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Vendor Landscape Plus: Customer Service Management Platforms

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

  • 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.

Vendor Landscape Plus: Customer Service Management Platforms Research & Tools

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.

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Authors

Timothy Hickernell

Ben Dickie

Jenna Maertz

Contributors

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