five call centers in the midwest located in South Dakota, North Dakota, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

With over three decades in the call center service industry, Five Star Call Center knows it all. They’ve helped businesses across every industry you can imagine.

However, there are certain industries that Five Star Call Center specializes in. That includes retail, hospitality, product support, finance, healthcare, and professional services.

Many call center services on the market today offer inbound and outbound calling. But sometimes, these providers have an edge in one category over another.

Five Star Call Center definitely qualifies as a top outbound call center service.

The outbound services are extensive and results-driven. These agents go above and beyond just reading from a script. They know how to connect with the caller on the other end of the line to accomplish whatever goal you’re trying to achieve.

Go Answer

• Specializes in inbound services
• Email, web chat, and SMS
• HIPPA compliant
• Used by 5,000+ businesses
Get a Free Quote

Go Answer specializes in inbound call services for small businesses. They also provide answering services and legal intake services. More than 5,000 businesses throughout North America trust Go Answer for their outsourced contact enter needs.

Go Answer goes beyond using the phone to communicate with your customers. They also handle communication via email, web chat, and SMS.

These are some of the top features and benefits of using Go Answer as your call center service provider:

  • 24/7 live agents
  • Order entry
  • After-hours availability
  • HIPAA compliant
  • Appointments
  • Legal intake
  • SMS and email alerts
  • Real-time mobile app and dashboard

All of your messages and voicemails are available from the mobile app. You’ll get real-time updates and notifications delivered via push notification, text, or email.

The contact center services from Go Answer are designed for medium to large businesses with a high call volume. They provide customized solutions for a wide range of industries. Thee agents essentially become an extension of your team.

Go Answer supports multi-channel communication and ticketing for customer support inquiries as well.

The answering service is geared toward smaller organizations. It’s a reliable way to make a professional impression on your customers.

Go Answer boasts some of the fastest pickup times in the industry. You’ll also have free access to their mobile app, AlwaysOn. You can try the answering service risk-free for 30 days with a trial.

Some of the most common industries using Go Answer include legal, real estate, publishing, finance, and ecommerce.

Like most call center services, the rates for Go Answer are unavailable online. You’ll need to contact their sales team for a custom quote based on the specific needs of your organization.

SAS

• Specialty Answering Service
• Bilingual personal receptionists
• Business & personal use
• Straightforward pricing
Get a Free Quote

SAS stands for Specialty Answering Service. As the name clearly implies, the SAS call center’s primary focuses is an answering service.

In addition to the answering services, SAS provides call center outsourcing, dedicated call centers, lead generation services, and virtual receptionists.

SAS has bilingual receptionists and virtual office capabilities for their live operators.

The answering service is very diverse. While it’s obviously geared toward businesses, many people use SAS for personal use. Entrepreneurs, business owners, and busy professionals rely on SAS as a personal receptionist.

SAS has dispatching services with operators that answer calls in three rings or less. They have toll-free numbers, emergency answering services, and support international calls.

Unlike most call center services, SAS has simple and straightforward pricing listed on their website. Here’s a quick overview of those plans and prices:

  • Economy — $31 per month + $1.19 per minute
  • 100 minutes — $117 per month + $1.09 per additional minute
  • 220 minutes — $199 per month + $1.09 per additional minute
  • 500 minutes — $490 per month + $0.99 per additional minute
  • 1,000 minutes — $925 per month + $0.95 per additional minute
  • 2,500 minutes — $2,200 per month + $0.89 per additional minute
  • 5,000 minutes — $4,199 per month + $0.85 per additional minute
  • 10,000 minutes — $7,749 per month + $0.79 per additional minute

SAS has a plan for everyone. Whether you need 10 minutes per month or 10,000+ minutes per month, this answering service is perfect for you. As you can see, higher volume businesses get a better discount per minute. But even the low-volume plans are affordable.

While SAS specializes in answering services, they also provide outsourced calling for lead generation, dedicated customer service reps, and other popular call center services.

Signius

• 100% US-based
• Custom live call centers
• Modern technology
• 24/7 Online reporting
Get a Free Quote

Signius is a call center service that is 100% US-based. They work with small businesses to Fortune 500s and everyone in between.

Your business can benefit from a custom live call center that matches your brand image and fits within your budget. Signius offers call center services as well as answering services.

Some of their popular call center services fall into the following categories:

  • Customer care
  • Direct response
  • Hotlines
  • Help desk
  • Order taking
  • Disaster backup

Signius takes the time to understand your business. They go through this process to become an extension of your existing team. You have the ability to outsource all or just a portion of your call center functions.

Signius is known for its quick pickup times and modern technology. You’ll also have access to online reporting 24/7.

Your client portal gives you the ability to measure the effectiveness of your call center strategy. The platform gives you information related to single calls as well as your historical data at scale.

Common industries that take advantage of the call center services provided by Signius include:

  • Small business
  • Contractors
  • Property managers
  • Franchises
  • Government
  • Legal
  • Utility Companies
  • Healthcare
  • Universities

For me, the small business call center and answering services from Signius stand out the most.

As a small business owner, you likely won’t need a full call center of agents on-site handling phone calls 24/7. That’s obviously not an effective use of your resources. But Signius is available 24/7 and can answer calls even when your store is closed.

Signius has call transfer services, customized scripts, and bi-lingual solutions. Even if you don’t get a high volume of calls, this will be an excellent option for you to choose.

How to Choose the Best Call Center Service For Your Business

Now that you’ve had a chance to review the top call center services on the market today, it’s time to choose one for your business. But how do you know which one is the best?

There are certain factors that must be taken into consideration when you’re evaluating a prospective service. This is the methodology that we recommend here at Quick Sprout. Use this process to narrow down your options.

Services

Most call center services do much more than just answer phone calls. They usually offer a wide range of other services for things like market research, lead generation, event registration, and call forwarding.

What does your company need assistance with?

If you’re a small business owner that wants your customers to speak to a live agent instead of an answering machine when they call after hours, you just need an answering service.

But if you’re a larger organization that needs outbound calls for things like lead qualification, sales, payment reminders, or membership renewals, you’ll need a company that offers these extra services.

Availability and Call Center Locations

The best call center services have live agents available 24/7/365. I wouldn’t consider a call center service that doesn’t offer this.

In addition to their availability, you want to make sure that they have enough agents to quickly answer inbound phone calls. So it’s in your best interest to work with larger services with multiple locations and plenty of staff on hand.

If working with a call center that’s based in the US is important to you, there are plenty of great choices for you to consider. You don’t have to outsource your call center overseas if you don’t want to.

Industry

Your call center is an extension of your business. While the live agents making and receiving calls don’t work directly for your company, they become the primary point of contact for your customers.

It’s important to find a call center service that has experience working in your industry.

For example, a B2B company that is using an outbound call center service for event registrations and a doctor’s office using an answering service for post-discharge patients will have very different needs.

Custom Solutions

As consumers, we’ve all experienced phone support where the agent is clearly using a generic script. Those canned responses are applied to every business, regardless of industry or customer need.

It’s frustrating when this happens. You don’t want your customers to have this same experience.

That’s why you need to find a call center service that will take the time to understand your business and its needs. They’ll help you come up with a custom solution to improve the customer experience via phone support.

The pricing structure for most answering services will be completely customized as well. Make sure you understand how you’re being charged before you commit to a contract. In many cases, it’s the most cost-effective to be billed based on usage.

Conclusion

If your business needs an outsourced call center service, these are the top five options for you to consider:

  • TeleDirect — Best call center service for managing reservations.
  • Five Star Call Center — Best outbound call center outsourcing service.
  • Go Answer — Best inbound call center outsourcing service for small business.
  • SAS — Best outsourced call center answering services.
  • Signius — Best call center service for low-volume small business calls.

From low-volume answering services to high-volume sales calls and tech support, there’s an option for everyone on this list. No matter what industry you’re in or what type of needs your business has, I’m confident that you can use this guide to find the best call center solution.

Best Call Center Software

In a world where everything has gone digital, phone support still plays a vital role in providing excellent customer service. According to a recent study, 48% of consumers say they prefer to communicate with companies on the phone.

Furthermore, 75% of people say they want human interaction for customer support.

Historically, call centers were typically associated with larger enterprise-level organizations. But modern technology and software has made it possible for any business to set up a call center.

Since call centers today are driven by software, you won’t have to worry about expensive hardware or anything like that. In most cases, you’ll be able to continue using your existing phones and devices to manage your call center.

The 7 Best Call Center Software of 2020

After extensive research, I’ve narrowed down the seven best call center software solutions on the market today.

As we continue you through this guide, I’ll give you an in-depth review of each provider on this list. We’ll discuss the features, benefits, pricing, and other considerations so you can make an informed decision for your business.

Best Call Center Software Reviews

RingCentral Contact Center

• Great for sales & service teams
• 40+ robust features
• 99.99% guaranteed uptime
• Wide range of options
Get a Free Quote

Most of you will probably be familiar with RingCentral. This company ranked first on our list of the best video conferencing services, and they also ranked high on our guide of the best VoIP phone systems. These are two of RingCentral’s best-known products.

But the RingCentral Contact Center is also a top option for any business seeking call center software.

It’s an ideal solution for both sales and customer service teams.

RingCentral Contact Center has more than 40 robust features like intelligence routing, CRM integrations, and workforce management tools. You’ll also benefit from administrative and management features like surveys, call recording, and analytics.

RingCentral is safe, secure, and reliable. They have a guaranteed uptime of 99.99%, and the software gives your agents the ability to work from anywhere.

Here’s an overview of the RingCentral Contact Center plans:

Basic

  • Inbound voice support
  • Standard IVR and ACD capabilities

Advanced

  • Omnichannel support and integrations (email, chat, SMS, social media)
  • Advanced IVR and ACD

Ultimate

  • Inbound and outbound voice
  • Predictive, progressive, and preview dialing
  • Campaign management

You’ll need to contact the RingCentral sales team to get a quote for your business.

But as you can see, they have options for everyone. Smaller teams that only need solutions for inbound calls can use the Basic plan. If you want omnichannel inbound call center support, the Advanced option will be best for you. For both inbound and outbound calling, you’ll need the Ultimate plan.

RingCentral is a trusted name in the VoIP phone and video industry. Their call center software is consistent with the high-level quality you’d expect from this provider.

Freshcaller

• Free 14-day trial
• Cloud-based solution
• Wide range of features
• Used by 6,000+ businesses
Try for Free

Freshcaller is call center software provided by Freshworks, which is another well-known, trusted, and established name in the world of business solutions.

Like other Freshworks products, Freshcaller is a cloud-based solution that’s both simple and modern. It’s easy for any business to use, regardless of its size and technical expertise.

More than 6,000 businesses use Freshcaller’s software for a call center. It’s used by inbound sales agents as well as customer support teams.

Pricing for Freshcaller is a bit unique. You’ll pay a monthly rate for the plan you select based on the features offered. But you’ll also pay per minute based on usage.

Let’s take a look at those plans first before we dive into the usage rates.

Sprout — $0

  • Best for startups and freelancers
  • Unlimited agents
  • Basic call queues
  • Custom greetings
  • Forward to phone
  • Custom ringtones

Blossom — $19 per agent per month

  • Advanced queues
  • Blind transfers
  • Import bulk contacts
  • BYOC (bring your own carrier)
  • Business hours
  • Call masking and recording
  • Custom voicemail, voicemail transcription, and voicemail drop

Garden — $40 per agent per month

  • Advanced call metrics
  • Agent extensions
  • Conference calling
  • Call monitoring
  • Routing during non-business hours
  • Virtual hold
  • European and Australian data cent
  • Click-to-call Chrome extension

Estate — $59 per agent per month

  • Abandoned call metrics
  • Service level monitoring
  • Omnichannel routing
  • Custom agent status
  • Answer bot
  • Agent activity reports
  • Call recording opt-in

From startups to growing teams and global companies, Freshcaller has an option for everyone.

Call rates are based on factors like device (browser vs. phone), country, and whether or not the call is incoming or outgoing. Incoming rates start as low as $0.016 per minute, and outgoing rates start at $0.022 per minute.

You can try Freshcaller for free with a 14-day trial.

8×8 Contact Center

• Customized solutions
• Omnichannel routing
• Real-time analytics
• Improve agency productivity
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The 8×8 Contact Center is an ideal solution for omnichannel routing. It’s a way for your company to enhance the customer experience from a single touch point.

Top features include skills-based call routing, queued callback, web callback and IVR (interactive voice response). 8×8 also has inbound chat, email, and social channel contact solutions for your call center software.

You’ll also benefit from real-time analytics and reports. This information is available from any device. It details customer journeys and wait times for every customer across all channels.

8×8 has tools to help you improve agency productivity. A private knowledge base, expert connect, simple interface, and comprehensive communication hub ensures that all customer communication is handled quickly and efficiently.

Your 8×8 Contact Center integrates with CRMs like Zendesk, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and more.

8×8 is a top solution for large businesses and enterprises. It has advanced features with a global reach.

The 8×8 Contact Center has exceptional security. It’s compliant with HIPAA, FISMA, and more. 8×8 has tools to ensure privacy for sensitive data entry fields as well.

You’ll need to contact the 8×8 sales team for a custom quote on your solution.

Five9

• All-in-one contact center solution
• Cloud-based solutions
• Work from anywhere
• 2,000+ business customers
Get a Free Quote

Five9 is an all-in-one contact center solution. It’s used by big brands like Lululemon, Expedia, Carfax, Omaha Steaks, and DHL. This company has been providing cloud-based solutions to businesses for roughly 20 years. Its 2,000+ business customers worldwide manage 5+ billion calls each year.

The Five9 Intelligence Cloud Contact Center gives your customer service agents the power and flexibility to work from anywhere.

Five9 is completely customizable. It’s built to meet the needs of your business, regardless of your size or industry. The software delivers crystal clear voice, strong security, and a 99.99% uptime rate.

The top features and benefits of an all-in-one contact center software include:

  • CRM integration
  • Open platform APIs
  • Call routing
  • Omnichannel support
  • Global voice
  • Self-service tools
  • Analytics
  • WFO
  • Predictive dialing

Five9 has a wide range of solutions based on the type of business you have. They provide call center software for sales, telemarketing, customer service, collections, outsourcers, small business, medium-sized businesses, and enterprises.

The Five9 contact center is fast, reliable, affordable, and easy to use. Contact their sales team to request a demo and get a custom quote.

CrazyCall

• 14-day free trial
• Plans start at $11/month
• Makes sales calls more efficient
• Great solution for sales teams
Try for Free

CrazyCall is a top call center solution for sales teams. It offers features like auto dialing, call monitoring, call script, call transfers, click to call, and a callback widget.

