Customer Collaboration Tools: 13 Top Picks for 2024

Elen Udovichenko
February 29, 2024
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Gone are the days of communication through memos or sticky notes. Slacking your colleague or sending a 1-minute Loom to get in sync is a new reality, and — not gonna lie — we're here for it!

Project managers, be it in software engineering, consulting, marketing teams, customer service, or any other field all have a huge number of online tools to make their job easier, more efficient, and fun. Modern team collaboration software offers a range of powerful features, from user permissions to AI-powered meeting notes.

We'll explore some of the must-have as well as nice-to-have capabilities in more detail, along with some of our tried and true client collaboration tools you should consider for your team.

What is client collaboration software (and what isn't)?

In a nutshell, customer collaboration platforms are digital tools that help businesses — mostly customer-facing teams — interact and collaborate with their clients throughout the project. Their main aim is to maintain good relationships, keep them happy, and eventually retain them in the long run.

Basically, client collaboration software offers a space for collaboration with clients on day-to-day tasks as well as tools to build and implement a long-term customer success strategy.

However, contrary to popular belief, Google Workspace can't be actually client collaboration software. Yes, this is a powerful and versatile tool to work together with your team — both internally and on external client projects. But it's merely an online workspace with real-time collaboration (Google Docs), communication features (Google Meet), file sharing (Google Drive), calendar, etc.

The importance of client collaboration tools for remote teams

With the rise of distributed workforces, effective remote collaboration among team members and clients has become more important than ever. This is another main use case for customer collaboration tools.

Client collaboration tools are vital for remote teams, especially project managers overseeing complex projects and larger teams. These tools enable seamless collaboration, allowing team members to communicate and work together efficiently from anywhere.

With instant access 24/7, team members can stay connected and address issues promptly, while user permissions ensure data security preventing unauthorized access to the client project.

As a result, customer collaboration tools facilitate efficient collaboration for remote teams, clients, and any external stakeholders involved.

What should you look for in customer collaboration software? Key features to consider

When evaluating customer collaboration software, it's important to consider key capabilites that foster efficient teamwork and communication. Here are some basic features to look for:

  • Intuitive interface: Opt for software with a user-friendly interface tailored for both technical and non-technical stakeholders. An intuitive design fosters engagement and ensures that everyone can easily navigate and contribute to the collaboration process.
  • Collaboration: Look for platforms that support collaborative features, providing the entire team with timely updates on project progress and allowing you to interact with the rest of the stakeholders.
  • Task management: Ensure the software includes robust project task management capabilities, such as project tracking, task assignments, and client approvals (or even time tracking). These features help keep projects organized, on track, and stakeholders informed throughout the process.
  • Communication: Choose software that allows you to communicate within the team and with the customers, whether in real-time or asynchronously, fostering collaboration and decision-making among team members regardless of their physical location.
  • Security: Prioritize platforms with robust security measures, particularly concerning file and document sharing. Ensure the software offers secure file-sharing functionalities to safeguard sensitive information, maintaining data protection throughout the collaboration process.

By considering these key points, you can select customer collaboration software that meets your team's collaboration needs while prioritizing security and ease of use.

Some more powerful features that might come in handy are:

  • Real-time feedback
  • Automatic file sharing
  • Process automation features (native or via integrations like Zapier)
  • Reusable custom templates
  • Customization options (white label or simply flexible design options)

Navigating the common pitfalls in customer collaboration tools

When choosing a customer collaboration tool, it's too easy to focus on the features and benefits. But there are also certain challenges you need to watch out for that can slow down your team's progress. Let's take a closer look at some common issues:

  1. Cost structure. Many customer collaboration tools operate on a "per user per month" pricing model. This can be okay for small teams but can get expensive fast for larger ones. It's hard to find tools that let you have unlimited users without breaking the bank or offer custom pricing to meet your needs in the long-term.
  2. Limited capabilities. Often, advanced features are locked behind custom pricing tiers, leaving teams on standard plans with a stripped-down version of the tool. This can hinder the realization of the tool's full potential and may force teams to reassess their budget allocations or compromise on functionality.
  3. Dependency on additional tools. While collaboration tools facilitate document sharing, task management, and project tracking, they may lack the real-time communication capabilities essential for effective teamwork. This can make things a bit messy and complicated, having to switch between different tools for different tasks.
  4. Integration challenges. Finding tools that work seamlessly together isn't always easy. It can take a lot of time and effort to get everything working smoothly. That is why you should be looking for team collaboration tools with a range of integrations to meet your specific needs.

While there's no perfect solution, being aware of these challenges helps you make smarter decisions to keep your collaboration efforts on track. So make sure to consider the listed cons when assessing different providers. 

Client collaboration software stack: 13 tools to use in 2024

In today's fast-paced business world, effective client collaboration is crucial for success. To improve this process, it's important to use dedicated tools that make communication, content sharing, and project management easier. Here are some of our favorite tools for client collaboration that will help take your teamwork to the next level.

