Every year, new and upgraded technologies are introduced that aim to raise the standard in customer service. This year, developments in cloud offerings, chat software, search capabilities, mobile solutions, and other technologies have significantly influenced the customer service industry and the outcome of our CRM Service Awards.
In fact, of the eight categories that we follow in our Service Leader Awards, this year there are five new category winners as well as a new One to Watch in all eight categories. That's a lot of movement in one year. Clearly, there have been many new technology developments this year—developments that could influence your customer service technology buying decisions. This is why we track the industry's progress annually with our Service Leader Awards.
To determine the leaders, we ask our panel of industry experts to evaluate and rate each vendor's performance in the following criteria: reputation for customer satisfaction, depth of functionality or services, and company direction. We also ask them to rate each vendor based on anticipated technology and maintenance costs over a five-year period. With their input and our proprietary scoring formula, we create our final list of CRM Service Leaders, presented here.
It is our hope that these awards will serve as your company's starting point when it begins its customer service vendor selection process.
Customer Case Management
Contact Center Infrastructure
Interactive Voice Response
Contact Center Search
Enterprise Feedback Management
Contact Center Outsourcing
The editors of CRM magazine would like to extend their appreciation and thanks to those who took the time and effort to evaluate the candidates for this year's CRM Service Awards. This issue, and the awards themselves, would not be possible without the generous contributions of the following judges: Leslie Ament, senior vice president and principal analyst, Hypatia Research; Michael Fauscette, group vice president, software solutions, IDC; Donna Fluss, founder and president, DMG Consulting; Ian Jacobs, senior analyst, Forrester Research; Nancy Jamison, principal analyst, Frost & Sullivan; Esteban Kolsky, founder and principal analyst, ThinkJar; Mitch Kramer, senior vice president and analyst, Patricia Seybold Group; Ken Landoline, chief analyst, Current Analysis; Brent Leary, partner, CRM Essentials; Kate Leggett, vice president and principal analyst, Forrester Research; Sheila McGee-Smith, president and principal analyst, McGee-Smith Analytics; John Ragsdale, vice president, technology research, Technology Services Industry Association; Peter Ryan, principal analyst, Ovum; Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian, senior analyst, Forrester Research; Paul Stockford, chief analyst, Saddletree Research; Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst, Constellation Research; Rebecca Wettemann, vice president, Nucleus Research.
CATEGORIES AND CRITERIA CRM magazine's 12th annual Service Leader Awards names one winner (and in one case, two winners) and three leaders (listed alphabetically) in each of eight categories, using a proprietary selection formula. The overall award rating is based on a composite score of company revenue and analyst ratings for deployment costs, customer satisfaction, depth of functionality (or services, in the case of outsourcing), and company direction. (These ratings are based on a five-point scale, with 5 being the highest.) In addition, each category cites one "one to watch"—companies deemed worth tracking for their potential to appear on that leaderboard in the future.