All of the CrazyCall features and benefits are designed to make sales calls more efficient.

CrazyCall has other solutions for ecommerce shops, small businesses, and support teams, but the sales features are still the highlight of this software. It even has tools for lead generation on your website.

Here’s an overview of the CrazyCall plans and prices:

Starter — $11 per month per user

  • 200 free minutes per user each month
  • 45 days of data storage
  • 3 active projects

Team — $22 per month per user

  • 500 free minutes per user each month
  • 365 days of data storage
  • Unlimited active projects

Professional — $45 per month per user

  • 1,250 free minutes per user each month
  • Unlimited data storage
  • IP restriction
  • Tailored reporting tools
  • Unlimited calls to US and Canada

All plans come with a free phone number, API and integrations, and 24/7 customer support. The free minutes each month apply to 122 countries. Beyond that, calls to US landlines start at just $0.01 per minute.

You can try CrazyCall for free with a 14-day trial.

Zendesk Talk

• Free lite plan
• Upgrades start at $19/mo
• Cloud-based solution
• Integrates with Zendesk Support
Try for Free

Zendesk is best known for its customer service CRM. But it has a separate solution, called Zendesk Talk, for call center software.

This cloud-based call center solution is built directly into the ticketing system for Zendesk Support. Your agents will have access to the full customer history and additional features like call recording and automatic ticket creation.

The software is designed to improve your support process, while eliminating unproductive tasks. Your agents can focus on solutions, conversions, and customers, as opposed to workflow bottlenecks.

Top features of Zendesk Talk include:

  • Inbound and outbound calling
  • Custom greetings
  • Local and toll-free numbers
  • Browser-based calls
  • Call forwarding to phones
  • Call blocking
  • Conference calling
  • Group routing
  • Callback from queue
  • Inbound and outbound SMS
  • Advanced analytics
  • Real-time dashboard
  • Call recording and call record permissions

Similar to other call center software on our list, Zendesk Talk is based on a combination of your plan and usage.

Zendesk Talk has a wide range of plans for you to choose from. The list and features for each one are quite extensive. So rather than giving you a complete overview of those, I’ll just quickly cover the starting prices to give you an idea of the cost.

  • Lite — Starting at $0
  • Team — Starting at $19 per agent per month
  • Professional — Starting at $49 per agent per month
  • Enterprise — Starting at $89 per agent per month

Zendesk offers a paid partner edition starting at $9 per agent per month. This is for every agent taking calls with Zendesk Support. To estimate your usage rates, Zendesk Talk has a calculator tool that you can play around with.

Talkdesk

• End-to-end customer experience
• Omnichannel support
• Customized solutions
• Used by 1,800+ businesses
Get a Free Quote

Talkdesk has a wide range of products and solutions for businesses. The company offers tools and software for things like customer engagement, workforce engagement, and reporting.

The contact center software from Talkdesk is one of its best and most popular offerings. It’s marketed as an end-to-end customer experience solution.

It’s designed the meet the needs and expectations of the modern customer. These people have a certain expectation when they call your company. Talkdesk will help you improve productivity while reducing costs and increasing the customer experience.

Top features of Talkdesk include:

  • Outbound dialer
  • Customer self-service
  • Omnichannel support
  • Agent desktop and mobile agent tools
  • Call recording
  • Integrations with Salesforce, Zendesk, Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.
  • AI virtual assistant
  • Reporting and analytics

For the most part, Talkdesk is used by businesses across a handful of major industries. This includes retail, ecommerce, financial services, healthcare, travel, and hospitality.

Talkdesk has solutions based on call center type (sales, support, BPO) and business size (small, mid, enterprise).

Contact the Talkdesk sales team today for a quote. Join the 1,800+ businesses like Peleton, IBM, and Dropbox using this call center software.

How to Choose the Best Call Center Software For Your Business

As you can see from this list, call center software is extremely versatile. There are so many different features and benefits at your disposal. But with all of these options, how can you possibly know which one is best for your company?

There are certain factors that you should be evaluating when making your decision. This is the methodology that we use and recommend here at Quick Sprout.

Omnichannel Support

Any business in the market for call center software is likely communicating with customers across other channels as well.

Consider if you want to integrate those communication tools like email, live chat, and social media into your call center software. This will allow your agents to better serve the needs of your customers throughout each stage of the support process.

Call Center Type

What type of call center do you have?

Do you need software to support inbound calls only? Or do your agents need outbound dialing capabilities? Not every solution offers both.

The purpose of these calls will also have an impact on the software you choose. There are certain options that are better for sales, while others are better for customer support, troubleshooting, and ticketing.

Integrations

The best call center software will integrate with your CRM solution.

Some of the options on our list have their own full-service CRM systems as well. So you could potentially get an all-in-one solution from the same provider.

Pricing

It’s important that you have a clear understanding of how you’ll be billed for customer call center software. Not every company lists their prices online.

In most cases, you’ll pay based on a combination of usage and support agents. The majority of call center solutions have different plans for different the features you need. Make sure to find one that best fits your needs and budget.

Conclusion

Every business providing phone support for customers can benefit from call center software. From startups to enterprises and everything in between, these are the top seven call center software solutions on the market today:

  • RingCentral Contact Center — Best overall contact center software.
  • Freshcaller — Simple contact center software for teams of all sizes.
  • 8×8 Contact Center — Best contact center software for enterprise-grade security.
  • Five9 — Best all-in-one contact center software.
  • CrazyCall — Best call center software for outbound sales.
  • Zendesk Talk — Best call center software for support and automated ticketing.
  • Talkdesk — Best call center software for end-to-end customer experience.

Whether you need assistance with sales, customer support, or both, there’s an option for your business on this list.

Best Customer Service Software

Your customers will make or break the success of your business. Happy customers keep coming back and spending more money, while unsatisfied customers will cause significant damage to your reputation.

In fact, an unhappy customer will tell up to 15 people about their poor experience. Negative interactions spread twice as fast as positive ones.

91% of customers who experienced poor service will never do business with you again.

On the flip side, eight out of ten consumers are more likely to buy from businesses again after a positive customer service experience. A 5% increase in customer retention can boost profits by up to 125%.

The numbers speak for themselves. Customer service must be a priority for every business.

Fortunately, the right customer service software can make this possible. Customer service solutions help ensure fast response times, positive interactions, and happy customers.

The 8 Best Customer Service Software of 2020

Customer service software is a saturated industry. There are so many options available on the market. But some of these tools are significantly better than others.

After researching and testing dozens of customer service solutions, I’ve narrowed down the top eight for you to consider.

As we continue you through this guide, I’ll give you an in-depth review of each one below. You’ll learn about the top features, benefits, use cases, pricing, and more.

Best Customer Service Software Reviews

Zendesk

• Free trial available
• Starts at $89/mo
• Flexible customized solutions
• Used by 150,000+ businesses
Try for Free

Zendesk is one of the best overall customer service software solutions on the market today. It’s used by 150,000+ businesses, including big brands like Uber, Venmo, Shopify, and Slack.

The Zendesk support suite has everything you need to manage customer service communication across multiple channels. You can provide customer support via email, live chat, voice, Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, WhatsApp, and more.

The software makes it possible to connect all of your data sources to a single location. So when a customer contacts you for support, the right information will automatically be on display.

Zendesk is flexible, so it can support the needs of any business. You can get a customized solution that fits with your existing support environment.

Here’s a quick overview of the plans, features, and pricing for the Zendesk support suite:

Professional Support Suite — $89 per agent per month

  • Omnichannel support
  • Social messaging add-on
  • Self-service knowledge base
  • Dashboards and reporting for all channels
  • Talk partner edition
  • Multiple ticket forms

Enterprise Support Suite — $149 per agent per month

  • Roles and permissions with skilled base routing
  • Multi-brand support
  • Chat widget and web SDK
  • Content cues to identify knowledge gaps
  • 24/7 live chat and phone support

The full-service support suite from Zendesk has it all. But not every business needs something this comprehensive. If you’re looking for something a little bit more basic, Zendesk offers more affordable options for smaller businesses.

  • Essential — $5 per month per agent
  • Team — $19 per month per agent
  • Professional — $49 per month per agent
  • Enterprise — $99 per month per agent
  • Elite — $199 per month per agent

You can try any Zendesk software or support suite with a free trial. If you’re looking for a customized solution, contact the Zendesk sales team.

Salesforce Service Cloud

• Starts at $25/month
• Resolve cases quicker
• Streamline your on-site support
• Trusted by 150,000+ companies
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Salesforce is an industry leader in sales CRM software. But they also offer tools and solutions for customer service. It’s trusted by 150,000+ companies across the world.

The Salesforce Service Cloud makes it easy for any business to build customer relationships while saving time and improving customer satisfaction. Brands like Yeti and Adidas are just a couple of well-known names that use this software.

Your customer service representatives will be able to resolve cases quicker with the insights and tools offered by Salesforce. The platform has a shared view of every customer interaction.

Set up self-service portals so your customers can access account information, view tutorials, and view knowledge base articles.

The Salesforce Service Cloud has capabilities to streamline your on-site support. Field service works, dispatchers, and on-site technicians can use these tools to resolve problems during the first visit.

Salesforce uses AI to predict recommendations and provide support with an intuitive chatbot service.

Let’s take a look at the plans and pricing for Salesforce Service Cloud:

Essentials — $25 per user per month

  • Case management
  • Service console apps
  • Knowledge tools
  • Telephony integration (CTI)

Professional — $75 per user per month

  • All Essentials features
  • Service contracts

Enterprise — $150 per user per month

  • All Professional features
  • Web services API

Unlimited — $300 per user per month

  • All Enterprise features
  • 24/7 support and configuration

All plans come with tools for collaboration, productivity, personalization, real-time insights, cross-sell and upsell tools, app integration, and solutions to automate processes.

Salesforce offers add-ons for things like field service workers, digital engagement, and location-based intelligence.

LiveAgent

• 100% free forever plan
• Upgrades starting at $15/mo
• All-in-one solution
• Simple and flexible tools
Get Started Now

LiveAgent is a customer service solution that helps you manage all customer requests from multiple channels in a single platform.

No matter where your customers are, you can merge all communication and support to one place. LiveAgent saves you time, simplifies the process, and allows you to increase the profitability of your support team.

LiveAgent has tools for:

  • Email ticketing
  • Live chat
  • Voice and video calls
  • Social media integration

Here’s a closer look at the plans and prices for customer service software form LiveAgent:

Free — $0 forever

  • 7 day ticket history
  • 1 email address for ticketing
  • 1 live chat button
  • 1 phone number for call center support

Ticket — $15 per month per agent

  • Unlimited ticket history
  • Unlimited email ticketing
  • Load data from your CRM
  • Multi-brand support

Ticket + Chat — $29 per month per agent

  • Unlimited live chat
  • Real-time visitor monitor
  • Chat invitations
  • Chat satisfaction surveys

All-inclusive — $39 per month per agent

  • Unlimited call center support
  • Video calling
  • Gamification
  • Unlimited call storage

For all of the paid plans, LiveAgent has add-on pricing for features like social media integration, time tracking, audit logs, and more.

Overall, it’s a simple and flexible tool for managing live customers with ticketing and live chat.

Freshdesk

• Free 21-day trial
• Plans start at $15/mo
• Extensive list of features
• Trusted by 150,000+ businesses
Try for Free

Freshdesk is another one of the most popular help desk solutions on the market today. Above all, it’s simple. That’s why it’s trusted by 150,000+ businesses, including American Express, HP, and Panasonic.

With Freshdesk, you’ll have access to an extensive list of features across a wide range of customer support categories:

  • Ticketing
  • Collaboration
  • Field Service
  • Automation
  • Customer self-service
  • Reporting
  • Multi-channel support

It’s an excellent solution to streamline all of your customer connections in a single location. Freshdesk makes team collaboration and automation a breeze.

If you’re currently using another help desk solution and you’re unhappy with it, Freshdesk makes it easy for you to switch to its software.

Here’s an overview of the plans and pricing. All rates are based on an annual plan. The prices are a bit higher if you go month-to-month.

Sprout — Free

  • Unlimited agents
  • Email ticketing
  • Team collaboration
  • Knowledge base
  • Ticket trend reports
  • Social ticketing

Blossom — $15 per month per agent

  • Automations
  • Collision detection
  • Marketplace apps
  • Helpdesk
  • SLA management
  • Business hours

Garden — $29 per month per agent

  • Time tracking
  • CSAT survey
  • Session replay
  • Performance report
  • Knowledge base with multi-lingual support

Estate — $49 per month per agent

  • Automated ticket assignment
  • Custom agent roles
  • Custom portal
  • Enterprise reporting
  • Multiple time zones and SLAs

Forest — $109 per month per agent

  • Ticket assignment based on skills
  • Create a testing environment without affecting agents or customers
  • IP Whitelisting
  • HIPAA compliant
  • Extendable API rate limit

Freshdesk has omnichannel add-ons and features for field service management for an additional fee. Try it free with a 21-day trial.

HubSpot

• 100% free forever plan
• Advanced features start at $40/mo
• Wide range of solutions
• Free software for customer service
Try for Free

HubSpot is one of the most well-recognized CRMs in the industry. They have a wide range of software and solution suites for managing relationships with customers.

These offerings are segmented into three main categories—sales, marketing, and service.

The HubSpot Service Hub is what we’ll be focusing on here today. It’s an exceptional solution for managing customer issues through service tickets.

I like HubSpot because they offer free CRM solutions, including free software for customer service. Free features include ticketing, live chat, chatbots, team email, and a conversations inbox. You’ll also benefit from free email templates, closed ticket reports, and time-to-close reports.

HubSpot is proof that you don’t need to spend a ton of money on improving your customer service with software. This won’t cost you a thing.

For those of you who want access to advanced features and benefits, here’s an overview o the paid plans:

Starter — $40 per month

  • Includes two paid users
  • Canned snippets
  • Meeting scheduling
  • Agent productivity reports
  • Calling

Professional — $320 per month

  • Includes five paid users
  • Ticket status, routing, automation, and pipelines
  • Knowledge base
  • 1:1 video creation
  • Custom reporting
  • Surveys for NPS, experience, and support

Enterprise — $1,200 per month

  • Includes ten paid users
  • Playbooks and goals
  • Hierarchical teams
  • User roles
  • Single sign-on
  • Integrates with Slack

All rates are based on an annual contract. You can get the HubSpot Service Hub month-to-month for 20% more.

HubSpot also offers exceptional product bundles for all CRM categories in a single solution. So if you want to get software for service, sales, and marketing from a single provider, HubSpot is the best option for you. Bundles start at $112.50 per month.

