6 steps to identify the right tech partner for customer service excellence

Khoros Staff

In an era of extensive connectivity, customer expectations have soared to an all-time high. Businesses tirelessly try to navigate the increasingly complex environment to provide unparalleled customer service. In the US alone, as much as $1.6 trillion is lost due to customers switching to other brands after a poor customer service experience. It's no wonder that 81% of companies consider customer experience a crucial competitive differentiator in staying ahead.

At the heart of achieving this pinnacle of excellence is the critical choice of the right technology partner. This decision goes beyond mere technological capability; it represents a strategic alliance that can transform the customer experience, propelling your business toward long-term growth.

In fact, 76% of leaders agree that current business models will be unrecognizable in the next five years — business ecosystems will be the primary change agent, with those who lead in this space outperforming stragglers by almost 80%!

Choosing the perfect digital service tech partner is beneficial and essential to maintaining accelerated growth. Outsourcing customer service has several proven benefits; however, securing a partner that understands and aligns with your organization's strategic vision involves careful consideration and a profound grasp of your core objectives. 

This blog explores the crucial elements to weigh when selecting an optimal digital service tech partner. Armed with actionable advice and insights, we aim to guide you in finding a collaborator that not only meets but exceeds your business goals, ensuring that your journey toward customer service excellence is strategic and successful.

The customer service software checklist

1. Understanding your customer service needs

Choosing the right tech partner for customer service is like planning a long road trip; understanding your needs ensures you’re fully prepared for the road ahead, making the trip as efficient and enjoyable as possible.

Understanding your customer service needs

Before setting out, you assess your vehicle’s condition (i.e., customer service strategy and operations) — by checking the following:

  • Supplies: just like having enough oil in the tank, ensure your team has the necessary communication tools to be prepared for any situation.

  • Tires: as important as maintaining your vehicle’s tires for road safety is essential, ensure your customer service platform can handle your volume of inquiries without “flattening” under pressure.

  • Brakes: much like having reliable brakes for safe driving, ensuring that you establish issue resolution processes for swift and effective responses to customer concerns.

  • Navigation: just as a well-planned route is necessary for a smooth journey, it’s important you understand your customer's journey for timely and relevant support.

Just as you plan for stops along the way (just like predictable increases in inquiries during product launches or holiday seasons) and anticipate road conditions (like scaling up support channels in anticipation of market expansion) — understanding your present and future needs ensures a smooth service journey.

This preparation helps you to identify your strengths and areas for improvement. For example, you may have a knowledgeable support team but need a more sophisticated chatbot for off-hours queries. Understanding your current capabilities and service needs can help you mitigate potential issues before they become problems.

Beware that as your journey progresses, your needs might change. For example, you may need to support additional languages or integrate social media platforms into your customer service strategy

2. Key criteria for selecting a tech partner

Reliable transportation is essential for any journey. Similarly, selecting the right tech partner for excellent customer service is about choosing a companion with the right tools and expertise.

It is important to keep several vital criteria in mind to ensure your collaboration is successful:

  1. Experience: Just as you would choose a car that can handle certain terrains, industry experience ensures your tech partner knows the landscape of your sector. For instance, a tech partner experienced in the telecommunications sector will be adept at navigating the regulatory complexities and privacy concerns unique to the field.
  2. Compatibility: Ensuring your technology stack is compatible is like ensuring all your gadgets can integrate with your vehicle. This helps to ensure that your journey is smoother and more enjoyable while also allowing you to avoid unnecessary stops or detours. Therefore, it's important that your ideal partner seamlessly integrates with your existing systems, minimizing disruptions and making your transition as smooth as possible.

    Suppose your business still relies on outdated systems that fail to support advanced technology like AI and automation. In that scenario, making the necessary changes to stay current with the latest trends can be challenging and expensive. Sometimes, a complete overhaul of your entire technology ecosystem is required. Consulting with a software professional is highly recommended, as it can help make this transition less painful.

  3. Implementation (time-to-value): Finding a partner who can enhance your operations without causing significant disruptions is essential. Look for a track record of successful integrations to ensure you can achieve a faster return on investment and minimize the risk of setbacks, much like a co-pilot who knows the best routes and shortcuts.

    Additionally, your chosen tech partner should be able to equip your team with the necessary skills for the journey ahead and ensure that your data remains secure and available to enhance service experiences.

  4. Shared vision: The alignment of customer service philosophy and strategic vision ensures that both parties have a shared vision towards a successful journey. Your chosen tech partner should be more than just a vendor that provides innovative solutions; they should embody your commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences.

    Learn how tech giant Samsung Benelux benefits from having a shared vision with its tech partners.