Mutual action plan software

Our pick: Flowla

Customer collaboration implies a wide range of steps or mutual actions that should be performed by both your team and involved stakeholders on the client's side. This makes mutual action plan (MAP) software like Flowla a must-have for visual collaboration and process transparency.

With its easy task assignment and approval process, you can see the entire process at a glance, set deadlines, and track progress effortlessly. Flowla makes client collaboration easy: Just break down your process into stages, define the actions for each stage (set due dates, add notes and links, assign owners), add resources where necessary, and share the flow with the involved stakeholders.

Once you're set, it's even easier to scale your CS processes with customizable flow templates you can duplicate and reuse as an infinite canvas.

From onboarding and implementation to ongoing support, Flowla provides a great platform for internal and external teams to work together effectively.

Content sharing (knowledgebase) software 

Our pick: Flowla

Having a centralized platform to share and access information is crucial for effective collaboration. Flowla's content management feature serves as a central hub for storing, organizing, and sharing content effortlessly. With Flowla, your team can easily find the information they need, whenever they need it.

You can also track each asset's performance to see which content your clients engage more with. On top of that, when you update a piece of content on Flowla’s asset library, all of the flows containing that asset automatically get the latest version, bringing all of the stakeholders up to speed in a flash.

Screen recording or presentation tools

Our picks: Videocom, Loom

For client collaboration, having screen recording and presentation tools at hand is essential. Platforms like Videocom, Loom, and Pitch offer simple solutions for capturing and sharing presentations, virtual demos, and tutorials swiftly.

These tools make it easy to create and distribute visual content during live meetings, remote training sessions, or client presentations, helping you effectively engage clients. Additionally, they empower your team to break down complicated concepts into manageable pieces through visual aids, thus improving communication with clients and stakeholders.

Client communication tools

Our picks: Virtual meetings — Zoom, Google Meet; Async chats — Slack, Flowla

Communication is key to successful collaboration. Zoom and Google Meet are essential for hosting virtual meetings and video conferences, especially for remote teams. Meanwhile, Slack provides a convenient way for teams to chat asynchronously, keeping communication flowing smoothly.

If you're using Flowla for your planning and knowledgebase, you can also communicate with the clients directly in the flow using the social bar. It allows you to see a detailed list of everyone in the flow, catch up on all flow conversations, and even add video or text annotations for async interactions.

Online collaboration tools

Our picks: Notion, Google Suite

Google offers a suite of tools, including Google Drive, Calendar, Docs, and Sheets, for seamless online collaboration with anyone within your organization or outside of it — all using a convenient and familiar environment. From sharing documents to scheduling meetings, Google Workspace keeps your team organized and productive.

We also use Notion a lot for internal and external collaboration. With its customizable templates and additional features (including AI capabilities), it helps teams collaborate, plan, and execute projects efficiently.

Document management

Our picks: DocuSign, PandaDoc, Flowla

Popular e-signature software like DocuSign and Pandadoc, allow you to share and sign documents while ensuring their legality and security. These tools help protect your interests and speed up legal aspects of the client collaboration.

Alternatively, you can use the built-in e-signature feature in Flowla for a seamless collaboration experience (and no extra cost, compared to having an additional tool).

Project management tools

Our picks: ClickUp, Asana, Fusebase

Effective project management is essential for delivering results on time and within budget. Tools like ClickUp and Asana offer powerful project management platforms with features like task tracking and progress monitoring (and desktop apps for more convenience). They help you stay organized and keep most complex projects on track.

If you're offering professional services, Fusebase might be an even better option with its white-labeled client portals tailored for smooth internal and external collaboration.

The benefits of a unified platform for customer collaboration

The listed tools would make a solid client collaboration software stack. However, having a single ideal platform to cater to all of your team's needs would make the implementation so much easier (and bring down the costs of ownership).

As you might have noticed, Flowla covers pretty much most of the listed capabilities (or integrates with the additional tools we mentioned). This makes it a single collaboration platform to rule them all — the best option to build a reliable process for your client interactions throughout the project.

Using Flowla (or any other all-in-one collaborative platform for that matter) offers a number of benefits to you and your clients:

  • Increased transparency: Centralizing collaboration efforts provides real-time visibility into project progress, fostering accountability and trust among teams and clients alike.
  • Enhanced customer experience: A single interface facilitates seamless communication and quick access to information, enabling businesses to deliver personalized and responsive service that exceeds expectations.
  • Simplified project planning: With integrated features for planning, scheduling, and resource allocation, teams can streamline project management workflows and ensure alignment towards common goals.
  • Improved customer retention: By cultivating stronger relationships and proactively addressing customer needs, businesses can earn loyalty and trust, leading to higher retention rates.

Final word

In today's competitive and fast-paced business world, seamless collaboration is crucial for building reliable client relationships. Using the right collaboration software can greatly benefit your team in the long run and drive success for your clients.

Whether it's specialized client collaboration software like Flowla or a combination of different tools, prioritize features like task management, content sharing, and communication, but also be aware of challenges like cost structures and integration issues.

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