This is an exciting time—your company is considering purchasing a new customer service or IT help desk software or cloud solution! Most likely, the company is using no solution or a product that is not meeting your needs and requirements. Leading an evaluation team or being part of a team is a big responsibility. It is an outstanding opportunity to learn and immerse yourself in the latest industry best practises and developments.
Before engaging with software vendors, read up on help desk and customer service "best practises" as appropriate, so that that you can ask pointed and direct questions with confidence. For example, you want to be able to speak about ITIL, First Call Resolution, Service Level Agreement Compliance, Root Cause Analysis, Customer Satisfaction Surveys and KPIs and metrics with authority and competence to prod and poke at vendors. It is important to show vendors that you understand the latest best practises and industry trends, so you can make sure that they have evolved their products.
We sometimes hear folks say that they are going to review some product demonstrations by vendors to educate themselves. Although it is easier to sit back and watch a few product demonstrations, this approach is a big mistake. Vendors will not provide an unbiased education. They are not independent. Vendors are just going to show you what they have to sell when you speak with them. It is not even a good idea to seek out the industry leading or large vendors with significant market share for your education. Their products may very well be outdated, and they are not going to tell you what is coming in the future. They want to sell what they have to offer today and not give you a reason to delay your purchase.
Furthermore, since technology changes so fast, the largest and the "industry leading" companies are the slowest to change and adapt their products to new best practises. For example, the big sea change from client/server to cloud was initially minimised by the big software companies. Now they are on the band wagon. However, not too long ago, many large companies said the web is a passing fad and there is no need to be concerned about purchasing a web-native application.
You are going to have to take the initiative and get educated using unbiased, third-party sources of information. The great news is that there are an unprecedented amount of help and resources available from social networking sites such as LinkedIn. Industry associations, user groups, web sites, etc. are also valuable resources. They all provide a great opportunity to meet new people and network with your peers. There are even LinkedIn groups for specific industries such as legal and healthcare.
The LinkedIn groups are a great resource. In the Appendix, we have identified the following groups for you to explore and discover:
The Directors' Forum on Customer Experience is a discussion and networking group for leaders in customer experience, customer service, customer insight, contact centres and self-service. The thing that all the members have in common is a passion for transforming customer experience.
This informal group explores Service Quality delivery from Contact centres to field service repairs at the best cost. What does good service look like to a supplier, a customer, and the managers of a company? Are we measuring the right things?
This group is for Customer Service professionals who wish to exchange ideas and thoughts on how to increase the level of customer service that we provide. Tell us stories of good and bad customer service.
A place for ICS members and other customer service professionals to network, share knowledge and best practise and keep up to date with ICS news and events.
The Online Customer Service subgroup has been set up in recognition of the growing importance of online customer interaction. Call centre and contact centre managers and customer service leaders interested in the evolution of web-based service delivery should join this subgroup.
Enabling information sharing, best practises, Q&A and job search for CRM Professionals.Marketing, Customer Managemet, Service, Saas, Software as a service, SAP.
This group's objective is to discuss the importance of customer service from a corporate standpoint. Customer care professionals, people in service industries (which in my opinion is pretty much ALL industries), and others with a passion for the subject are welcome to join!
Welcome to LinkedIn's number one forum for senior customer service executives.
Customer Service Champions is a group of people who believe customer service is a core driver of all organisations.
Share your Ideas and Experiences of how to Make Excellent Customer Service the Standard.
Welcome to the CSN service excellence community.
Business/Personal Networking for CallCentreVoice.com members and anyone who has an interest in call/contact centres and customer service.
Membership in the group is open to active members of SOCAP. SOCAP is a member-driven organisation committed to promoting the customer care profession as a competitive advantage in business. Its mission is to develop experts who add business value through customer engagement.
Worldwide industry experts in customer contact strategies including, CRM, BPO, direct marketing, managed services and call centre industries.
A call centre group dedicated to people passionate about call centres and customer service. If you work in the call centre, contact centre or customer service spaces you should consider joining this UK based group.
