We’ve updated our evaluation framework for customer service products. Market trends and product specialization were our motivations. Ease of use and speed were your requirements. You can use the new framework to evaluate any customer service offering.
The two market trends that prompted us to do this update at this time are the rise of social media and the increased usage of mobile devices like iPhones.
Customers, especially consumers, look to social media to get help from other customers for ratings, reviews, and references when they want to buy products and services and for support when they’re having trouble installing and using them. Suppliers and merchants, very much aware of these social conversations, have been building their own presences on social media (think Facebook Fan pages) so that their customers might look to them for social help. Suppliers and merchants are also monitoring social conversations to get ahead of customer requirements and customer issues.
Consumers and business customers alike are using their mobile devices as portable computers, wanting to use their full capabilities, not just to get SMS status updates. iPhones, Blackberries, and the like have the computing power, and their networks have the speed and the bandwidth to drive full-function browsers. Full function browsers are the platform for customer self-service and even Web chat-based assisted-service.