Select and Implement a Customer Service Management Solution

Vendor Evaluation


This content requires an active subscription.

Access this content by logging in with your Info-Tech Research Group membership or contacting one of our representatives for assistance.

Speak With A Representative Sign In
or Call: 1-888-670-8889 (US) or 1-844-618-3192 (CAN)

Your Challenge

  • Customer Service Management (CSM) suites enable end-to-end workflow for the intake, triaging, and resolution of customer service issues. These tools provide additional functionality beyond what is typically found in a pure-play CRM platform. Organizations that have a large volume of customer service requests or high complexity of those requests should definitely consider adopting a dedicated CSM suite if they have not already done so. However, there is a wide range of capabilities often targeted toward specific use cases within the CSM market. Selecting a dedicated CSM suite is no easy task, but it is a critical responsibility for successful application managers.
  • An IT Applications Manager or Customer Service Director tasked with incorporating CSM technology into the organization must not only receive buy-in for the CSM investment, but they must also determine the vendor and solution that best fits the organization’s particular customer service needs.
  • Many organizations struggle to take a systematic approach to selection that pairs functional requirements with specific customer service workflows; as a result, they choose a CSM suite that may not meet their specific use cases. For example, an organization rolling out an inbound queue-based system would find that a Customer Service Knowledge Management (CSKM) suite would best align with its needs. 

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • The complexity of customer service and the service expectations of customers are continuously increasing. The number of channels and methods of interaction (including mobile and social) are growing, and delivering customer-experience touchpoints is becoming mission critical.
  • Customer service departments have difficulty selecting the right vendor and solution for their specific needs. Although they may be knowledgeable about their business and functional needs, they are not able to consider IT architecture and points and integration. IT potentially ends up with integration complexities and an increase in application maintenance efforts.

Impact and Result

  • Consolidation of functionality into a unified suite. Having a robust CSM suite eliminates the need for a myriad of point solutions, resulting in reduced deployment and training costs and increased efficiency.
  • More effective customer service and management. Having a CSM suite equips organizations with the tools they need to handle large volumes of customer interactions, resulting in better service, satisfaction, and customer retention. This means more revenue.
  • Integration of multichannel support. CSM assists in creating a single source of communication. This includes phone as well as social media outlets. Save costs by reducing customer management efforts.
  • Maximize agent experience with reporting and analytics. By understanding the behaviors and preferences of users and customers, agents can accurately assist them. Optimizing your call wait time is also crucial as the phone remains the most frequently used channel for contact, and it is imperative for agents to work faster and provide more helpful and personalized service.

Get the Complete Storyboard

See how all the steps you need to take come together, with tools and advice to help with each task on your list.

Download Now

Get to Action

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to discover the benefits of a CSM suite, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

  1. Launch a CSM selection project

    Confirm if a CSM suite is the right fit for the organization, and build the procurement team and project plan.

  2. Analyze CSM requirements and shortlist vendors

    Gather and evaluate CSM tool requirements and produce a vendor shortlist.

  3. Select a CSM solution

    Develop an RFP, review RFP responses, and conduct vendor demonstrations.

  4. Plan the CSM implementation

    Create an implementation plan and measure the value of the solution.

Guided Implementation icon Guided Implementation

This guided implementation is a twelve call advisory process.

    Guided Implementation #1 - Launch your CSM selection project

  • Call #1: Identify your fit for CSM technology

  • Call #2: Identify staffing needs

  • Call #3: Create project plan

  • Guided Implementation #2 - Analyze CSM requirements and shortlist vendors

  • Call #1: Plan requirements gathering steps

  • Call #2: Discuss use-case fit assessment results

  • Call #3: Discuss Vendor Landscape

  • Guided Implementation #3 - Select your CSM solution

  • Call #1: Create procurement strategy

  • Call #2: Discuss evaluation results

  • Call #3: Conduct a contract review

  • Guided Implementation #4 - Plan the CSM implementation

  • Call #1: Create an implementation plan

  • Call #2: Discuss rollout of automated processes

  • Call #3: Handover to Operations

Onsite Workshop

Module 1: Launch Your CSM Selection Project

The Purpose

  • Scope the project and plan resourcing.
  • Conduct overview of the CSM market landscape, trends, and vendors.
  • Conduct process mapping for selected customer service processes.
  • Interview business stakeholders.
  • Prioritize CSM functional requirements.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An approved project charter.
  • Successful launch of the CSM selection project.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Identify the business drivers for investing in CSM technology.
  • Confirmation of your organization’s fit and preparedness for investing in customer service management technology
1.2 Review your organization’s maturity as it relates to customer service.
  • Current readiness and recommendations for initiatives
1.3 Plan how to avoid common project and organizational risks associated with this procurement project.
  • A risk management plan
  • Identification of project resourcing requirements
1.4 Create a project plan for your CSM selection project.
  • An approved project plan for your CSM procurement project

Module 2: Analyze CSM Requirements and Shortlist Vendors

The Purpose

  • Complete customer service process mapping with business stakeholders.
  • Interview IT staff and project team; identify technical requirements for the CSM suite.
  • Document high level solution requirements.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Identification of your organization’s relevant use-case scenarios.
  • In-depth knowledge of vendors in the CSM market.
  • Shortlist of vendors.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Conduct high-level customer service process mapping.
  • Completion of high-level process mapping
2.2 Interview business stakeholders and IT staff; identify functional and technical requirements.
  • Identification of CSM functional and technical requirements
2.3 Leverage Info-Tech’s use-case scenarios.
  • Identification of the use-case scenarios that match your organization with the right vendor
2.4 Review the CSM vendor landscape, vendor use-case performance, and vendor profiles and analysis.
  • Creation of a custom vendor shortlist and vendor profiles and scoring

Module 3: Plan Your Procurement Process

The Purpose

  • Create your procurement strategy.
  • Discuss evaluation results.
  • Conduct a contract review.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Completion of a vendor evaluation of shortlisted vendors in the CSM market.
  • Selection of a CSM solution.
  • Successful completion of contract negotiation.
  • Approval of the vendor solution and contract by the project’s oversight. 

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Create solution requirements and the request for proposal (RFP).
  • RFP to submit to vendors
3.2 Evaluate proposals from vendors.
  • Shortlist of interested vendors
3.3 Create demo script and conduct vendor demonstrations.
  • Vendor demo results
3.4 Select vendor and review contract.
  • Successful contract negotiation

Workshop Icon Book Your Workshop

Onsite Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn’t enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our Project Workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a road map in place to complete your project successfully.

Book Now

CRM, Sales, Marketing and Customer Support Map

GET HELP Contact Us
VL Methodology