Share your knowledge and know how on customer care strategies, tactics and operations. Pu[pose: offering maximum service versus minimum costs.
On September 1st 2009 a new global association for the customer service and contact centre industries will be launched. The Customer Management Association is for call centre, contact centre, customer service and customer experience leaders.
This group is for Customer Services Management Professionals to network and exchange ideas to improve our service practises.
This group is designed to for the professional customer services community across industry sectors; FMCG, Retail, Insurance, Financial Services, Online, Housing Associations, Public Sector, Manufacturing, Automotive, Engineering, Charity, Travel, Outsourcing and the Service Sector.
In this group you can share and get new inspiration if you work with Customer Service on a every day basis. The group is worldwide an all nationalities are welcome.
A network of professionals who wish to exchange ideas on innovative approaches to customer service and support. This includes the application of customer service, contact centre, self-service, analytics, and knowledge management technologies, as well social networking and Web 2.0 technologies.
Call Centre Clinic, the leading provider of market information, research and analysis for customer management professionals. This group is all about knowledge share. Please participate in the discussions and post news to the news section.
Customer satisfaction programs are becoming increasingly attractive to IT organisations, contact centres, and help desks, yet few enterprises have institutionalised a successful customer sat measurement system. This is a group dedicated to understanding practises for maximising quality and C-Sat.
This group invites contact centre, call centre, help desk professionals from all verticals. This group would be used for finding the right talent as ref to the specific business vertical. Individual across the globe with 10+ years experience are invited to join!!
Customer Service, Sales, Inside Sales, Retention, Lead Generation, Outsourcing, Offshoring, Marketing, Training, CRM, BPO, Workforce Management, Dialer, Cost per acquisition, Selling tips, Call Centre, Call Centre, Dialer, Customers, ICT, Telecom, Surveys, Field Sales, Transcription Services, Jobs
Best practises to optimise customer care, contact centre management, quality assurance, CRM, recording, reporting, surveying, centre hiring, service, metrics, KPIs, analytics, workforce training, eLearning, outsourcing, WFM - Avaya, Cisco, Nortel, Genesys, Mitel, Siemens, Aspect, NEC, VoIP, IP PBXs.
An informal networking group of Customer Service professionals that includes Customer Service, Warranty Management and Field Service.
This is a global network of customer management, support and service professionals from all industries who share a common goal to create the best customer-centric organisation possible, through an exchange of new ideas to improve relationships with their customers.
The SOCAP Heartland Chapter represents the regions including: Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Western Missouri.
SOCAP is a member-driven organisation committed to promoting the customer care profession as a competitive advantage in business. The purpose of this group is to serve as an interim online meeting place for SOCAP's Household & Personal Care Community. SOCAP membership is required.
SOCAP is a member-driven organisation committed to promoting the customer care profession as a competitive advantage in business. The purpose of this group is to serve as an interim online meeting place for SOCAP's Retail & Consumer Goods Community. SOCAP membership is required.
SOCAP is a member-driven organisation committed to promoting the customer care profession as a competitive advantage in business. The purpose of this group is to serve as an interim online meeting place for SOCAP's Travel & Hospitality Community. SOCAP membership is required.
The ITIL/SM Group USA is a group dedicated to managing the cost and quality of IT service management. This group is open to EVERYONE who is interested in networking with professionals who discuss, work with, and study IT Service Management and ITIL.
This Group is for ITIL Professionals to discuss and share their knowledge on ITIL.
The Terrapinn Pacific Rim Help Desk & IT Service Management Conference is where senior IT professionals develop strategy to improve IT support services, ITSM and IT performance.
For everyone with a focus on the field service sector, including field/customer service managers, consultants and suppliers.
This is a group of ITIL certified practitioners of Incident Management and Problem Management processes and the Service Desk function (Support and Restore).
Networking and Professional group for all Technical Support / Help Desk / NOC professionals in Utah.
Help Desk Institute (HDI) leads and promotes help desk and support professionals by empowering its members through access to timely and valuable industry information, encouraging member collaboration, and establishing open standard, globally recognszed certification and training programs.
