THE EMERGENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA has highlighted the importance of connecting with customers via their preferred interaction channels. It also underscores the importance of integrating customer service and support channels for better customer insight and more personalized support, a predominant theme in our 2012 Service Leader awards.
One area that stands to benefit from an integrated multichannel support effort is our new category--Customer Case Management (page 20). These solutions provide service reps with one window into the customer record. Naturally, the ability to funnel data into this application from multiple channels will raise service and support efforts to new heights.
The leaders were chosen based on a mix of weighted criteria, including analyst ratings for customer satisfaction, depth of functionality or services, company direction, and overall revenue. New to our proprietary scoring formula is a cost score, recognizing that as we emerge from the Great Recession, lower-cost, lower-risk solutions are in high demand.
These companies are at the forefront of the latest developments in the customer care market because they practice what they preach--the importance of listening and responding to their customers.
* BY THE EDITORS OF CRM MAGAZINE *
THE EDITORS OF CRM MAGAZINE WOULD LIKE TO EXTEND THEIR DEEPEST GRATITUDE TO THOSE WHO TOOK PART, TO VARYING DEGREES, IN EVALUATING THE CRM SERVICE AWARDS. THIS ISSUE, AND THE AWARDS THEMSELVES, WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE WITHOUT THE GENEROUS CONTRIBUTIONS OF THESE JUDGES, ASSESSORS, COMMENTERS, AND RATERS: Leslie Ament, vice president of customer intelligence and client advisory services, Hypata Research; Aphrodite Brinsmead, analyst, enterprise telecoms, Ovum; Dick Bucci, president, Pelorus Associates; Keith Dawson, principal analyst, Ovum; Donna Fluss, founder and president, DMG Consulting; Paul Greenberg, president, The 56 Group; Elizabeth Herrell, vice president and principal analyst, Constellation Research; Daniel Hong, lead analyst, enterprise telecoms, Ovum; Ian Jacobs, principal analyst, Ovum; Mitch Kramer, senior vice president, Patricia Seybold Group; Ken Landoline, principal analyst of unified communications and contact centers, Current Analysis; Kate Leggett, senior analyst, Forrester Research; Michael Maoz, research vice president and Gartner distinguished analyst, Gartner; Sheila McGee-Smith, president and principal analyst, McGee-Smith Analytics; Andrew McInnes, former analyst, Forrester Research; John Ragsdale, vice president, technology research, Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA); Peter Ryan, lead analyst, IT services, Ovum; Paul Stockford, chief analyst, Saddletree Research; Bruce Temkin, managing partner, Temkin Group; Rebecca Wettemann, vice president, Nucleus Research; Thomas Whittle, research analyst, Nelson Hall.
Customer Case Management
This year we are introducing the Customer Case Management category--one that recently saw a few power plays. "Oracle buying RightNow Technologies [for $1.5 billion] was certainly a wake-up call that Web-focused customer support and service needs to be integral in a much-larger picture," says Ian Jacobs, principal analyst at Ovum.
In short, it's no longer good enough to go it alone in the game of support, or to silo your Web self-service, social, and live-agent service. "You need to be able to put all of them together in a holistic picture," Jacobs adds. But don't assume enterprises are lapping it all up yet. While 2010 saw an introduction to and early implementations of social and text-based support options, this year marked some maturity in firms melding them with more traditional support channels.
Oracle, which earned a coveted customer satisfaction score of 4.2, will be charged with keeping the high score next year, especially from …