Understand the Customer Service Specialty Solutions Vendor Landscape To Plug Capabilities Gaps


Share on LinkedIn

In 2011, organizations will ramp up their multichannel customer service initiatives. This will be harder to do than in the past as customers now expect more: they are increasingly online, want self-service options, and demand responses in real time, often through their mobile devices. Social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, has also grown to be an important new channel for interacting with customers and engaging in innovative ways.

Navigating the complex customer service solution ecosystem is difficult as there are many good solutions available. One category of solutions to consider is the customer service capabilities provided by leading CRM suite software solutions providers. These vendors provide core customer service transactional and data management capabilities. There are also many specialty solution providers that provide best-in-breed capabilities that are good options to fill specific gaps in your customer service technology infrastructure.

To help you sort though the choices I recently investigated 24 specialty customer service solution providers that offer solutions for: cross-channel interaction management; knowledge management for customer service; business process management for customer service; customer communities; and customer feedback management, both traditional and via social listening platforms. In summary, I found that:

  • eGain, Genesys, Moxie, Parature, and RightNow offer mature and comprehensive solutions for multichannel management. LivePerson and FrontRange also provide multichannel communications capabilities if your needs match their offering.
  • Inquira and Servigistics provide strong knowledge capabilities. Other vendors provide comprehensive knowledgebases as part of a greater multichannel solution.
  • Pegasystems and Sword Ciboodle lead in business process management (BPM) solutions for customer service. Amdocs, Consona, KANA Software, and Numara Software provide niche process-centric customer service solutions.
  • Jive Software and Lithium lead the way in providing a robust and feature-rich offering for community management tools. Mzinga should also be considered if your business case aligns with their solution.
  • There are many companies that offer traditional enterprise feedback management solutions. Some to consider include Allegiance, Confirmit, Medallia, and Vovici.
  • The social listening platform space is equally crowded. Attensity and Visible Technologies are two companies to consider that offer listening platforms for customer service.

Use my new report as a guide to finding solutions to strengthen your customer service capabilities.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Kate Leggett
Kate serves Business Process Professionals. She is a leading expert on customer service strategies. Her research focuses on helping organizations establish and validate customer service strategies strategies, prioritize and focus customer service projects, facilitate customer service vendor selection, and plan for project success.


  1. Kate,

    First, we appreciate the mention, thanks.

    “customers expect more” this seemingly simple statement is actually quite important and worthy of mention and discussion. Most people would agree, customer expectations are higher; expectations for rapid response, response on the right channel (‘right’ meaning we need to know what is ‘right’ for that customer), expectations of value,… the list goes on. At each point, companies have an opportunity to meet, exceed or miss expectations.

    Companies have always known that how a customer ‘feels’ is determined by the sum of experiences. However, the specific experience of interacting with the people in the contact center has not given as much weight as it deserved, until recently (there are certainly exceptions). Experience often includes product use, but the lines between product and services are becoming blurred for what have traditionally been thought of as just products.

    The combination of an increase in services and the rise of the social web has increased further the importance of the interactions between the customer and other parts of an organization. These interactions are part of the overall experience and have increased weight in the customer’s mind, thus increased weight in determining whether expectations have been met.


    Mitch Lieberman


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here