… and it’s probably not who you think.
Senior sales and operations executives have an array of vendors from which to choose to meet their diverse customer service management (CSM) needs. From handling customer conflict resolution and product returns to providing insights around service backlogs, technology today is more sophisticated than ever to meet the CSM needs of companies in a variety of industries. At the same time, customer service executives would be well served to listen to the advice of their colleagues in IT to determine the customer service management solutions that deliver on their promises and keep their customers loyal and returning. Now they can.
Info-Tech Research Group’s division Software Reviews, recently conducted a study of more than 500 IT professionals regarding their preferred CSM vendors in order to provide an “Emotional Footprint” score. And while Salesforce, Oracle, and Microsoft are often considered the industry’s 600-pound guerillas, the four CSM companies that IT professionals preferred were Kayako, LiveChat, Teamwork Desk, and Zendesk Support. These four vendors scored particularly well in four critical areas:
- Not charging for extras: Software users said that in their experience, Kayako is number one in including product enhancements at no charge.
- Showing integrity through conflict resolution: 94% of software users were delighted with the integrity demonstrated by LiveChat, in a tie for top score for showing great character throughout conflict resolution.
- Reliably enabling productivity: Software users said that Teamwork Desk is number one in providing them with reliable service.
- Showing respect: Software users said that in their experience, Zendesk is number one in making them feel respected.
The following Customer Service Management Emotional Footprint quadrant outlines where each software vendor fared:
Our Emotional Footprint score evaluates and ranks products based on emotional response ratings from IT and business professionals. Our scoring methodology aggregates these ratings across 26 dimensions of the vendor-client relationship and product effectiveness, creating a powerful indicator of overall user feeling toward the vendor and product. The intent of our Emotional Footprint is to collect real data from IT and business professionals to produce the most detailed and authentic insights into the experience of evaluating and purchasing enterprise software.
Given the results of this report, we believe CSM vendors can create loyalty from their customers – in a strange sense of irony – by focusing on a quality product without nickle-and-diming them for routine enhancements. Further, it will help to remember that IT professionals said they value vendors consistently demonstrating a high degree of respect and integrity in all of their service and conflict-resolution interactions.
It should not come as a surprise to customer service management vendors that it is these types of emotional affinity insights that create satisfied, loyal customers, and subsequent recurring revenue.
About the Author
Ben Dickie is a Research Director at Software Reviews, a division of Info-Tech Research Group. Ben’s areas of expertise include customer experience management, CRM platforms and digital marketing. He has also led projects pertaining to enterprise collaboration and unified communications.
During his tenure with Info-Tech, Ben has developed comprehensive frameworks for enabling IT and business leaders to build world-class experiences for their customers. He has written extensive, practical guidance on how forward-thinking organizations can employ different types of customer interaction tools such as CRM platforms and marketing automation suites. Ben has also worked extensively with clients, vendors and thought leaders to create project-based strategies for managing enterprise social media initiatives.