Groove

• Plans start at $9/month
• Team collaboration tools
• Customizable knowledge base
• Exceptional automation tools
Get Started Now

Groove isn’t as popular and well-known as some of the other options on our list. But it’s still used by more than 10,000 businesses across 140+ countries.

If your company has outgrown email for customer support and you’re getting inquiries on multiple channels, Groove will be a top choice for you to consider.

This solution stands out from the crowd with its team collaboration tools. You can add internal private notes to discussions, quickly mention teammates to bring them in the loop, and assign specific tasks to members of the team.

Groove has exceptional automations to streamline your customer support. Set rules, tagging, canned replies, and custom folders with your preferences to eliminate busywork.

Another standout feature from Groove is the ability to customize your knowledge base. This is crucial for businesses that want to offer customer self-service tools.

The knowledge base themes are fully customizable, beautifully designed, and mobile responsive. Plans and pricing for Groove customer support software are as follows:

Starter — $9 per month per user

  • One mailbox
  • Knowledge base
  • Live chat
  • Web widget
  • Assignments and mentions

Plus — $19 per month per user

  • 5 mailboxes
  • Full history of reports
  • Rules
  • API access
  • 40+ integrations

Pro — $29 per month per user

  • 25 mailboxes
  • Teams
  • WhatsApp and SMS
  • Integrations with Salesforce, HubSpot, and Jira

Company — Custom pricing

  • Unlimited mailboxes
  • Priority support
  • Dedicated customer support manager
  • SSO/SAML
  • Enterprise-level security

I’d recommend Groove for small teams and startups. In fact, they have a special startup rate for businesses with less than ten employees. Eligible businesses can get a 93% discount off of the Pro plan.

Zoho Desk

• Free forever plan
• Upgrade starting at $12/mo
• Email ticketing & help center
• Mobile app access
Try for Free

Zoho is one of the most popular names in the world of business software and CRM. The company has tools for sales, marketing, email, collaboration, finance, accounting, human resources, and business intelligence.

But one of the best solutions that they offer is Zoho Desk—IT and help desk software.

Zoho Desk has solutions for customer service agents, managers, and customers. But above all, it’s arguably the best customer service software for managing and closing tickets.

Let’s take a closer look at the plans and price points for Zoho Desk:

Free — $0

  • Up to three agents
  • Email ticketing
  • Help center
  • Private knowledge base
  • Predefined SLAs
  • Mobile app
  • Multilingual help desk

Standard — $12 per month per agent

  • Social and community channels
  • Product-based ticket management
  • Public knowledge base
  • Escalations
  • Workflow and assignment rules
  • Supervise rules
  • Customer happiness ratings

Professional — $20 per month per agent

  • Multi-department ticketing
  • Team management
  • Telephony
  • Automated time tracking
  • Ticket templates
  • Ticket sharing
  • Mobile SDK

Enterprise — $35 per month per agent

  • Live chat
  • AI
  • Customize help center
  • Advanced process management
  • Scheduled reports
  • Validation rules
  • Role-based data sharing

No matter how big, small, or complex your business is, Zoho Desk has a plan for you.

Help Scout

• Plans start at $20/month
• Certified B corporation
• High-quality software
• Used by 10,000+ businesses
Try for Free

Help Scout is another lesser-known solution on our list. But with that said, it’s still a high-quality software for customer service. It’s used by 10,000+ businesses worldwide.

Help Scout is unique because it’s a Certified B corporation. They strive to make a positive impact on the environment and communities. So they go the extra mile to support organizations that share the same values.

If you have a nonprofit that supports human rights, environmental sustainability, or underrepresentation in tech, Help Scout will provide a significant discount on your customer service software.

Some of you might even be eligible for discounts of up to 100%. That’s right—free.

Even if you don’t fall into one of those categories, Help Scout is still a top solution for customer service. Here’s a closer look at the plans and prices:

Standard — $20 per month per user

  • Three mail boxes
  • Beacon with live chat
  • Messages for up to 10,000 customers
  • Reports
  • Automated workflows
  • 50+ integrations

Plus — $35 per month per user

  • 10 mailboxes
  • Custom fields and teams
  • Salesforce, HubSpot, and Jira apps
  • HIPAA compliance
  • SSO/SAML authentication

Company — Custom pricing

  • Unlimited mailboxes and docs sites
  • Flexible users
  • Concierge onboarding
  • Dedicated account manager
  • Enterprise-grade security

The rates above are based on an annual contract. Month-to-month plans are available for an additional fee. You can try Help Scout for free with a 15-day trial.

How to Choose the Best Customer Service Software For Your Business

What’s the best customer service software for your business? There are certain features and considerations to keep in mind as you’re evaluating different options.

This is the methodology that we use and recommend here at Quick Sprout.

Number of Agents

How big is your customer service team? Companies with five service reps won’t need the same software as a business with 50 agents.

Larger teams need features for things like collaboration and role-based ticketing, but that won’t be necessary for a smaller business.

Customer Communication Method

How are customers currently reaching out to your service team? How do you want them to do so moving forward?

There’s a software for everything. Whether it’s email, live chat, chatbots, or support tickets, you can find a solution to meet your needs. There are even tools for social media integration so all of your messages, including DMs and comments, can be managed from a single dashboard.

Feature Bundles

Every customer service software on our list does an exceptional job of marketing its top features. But with that said, you should only focus on the features you need the most.

For example, are you looking for customer service software specifically for live chat? LiveAgent will be a top choice for you. If you want a solution for your field service agents, use Salesforce Service Cloud. There are even tools for customer service, sales, and marketing CRM built into single product bundles.

My suggestion is this. Identify the features you definitely need. Then look for the right plan that has all of those features.

Price

The price for customer service software varies on a wide range of factors. Lots of solutions charge you based on the number of customer service agents on your team.

Available features in your package will also have a significant impact on what you pay.

Customer service is definitely not something you should skimp on. It’s ok to spend money. But with that said, not all of you need to go overboard. Small businesses, startups, and nonprofits with smaller teams can use free customer service software without compromising quality.

Conclusion

Every business must prioritize customer service. These are the top eight customer service software solutions on the market today:

  • Zendesk — Best overall customer service software with support suite options available.
  • Salesforce Service Cloud — Best customer service software for field service agents.
  • LiveAgent — Best customer service software for live chat support.
  • Freshdesk — Best customer service software if you’re switching from another platform.
  • HubSpot — Best free customer service software and product bundles.
  • Groove — Best customer service software for small teams and growth startups.
  • Zoho Desk — Best customer service software for ticketing.
  • Help Scout — Best customer service software for nonprofits.

Use this guide to help you find the best solution for your business. I made sure to include something for everyone on my list.

Best Web Design Services

Design has a significant impact on the success of your website and business.

It takes just 50 milliseconds for people to form an opinion about a website. 94% of that first impression is designed related.

There are plenty of tools out there that allow you to build a website on your own. The best website builders have resources and themes that will improve your design. So if you fall into this category, following website design best practices for 2020 will definitely be useful.

But in many cases, it’s better to leave web design to the professionals.

Hiring a web designer is an excellent option for new websites as well as older sites that need a redesign. The best web design agencies and services take everything from the color scheme to navigation into consideration.

A web design service will provide you with a customized website design that’s perfect for your business or personal site.

The 10 Best Web Design Services of 2020

There are thousands of web designers and web design agencies on the market today. How can you know which ones to trust for something so important?

After extensive research, I’ve narrowed down the top ten web design services for you to consider.

We’ll take a closer look at the benefits and use cases for these web design services with an in-depth review of each one below.

Best Web Design Services Reviews

Lounge Lizard

Custom website designs
Custom redesigns
UX/UI design & more
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Lounge Lizard is more than just a web design company. It’s an agency that specializes in branding, digital marketing, web development, app development, and website maintenance. You can trust Lounge Lizard with a wide range of website needs.

This service ranks high on our list because they take a strategic approach to website design.

The team at Lounge Lizard focuses on brand communication, brand differentiation, and big-picture with each design. They craft websites that resonate with your target audience to boost engagement.

Here’s a quick overview of the web design services offered at Lounge Lizard:

  • Custom WordPress designs
  • Custom redesigns
  • Responsive web design
  • UX/UI design
  • Shopify web design
  • Magento web design
  • Designs for corporate blogs

Lounge Lizard runs a user experience analysis on your website. This analysis is intended to identify weaknesses in your design while keeping SEO in mind with any changes.

I’d recommend Lounge Lizard to anyone that needs brand strategy assistance. The team at Lounge Lizard goes above and beyond just designing your website. They take it one step further by making sure your brand message is clearly portrayed to the right audience.

Blue Fountain Media

Over 17 years of experience
Worked with FedEx & Sony
Optimized for search engines
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Blue Fountain Media is another full-service agency. In addition to web design, they provide digital marketing services, technology solutions, business strategy, and branding solutions.

They have worked with some global brands like FedEx, Microsoft, and Sony.

Blue Fountain Media has over 17 years of experience designing websites. All designs are created with a purpose, with users in mind through each step of the process. Designs are also built for discoverability. Every Blue Fountain Media design is technically optimized for search engines.

Here’s how their process works.

First, the team gets to know you and your business. They dive deep into the existing data on your website and speak to key members of your organization.

Blue Fountain Media might also communicate with your customers through surveys and perform user testing on your existing website before making any changes.

You’ll get a proposed strategy related to the content, structure, and features of your new website design to ensure that aligns with the goals of your business. They will plan and deliver a sitemap to show the structure and hierarchy of the new design.

After the planning process is complete, the design will be implemented. The design team can follow any strict brand guidelines that you require. Wireframes and mockups are sent to you for feedback, so you’ll have a say each step of the way.

Blue Fountain Media can assist with copywriting for your landing pages, SEO, development, QA, and launch.

Big Drop

Full-service digital agency
Five-step approach to web design
Clients include Samsung & Activision
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Following a common theme, Big Drop is also a full-service digital agency. They specialize in web design, web development, branding, and digital marketing.

All designs are intended to be future proof and focus on human experiences. Some of their featured clients include Samsung, Citi Bank, and Activision.

The web designers at Big Drop believe that your website should be a natural extension of your brand’s story. They strive to create designs that truly represent you, your business, and your organization.

Big Drop has a five-step approach to their web design services:

  1. Identify your brand needs.
  2. Research your industry, competition, and audience.
  3. Develop a UI/UX sitemap and wireframe.
  4. Collaborate with you and your team to form a content strategy.
  5. Design the graphics and other visual elements of your website.

Big Drop creates cutting-edge online experiences for website visitors. They have the unique ability to translate vague concepts into creative digital web designs.

Mightybytes

Operating for more than 20 years
Blends design with brand strategy
Solves design problems with data
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Mightybytes is a Chicago-based digital agency that’s been operating for more than 20 years. As a Certified B Corp organization, Mightybytes works with sustainable brands, nonprofits, and conscious companies.

This agency blends web design with brand strategy and development. They use sustainability best practices to meet the long-term growth of your organization.

In addition to design and UX, Mightybytes offers strategy consulting and helps bring digital products to life. They’ve worked with organizations like PNC Bank, YMCA, Northwestern University, DePaul University, and Feeding America.

Mightybytes solves web design problems with data. They conduct tests and analysis to that bring digital solutions to life.

They handle the following aspects of web design:

  • User research
  • Testing
  • Customer journey mapping
  • Content strategy
  • Information architecture
  • Wireframing and prototyping
  • UI design

If you’re a nonprofit organization or sustainable brand, Mightybytes will be a top web design service for you to consider.

Maxburst

In business since 2007
Unique blend of style & tech
Solutions for ecommerce websites
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Maxburst launched back in 2007. It’s a New York City-based web design agency. In addition to design, Maxburst also handles web development, SEO, company identity, social media marketing, and local search marketing.

Designs created by Maxburst offer a unique blend of both style and technology.

Maxburst specializes in high-end web design, print, and digital media. It’s an ideal solution for growing businesses. These designs will help you stand out from the crowd.

They offer specific solutions for ecommerce websites and CMS driven solutions.

Beyond designing your site, they can help you control and manage your content needs on a regular basis. From your photos and videos to the blog and newsfeed, Maxburst is there when you need them.

Intechnic

In business over 20 years
Clients in 30+ countries
Results driven designs
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Intechnic offers services for brand strategy, digital marketing, user experience, and of course—web design.  They’ve been creating high-performing websites, software, and apps for 20+ years with clients in 30+ countries.

Intechnic is a recognized leader in UX. They are members of the Forbes Technology Council and a HubSpot certified partner.

Here’s an overview of Intechnic’s web design services and capabilities at a glance:

  • Branding
  • Business integration
  • Video production
  • Photography
  • Interactive experience
  • Copywriting
  • Creative direction

Intechnic understands that your business is more than just a website. You need a platform that will generate results.

This agency specializes in solving problems with creativity to deliver results. I’d recommend Intechnic to websites that are underperforming. A redesign from Intechnic can help turn things around for you.

Intechnic commonly works with brands in financial services, insurance, government agencies, and nonprofits.

EIGHT25MEDIA

Voted best web design agency in San Francisco
Responsive websites and ecommerce solutions
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EIGHT25MEDIA is based in Silicon Valley, the technology capital of the world.

For the last decade, they’ve provided creative web design services, strategy and consulting, and CMS services. EIGHT25MEDIA develops responsive websites and ecommerce solutions as well.

They have been voted the best web design agency in San Francisco. As a whole, their clients have raised $500+ million in funding for their startups.

The average EIGHT25MEDIA client sees a 200% increase in conversions on their newly designed website. They typically work with the following types of companies:

  • VC Funded
  • Technology startups
  • Cybersecurity
  • Financial services
  • Ecommerce
  • SaaS
  • B2B
  • Enterprises

In addition to web design services, EIGHT25MEDIA also designs web applications and mobile solutions.

Skuba Design Studio

Network of local & regional talent
Award-winning work
Optimized for search engines
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Skuba Design Studio launched 20 years ago in New Orleans. The founder started Skuba after spending 11 years working in advertising and design.

Today, Skuba has a network of local and regional talent that specializes in web development, graphic design, illustration, photography, and multimedia. They essentially have everything you need for a creative web project.

All designers and developers have a degree in their respective field, years of experience, and provide award-winning work.

With Skuba, your web design can target your existing customers as well as any new demographics that you’re trying to reach.

I’d recommend Skuba to those of you who have design needs beyond your website as well. They offer designs for things like:

  • Brochures
  • Print
  • Packages
  • Tradeshows
  • Posters
  • Signs
  • Infographics
  • Invitations

Skuba Design Studio creates motion graphics, interactive designs, content management, mobile apps, and software development. All digital designs are optimized for search engines.

