After four months of research, surveys both online and on the phone, product demonstrations from 32 software providers, and too many hours in Excel, the 2017 Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center is now on Gartner.com. If you are a Gartner client, you will find it here: http://gtnr.it/2pWu0S8 . If you are not a client, one of the participants likely will offer a complementary copy on their website.
The interesting bit from this side of the process is how essential the basic element of the Magic Quadrant, the case that sits in front of the human agent, remains. That screen, or form, or graphical user interface, is critical whenever a customer has a complex requirement. The representative had better have at the ready at least as much context as the customer:
- Which channel has the customer already searched?
- How did the customer try to resolve this on their own?
- What, exactly, is ‘this?’ What is the intent of the engagement? Why are they turning to us at this moment in time?
- Who is this customer? What is their value to us? How long have they been a customer? How happy are they with us? What is the likelihood that they will remain a customer or churn?
- What piece of content, or information, do I need right now to advance this conversation? (the term ‘conversation’ itself is complicated, as it might be an SMS, a Facebook post, Messenger, a chat, a video chat, co-browsing, plain old phone….)
- What rule applies to the customer under these circumstances?
- If I cannot solve this issue, how do I proceed? What is the escalation path? How do I leave it with the customer?
The result for a Magic Quadrant review is that the market is replete with marginal players with wonderful add-ons to the CRM system or record, coming from the angle of mobile messaging / in-app support, and knowledge management, and intelligent chat and chatbots, and AI atop IVR.
What the market is waiting for is a new generation of visionary player with a core in case management / trouble ticketing, plus a few of these innovative features.
In the meantime, we would like to thank all of the references who gave so unstintingly of their time, and shared their insights. And to the software vendors, both those on the MQ and those not on the MQ. The MQ is only one of many, many factors that lead us to recommend a product. A product might be very valuable yet not find a place on the MQ. It may come from a Gartner client or not from a Gartner client – we follow both very carefully. The beauty of the analyst role is that we do not differentiate – we just find the best product to match the client need, wherever it comes from.
NET: let us know what you think of the results, and remember – if you don’t find your vendor or solution on the MQ, check the Gartner CRM Vendor Guide – if you find it there, we cover it!
And thank you all for sharing your insights.
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