Great customer service sets companies apart, and you leave money on the table if you don’t meet your customers’ expectations of engagement.

Business and IT leaders understand the economics of great customer service, and Forrester data shows that over 70% of enterprises invest in modern solutions. They enable organizations to serve and retain customers and reduce tech sprawl to manage cost.

In the winter of 2023/2024, we conducted a Forrester Wave™ evaluation of the 12 leading providers in the customer service space. Each vendor offers a great solution with a specific market focus. For example, some vendors target primarily B2C companies that are focused on improving customer experience, while others offer capabilities best suited for relationship-based engagement.

Takeaways From The Forrester Wave™: Customer Service Solutions, Q1 2024

Here are some top takeaways:

  • Vendors do a great job at providing a complete suite of customer service capabilities. Modern solutions deliver broad swaths of functionality that help organizations minimize tech sprawl. For example, they offer all-in-one solutions for high-velocity, highly automated customer service, as well as longer-running cases that often require collaboration with other agents or employees outside of the customer service organization. They offer web- and mobile self-service experiences, as well as engagement over voice, digital, and social channels. They also offer experiences for customer service managers to optimize service quality and for service operations to optimize routing, queues, and workflows.
  • Customer service solutions let agents be very productive. Vendors put extraordinary effort into offering simple yet efficient experiences. They offer tools embedded in the user interface that help agents work on a case. They nudge and guide them through the right processes. They surface knowledge, similar cases, and next best actions in the flow of work. They provide quick replies, scripts, and macros, along with broader workflow automations. Collectively, these tools help agents diagnose problems, find resources to resolve issues faster, handle cases more efficiently, and automate repetitive tasks.
  • All vendor solutions embed AI and automation. There has been explosive growth in process automation and embedded AI technologies — conversational, predictive, and generative AI — within customer service solutions that drive enterprise-scale automation. Vendors offer a range of prepackaged automations, AI, and insights scenarios within their customer service solutions. They also have tooling to define workflows and new AI models.
  • Preserve business agility and resilience. Modern customer service solutions allow organizations to easily adjust their use based on customer demand. They offer composable architectures, open APIs, and microservices that allow organizations to deploy — and pay for — only those capabilities that are required, capabilities that can be assembled in innovative ways. They also expose low- or no-code platform services to allow business users to customize workflows, user experiences, data models, and connectors.
  • Leverage an extended ecosystem for customer service success. All vendors in the Wave invest in curated marketplaces that contain an ecosystem of point solutions to extend their solution. Vendors offer training and certification programs for administrators and grow their developer networks. They leverage partnerships with system integrators and independent software vendors that enhance the reach of the solution.

There’s a lot to say about these vendors and this Wave evaluation. Connect with me via inquiry to further explore this topic.