Taoti Creative

Designing websites for 20+ years
Specializes in creativity & unconventional designs
Exceptional customer service
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As the name implies, Taoti Creative is a web design service that specializes in creativity. They create unique and modern web designs that empower website visitors.

This creative agency builds brand experience designs that “move needles.”

For those of you who are looking for a bold website design, consider using Taoti Creative’s web design services. They’ve been designing websites for more than 20 years.

Taoti Creative is detailed oriented. This goes beyond just identifying bugs or defects. They strive to deliver the best possible product from architecture to compliance and user experience.

This innovative design team definitely delivers in terms of the “wow” factor. Your website can stand out from the crowd.

Taoti has exceptional customer service. Communication is a crucial component of the entire web design process. Expect to hear from them on a regular basis, as they update with you full transparency. Your input will heavily impact the final design product.

Taoti Creative is not for everyone. I’d only recommend this to websites and business owners who can take some risk with unconventional designs.

Bizzuka

In business over 20 years
Focus on improving conversions
Designed more than 2,000 sites
Get a Free Quote

Over the past 20 years, Bizzuka has built and designed more than 2,000 websites. These designs are made to improve the online lead generation process.

Bizzuka is ideal for businesses selling high-ticket products or services. It’s a top choice for those of you who have a long and complicated sales process.

The designers at Bizzuka will improve the user experience through each step of the sales funnel on your website through its data-driven design best practices.

In addition to website design, you can also use Bizzuka for digital marketing and custom software solutions.

I’d recommend Bizzuka to B2B sellers who need a design update to boost conversions.

How to Choose the Web Design Service For Your Website

Everyone has different needs when it comes to web design. The right design service for me and my business might not be the best one for you. So how can you find the best web design agency for your business?

This is the methodology that we use and recommend here at Quick Sprout.

Portfolio

When it comes to web design, nothing speaks to me more than results. Every web design service should have an extensive list of websites that they’ve built in the past.

Browse through this portofolio and visit these websites. How do they look? How do those designs make you feel?

While every website is unique, you can usually get a feel for the approach taken during the design process. If you’re unhappy with the portfolio of previous work, you should look elsewhere for your design needs.

Industry and Business Type

There is no universal web design that should be applied to every website. Some designers specialize in specific industries.

For example, a tech startup would probably have very different website needs than a local accountant. A law firm shouldn’t have the same design as a creative agency.

Pick a web designer that has experience designing similar websites to your business type and industry.

Process

The best web designers don’t use cookie-cutter templates. They take the time to get to know your business, brand, customers, and website needs.

Some will conduct UI and UX testing before they start designing. Others will take previous website data and metrics to focus on specific points to improve.

Regardless of the approach, it’s important for you to understand the design process and make sure that it’s something your comfortable with. The design team should also be using your input, to an extent, while they are creating a custom design.

Additional Services

In most cases, web design services do much more than just design websites. Lots of the best options also offer marketing services, branding tools, web development, and more.

Find a design service that has other tools that you can take advantage of. For example, if you need a developer and a designer, it makes sense to get both services from the same agency.

The Best Water Delivery Services For Your Business

We all know it’s important to drink enough water. Dehydration can lead to headaches, lack of focus, and a loss of productivity. Not everyone likes the taste of tap water, so many businesses have high-quality water delivered.

If you’re looking to get fresh water delivered to your workplace on a regular basis, here’s a guide to help you choose the right water delivery service for your needs.

The 8 Best Water Delivery Services

The office water cooler serves several functions. In many offices, it’s a gathering place where coworkers can talk about the latest movie or what they did over the weekend. Of course, water coolers also keep us adequately hydrated so we can deliver the best work performance possible.

Whether your company is big or small, you want a water delivery service that delivers a fresh product that tastes good without costing a fortune. Here are eight water delivery services to consider for your business.

1. Sparkletts

Single serve & bulk water
Water dispenser units
Multiple brands & products
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Sparkletts delivers a lot more than just water. Depending on your office’s needs, it can set you up with other beverages, breakroom supplies, coffee and tea, and accessories like water dispensers.

In business since 1925, Sparkletts serves businesses located mostly in the Southwest, including a number of them parks and attractions in California. Its other service regions include Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Phoenix, Mesa, San Diego, Tucson, and Santa Barbara.

Sparkletts will deliver its own branded water in three- or five-gallon jugs. It also rents water dispenser units, coffee machines, and other equipment. The standard officer water dispenser is around $6 per billing cycle to rent.

If you prefer more variety, you can also sign up for delivery of other bottled water brands, sparkling water, and a large variety of coffee and tea. Of course, you’ll need breakroom supplies to go with them, and Sparkletts can deliver those, too. It delivers plates, napkins, coffee filters, creamer, sugar packets, and other supplies.

2. Absopure

Individual servings or jugs
Superior quality & taste
Water filtration systems
Get a Free Quote

Absopure got its start in Detroit as an ice delivery company all the way back in 1908. The company is still based in Michigan and now delivers water and other breakroom supplies to companies throughout the Midwest.

Businesses can buy Absopure bottled water in individual servings, or they can select spring water dispensed from jugs in one gallon, 2.5 gallons, or five gallons. Absopure also sells purified drinking water, steam distilled water, and electrolyte water.

Absopure will also deliver and stock coffee, tea, or sparkling water. It also allows companies to rent the equipment they need to dispense hot and cold water.

If you prefer to use tap water, you can also purchase a water filtration system from Absopure. The company will even install it, so you can rest easy knowing it’s hooked up properly.

3. ReadyRefresh

Jugs & bottled water options
Multiple brands of water
Several delivery options
Get a Free Quote

ReadyRefresh delivers a variety of products, including water, tea, sparkling water, Starbucks coffee, and supplies like water dispensers. ReadyRefresh customers can pick water from spring sources or municipal water systems. For example, the company sells Nestle Pure Life water, which is sourced from municipal systems and then put through a 12-step purification process.

The brands ReadyRefresh offers include Acqua Panna, Arrowhead, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, Nestle Pure Life, Ozarka, Perrier, Poland Spring, S.Pellegrino, and Zephyrhills.

If you choose jugs of water, you can pick from three- and five-gallon recycled jugs. When you’re done with them, ReadyRefresh will collect them and then sanitize them before reusing them.

ReadyRefresh also offers several different delivery options depending on your needs. You can get a one-time order or set up automatic delivery every week, every other week, once a month, or once a quarter.

4. FIJI

Only available in bottles
Bottled at the source
3, 6 and 12 month subscriptions
Get a Free Quote

You’ve probably seen individual FIJI bottles in gas stations and grocery stores, but the company also offers a subscription service for its popular artesian water.

However, FIJI is a little different from other water delivery services. Unlike most other water delivery companies, it doesn’t deliver water in gallon size jugs. Instead, its water is only available in single serve bottles. You can choose a bottle size ranging from 300 ML all the way up to 1.5 liters. It also offers bottles with a sports cap in its 700 ML size.

If you love the taste of true artesian water, though, FIJI might be worth considering. The water is bottled at the source in Fiji, where it filters to an aquifer after passing over volcanic rock.

FIJI offers its pre-paid subscription service in three-month, six-month and 12-month terms. You can cancel at any time, but you won’t receive a refund if you cancel in the middle of a pre-paid term.

5. Costco

3 & 5 gallon options
Spring water or purified water
Discounts for gold star members
Get a Free Quote

Costco Water Delivery Services partners with local affiliates to deliver three- and five-gallon jugs of water to businesses around the country. Businesses can choose from spring water or purified water. You can also add on a water dispenser if you need it.

One potential downside is that you have to sign a one-year contract. For most businesses, however, this can be a benefit, since you only need to worry about bothering with the contract once a year.

The spring water is priced at around $7.50 per bottle while the purified water is cheaper at about $6.50 per bottle. If you need to add a bottom load water dispenser, the cost is about $3 per four-week billing cycle for Costco executive members and $5 per four-week billing period for Costco gold star members.

6. Diamond Springs

100% natural spring water
Delivery every two or four weeks
Serves Virginia, North Carolina, & South Carolina
Get a Free Quote

Diamond Springs delivers 100 percent natural spring water, as well as coffee, breakroom supplies, and snacks. Its service area covers Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Water is available in three- and five-gallon jugs, and you can add a water dispenser if you need one. There’s also an option to buy a water dispenser if you want it for the long haul and want to save on rental fees.

Diamond Springs offers delivery every two or four weeks, and they say they can accommodate additional requests within 24 hours if you need extras.

The company also offers a large variety of snack delivery, but this service is only available in Virginia. For smaller companies, you can order snacks by the case. Product options include potato chips, crackers, granola bars, candy, and microwavable cups of soup.

If you have a larger company, such as an office with 50 or more people, Diamond Springs can install a vending machine that dispenses snacks and cold beverages.

7. Culligan

Large variety of delivery services
Rent or buy equipment
Bottle-free water systems
Get a Free Quote

Culligan is one of the most recognizable brands in the water delivery service industry, probably due to its commercials that air nationwide.

The company offers a large variety of water delivery services in a range of bottle sizes and dispensing systems, with its bottled water delivery service starting at $9.95 per month. Businesses can choose to rent or buy water dispensing equipment, and you can even have Culligan install a reverse osmosis system.

If your business is environmentally friendly, you can choose from a bottle-free water dispensing system. With these units, there is no plastic bottle, which cuts down on waste.

One downside is that Culligan doesn’t let you choose a specific brand of water. When you purchase their jugs of water, it comes from Culligan’s filtered system. If you prefer a certain brand, it’s a good idea to taste Culligan’s water before you sign up.

Culligan’s sign up process is a bit different compared to other water delivery services. When you contact them, they will pair you with a local Culligan representative. This rep will come to your business and assess your area’s water quality to help you find the best Culligan system for your needs. While some people like this personal touch, others just want to order water online without taking time out of their schedule to meet with a company representation.

8. Mountain Glacier

3 or 5 gallon jugs
Buy bottled water by the case
Serves Tennessee, Texas, & Indiana
Get a Free Quote

Mountain Glacier is a smaller water delivery service, but it offers flexible delivery options. The company services businesses in Tennessee, Texas, and Indiana. Companies can choose from three-gallon or five-gallon jugs, as well as water dispensers. Companies can also purchase cases of water, and Mountain Glacier offers a free case when you buy five cases.

Mountain Glacier delivers water once a month, but the company says it will arrange for more frequent delivery if a customer requires it. The company uses all recycled water jugs, making it more environmentally friendly than some other water delivery providers.

How to Choose the Best Water Delivery Service for You

There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to choosing a water delivery service for your business. Here are six things to keep in mind before you sign on with a company.

1. Cost

Obviously, cost is going to be a major consideration. Some water delivery companies offer discounts if you sign up for automatic billing or put your contract on auto-renew terms.

You should also consider the company’s billing practices. Is your business prepared to sign a one-year contract for water? Or do you prefer taking things a little more conservatively and sticking to a monthly billing cycle? Make sure you understand the contract’s cancellation terms so you don’t get stuck paying for water long after you decide to end the service.

2. Equipment

Most companies need a way to dispense the water they purchase. Ask what kind of equipment and amenities the water delivery service offers. Many companies include coffee and tea delivery in their offerings, so you can take care of restocking your breakroom all at once.

If you need a water dispenser, look for a company that offers rentals and maintenance. This is the most hassle-free way to get water in your office. If the dispenser breaks or malfunctions, you can simply call up the company and get it serviced or replaced.

3. Water and Product Selection

While some people are happy with tap water, others prefer spring water or other beverages. If selection is important to you, look for a water delivery service that gives you a wide menu of options. For example, some companies source from natural springs, and companies like FIJI even offer water from remote parts of the world with their own aquifers.

You can also opt for jugs of water or a water filtration system the company installs. Keep in mind, however, that some employees won’t drink tap water, even if it has a filter attached. If you think your workers are more likely to drink from a water cooler, it’s probably best to stick with delivered water.

Also keep in mind that some water delivery services also offer coffee, tea, breakroom supplies, and snacks. If you want to bundle these services, it can be easier and less time-consuming to go with a water delivery service that can handle everything.

4. Bottle Sizes

The most common sizes you’ll see for water delivery are three-gallon and five-gallon jugs. Depending on the size of your company, these can last a month or longer.

However, some water delivery services offer a larger variety of sizes. Additionally, you can choose a service that delivers individual servings of water and other beverages.

Keep in mind, however, that individual bottles use a lot of plastic, and they can generate a great deal of waste in your office trash cans. If you don’t want plastic bottles piling up, you’re probably better off choosing the larger jugs.

5. Delivery Options

When you search for a water delivery service, ask about the frequency of the delivery options. While some companies can get by with water delivery once a quarter or every other month, some businesses will need water delivered once a month or maybe even weekly.

Delivery frequency can affect the price of the service, especially if your business needs a more frequent delivery schedule.

6. Subscription Options

Subscription options are usually closely tied to delivery options, as the price you’ll pay is often dictated by how often you need water delivered. On the other hand, you can often save money by signing up for a longer contract or bundling water delivery services with other things like breakroom supplies or coffee and tea delivery.

It’s definitely worth speaking with a company representative to see if you can negotiate a lower price. This is especially true if you have a large company that needs regular water delivery at multiple locations.

Ask a water delivery service if it will tailor a contract to fit your company’s needs. Many service providers are willing to make adjustments if it means securing business from a large company looking to purchase a large volume of products.

Conclusion

Keeping your employees hydrated can make them happier and more productive. A water delivery service is a good choice if you want to ensure a steady supply of great-tasting water for your workforce and your customers. Before you pick a supplier, make sure you review their offerings, contract terms, and delivery options.

Best HR Outsourcing Services

Human resources is a critical aspect of any business.

Historically, HR departments were reserved for larger organizations. Small businesses might just have a bookkeeper handle HR responsibilities.

But today, businesses of all shapes and sizes can leverage HR outsourcing to perform these crucial tasks. Large businesses can use HR outsourcing to reduce operational costs. Outsourcing tasks and roles is much more cost-effective than in-house employees.

What’s the best HR outsourcing service? Find out below.

The 8 Best HR Outsourcing Services of 2020

Lots of companies offer some form of HR outsourcing. Human resources is offered by most of the best PEO service providers on the market.

After researching dozens of HR firms and outsourcing services, I’ve narrowed down the top eight for you to consider.

