The 2009 CRM Service Awards: Service Leaders -- Introduction

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“Service” continues to confound the CRM industry: Is service a goal unto itself, or a means to an end? True CRM leaders recognize that service is really neither—and both; service is now (and in fact has always been) part of a bigger picture, a holistic customer relationship. The ongoing expansion of social media means customers are now helping to set the parameters of that relationship, forever altering the notion of customer service. Last year, we refined our seven categories for the customer care marketplace—contact center infrastructure, contact center search, interactive voice response, outsourcing, Web interaction management, Web self-service, and workforce optimization suite. This year, as the industry’s collective ear becomes better attuned to the Voice of the Customer, we’ve added an eighth: enterprise feedback management.

The results for the eight categories are based on a blend of weighted criteria comprising analyst ratings (of each company’s reputations for customer satisfaction, depth of functionality/services, and company direction), corporate advances, and financial strength throughout the past year.

  • Contact Center Infrastructure — Winner: Avaya
    Leaders: Aspect Software; Genesys Telecommunication Labs
    One to Watch: Cisco Systems
  • Interactive Voice Response — Winner: Genesys Telecommunication Labs
    Leaders: Avaya; Cisco Systems
    One to Watch: Voxeo
  • Web Self-Service — Winner: RightNow Technologies
    Leaders: Consona (Knova); Kana Software
    One to Watch: eGain Communications
  • Web Interaction Management — Winner: Kana Software
    Leaders: eGain Communications; RightNow Technologies
    One to Watch: nGenera
  • Workforce Optimization Suite — Winner: Verint Systems
    Leaders: Aspect Software; Nice Systems
    One to Watch: Envision Telephony
  • Contact Center Search — Winner: Consona (Knova)
    Leaders: Autonomy (etalk); InQuira
    One to Watch: nGenera
  • Enterprise Feedback Management — Winner: Allegiance
    Leaders: MarketTools; RightNow Technologies
    Ones to Watch: Confirmit; Satmetrix
  • Outsourcing — Winner: Teleperformance
    Leaders: EDS (Hewlett-Packard); Sitel
    Ones to Watch: Convergys; West

magazine’s sixth annual Service Awards names one winner and two leaders (listed alphabetically) in each of eight categories, using a proprietary selection formula. The rating is based on a composite of CRM revenues, year-over-year revenue growth, corporate advances, and analyst ratings for satisfaction, depth of functionality, and company direction. (Those ratings are based on a five-point scale, with 5 being the highest.) In each category, we also cite one or two “ones to watch”—companies that are worth keeping an eye on for their potential to appear on that leaderboard in the future.

The chart above collects winners and leaders across all eight categories, arranged alphabetically to reflect companies cited more than once. The category winners are the eight bold names highlighted within blue bars.

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For the rest of the April 2009 issue of CRM magazine, please click here.

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