In many of the articles we publish in Customers.com Strategies, we talk about best practices (and worst practices) in customer service. We tell you what we believe you should do to create and nurture thriving customer relationships, and what you shouldn’t do or else you’ll risk those valuable relationships.
Although our advice is based on actions, behaviors, policies, and company culture, underlying all of this is an assumption that you are investing in the right customer service technology infrastructure and solutions. It is vital that your employees have access to all the information relevant to creating a great customer experience. You need tools that allow customers to find answers and solutions on their own via self-service. You need an underlying knowledgebase that contains the answers to these questions and the proven solutions to these problems, whether the customers discover this information on their own or your customer-facing service reps provide the needed info to the customer in difficulty.
But we wanted to make sure that our Customer.com Strategies members had an understanding of what they should be looking for in a technology solution (or what they should make sure they can do with their current tools). So we are offering you both the most recent versions of our Social-Service Evaluation Framework and our Customer Service Evaluation Framework which lay out all the criteria upon which Mitch Kramer, our customer service, self-service, assisted service, and social-service technologies guru, bases his in-depth product evaluations, along with his most recent quarterly Customer Service Supplier and Product Update. This is the last quarterly update that Mitch will publish as he moves to yearly updates along with his in-depth evaluations of the leading offerings. We believe that this information will give you a good grounding on what to look for, what is out there, and how the competitive landscape shakes out.