  • ADP — Best HR outsourcing service for benefits administration.
  • Paychex — Best HR outsourcing service for payroll.
  • Insperity — Best HR outsourcing service for mid-market companies.
  • Zenefits — Best HR software for small businesses.
  • Engage PEO — Best HR outsourcing service for legal compliance.
  • TriNet — Most flexible HR outsourcing solutions.
  • G&A Partners — Best HR outsourcing for employee onboarding and development.
  • Tandem HR — Best HR outsourcing service for growing small businesses.

I’ll give you an in-depth review covering the features, benefits, and other considerations for each one of these providers below.

Best HR Outsourcing Services Reviews

ADP

Full-service HR solutions
Flexible plans and services
Top notch customer service
Get a Free Quote

ADP offers both software and services for your HR needs. They provide solutions for small businesses as well as mid-sized organizations and enterprises.

One of the reasons why we rank ADP so high is because of its flexibility. You have the option to outsource all or just part of your HR management team.

Some of ADPs HR services include:

  • Payroll
  • Time and attendance
  • Retirement plans
  • Insurance

This provider offers business insurance as well as group health insurance for your employees. Since ADP is such a large company, they have leverage and bargaining power with all major health insurance providers.

So even small businesses can get access to exceptional plans for their employees, that they wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere outside of this network.

ADP has a support team of knowledgeable HR professionals that can be reached via phone, email, or live chat. They can create and distribute all of the necessary forms, policies, and job descriptions for your organization. You can even create a custom employee handbook in compliance with local and federal laws.

Furthermore, ADP offers HR guidance that can help improve your operational efficiencies.

From benefits packages to compliance and setting up employee self-service tools, ADP has it all.

Paychex

Pricing based on # of employees
Wide range of HR services
Knowledgeable HR professionals
Get a Free Quote

Paychex is one of the best online payroll services on the market today. But many people don’t realize that this provider also offers several other HR outsourcing services.

In addition to payroll, Paychex has:

  • Retirement services
  • Insurance services
  • HR professionals
  • Benefits administration
  • Compliance services

It’s a top solution to consider for smaller organizations. While Paychex does have HR services for businesses with up to 90+ employees, it’s one of the best providers for businesses with 50 employees or less.

Paychex has an awesome mobile app that can be used to track things like hiring, labor costs, and employee turnover.

The app can also be used for employee self-service tools and employee training.

More than 670,000 organizations use Paychex. So this is definitely a company that you can trust with your most critical business needs.

For those of you who have an existing HR department in place, Paychex can act as an extension of this department by providing you a dedicated outsourced HR manager. They can assist with hiring, onboarding, and retaining top-level talent.

An outsourced HR manager from Paychex will handle workforce analytics, benchmarking, corporate culture strategy, manage benefits, and basic employee training.

It’s essentially everything you’d need in an HR manager, without having to hire a full-time in-house staff member.

Insperity

Full-service HR solution
Individual & custom HR packages
Best for mid-sized organizations
Get a Free Quote

Insperity is a full-service HR solution. From technology to benefits, you can get a custom HR package based on the needs of your organization.

With Insperity, you can give your employees access to Fortune 500-level benefits. This includes medical, vision, and dental coverage.

Processing payroll, handling W-2s, W-4s, and employment verification can all be handled by your outsourced HR team from Insperity.

Insperity will help you with liability insurance, workers’ compensation, and other areas of risk management. This service provider can also assist with HR-related compliance for things like unemployment claims and government reporting.

Every business wants to retain the best talent. Insperity will help you create recognition programs, an employee handbook, and improve your employee training process.

I’d recommend Insperity to mid-market organizations. They do have solutions for businesses with 5-149 employees. But their main focus and expertise is for businesses with 150+ employees.

In addition to the full-service HR packages, you can also use Insperity for individual solutions like:

  • Recruiting
  • HR consulting
  • Retirement
  • Insurance
  • Accounting and bookkeeping

Like most of the best outsourcing services, Insperity offers new and up to date technology for all of its services.

With nearly 35 years in business and 70+ offices across the country, Insperity is a top consideration for HR outsourcing.

Zenefits

Best HR software
Built for small businesses
Pricing starts at $8/month
Get Started Now

Zenefits is a bit different compared to some of the other options on our list. Technically, Zenefits is not an outsourcing service; it’s software for human resources.

But with that said, it serves the same purpose as an outsourced service in terms of ease and cost reduction. Zenefits will be a cheaper alternative than a full-service outsourcing firm.

This HR software was built for small businesses. It has everything you need to streamline your HR tasks and administration.

Some of the top HR features available on Zenefits include:

  • Creating compensation packages and sending them to new hires
  • Self onboarding for new employees
  • Employee management tools
  • PTO policies and managing time off requests
  • Intelligence reports for your workforce
  • Mobile accessibility (for administration and employees)

Zenefits has dozens of integrations already built into the system. The platform also has options for payroll, employee benefits, employee scheduling, and time tracking.

Most HR outsourcing services require you to get a custom quote from the provider. But Zenefits’ pricing is straightforward and available on the website. Here’s a quick overview of the plans and pricing for Zenefits:

Essentials — $8 per month per employee

  • All core HR features
  • Employee time and scheduling tools
  • Integrations (G Suite, Slack, Salesforce, etc.)
  • Zenefits mobile app

Growth — $14 per month per employee

  • All Essentials features
  • Compensation management tools
  • Performance management

Essentials — $21 per month per employee

  • All Growth features
  • Track and measure employee well-being
  • Personalized tools, tips, and training advice
  • Relevant well-being content automatically triggered based on employee actions

All of these rates are based on an annual plan. Zenefits does offer month-to-month rates for about 30% more per month. In addition to the base plans, you can add-on the following features to your Zenefits subscription:

  • Payroll — $6 per month per employee
  • Advisory services — $8 per month per employee
  • Benefits administration (with your own broker) — $5 per month per employee

If your small business needs to improve the way you handle HR tasks but don’t have the funds to completely outsource the service, Zenefits is the perfect solution for you.

Engage PEO

Full service PEO provider
Manage complex HR legal needs
Every consultant is an attorney
Get a Free Quote

As the name clearly implies, Engage PEO is a full-service professional employer organization. This company provides a PEO experience that always aims to put the client’s needs first with its innovative business model.

Founded in 2011, Engage PEO quickly became one of the fastest-growing private companies in the country. They are licensed and serving businesses in all 50 states.

What makes Engage PEO so unique as an HR services provider? It’s the people.

Every member of their HR consulting team is an attorney. These legal professionals have significant experience with labor and employment law.

For those of you with complex HR legal needs for industries with strict compliance, Engage PEO will be a top choice for you to consider. Here’s a quick overview of some of the top outsourced HR functions offered by this provider:

  • Employee policies
  • Employee handbook
  • EEO, ADA, and FMLA compliance
  • State and US Department of Labor and Hour compliance
  • Administration of unemployment claims
  • Hiring and recruitment assistance
  • Background check and drug screening
  • Employment practices liability insurance
  • Employee training

As a PEO provider, Engage PEO also offers payroll and tax administration, workers’ compensation, risk management, employee benefits, and integrated technology solutions.

TriNet

Full-service HR solution
Flexible plans and services
Comprehensive HR platform
Get a Free Quote

TriNet is another full-service HR outsourcing solution. They provide flexible plans and services to meet the needs of all businesses, regardless of size.

This provider has experience working with businesses in a wide range of industries, including:

  • Retail
  • Financial services
  • Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Manufacturing
  • Nonprofits
  • Wholesale
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Technology
  • Consulting
  • Life sciences

TriNet’s services will give you more time to focus on your business. These industry-specific solutions will help you attract and retain top-level talent.

The HR outsourcing services consist of HR consulting, benefit options, payroll services, and risk mitigation. You’ll also benefit from TriNet’s comprehensive HR platform. This technology contains tools for employee self-service and mobile access.

TriNet works with some of the best insurance carriers on the market today. You can give your employees medical, dental, vision, life, retirement, and disability coverage.

Some of TriNet’s top carriers include MetLife, Kaiser Permanente, Transamerica, Aetna, Aflac, MassMutual, and UnitedHealth Group.

G&A Partners

In business for 20+ years
Two different plan options
Best for niche industries
Get a Free Quote

G&A Partners has been providing professional services to businesses for more than 20 years. They offer full-service HR outsourcing for things like payroll, benefits, compliance, workplace safety, performance management, and recruitment.

There are two different ways that your company can work with G&A Partners.

You can allow them to act as the employer of record with a PEO (professional employer organization) plan. Alternatively, you can pick and choose the services you need with their ASO (administrative services organization) options.

Think of it like this. The first choice is full-service, and the second is á la carte.

For those of you who already have an in-house HR department with the infrastructure in place, the ASO model will likely be a better option for you. If not, I’d recommend the PEO services.

In addition to human resources, G&A Partners offers payroll services, benefits packages, and HR technology.

This provider isn’t for everyone. Common industries served by G&A Partners include:

  • Nonprofits
  • Health care
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional services
  • Franchises

One unique standout of G&A Partners is its employee development services. This HR function includes candidate sourcing, job description, job postings, resume screening, and pre-hire assessments.

Once an employee is hired, this outsourced firm will handle onboarding, benefits enrollment, and performance management as well.

Tandem HR

Fully customized plans
Easy to scale
Wide range of services
Geta Free Quote

Tandem HR offers a wide range of human resources solutions for small businesses. This provider has the tools and expertise to help small businesses as they scale.

If your business is growing rapidly and you need an outsourced HR firm to grow with you, Tandem HR will be a top choice for you to consider.

I like Tandem HR because they do not believe in cookie-cutter solutions. Every business gets a fully customized plan based on its needs. As a full-service PEO provider, Tandem HR has tools and solutions for:

  • Payroll
  • Human resources
  • Benefits
  • Risk management
  • Technology

Most small businesses don’t have much of an HR infrastructure in place. Tandem HR can help you set that up and manage the entire department. As your organization grows, Tandem HR will grow with you.

These custom HR solutions will help you save time, save money, boost employee productivity, retain talent, and remain compliant at the state and federal level.

How to Choose the Best HR Outsourcing Service For Your Business

Every business has unique needs. That’s why choosing the right HR outsourcing service for your company is so important. With so many options at your disposal, how can you possibly know which one is the best?

This is the methodology that we use here at Quick Sprout. You can use it as well to help narrow down your choices.

Business Size

Outsourcing firms typically have experience working with certain types of businesses.

If you’re a small business owner with no HR infrastructure, you want to choose a service that has experience building from the ground up with smaller organizations.

Large companies might not need that type of assistance. Instead, a larger business might just need a certain role or task outsourced.

Services

Nearly every HR outsourcing firm has similar services. They might vary slightly from company to company.

Some of the companies on our list are PEO providers. Those options offer services that go beyond basic HR responsibilities. So if you need additional assistance with those types of tasks, a full-service PEO provider will be a top option for you.

Technology

Look for an HR outsourcing service that has the tools and technology to streamline your HR processes. Mobile apps and employee self-service tools should be standard.

Alternatively, you could consider using platforms like Zenefits. If you don’t have the funds to hire an outsourced HR service, this platform provides software to improve your HR tasks.

Specialty

Does your business need something specific?

For example, maybe you own a company in an industry with strict labor compliance laws. In a situation like this, you’d benefit from an outsourced HR service like Engage PEO. They have attorneys that specialize in employment law.

Or maybe you need an HR service that can improve your payroll process. Paychex would be the best option if you fall into this category.

Whatever unique circumstances your business might have, there is usually a human resource outsourcing service that specializes in it.

Conclusion

What’s the best human resources outsourcing service? Here’s a recap of the top options reviewed in this guide:

  • ADP — Best HR outsourcing service for benefits administration.
  • Paychex — Best HR outsourcing service for payroll.
  • Insperity — Best HR outsourcing service for mid-market companies.
  • Zenefits — Best HR software for small businesses.
  • Engage PEO — Best HR outsourcing service for legal compliance.
  • TriNet — Most flexible HR outsourcing solutions.
  • G&A Partners — Best HR outsourcing for employee onboarding and development.
  • Tandem HR — Best HR outsourcing service for growing small businesses.

From payroll assistance to benefits administration and HR software, there’s an option for every business of all shapes and sizes on this list.

The Best Commercial Cleaning Services

Cleaning and sanitizing a business requires a lot more work than simply straightening up around the house. Whether you run a small retail store or a company with hundreds of employees, you need a professional cleaning service that has the staff, resources, and materials to handle a big job.

In other words, you need a commercial cleaner. While most of them operate nationwide, it’s common for them to franchise. Much like the chain fast food restaurants in your neighborhood look and feel like every other location around the country, they’re owned by a local person who follows corporate rules and regulations.

So how do you find a good commercial cleaning service? Fortunately, there are plenty to choose from. Even better, most have been in business for decades. These big national cleaners can handle everything from vacuuming your company’s carpets to sanitizing surfaces after a viral outbreak.

The 10 Best Commercial Cleaning Services

Commercial cleaners can tackle just about any cleaning task you have in mind. Most of the big names can even deliver medical-grade cleaning services, which requires certain protocols and products to remove bloodborne pathogens and microorganisms.

1. Anago Cleaning Systems

Customized pricing
Advanced cleaning methods
Total satisfaction guarantee
Get a Free Quote

In business since 1989, Anago Cleaning Systems services just about every industry you can think of. Their site touts their experience in education, government, manufacturing, health care, hospitality, worship facilities, and property management. Basically, they do it all. They also offer cleaning services 24/7, which is ideal if you don’t want your customers or employees sidestepping cleaners during the day.

Every franchise in Anago’s network gives its customers a Total Satisfaction Guarantee, which means an Anago cleaning team will show up at your site within two hours if you call with any concerns after their initial visit. This is great for those times when you notice the cleaners missed a spot on the carpet or neglected to take care of some overflowing trash.

Headquartered in Florida, Anago has over 1,700 locations. Most locations are located in the United States, but the company also has a handful of franchises in Canada.

2. Bonus Building Care 

Customized pricing
Superior scheduled cleaning
Quick, courteous and convenient
Get a Free Quote

Bonus Building Care is a smaller national cleaner compared to others on the list, but it has a good reputation online. It also has an impressive pedigree, having been founded in 1997 by Arleen Cavanaugh, one half of the husband and wife team who started commercial cleaning behemoth Jani-King. Using her experience and background in the commercial cleaning space, Arleen started Bonus Building Care after the couple’s divorce.

Headquartered in Oklahoma, the majority of Bonus’s franchisees are located in the south. Bonus also offers totally green cleaning through its BoGreen program, which uses plant-based cleaners rather than harsh chemicals.