Belgian IT network group for Infrastructure professionals in Belgium specialised in Desktop, Mainframe, Network & security, server, Virtualisation and IT service management (ITIL - ITSM).
The Charlotte Chapter of the Help Desk Institute was established in January 2004 by local practitioners interested in a common goal: To leverage best practises and promote brainshare amongst leaders in the Service and Support Industry.
This is a group for professionals looking to read and exchange views and ideas related with ITIL, ISO 20000, ISM, COBIT, CMDB, PRINCE2 and IT Service Management.
The Service Desk Institute is the leading professional organisation for everyone working in the IT service and support industry. This group is designed to introduce you to a wider network of service desk and service management practitioners from across the industry.
Los Angeles Chapter of the Help Desk Institute (HDI), the world's largest membership association for the service and support industry.
This is the Indiana local chapter of HDI. We serve most of Indiana except the Southern portion of the state. Our organisation is focused on the Service and Support industry. We welcome all sizes of support organisations throughout Indiana to share and learn knowledge with your peers.
This Group is a forum for all those people who aspire to change the face of Infrastructure Industry using ITIL as a tool. ITIL Discussions , Suggestions , Advices , Strategies , Plans , Debates , Ideas , Questions , Knowledge incorporated under one space.
A nationwide organisation of Help Desk Management professionals.
Brew City HDI is the Milwaukee WI local chapter of the Global HDI network. Brew City HDI is a non-profit organisation, who in partnership with other members, provides opportunities that will enhance the Help Desk Profession as a technical associate, an IT team member and an individual.
Purpose of this group is to bring together IT professionals responsible for Architecture, Design and Implementation of IT Service Management Technology. Includes technology solutions for all ITIL V3 processes.
CA Unicenter Service Desk, CA Workflow, EIAM Product users, implementers and trainers.
The Helpdesk Group connects professionals from around the world passionate about Customer Service and Helpdesk Best Practise.
The HDI Support Centre Analyst Group on LinkedIn is comprised of HDI Support Centre Analyst Professionals.
CA Elite is a group for elite CA consultants to network, share expertise, references and source potential career opportunities. This could be for Service Desk, RC, Netmaster, jobtrac,clarity, automation, mainframe, netman.... So if you are a Consultant using Any CA products and can add value then your participation is much appreciated.
This is a networking group for IT Professionals who have worked directly with BMC Remedy ITSM. This group includes but is not limited to Developers, Project Managers, IT Managers, and Consultants.
For Information Technology (IT) Asset Management (ITAM) professionals both in-house practitioners, vendors and consultants globally. The group is inclusive of Hardware and Software (SAM). Overlaps with ITSM,ITIL, SOX and HIPAA. Vendor, analyst and association agnostic group. Managed by IAITAM.
A global professional group for ITIL thought leaders, practitioners, and providers.
This is a group for those professionals involved in refining and implementing ITIL- the most widely accepted approach to IT service management in the world.
This is a group for IT Service Delivery Manager (SDM) who wants to share their expertise or ideas with people. Talk about the implementation of your: SLA, Service Catalogue, ITIL process, etc. Share your tools or tricks with people having the same challenge.
This is a group for professional Service Level Managers working with ITIL processes or managers responsible for implementing SLM processes. The main purpose is to share knowledge and best practises.
*NO ADVERTS* - Best ITIL v2, v3 & itSMF ISO20000 group. ITSM, process, software, jobs, exams, templates, events, blogs, competitions, training, project management, Foundation, Expert, Practitioner forum. Also best practise such as PRINCE2, PMP, PMI, MSP, eTOM, Six Sigma, TOGAF, COBIT, CMMi. (required subgroup of ITIL Tools (Software, Systems, Templates, Documents, Reviews).
Group for ITIL manager certified people. Let us share our views and Knowledge on service Management arena.
