According to Gartner, through 2013, four major initiatives will dominate overall customer service strategies:
•Tying together service interaction channels
•Integrating social CRM capabilities
•Analyzing the customer experience
•Applying business rules and knowledge in real time
Two major challenges will impact the definition of market leader in the CRM customer service contact center space, which focuses on tools for the human agent or service representative:
•A new generation of customers has a deep resistance to telephone-based customer service.
•Customers expect best practices in one industry to be the norm across industries.
The argument for increased investments in the customer service contact center is bolstered by two facts: Many organizations are facing upgrades of infrastructure from long-defunct companies, and there are new demands to support the Web-based customer. Customers expect to find their own answers and solve their own problems, and when they cannot, they want the opinions of their peers in forums, communities and microblogs. These realities are changing the Magic Quadrant evaluation criteria.
The customer service software market in the core contact center will compete for budget money with Web customer service, analytics and social CRM projects. Vendors that can demonstrate a strategy of providing support for all four of these areas (contact center, Web, analytics and social CRM) will be best-positioned to lead the market.
In priority order, the most frequently cited need for new capabilities in 2010 and 2011 will be:
•Knowledge management for the service agent
•A single view of the customer experience and history (customer data integration)
•Consistent treatment of the customer across channels and media
•Human support of online communities of users: blog creation and management, bookmarking, collaboration tools, community forums, discussion boards, Really Simple Syndication feeds, recommendation engines, social networking (tagging, content creation, rating, ranking), and wikis
•Extension of agent presence to online communities
•Multichannel capabilities (e-mail, Web chat, telephone, Short Message Service [SMS]) delivered as a standard feature, rather than complex customization
•Support for mobile customers
•Real-time decision support (analytics) to understand customer intentions, and customize services and interactions accordingly
•Strong business process management (BPM) capabilities for the customer service function
RightNow has been positioned as a leader in the 2010 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Customer Service Contact Centers. According to the report, RightNow demonstrates market-defining vision with the ability to execute through products and services.