3. Buildingstars

Customized pricing
Commercial & medical
Comprehensive cleaning
Get a Free Quote

Buildingstars was founded in 1994, and it breaks its commercial cleaning services down to five industries: health care, offices, financial, industrial, and educational. The company has four primary headquarter locations in Arizona, Missouri, Florida, and Illinois. It has around 800 franchisees spread across the United States.

As part of its routine office cleaning program, Buildingstars disinfects “common touch” areas like door handles, elevator buttons, vending machines, and water coolers. It also provides hand sanitizer stations to cut down on viral transmissions (since, as the Buildingstars website points out, 15 percent of men and 7 percent of women don’t wash their hands).

Buildingstars’ comprehensive cleaning service offers nightly cleaning, floor care, window washing, and carpet cleaning.

4. CleanNet USA

Customized pricing
Flexible to fit your schedule
Specialized cleaning services
Get a Free Quote

According to CleanNet USA, the company cleans over 160 million square feet of commercial space each day. The company got its start in 1987 and now operates about 1,700 franchises throughout the country.

CleanNet USA also oversees its franchisees by using proprietary quality control software that lets corporate keep track of maintenance standards. If needed, the company can step in and provide remedial training if a particular franchise is failing to meet CleanNet standards.

Businesses that use CleanNet can also track their cleaning services through the company’s mobile app. The company is headquartered in Virginia and also pairs with local licensed contractors to offer pest control, painting, and handyman services.

5. Coverall

Customized pricing
Advanced disinfecting
Preventative maintenance
Get a Free Quote

Founded in 1985, Coverall has over 8,000 franchises in the United States. The company’s focus is on medical facility cleaning, and it services over 14,000 health providers. This makes it a good choice for doctor’s offices, hospitals, dental clinics, dialysis centers, and veterinarian offices.

However, Coverall also operates in a wide variety of other industries, including business offices, schools, industrial, retail, and fitness centers. The company uses hospital-grade disinfectants, no-dip flat mops, HEPA vacuums, and microfiber cleaning cloths.

Unlike a lot of commercial cleaning services, Coverall offers a cost estimate on its website. While you’ll still need to get a quote to determine exactly how much you’ll pay, Coverall says that basic service for a small office a couple times a week ranges between $170 and $250 per month, with service for larger facilities spanning anywhere from $800 to thousands per month.

6. JAN-PRO

Customized pricing
Detailed & accountable
EnviroShield® disinfection
Get a Free Quote

JAN-PRO got its start in Rhode Island in 1991. Today, it has over 8,000 franchises in the United States. Its main service offering is its EnviroShield® disinfection process, which adheres to the same cleaning requirements used to sanitize hospital operating rooms. JAN-PRO cleaners also use color coded microfiber cloths to avoid cross-contamination from one cleaning area to another.

Founded by a military veteran, the company also features a special program designed to make it easier for veterans to open a franchise. JAN-PRO also gives all its franchisees five weeks of rigorous training in the company’s procedures and protocols.

JAN-PRO also offers a satisfaction guarantee. If a customer is unhappy with a cleaning, the next standard cleaning service is free.

7. Jani-King

Customized pricing
Services most business types
Consistent, quality cleaning
Get a Free Quote

Jani-King bills itself as the “world’s largest commercial cleaning franchise company” and it has the numbers to back this up. The company operates 120 support offices in 10 countries and maintains a global network of 9,000 franchisees.

Jani-King handles just about every industry out there, including office buildings, retail, sports venues, hotels, health care, restaurants, college campuses, and manufacturing facilities.

The company is also one of the oldest commercial cleaning services on the list, having been founded in 1968. Jani-King offers a number of video reviews from big name clients on its website. Reviewers include the House of Blues, Methodist Hospital for Surgery, Marriott Hotels, and Coca-Cola.

8. ServiceMaster Clean

Customized pricing
Specialty cleaning services
Project based options
Get a Free Quote

ServiceMaster Clean has been in business since 1929, when it started out as a moth-proofing company. It switched to commercial cleaning in 1952 and has grown to become one of the largest commercial cleaning services in the country, with over 8,000 company-owned and franchise locations.

ServiceMaster Clean also has several well-known brands under its corporate mantle, including Merry Maids and Terminix. One of the company’s mottos is “any building, any industry, we can clean it.” Indeed, ServiceMaster Clean counts every industry from banks and hospitals to schools and retail stores among its customers.

9. Steamatic

Customized pricing
Disaster recovery service
Leader in commercial cleaning
Get a Free Quote

Steamatic is a bit different from the other commercial cleaning services on the list in that it offers disaster recovery services in addition to commercial cleaning. The company handles restoration and recovery cleaning following fire, mold damage, flooding, and wind damage from hurricanes and tornadoes.

The company also offers customers the option of bringing a Steamatic crew on site or shipping damaged items to a Steamatic location for cleaning.

If a customer chooses the “pack-out” option, Steamatic can handle the inventory, packing, transportation, and property storage. This can work well for things like document recovery, dehumidification, and art restoration, which are all services offered by Steamatic.

Steamatic was founded in Texas in 1948 and began franchising under the Steamatic, Inc. name in 1967.

10. Vanguard Cleaning Systems

Customized pricing
Tailored to meet your needs
Advanced janitorial equipment
Get a Free Quote

Vanguard Cleaning Systems was founded in 1984. Today, it has over 3,000 franchisees around the United States and Canada. It also offers janitorial services, which can be convenient for a business looking to hire one company to handle both commercial cleaning and janitorial duties.

According to Vanguard, it operates over 18,000 commercial cleaning accounts. While Vanguard has earned a number of awards for its franchising opportunities, its site doesn’t list any cleaning or eco-friendly cleaning certifications.

How to Choose the Best Commercial Cleaning Service for You

Commercial cleaning can be a pricey addition to your business’s budget, so you want to make sure you get the most value for your investment.

And that’s exactly how you should view commercial cleaning services: as an investment. Ideally, you want to find a cleaner you can work with over the long haul. That way, you’re not constantly getting quotes and dealing with a revolving door of cleaning crews.

So what should you look for in a commercial cleaning service? What kinds of criteria should you use to measure the various companies side by side? Here are five tips for picking a cleaner that will keep your business sanitized and healthy for your employees and customers.

1.  Experience

Look for a commercial cleaner that’s both reliable and knows your business. This means you want to look for a company that’s been around for at least several years. Fortunately, the majority of national cleaning companies have decades of experience under their belts, so this shouldn’t be an issue.

However, also make sure the cleaning service has experience handling your type of business. Some commercial cleaners are known for their excellent work in a medical setting. While they might be perfectly capable of cleaning your 10-person office, do you really need that level of cleaning? Furthermore, are you prepared to pay for it?

In this case, you’re probably just fine going with a cleaning service that focuses on retail stores or office buildings.

2. Availability and Flexibility

What kind of hours is the cleaning service willing to work? Does it charge more if you request a nighttime cleaning?

The reality is that most businesses don’t want a cleaning crew coming through in the middle of the workday. Not only is this disruptive to employees, but it can be a major turn off and inconvenience for customers.

A good commercial cleaning service will accommodate your schedule rather than trying to strongarm you into working around theirs.

The majority of national commercial cleaners state explicitly that they offer nighttime cleaning as a standard service.

3. Scope of Services

When you hire a commercial cleaner, you’ll often save money by combining two or more services. For example, many commercial cleaning companies offer janitorial services as well as cleaning. It’s also common to see cleaners provide regular maintenance cleaning along with more in-depth cleaning on a quarterly or semiannual basis.

Think about the cleaning tasks your office needs and what makes your facility unique. Do you have industrial work areas that gather a lot of dust or debris? Or maybe your office building features dozens of windows that require regular cleaning. These are all considerations you should take into account when looking for a commercial cleaner.

4. Supplies and Equipment

If you’ve ever hired a residential cleaner, you might have encountered a service that required you to supply the cleaning products and equipment. This isn’t something you want in a commercial setting. For one thing, the cleaners required to achieve a deep clean or a hospital-grade sanitation usually need to be stored in specific temperatures and under certain conditions.

Also, most business owners don’t have time to source a large volume of cleaning supplies and equipment, price it out, and manage the inventory needed for an entire office building or business with multiple locations.

A good commercial cleaning service will have its own cleaning products and equipment, and its workers will be trained on their proper use.

Additionally, many commercial cleaning services offer green or eco-friendly cleaning services that use plant-based cleaning solutions. If this is important to you and your business, ask a commercial cleaner what kind of products it uses, if it carries any environmental certifications, and if it’s willing to provide you with a list of ingredients in its products.

5. Trustworthiness

Most commercial cleaning services do their work at night. This means they’ll need to work inside your building when employees are absent and the office is closed to the public. You want to make sure you contract with a commercial cleaner that employs reliable and trustworthy professionals.

If your business handles sensitive records, such as patient information or customers’ financial account data, you need to know you’re working with cleaners who will take appropriate steps to protect records and documents.

You should also verify that the commercial cleaning service is insured. That way, you’re not responsible for any injuries a cleaner suffers while working on your property.

Conclusion

Life gets messy, whether you’re at work or at home. In a business setting, foot traffic and product production can create industrial size messes. Fortunately, commercial cleaning services have the manpower and resources to tackle even the biggest jobs. If you do your homework and take time to get a few quotes, you can find a commercial cleaning service that eases the burden of keeping your business in top shape.

Best CRM Software

Customers are the lifeblood of any business. That’s why customer relationship management (CRM) tools have become so popular.

CRM software improves sales log communication, lead management, and even helps with marketing campaigns.

Historically, CRM software was only used by large businesses and enterprises. But today, CRM has evolved to fit the needs of all organizations, regardless of size or industry.

Finding the right CRM platform for your business can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for. That’s what inspired me to create this guide.

The 7 Best CRM Software Solutions of 2020

After researching and testing dozens of different CRM software, I’ve determined that these are the top seven options on the market today:

We’ll take a closer look at the features, benefits, and pricing of each software in the reviews below. Use this guide to help you find the best CRM software for your business.

Best CRM Software Reviews

HubSpot

100% Free CRM software
Contact & task management
Email tracking & scheduling
Document sharing & live chat
Get HubSpot for Free

HubSpot is another well-recognized name in the business world. Their blog is one of the best resources for content related to sales, marketing, and services.

HubSpot is unique because they offer free CRM software. They also have CRM for multiple roles within an organization, like:

  • CRM for sales leaders
  • CRM for salespeople
  • CRM for business owners
  • CRM for operations managers
  • CRM for customer service representatives
  • CRM for marketers

Some CRM providers offer a free trial or free plan with basic features. But HubSpot’s goes above and beyond what you’d normally get for free.

These are some of the top features for the free sales CRM:

  • Contact management
  • Deal management
  • Task management
  • Email tracking and notifications
  • Email templates and scheduling
  • Document sharing
  • Meeting scheduling
  • Email integration (Gmail and Outlook)
  • Live chat

As for the paid software, prices vary based on the type of CRM you’re looking for and the number of contacts you have.

The Marketing CRM, Sales CRM, and Service CRM all have plans starting at $50 per month. Enterprise plans for Service and Sales start at $1,200 per month, and the Marketing Enterprise begins at $3,200 per month.

For those of you who want CRM solutions for multiple departments and uses, you can buy a bundle from HubSpot as well. Growth Suites (include Sales, Marketing, Service) starts at $112.50 per month.

You can also create your own bundle based on the specific tools that you’re looking for.

Zoho CRM

Plans start at $18/month
Convert more leads
Engage with customers
Custom reporting dashboards
Try Zoho for Free

Zoho is a global leader in business SaaS. More than 50 million users across the world use their solutions. In fact, Zoho Books made our list of the best business accounting software, and Zoho Inventory is on our list of the best inventory management software.

Above all, Zoho CRM is arguably the best solution offered by this provider. It’s used by 150,000+ businesses in 180+ countries.

You can use Zoho CRM to convert leads, engage with customers, and grow your company’s revenue.

Big brands like Bose, Netflix, Amazon, Ducati, and Suzuki all use Zoho CRM for customer relationship management.

Here’s a brief overview of the plans and pricing for Zoho CRM:

Standard — $18 per user per month

  • Scoring rules
  • Email insights
  • Workflow conversion
  • Web forms
  • Unique and custom fields
  • Custom reporting and customized dashboards
  • Groups and tagging
  • 100,000 records

Professional — $30 per user per month

  • Real-time notifications
  • Process management
  • Email integration across multiple devices
  • Web-to-case forms
  • Inventory management
  • Google Ads integration
  • Validation rules
  • 2.5 million records

Enterprise — $45 per user per month

  • On-demand sales analytics
  • Pipeline view for emails
  • Customize your visual CRM record display
  • Built-in analytics
  • Multi-user portals
  • Custom buttons and modules
  • Mobile SDK and app
  • Territory management
  • 5 million records

All of the prices are for month-to-month plans. You can save 20% with an annual contract.

Zoho offers an Ultimate plan that’s only available yearly. It has features like advanced customization, enhanced storage, email sentiment, and automation suggestions. But you’ll need to contact the Zoho sales team for a custom quote.

Additionally, there’s a free version of Zoho CRM—although it’s extremely limited and only realistic for a small home-based business.

Salesforce

Plans start at $25/month
Productivity tools
Advisory services
Detailed analytics
Get a Free Quote

With more than 150,000 businesses using Salesforce CRM, this is another one of the most popular customer relationship management solutions on the market today.

Salesforce has an extensive suite of CRM products for you to choose from. They offer solutions based on business type, role, need, and industry. Examples include:

  • Small business
  • Service
  • Sales
  • Sales and service
  • Marketing
  • Commerce

Salesforce offers advisory services, success plans, productivity tools, integrations, and detailed analytics. It’s one of the most extensive CRM product offerings that you’ll find on the market today.

For the purpose of this review, I’m going to focus on the Sales CRM from Salesforce. In my opinion, this is the best one that they offer. Here’s an overview of the Sales plans:

Essentials — $25 per user per month

  • All-in-one sales and support
  • Account management
  • Lead management
  • Contact management
  • Opportunity management
  • Email integration
  • Salesforce mobile app

Professional — $75 per user per month

  • All Essentials features
  • Best for teams of all sizes
  • Lead registration
  • Lead scoring
  • Collaborative forecasting

Enterprise — $150 per user per month

  • Customizable CRM
  • All Professional features
  • Workflow automation
  • Approval automation

Unlimited — $300 per user per month

  • Best power and support of all plans
  • For large businesses
  • All Enterprise features
  • 24/7 support and configuration services

Even the Essentials and Professional plans will be more than enough for most businesses. You can try Salesforce for free with a 30-day trial.