Get networked in with fellow peers & colleagues leveraging similar practises, disciplines, and products to manage the ever growing challenges of today's IT enterprise. This Group is dedicated to practitioners of IT Service Management (ITSM) with a strong focus on the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL).
A community of IT Professionals sharing Best Practises experience for Knowledge Management, Self-Service, KCS, and CRM in the Help Desk, Service Desk, and Call Centre environments.
The official Linkedin group for members of ServiceDeskUsers.com, the most active online user community for the CA Service Desk Manager Suite of applications (formerly known as Unicenter Service Desk).
Networking group for HelpDesk Managers and Support Professionals.
This is a group intended to build an Information Technology Infrastructure Library community on LinkedIn.
Join CIOs.com, the premier social network for CIOs and executive information technology leaders. Connect with senior technology executives at VP, CIO, and Director levels to network, discuss IT issues, or find a technology partner. Connect with friends, colleagues, and alumni.
This is a group for ITSM (ITIL best practises) professionals to expand and exchange experience and ideas related with ITIL best practises approach for IT Service Management.
This group is for ITIL qualified professionals and those interested in the ITIL methodologies and framework to share views and ideas.
This group is dedicated to provide and share Information Technology service management (ITSM) information and solutions based on Information Technology infrastructure library (ITIL) best practises.
Welcome to the association of Canadian practitioners of information technology law. IT.Can fosters the development of this growing field of legal practise. The expertise of the IT.Can membership helps to influence the shape of information technology law as it evolves.
This group connects professionals in the IT Management area. Topics: Infrastructure (ITIL), Demand management, IT Governance, Information Management. Aim is to mix & mingle, share knowledge and get connected.
Connecticut HDI is the only Connecticut based chapter of the Global HDI network. Out chapter works in close partnership with other members to provide professional opportunities that will enhance the Service Desk Profession through collaboration, networking and knowledge sharing.
IT Service Desk teams in the Nashville area, including call centres, help desk, desk side support, Tier 2 support groups, Team meets quarterly.
This group is created for IT professionals in the Service Management arena in Kuwait and other gulf countries. The forum welcomes all Service Desk, Service Delivery, Service Transition, Change, ITIL Managers and Practitioners professional to expand and exchange experiences and ideas.
A networking group for San Diego-based Technical Support Professionals - Software Support, IT Support, Help Desk, Desktop Support, Telephone Support, Online Support, e-Support, Customer Support, Customer Service, MCP / MCSA / MCSE / A+ / N+ Certified, etc.
This group is for everyone interested in best practises on the implementation of IT Service Management, covering any available framework like ITIL, ISM, COBIT, etcetera.
Law Firm Software and Technologies - for information technology professionals in the legal industry.
Legal IT Vendors is a subgroup of the Legal IT Network, where vendors of legal technology software & services can freely promote their products. A great way to interact with (possible) customers. Members can use the discussion board for marketing and other commercial activities.
Legal Technology UK is a business networking group for both Law Firms and Legal Software companies. The group invites discussion on technical topics, associated software products and how the legal technology sector is growing within the UK.
This group is intended for Legal Technology Specialists working within Law Firms and for Legal Technology Vendors to reconnect and network with each other.
Group for Legal Information Technology professionals to share and discuss industry issues, ideas and trends.
ILTA is the premier peer networking organisation, providing information to members to maximise the value of technology in the support of the legal profession.
LinkedIn's global Legal Technology community. Meet law firm IT staff, lawyers, attorneys, paralegals, litigation support & e-Discovery experts, court staff and many others. Our moderated discussions include topics like risk-, data-, and knowledge management, forensics, compliance and much more.
Technology for lawyers, attorneys, law firms, IT & litigation support, paralegals and legal services providers. e-Discovery, ESI, Forensics, Data, Information, Digital Evidence, Compliance, Governance, Risk, Trial Software and Knowledge, Document, Records, Case & Practise Management.
For legal professionals and those serving the profession interested in the use of blogging, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media.
An international networking group for legal technology leaders, consultants/technologists and law firm innovators. This group is part of the Strategic Technology Forum. Sign up at www.stategictechnologyforum.com to receive latest information on the elite technology forum in Europe.
