How do you start to narrow your choices when you are looking for the right customer service solution for your group. Start by asking whether your team is large or small, and whether your needs are primarily phone based, or whether you support your customers over a variety of voice, digital and social communication channels.
We see that customer service solutions fall into two primary groups to choose from, although the distinctions between these categories have become less pronounced over the last couple of years.
Customer service solutions for enterprise organizations. Customer service vendors focused on large organizations — organizations with typically 1,000 or more agents, and sometimes with tens of thousands of agents who are primarily phone agents. These large organizations tend to have a subset of their agent population dedicated to digital (ie over email, chat) and social (ie Twitter, Facebook) customer service. These vendor solutions have distinct characteristics: (1) They are highly performant and can scale to serve very large agent populations; (2) they are heavyweight solutions that are deeply customizable, and tend to be integrated with a large number of back-end systems; (3) they are suitable for global deployments and are fully internationalized and localized in many languages: (4) they have robust case management capabilities: (5) They offer their products primarily through the traditional on-premises licensing model, but many now also offer hosted and software-as-a-service (SaaS) deployment options which is becoming more popular for large deployments: (6) They tend to be optimized for B2C or B2B service delivery: (7) many vendors offer deeply vertical solutions, and have pre- and post-sale company resources dedicated to support their vertical products. Vendors in this category also target midsize organizations, offering prepackaged versions of their solutions with more affordable price tags. The leading vendors in this category are highlighted in the Forrester Wave: Customer Service Solutions For Enterprise Organizations, Q2 2014.
Customer service solutions for midsize and small organization. Vendors primarily target these solutions at teams with hundreds of customer service agents or fewer who support inquiries over a breadth of voice, digital, and social communication channels. Other vendors target their solutions at divisions of customer service organizations that have dedicated teams for digital and social customer service within a larger contact center. These vendor solutions have distinct characteristics: (1) They are highly usable; (2) they have strong mobile customer service capabilities; (3) they have broad and deep multichannel customer service capabilities; (4) they are predominately SaaS solutions, offering a rapid time-to-value. Some vendors in this category have upgraded their solutions to be more suitable to enterprise-class buyers and are gaining acceptance in this segment. The leading vendors in this category are highlighted in the The Forrester Wave™: Customer Service Solutions For Small And Midsize Teams, Q2 2014.