Freshsales

Plans start at $19/month
Visual sales pipeline
Lead and deal management
SMS integration
Try Freshsales for Free

As the name implies, Freshsales is a CRM software that’s designed for sales teams.

It’s not quite as popular as some of the other solutions on our list. But Freshsales CRM is still used by more than 15,000 businesses. A couple of recognizable brands include Best Western and Dyson.

Freshsales will help your team find and manage the best sales leads. You’ll be able to have relevant conversations with prospects and improve your sales pipeline.

Let’s take a closer look at the prices and top features associated with each Freshsales subscription plan:

Blossom — $19 per month per user ($12 with annual contract)

  • Lead, account, contact, and deal management
  • Visual sales pipeline
  • Lead scoring
  • SMS integration
  • Access to marketplace apps
  • API access

Garden — $35 per month per user ($25 with annual contract)

  • 1,000 free contacts
  • 250 bulk emails per user per day
  • 5 sales sequences per user
  • 10 teams
  • 10 workflow automations
  • Lead assignments and territories
  • Advanced reports

Estate — $65 per month per user ($49 with annual contract)

  • Advanced CRM customization
  • Auto profile enrichment (with social media information)
  • Reporting dashboard
  • Event tracking
  • Multi-currency support
  • Sales goals

Forest — $79 per month (billed annually)

  • EEA data center
  • IP whitelisting
  • Audit logs
  • Dedicated account manager

You can try out any of these plans for free with a 21-day trial. Freshsales also has a free forever startup plan with basic features.

I like Freshsales because it’s affordable and perfect for a growing sales team. You can easily upgrade to a higher tier as your company grows.

Insightly

Plans start at $29/month
Send, track, & manage emails
Workflow automation
Customize dashboards
Try Insightly for Free

More than 25,000 companies use Insightly for CRM software. This includes big names like Bosch, AT&T, and Bloomberg.

Insightly is a bit unique compared to some of the other options we’ve reviewed so far. In addition to sales and marketing, Insightly CRM puts a strong focus on project management. You’ll get all of these feature sets in a single solution.

Some of the benefits of Insightly CRM include:

  • Dataset management
  • Create and deploy custom apps
  • Customize dashboards for metric tracking
  • Lead routing
  • Workflow automation
  • Send, track, and manage emails
  • Relationship linking

Insightly has an exceptional mobile app that allows you to work from anywhere. You can scan business cards, update your tasks in real-time, and create new opportunities on-site at a client’s location.

Popular tools like G Suite, Gmail, QuickBooks, Google Drive, Mail Chimp, Slack, and Dropbox all integrate with Insightly.

All Insightly CRM plans are billed on an annual basis. Here’s a look at those rates:

  • Plus — $29 per user per month
  • Professional — $49 per user per month
  • Enterprise —  $99 per user per month

You can request a demo and try it out for free. Insightly has a free forever plan with basic features for two users.

Apptivo

Plans start at $0/month
Combines multiple apps into a single solution
Integrates with G-Suite and Office
Try Apptivo for Free

Apptivo is another top choice for CRM software. It’s used by 200,000+ organizations in roughly 200 countries. The Apptivo CRM is unique because it combines multiple apps into a single solution.

In addition to CRM, Apptivo also offers:

  • Online invoicing
  • Web help desk
  • Project management
  • Expense reports
  • Field service tools
  • Email marketing
  • Procurement for supply chain management

So for those of you who are in the market for these additional services, you can manage everything in the same place with Apptivo CRM. This is much simpler than juggling multiple apps for different uses.

The CRM apps for Apptivo fall into the following categories:

  • Contracts
  • Sales planning
  • Territory management
  • Competitors
  • Work orders
  • Customers
  • Contacts
  • Opportunities
  • Cases
  • Leads

Apptivo integrates tools like Slack, Office 365, G Suite, and more.

Here’s a brief overview of the plans and prices for Apptivo CRM:

Starter — $0

  • Up to 3 users
  • 500 MB
  • Basic contact sharing
  • Standard reports
  • Standard support

Premium — $10 per month per user ($8 with annual contract)

  • 3 GB per user
  • 1,000 mass emails per user
  • 2,000 API calls
  • Standard support

Ultimate — $25 per month ($20 with annual contract)

  • 10 GB per user
  • 3,000 emails per user
  • 20,000 API calls
  • Priority support

Enterprise — Custom pricing

  • 5,000 emails per user
  • White labeling
  • Custom integrations
  • SLA support and dedicated account manager

You can save 20% if you sign up for yearly billing instead of month-to-month.

Apptivo is commonly used for businesses in real estate, travel and hospitality, retail, wholesale, manufacturing, utilities, and energy industries.

Pipedrive

Plans start at $17/month
Lead & deal management
Communication tracking
Deep insights and reports
Try Pipedrive for Free

Pipedrive CRM is designed to simplify your sales process.

More than 90,000 businesses use Pipedrive CRM. It’s a straightforward platform that’s easy for anyone to figure out.

This CRM was created to generate more leads and sort your sales in a single location. It helps eliminate administrative tasks that are unproductive. It’s designed to drive more sales with less legwork on your end.

Some of the top features and benefits of Pipedrive CRM include:

  • Lead management
  • Deal management
  • Communication tracking
  • Automation
  • Deep insights and reports
  • Privacy and security for business data
  • Mobile app access
  • 150+ third-party integrations

More than $24 billion in sales have been closed using Pipedrive. On average, businesses increase their close rate by 28% after the first year using this CRM.

These are the plans and prices for Pipedrive CRM:

Essential — $17 per month per user ($12.50 with annual contract)

  • Custom pipelines
  • Custom fields
  • AI sales assistance
  • User and company goal setting
  • Custom dashboard

Advanced — $31 per month per user ($24.90 with annual contract)

  • Sales task automation
  • Email integration
  • Email templates and email automation
  • Products catalog

Professional — $59 per month per user ($49.50 with annual contract)

  • Call tracking
  • Click-to-call
  • Unlimited meeting scheduling
  • Batch emails
  • Team management
  • Multi-dashboard support
  • Revenue forecasts
  • Custom user and admin permissions

Essential — $99 per month per user (billed annually)

  • Minimum 10 users
  • Dedicated account manager
  • Phone support
  • Data import
  • Enhanced security
  • Additional user permissions for full control

Pipedrive also has a “Leadbooster” add-on for $39 per month ($32.50 with annual contract). This tool is billed per company, not per user. It’s designed to turn more web visitors into leads. Leadbooster is basically a chatbot. It engages with customers with instant responses and makes it easy for them to schedule a meeting.

Try Pipedrive CRM free with a 14-day trial.

How to Choose the CRM Software For Your Business

CRM software can be a complicated subject. With so many options to choose from, finding the best solution for your business might be overwhelming.

This is the methodology that we recommend here at Quick Sprout to help narrow your search. I’ll explain each element in greater detail so you can make a decision based on your needs.

Team Size

The size of your business and team will have a significant impact on the CRM you choose. Some solutions are better for small businesses, while other options specialize in enterprise software.

You can even find CRM tools for small teams of just one or two people.

Capabilities

Customer relationship management software is so diverse. It’s such a broad term, and it’s used across multiple departments and for various reasons.

Common CRM categories include:

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Project management

There are even other solutions for things like customer service. Some companies offer all CRM capabilities into a single platform. Others specialize in one category over another.

There are CRM solutions offered as an all-in-one solution. But other times, you’ll have to buy the software separately or bundle it into a single package.

Integrations

You should look for CRM software that integrates with popular tools that you’re already using. This will allow you and your team to manage everything from a single dashboard.

If you constantly have to bounce back and forth between multiple platforms to manage your leads and customers, it defeats the purpose of using CRM to streamline your process.

Price

As always, price will be a significant factor in which CRM you choose.

In most cases, pricing is based on the number of users you have. Depending on the platform, pricing can also be based on the number of contacts or storage you’ll need as well.

Make sure to find something in your price range. The pricing for CRM software ranges from $0 to $300+ per user.

Conclusion

What’s the best CRM software? The answer varies depending on your business type and what you’re looking for. Here’s a quick recap of the top seven options on our list:

  • HubSpot — Best free CRM and product bundles for sales, service, and marketing.
  • Zoho CRM — Best overall CRM software.
  • Salesforce — Best sales CRM for large businesses and enterprises.
  • Freshsales — Best CRM for growing sales teams.
  • Insightly — Best CRM software for project management.
  • Apptivo — Best CRM for managing multiple apps in a single platform.
  • Pipedrive — Best CRM to improve sales productivity and efficiency.

From startups to enterprises, and sales to marketing and project management, I’m confident that you can find the best CRM software for your company on this list.

Best Time and Attendance Systems

The days of employees needing to punch a time card or paper attendance sheet are long behind us. Like most business functions, modern time tracking and attendance systems have gone digital.

Accurately tracking employee hours is crucial for every business, both large and small.

Inaccurate and outdated processes could cost your company tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. So if you need an updated time system, you’ve come to the right place.

The best time and attendance systems are simple to implement and manage. Your employees will always be compensated appropriately for their work while eliminating bottlenecks in payroll.

In fact, it’s common for the best time and attendance software to integrate popular online payroll services.

No matter what type of business you have or what industry you’re in, this guide will help you find the best time tracking and attendance system for your company.

The 6 Best Time and Attendance Systems of 2020

There are dozens of time tracking and attendance systems on the market today. Some are good, while others are not so great. But these six systems stand out above the rest:

  • TSheets — Best time and attendance system for remote workers and QuickBooks integration.
  • TimeClock Plus — Best for large businesses and secured access control.
  • Stratustime — Best cloud-based time and attendance software for small businesses.
  • Kronos — Workforce ready product suites for small to mid-sized businesses.
  • uAttend — Best time and attendance system for very small businesses.
  • iSolved Time — Best time and attendance system for growing businesses.

I’ll give you an in-depth review of each option below. We’ll discuss the top features, benefits, costs, and other considerations to give you the information needed to make a decision.

Best Time and Attendance Systems Reviews

TSheets

Plans start at $28/month
Time tracking on any device
Employee scheduling
QuickBooks integration
Try TSheets for Free

TSheets ranked high on our list of the best employee scheduling software. So it’s no surprise to see them at the top of this guide.

As a QuickBooks company, TSheets is a name many of you might be familiar with if you’re currently using another QuickBooks product.

With TSheets, your employees can clock-in from anywhere using the mobile timesheet app. The app will track time even if Wifi and cell service is unavailable.

You can leverage geofencing technology to draw a virtual radius around your business or job site. This feature will ensure that employees are actually where they’re supposed to be while on the clock.

As I’ve already alluded to, the employee scheduling features are exceptional as well. This is an added bonus that comes standard with your time and attendance system.

For those of you who want a more traditional time clock system, where your staff and clock in and clock out on the same device, you can use the TSheets Clock Kiosk. The kiosk works on any tablet or computer with a connection to the Internet.

Each employee will be assigned a unique four-digit PIN. The system also has a biometric facial recognition tool to prevent the “buddy punching” system.

Here’s a quick comparison of the two plans and pricing options for TSheets:

Premium — $20 base fee + $8 per user per month

  • Time tracking on any device
  • Mobile app with GPS capability
  • Payroll and invoicing
  • QuickBooks integration
  • Employee scheduling
  • Real-time reporting
  • Time clock kiosk (including facial recognition)

Elite — $40 base fee + $10 per user per month

  • All Premium features
  • Timesheet signatures
  • Geofencing
  • Project activity feed and estimates
  • Track project progress

Both plans are available for a 14-day trial for any business that wants to test them out.

I’d recommend TSheets to any business that wants to a time and attendance system to simplify their payroll process. TSheets integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks, Gusto, Square, Expensify, Xero, and other popular solutions.

TimeClock Plus

Customized pricing
Wide range of time clocks
Fully customizable
Top of the line equipment
Get a Free Quote

As the name implies, TimeClock Plus specializes in time clocks. The company uses top of the line hardware to eliminate old fashioned and outdated equipment.

Depending on your business type, TimeClock Plus has a wide range of time clocks for you to consider:

  • Barcode clocks — Employees scan their badges to clock in and out
  • Biometric clocks — Fingerprint scanners and hand scanners
  • Magnetic swipe clocks — Can be used with pre-existing magstripe cards
  • PIN entry clocks — Employees clock in and out using their unique PINs
  • Proximity clocks — To ensure maximum speed and efficiency
  • Web clock — For online time keeping

In addition to using advanced equipment for tracking time and attendance, TimeClock Plus doubles as a security feature. You’ll have the option to configure select equipment with your door locks to prevent unauthorized access to buildings, rooms, or any other entrance with a locked door.

This type of system is best for larger organizations with complex security needs. Most small business owners won’t need employees to scan a fingerprint to enter rooms throughout the building.

TimeClock Plus systems are fully customizable.

It has built-in absence management tools and integrates with your employee scheduling software as well. Alternatively, you can use the TimeClock Plus workforce scheduling system if you don’t have one already.

TimeClock Plus has more than 30 years of experience providing services to businesses. They provide top of the line equipment for every time and attendance system.

While these time clocks might sound complex, TimeClock Plus makes the process easy for you.

You’ll have a consultation with an advisor to find the best solution for your business. They’ll set up the system for you and even train your supervisors and employees on how to use it.

As a fully-customized solution, there are no prices available online. Although you can expect to pay top dollar for advanced equipment like biometrics that syncs with your security system.

Stratustime

Starts at $4/mo per employee
Access on any device
Works with 60+ payroll systems
Cloud-based and easy to use
Get a Free Quote

Stratustime is a cloud-based time and attendance software from Nettime Solutions. It’s a simple yet intuitive way for employees to clock in, clock out, and request time off.

Your staff will find it easy to use, and your managers and payroll staff will get the same benefits behind the scenes.

Stratustime is flexible. This means that it can grow with your business as you scale and add new employees. It also integrates with 60+ payroll systems to ensure a streamlined process through each HR component.

As a cloud-based system, it can be accessed on any device. From smartphones to a computer in the office, Stratustime is available 24/7.

Some of the top features of Stratustime by Nettime Solutions include:

  • Ability to clock in or clock out from anywhere
  • Intuitive schedule views
  • Hour tracking
  • PTO accruals
  • Time off requests
  • Sick time
  • Simple manager approvals
  • Employee scheduling tools
  • Time forecasting
  • Alerts
  • Geofencing
  • ACA compliance

While the exact prices and plans aren’t available on the website, Stratustime is very affordable. This is another reason why it’s a top choice for small businesses.

Monthly rates start as low as $4 per employee. There are no long term contracts, so you can cancel at any time if you’re unhappy (which probably won’t happen).