HIMSS-NCA is the chapter of the Health Information Management & Systems Society (HIMSS) representing the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Our society consists of 300+ members who are passionate about the optimal use of health IT (HIT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare.
HIUG is comprised of all healthcare organisations that have an Oracle product that focuses on maximising customer interaction through sales or service. This would include payer, provider, and managed care organisations. This is the official Healthcare Industry User Group (HIUG) group.
Creating the future of healthcare. Focus on the value healthcare by finding new ways to empower patients, physicians, providers and payers. Join us!
The HIMSS Linkedin Group is for constructive and stimulating discussion, knowledge sharing and communications among professionals regarding the optimal use of health IT (HIT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare worldwide.
This group is for anyone currently involved or interested in EMR, EHR, and Healthcare IT. Consultants, Healthcare professionals, Hiring Mgrs. etc. (McKesson, Cerner, Eclipsys, Siemens, GE, Meditech, Epic, Centricity, Allscripts, Nextgen, Greenway, MedAssets, eClinicalWorks, Cloverleaf, eGate).
This group is for healthcare professions, IT and Performance Improvement Professionals that wish to learn as well as share best practises for implementing EMR/EHR systems and equipping clinical staff with the skills necessary to make the transition from paper to paper-light.
This group is for people working in Healthcare-IT, Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Hospital Info System (HIS). Knowledge grows by sharing, see my blog http://healthcareitstrategy.blogspot.com
Place for all EHR/EMR/PM professionals for networking.
The SaaS User Group was created as an educational endeavor to provide a forum for business leaders involved in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution, and integration of SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, and delivery channels.
A group for Cloud Computing & Virtualisation professionals to expand their network, share idea's and discuss industry topics: cloud & server virtualisation technologies, VMware, SaaS, PaaS, cloud security, distributors, ISV's, OEM partners, enterprise 2.0 applications, mobile cloud, data storage.
This group is open to all professionals active in the Software as a Service area (SaaS) to discuss how SaaS can alleviate the customer's burden of software maintenance, ongoing operation, and support. Goal of this community is to connect these SaaS professionals.**Please read the rules before posting. People who intend to use this as a place to spam will be banned.** No webinars posts. No "I want to expand my network" posts. No advertisement or posts such as "this is our company and this is what we do". No requests to join other groups. Recruiters to post only in the Job section. Abusers of the group will be banned without notice.
Networking with people who are working on CRM concept, to discuss best practises and help each other in our business works. Sales, Marketing, Customers Support, loyalty, SaaS, Software as a Service, Technology, Software.
Software as a service is no longer a trend and new model. With web 2.0 we have a proven business model and we seek to push new boundaries and develop new partnership.
The CRM Focus Expert Group is intended to be a group for experts in the following fields: CRM, sales, sales force automation, marketing automation, customer service, call centre, hosted CRM. We want professionals to connect with one another to promote awareness, networking and community.
SaaS is a rapidly emerging global software delivery model, and as with any new technological shift there's a lot to talk about. This group is a network for SaaS, PaaS and IaaS professionals who want to learn and interact with others who share their interest and have valuable insight to share.
Platform-as-a-Service Promotes interaction among users, consultants and vendors working on different aspects of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) including Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), and Enterprise Service-Oriented Architecture (enterprise SOA).
Interested in building modern Enterprises? Join the network of people with visions, capital, connections, resources, knowledge and can-do attitude. (Tag-Cloud: Entrepreneurs, PaaS, BPM, eSOA, SOA, SaaS, Google Wave, Google Apps, Salesforce.com, SAP Business ByDesign, NetSuite, coda2go, Azure).
This group aims to develop the SaaS into the IT world. Therefore we need your time and appreciate your comments and suggestions to give to the SaaS community a place where we can all share our experience and anticipate the future of IT.
