Information Technology

Gartner Glossary

CSS (Customer Service and Support)

Once known as the “complaint department,” customer service and support or CSS is responsible for retaining and extending customer relationships once a product or service is sold. Due to the increasing complexity of customer interactions, customer service organizations need a complex technological infrastructure that is flexible, extensible and scalable and that integrates front-office applications with back-end processes and data. The components of CSS include:

• Call management — The core functionality of CSS applications. This component is used to log all incoming telephone calls and transactions and to manage the transaction from initiation through closure.

• Internet-based customer service suites — Also known as e-service suites, these applications and tools empower customers, partners and prospects for self-service and interactions with the enterprise via the Web, an intranet or an extranet.

• Field service and dispatch (FS/D) systems — FS/D has become an essential element of complete CSS suites and is an important element of customer relationship management (CRM). FS/D software is evolving from solely back-office functionality to an enterprise system that tightly couples the back office with the front-office servicing systems.

• Contact centers — Traditional call centers handle voice-only customer contact, whereas contact centers include all types of channels of customer contact, including voice (e.g., telephone, IVR, speech recognition and voice verification), the Web, fax, video kiosks and e-mail. This is an inbound and outbound service-based environment in which agents handle all types of contacts regarding sales, customer service, marketing, telemarketing, collections and other functions.


“Trouble Ticketing” Most Requested Feature in Customer Service Software, According to Recent Report.


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