Vendor Landscape Plus: Customer Service Management Platforms

Select the right software to resolve customer service inquiries from start to finish.

Last Revised: February 2, 2012


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Vendor

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Product

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What matters more, the vendor score or the product score? As you weigh the importance, we will generate the vendor shortlist to match your needs.

View Vendor Shortlist

What is a shortlist?

A shortlist is a personalized list of vendors based on the criteria you define. Your shortlist offers more information about vendor's strengths, weaknesses, price-points, etc, and ranks them according to your needs.


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What is a Value Score?

The Value Score indexes each vendor’s product offering and business strength relative to their price point. It does not indicate vendor ranking.

Vendors that score high offer more bang for the buck (e.g. features, usability, stability, etc.) than the average vendor, while the inverse is true for those that score lower.

Price-conscious enterprises may wish to give the Value Score more consideration than those who are more focused on specific vendor/product attributes.



Your Challenge

  • Organizations with simple customer service requirements and limited product lines will likely be satisfied with the built-in capabilities of their existing CRM or ITSM platforms. Organizations with more complex product lines and high volumes of service inquiries may need to extend those capabilities by using a best-of-breed CSM suite.
  • Slow customer service response times, inefficient escalation processes, and limited channel usage leads to customer anxiety and irritation, as well as the potential for customer churn and increased cost-to-serve.
  • Many firms are unsure of how to successfully leverage social channels for providing customer service.
  • Effective customer service requires a customer service suite that provides escalation and resolution workflow tools, social sharing and social listening capabilities, mobile applications for both agent and user, Web self-service portals and integration with other enterprise applications, especially sales and marketing.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Limited channel strategies are no longer sufficient. Adopt a hybrid channel strategy that involves traditional, as well as newer channels (social and mobile), in order to meet customers where they prefer to be.
  • Integrate the CSM suite with all relevant service channels, as well as marketing and sales (CRM) apps, in order to fully optimize its value for the business.
  • The growing popularity of social and mobile channels is leading to an increased volume of interactions. Vendors are quickly becoming wise to the trend and adding robust social and mobile features to their offerings.

Impact and Result

  • Understand the benefits of using a standalone CSM platform, as well as identify customer service best practices in order to implement a successful CSM deployment.
  • Plan for and select a CSM platform that supports your product portfolio, customer segments, and service interaction channel mix.
  • Save time and money by using Info-Tech’s Vendor Landscape to compare and contrast the major CSM vendors, and then create a shortlist of the most appropriate vendors.
  • Use Info-Tech’s CSM Platform RFP Template, RFP Scoring Tool and Demo Script to gather vendor and product information, objectively score the responses, and conduct vendor demonstrations, in order to select the right product.

Contributors

  • RedWing Shoes
  • Laclede Gas
  • Spillman Technologies
  • Metal West
  • 4 Anonymous Contributors

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Best Practices Toolkit

  1. Assess the need for a CSM Platform and narrow down a list of CSM vendors

    Create a strong list of vendor candidates.

  2. Compare leading vendors and develop a shortlist

    Narrow the leading vendors down to the most appropriate few.

  3. Contrast and evaluate a shortlist of vendors

    Select the right CSM Platform vendor.

Talk to an Analyst

Each of our solution sets include information, tools and templates to help you complete a project on your own. However, if you want extra help, our silver and gold memberships include phone access to our analysts. Analyst calls are focused on helping our members use the research we produce, and our experts will guide you to successful project completion.

  • Book an Analyst Call on this topic. You can start as early as tomorrow morning. Our analysts will explain the process in your first call.
  • Get advice from a subject matter expert. Each call will focus on explaining the material and helping you to plan your project, interpret and analyze the results of each project step, and setting the direction for your next project step.

2 Comments

  • Missing_comment
    Tim Bradshaw | 08-21-2012

    I did not see some of the big players i expected to see like BMC or ServiceNow. Why where these not included?

    • 9eb6a2810126f534ebf65557616f34d1_comment
      Info-Tech Research Group | 08-22-2012

      Thanks for your comment. Based on the vendors you’ve cited, our ITSM research may be what you’re looking for. The Enterprise Service Desk Software VL includes Service-now and BMC’s flagship product, Remedy.

      The Mid-Market Service Desk Software
      VL includes BMC’s RemedyForce and Footprints (recently acquired with Numara Software).

      Info-Tech’s Develop an IT Service Desk Strategy
      solution set helps to relate the tools with the underlying practices in developing a strategy.

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