A group for all net-workers interested in the SaaS Inferno and is open to all professionals active in the SaaS area to discuss how SaaS can alleviate the customer's burden of software maintenance, ongoing operation, & support. Goal of this community is to connect these SaaS/S+S/Cloud professionals.
Software delivery is changing, and software companies without a Software-as-a-Service or SaaS strategy are going to fall behind their competition. This Group brings subscribers top-notch information and research on transforming, creating, and running their SaasS-based business.
This is a group to grow the Software as a Service (SaaS) Industry and to promote awareness throughout the business community. Business leaders, developers, programmers, IT industry, decision makers, interested people, and students are encouraged to join the discussion.
A Global Group / Forum for professionals in the domain of Software as a service (SAAS) / Cloud Computing, to network with other Israeli and world experts, Job seeking and to share ideas.
EuroCloud is to promote SaaS and cloud services and applications across Europe and encourage its take up.
Executives, Entrepreneurs & Enterprises Rallying Around the Tech-Enabled Services movement. This group is for Individuals who are helping to shape and expand the "Technology Enabled Services" market (i.e. Cloud Computing, SaaS, PaaS, Web 2.0/3.0, Virtualisation etc.).
This group is for discussing the market shift to SaaS business intelligence and data integration in the cloud.
Cloudbook is a cloud computing and SaaS community site where leaders in Cloud and SaaS share their knowledge and insights with the broader community. We also host cloudbook.tv shows where leaders can share their knowledge in a webinar format, a calendar containing cloud and SaaS events and a forum.
As the global market for Cloud Computing takes shape, suppliers, user enterprises, innovators and investors with an interest in public and private clouds, SaaS and OnDemand need a place to exchange ideas and best practise. Introducing Cloud Academy - the cloud reference for its members.
A specific group for UK SaaS (Software as a Service) professionals to engage and network together.
The European SaaS Forum offers the opportunity to meet and greet people in the SaaS business. The conference was held on the 18th of November. For a photo impression visit www.iir.nl/saas.
This group is for people with an interest in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). The group will encourage networking and the sharing of knowledge for professionals from technical through to marketing through to sales working in this exciting industry.
The SaaS Support Forum (TSSF) is about the Strategy, Process, People and Technology of Customer Support in SaaS companies and their partner organisations. TSSF's target audience is SaaS senior managers and CXO's, and is open to all interested professionals.
This Group is a network for SaaS, Cloud computing, On -Demand, PaaS and IaaS professionals including business community, decision makers, developers, Sales & Marketing folks in India.
Most of our members are executives and CEOs from Chinese SaaS or IT Tycoons, such as Salesforce (China), 800APP, Shanda, UFIDA, Lenovo, KINGDEE, Zoho,VanceInfo etc. More members will join in soon. Let's share thoughts on SaaS and Clouds! There are times when everything must change.
This group is dedicated to Software as a Service (SaaS) Professionals.
A group for sharing thoughts and ideas on emergence of Enterprise SaaS. How SaaS can be leveraged for solving business and IT problems in ever resource crunch economic environment.
This group is for discussing SaaS based ERP, CRM and eCommerce solutions eg. NetSuite, Intacct, Salesforce.com, SAP Business ByDesign, OpenAir, and other SaaS apps.
Discussion and networking forum specifically for Software as a service sales and consulting professionals who either work for a SaaS solution provider or manage a SaaS application in their organisation.
The SaaS Council is a network of European Software as a Service Executives that tackle difficult issues and share ideas with peers, focusing on the unique natures of the ever changing European landscape and Software as a Service (SaaS) industry.
Discuss and exchange information on the fast growing Software as a Service industry focusing on IT Security movement into the cloud. Networking with people all over the globe working in this vertical.
Dedicated to SaaS Service Operations professionals. Best practises and an opportunity to exchange ideas on Operations, Customer Support, Hosting, Application Management.
Vtiger Israel is intended for experts & information seekers in the following fields: CRM, Hosted CRM, Sales, Sales & Marketing Force Automation, Customer Service, Help-desk Services, On-line Services. We invite professionals to connect with each other. Promote awareness, networking & community.