Using a cloud-based software like Stratustime means you won’t have any complicated equipment installations or troubleshooting problems. The software lives in the cloud, so it can be up and running in minutes.

Existing businesses using Stratustime have nothing but good things to say about the software. For smaller organizations with one location, multiple locations, and remote employees, Stratustime is an excellent choice for your time and attendance system.

Kronos

Industry-specific solutions
Safe, secure, and reliable
Automation tools
Real-time data & visibility reports
Get a Free Quote

Kronos has one of the most extensive time and attendance systems on the market today for small and medium-sized businesses. They provide industry-specific solutions for a wide range of business needs.

In addition to time and attendance systems, Kronos has workforce management tools, employee scheduling software, absence management, labor activities, and analytics tools.

Common industries that use Kronos for time and attendance management include:

  • Health care
  • Retail
  • Manufacturing
  • Higher education
  • State and government
  • Contract services
  • Banking
  • Police and corrections
  • Distribution

What makes Kronos unique is the way that they provide business solutions. They have several different product suites to accommodate the needs of your organization.

Here’s a quick overview of each solution:

Workforce Dimensions Time Keeping

  • Track and manage employee time and attendance
  • Separate tools for hourly and salaried employees
  • Real-time data and visibility reports
  • Automation tools to eliminate manual admin processes

Workforce Ready Time Keeping

  • Flexible pay rules to track and manage labor costs
  • Manager and employee self-service tools
  • Multiple collection options (including Kronos time clock, web, and mobile app)
  • Enforce attendance policy with tracking tools

Workforce Dimensions Data Collection

  • Use data to power your management
  • Data collection using handheld devices, phone access, badge and biometrics
  • Devices for multiple environments and universal device manager
  • Streamlined data flow

Workforce Ready Data Collection

  • Kronos InTouch time clock (slim and modern time clock hardware)
  • Clock in and out with finger, proximity, or badge swipe
  • Web entry clock in and out
  • Mobile app for remote workers with geographic punch restrictions

As you can see, there’s a product suite for basically anything you can imagine in this space. Some are more complex than others. It all depends on what your business is looking for.

Regardless of the solution you choose, Kronos systems are safe, secure, modern, and reliable. Contact their sales team to request a quote and schedule a consultation.

uAttend

Powerful, reliable, & affordable
Web and mobile app access
Multiple time clock options
Connected to the cloud
Get a Free Quote

uAttend is a simple way to track time and attendance at your business. It’s a powerful, reliable, and affordable alternative to traditional time clocks.

The modern hardware from uAttend is connected to the cloud.

In addition to the equipment provided by uAttend, you’ll also have web access and mobile app access to the system. This is an ideal feature for your remote workforce. You can even set up geofencing functionality to restrict punches to designated locations.

The web dashboard is the perfect way for managers to see everything at a glance. You’ll be able to see who’s working, who missed a punch, and dozens of other reports.

Since this solution is web-based, you won’t have to download any software, and it can be accessed from anywhere. Even if you’re away from the office you’ll know exactly what’s going on with your staff at all times.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the popular time clocks and hardware offered by uAttend:

  • RFID Card LAN Time Clock — $119
  • Fingerprint LAN Time Clock — $149
  • Touch Tablet Wifi Time Clock — $179
  • RFID Card Wifi Time Clock — $219
  • Fingerprint Wifi Time Clock — $249
  • Facial Recognition LAN Time Clock — $259

Depending on your needs, you can get a time clock for somewhere in the $120 to $260 range. This is extremely affordable, even for very small businesses.

In addition to the time clocks, you can purchase RFID cards and key fobs from uAttend as well.

All of the time clocks come with a monthly subscription based on the number of employees you have. The clocks won’t work without a subscription. All of the prices are transparent.

  • 1-9 employees — $20 per month
  • 10-19 employees — $34 per month
  • 20-49 employees — $59 per month
  • 50-99 employees — $94 per month
  • 100+ employees — $119 per month

While uAttend does have plans to accommodate larger organizations, I’d definitely recommend it to those of you who have a smaller operation. It’s an ideal solution for businesses that fall within those first two tiers of up to 19 employees. Beyond that, I’d look elsewhere.

iSolved Time

All-in-one solution
Extremely flexible options
Cloud-based system
Employee scheduling tools
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iSolved Time is another all-in-one solution for time and attendance. It’s a simple way for managers, supervisors, business owners, and employees to manage time tracking.

More than 45,000 businesses and 3+ million employees use iSolved Time for tracking time and attendance in the workplace.

The solutions available from this provider are extremely flexible. They offer physical time clocks, a mobile app for time tracking, employee self-service tools, and a combination of these offerings.

Setting up your new system from iSolved Time is quick and easy. You’ll also have access to a wide range of training options, so you know the ins and outs of the solution.

Like many other choices on our list, iSolved Time is a cloud-based system. You’ll have the option to add physical time clocks on-site, but you can access information from anywhere with an Internet connection 24/7.

Here are some of the top features and benefits of the iSolved Time software:

  • Geofencing capability
  • Employee scheduling tools
  • Ability to accommodate remote employees, multiple worksites and locations
  • Time management tools
  • Choice of time collection methods (virtual clock, physical, mobile app)
  • Sophisticated HR integration

I like iSolved Time because they have the features and capabilities to accommodate any business size. That’s why it’s a top solution for those of you with growing businesses.

As your company scales and you continue to add new employees to your team or multiple locations, iSolved Time has the capacity to grow with you.

How to Choose the Best Time and Attendance System For Your Business

Now that you’ve had a chance to review the best time and attendance systems on the market, it’s time to choose one for your business.

How do you know which one is right for you? Follow our methodology to narrow down your options. I’ll describe the features that you need to look out for while you’re browsing.

Hardware

The very first thing you need to do is determine if you want physical hardware associated with your time and attendance system.

For those of you who are already using punch cards, a modern time clock is a viable replacement. I’d recommend this for businesses where the majority of employees work on-site at the same location. Punching in and out as they enter and exit makes the most sense.

For those of you with smaller teams or lots of remote or mobile workers, hardware won’t be necessary. You can find a time tracking system with a mobile app for managing everything on the go. There are also web-based solutions that don’t require hardware either.

Punch Method

The punch method will obviously depend on if you’re using hardware or not. But there are still variations with or without physical equipment.

For example, mobile app punching can be managed using geofencing technology. Your staff will only be able to clock in if they enter the designed location for a job site.

When it comes to in-person clock-ins and outs, there are time clocks that work with PINs, RFID cards, fingerprints, hand prints, facial recognition, and more.

A small coffee shop probably won’t need facial recognition or other biometrics as the punch method, but a sophisticated business with advanced security needs would benefit from this feature.

Integrations

Your new time and attendance system should do more than just track time. It should integrate with other tools that you’re using to minimize manual administrative tasks.

Look for a solution that integrates with your employee scheduling software or payroll system. Some of the options on our list have these features built-in.

Business Size

A startup team of four and mid-market companies with 200 employees will not have the same time and attendance needs. It’s important to find a solution that works well for the size of your organization.

Lots must be taken into consideration here. Some systems charge you based on the size of your staff. You could even incur additional costs for things like key FOBs and ID cards.

If you currently have a smaller business now, make sure you choose a system that can scale with you as your business grows. That way, you won’t have to switch systems as you hire additional employees or open up new locations.

Conclusion

What’s the best time and attendance system on the market? There are six that stand out above the rest.

  • TSheets — Best time and attendance system for remote workers and QuickBooks integration.
  • TimeClock Plus — Best for large businesses and secured access control.
  • Stratustime — Best cloud-based time and attendance software for small businesses.
  • Kronos — Workforce ready product suites for small to mid-sized businesses.
  • uAttend — Best time and attendance system for very small businesses.
  • iSolved Time — Best time and attendance system for growing businesses.

The best option for you will vary based on your needs and the factors I’ve discussed in this guide. But I’m confident that you can find a solution with the criteria above.

The Best SEO Tools the Pros Really Use in 2020

Want to jump straight to the answer? The best SEO tool for most people is definitely SEMrush.

When I first started using SEO tools and tried to figure out which one was right for me, I was pretty confused.

There are a bunch of tools in the space, they seem to overlap a lot, and there are way too many specialist tools to sort through.

And which one’s have data that I can trust?

After using all these tools for years and years, I’ve come to realize there are only a few choices you need to make.

First, there are three main tools in the market: SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz. Everyone uses one of those three. We’ll get to our recommendations for these down below.

I call them the SEO workhorse — and all three of them qualify as one of the best seo tools. These workhorses carry the bulk of the weight in any SEO program, but you only need one SEO workhorse.

Any serious SEO program absolutely needs a SEO workhorse. The rank tracking, keyword research, and link analysis are all too difficult or time consuming without one. I’ve tried to get away without paying for them; that was a mistake. I could have gained a lot more traffic by using one of these tools from the beginning.

After you pick your main SEO workhorse, I highly recommend you take full advantage of the free tools. Google Analytics and Google Search Console are both world class and I consider them both required tools in day-to-day SEO operations. Plus they’re free.

Beyond that, there are a few specialty tools worth picking up if you’re doing those types of tasks.

Pretty simple all-in-all.

Here’s how your decision process will go:

  • Pick SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Moz as your SEO workhorse.
  • Install a SEO plugin if you’re on WordPress.
  • Add an advanced SEO crawling tool if your site is massive.
  • Add an outreach tool if you’re doing link building.
  • Get the free SEO tools in place: Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

Best SEO Tool Overall: SEMrush

7-day free trial
Link analysis & keyword research
Rank tracking reports
Competitor analysis
Try SEMrush for free

If you’re new to this whole SEO thing, I highly recommend that you go with SEMrush.

Compared to the other “SEO workhorse” tools, it’s by far the easiest to use. Ahrefs definitely has a learning curve and Moz has never clicked with me — I can never understand where to find anything.

SEMrush’s rank tracking reports are also the best in the industry. I check our reports every morning. Within a few minutes, I feel like I’m in complete control of what’s going on. All the other tools spread stuff out all over the place. Or the reports coddle me too much and don’t have enough density. SEMrush has that perfect balance of usability and depth with its reporting. You’ll have everything you need without getting overwhelmed.

SEMrush has all the other essential parts of a SEO workhorse: link analysis, keyword research, and competitive analysis. All of them are more than good enough to hold their own against the other SEO workhorses.

SEMrush Position Tracking

Just for Quick Sprout fans, SEMrush is offering a 7-day free trial, which they don’t normally do. In order to give you full access to their pro plan, they will ask for a credit card before starting the trial.

Best SEO Tool for Advanced Folks: Ahrefs

If you’re more comfortable with all this SEO stuff and want a tool to really flex your skills, go with Ahrefs.

They’re the “new” SEO kid on the block and I have to admit, their tool has a ton of depth to it. Every time I log in, I find a hidden feature or report that makes me giddy.

That’s also the one weakness, I’m still discovering new features I had no idea existed. Ahrefs doesn’t hold your hand at all. For an SEO expert, it’s liberating. The tool is denser than granite. But I’ve watched SEO beginners try to get their heads around it and they really struggle. After poking around a bit, they stop logging in altogether.

Ahrefs Dashboard

Ahrefs is perfect if you know exactly what you want and are determined to get it.

On specific features, I prefer the link analysis in Ahrefs over the other tools. So if you’re planning on doing a lot of link building, it’s worth getting through the learning curve.

Best SEO Plugin for WordPress: Yoast

There are probably thousands of SEO plugins for WordPress.

Only one of them matters: Yoast.

I consider it a required plugin on any WordPress site. It automates a ton of SEO tasks and makes things like meta titles and descriptions super easy to update.

I don’t spend any time on this decision — I install Yoast and move on.

Just use the free version of Yoast; there’s no reason to upgrade.

Check out our full list of recommended SEO WordPress plugins here.

Best SEO Crawling Tool: Screaming Frog SEO Spider

There’s one type of SEO task that the main SEO tools struggle with: crawling and auditing huge sites.

When you have a site with thousands of URLs, there’s just no way to go through the site on your own. And the audit tools in SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz are pretty basic.

For a massive site that needs a huge audit, a dedicated crawling tool makes the task so much more manageable. The entire UI and all the workflows are built around having to manage thousands of pages at once. There’s no extra clicking or back and forth. And the tool automates as much of the process as possible. You’ll instantly find all the broken links, missing meta descriptions, bad redirects, and duplicate content on your site.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider is our preferred site crawler. It’s been around the longest and has site crawling dialed.

You didn’t hear this from me, but since site audits are usually a one-and-done type project, you can sign up for the tool, pay for a few months while doing your site cleanup, then cancel it once you’re done.

The only folks I know who have long-term subscriptions are SEO consultants who do multiple audits every month for clients.

Best Outreach Tool: Pitchbox

I remember the days when you could get away without doing any link building in SEO. That’s how we built the KISSmetrics marketing blog to over 700,000 visitors per month. We just posted a ton of great content over an 8 year period.

Nowadays, that’s not nearly enough. SEO has just gotten too competitive.

My rule is that if I’m not willing to do outreach for link building, I shouldn’t be focusing on SEO for traffic. I should find another strategy to grow my business.

I’ve done a bunch of outreach projects out of Gmail and a Google Sheet. It’s such a pain. Especially when a team is involved. Keeping track of who contacted who, updating last status, remembering to send follow-ups, coordinating and updating templates, it’s all a massive pain that takes up way too much time.

And outreach is painful enough, no reason to make it any harder.

These days, I always use an outreach tool when link building. I don’t even consider the option of skipping it. A good outreach tool automates the majority of the outreach. It’s a game-changer. I used to hate outreach with every fiber of my soul, now I don’t mind it.

Our favorite tool for outreach is Pitchbox. It’ll find contacts for you, automate email follow ups, and keep track of all your outreach contacts. Seriously, use it.

Make Use of Google’s Free Tools

Google Analytics is our favorite website analytics tool. And the search data in Google Search Console is a gold mine. Don’t bother trying to pay for any of the paid analytics tool. Google Analytics gives you more than you’ll ever need and it’s completely free.

We have a guide on how to set up Google Analytics here.

After you get Google Analytics installed, go set up Google Search Console too. It’s completely free and you’ll get access to your data once Google Search Console verifies your Google Analytics account. Other than the authentication to prove that you own the site, there’s nothing else you need to set up for Google Search Console.

Google Search Console is the one and only place to get real keyword data from Google. Every other tool is a best guess. It also records all the errors Google picks up on your site, tells you what’s been indexed on your site, and gives you impression and click-through data on all your keywords. I can’t overhype it enough — use it.

We never work on websites without installing both of them and they’re completely free. Even if they were paid, they’d be worth every penny.