  5. Social proof: When considering a potential business partner, it's essential to have proof of their capabilities and reliability. Existing customers' testimonials can provide this assurance and enhance the overall experience. These real-world studies show the partner's ability to deliver on promises and achieve tangible improvements.
Key criteria for selecting a tech partner

3. Evaluating technological capabilities

A flexible and scalable tech partner is like having a vehicle equipped for all conditions and terrains — whether it’s enabling AI-driven support to anticipate customer issues before they arise, offering multichannel support for seamless customer experience, or providing analytics for continuous improvement.

Imagine you’re assembling a team for an expedition into unchartered territories. Your success doesn't solely depend on a map of the known paths; it’s about preparing for the unexpected, adapting to changing landscapes, and leveraging every tool to navigate unknown challenges.

The same concept applies in this rapidly evolving landscape of digital customer service, where evaluating a tech partner’s technological capabilities is not just about ticking boxes for current needs; it’s about anticipating the future of customer interactions.

Therefore, evaluating a tech partner based on evidence of current competencies and a forward-looking approach that embraces innovation and scalability is critical.

    1. Conversational AI: In this adventure, advanced AI chatbots act as your scouts, communicating with the locals (i.e., customers) in their language and on their preferred channels to assist at all times.

      Conversational AI is transforming the frontline of customer service, offering personalized and instant responses to customer queries round-the-clock. A tech partner with a robust AI framework can elevate your customer service from transactional interactions to meaningful conversations.

    2. CRM integration: This is similar to having a cartographer who meticulously maps out every step (i.e., interaction) to ensure the entire team understands the terrain (i.e., customer journey).

      When you track every interaction, providing customers with a smooth and personalized experience across all touchpoints becomes easier. This process also enables you to make informed decisions.

    3. Unified customer experience: Multichannel support capabilities are your versatile explorers, skilled in effortlessly navigating through different environments (i.e., platforms), ensuring no areas remain disconnected from the mission.

      The customers of today’s digital era expect to interact with your brand on various platforms — from social media to live chats and everything in between. A tech partner that offers cross-channel support capabilities can guarantee that all interactions are cohesive, consistent, and contextually relevant.

    4. Advanced analytics tools: Consider these tools as your strategists and analysts constantly evaluating the expedition’s progress, learning from every encounter, and finding ways to enhance the journey ahead.

      The backbone of continuous improvements in customer service is robust service analytics to dig deeper into insights that identify areas for enhancement.

    These technological capabilities form the bedrock of modern customer service operations, ensuring your business meets and exceeds expectations.

    4. Collaboration and communication

    You can significantly improve collaboration and communication with your tech partner by sharing a passion for delivering delightful customer service. This requires anticipating and meeting customers' needs and working together to continuously innovate and improve service delivery.

    Effective communication goes beyond simply problem-solving and requires a joint commitment to excellence. With these principles, you can establish a strong foundation for a successful partnership that focuses on providing exceptional service.

    • Cultural fit: A harmonious relationship is often rooted in a strong cultural fit and shared values, which pave the way for effective collaboration. This alignment ensures that both parties work towards a common goal with a mutual understanding of the importance of customer experience.

    • Communication tools: Utilizing platforms that support real-time collaboration, such as shared online workspaces, instant messaging apps, and video conferencing tools, can bridge the physical gap between teams.

    • Stay in the know: Regularly scheduled meetings and check-ins ensure that both sides remain aligned on project goals, timelines, and expectations. Establish open and transparent communication channels to encourage sharing ideas, feedback, and constructive criticism for continuous improvement and innovation.

    • Monitoring and continuous improvement: Shared metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) serve as a beacon, guiding you and your tech partner toward a common goal: customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.

      Regularly reviewing these metrics fosters a culture of transparency and mutual accountability that empowers both parties to identify areas of improvement and celebrate successes.

    Collaboration and communication

    5. Buy-in and decision-making process

    Achieving consensus among core decision-makers is not just about presenting the tangible benefits of a tech partnership; it’s about crafting a compelling narrative that aligns with your organization's objectives and addresses potential concerns head-on.

    To this end, developing a well-structured executive case is essential, which not only highlights the direct advantages, such as cost savings, improved customer satisfaction, and operational efficiencies, but outlines the long-term strategic benefits like competitive advantage, scalability, and innovation potential.

    Ensure you can provide a thorough risk assessment and mitigate strategies to pre-emptively address any key stakeholders' reservations. You should also utilize data-driven insights and predictive analytics to substantiate your claims. For instance:

    1. Incorporate case studies or benchmarking data from similar organizations that have previously implemented comparable technology solutions to provide concrete evidence of potential success.

    2. Show stakeholders the implementation timeline, milestones, and KPIs to track progress towards transition.

    3. To demonstrate the concept's viability, consider proposing a pilot project or adopting a phased implementation approach. This strategy will facilitate tangible evaluation while minimizing initial risk. Additionally, it will provide practical insights into the functioning of the partnership in a real-world scenario.

    Ultimately, demonstrate how the partnership won’t merely be a cost but an investment in your organization’s future.

    Buy-in and decision-making process

    6. The final decision

    This critical phase requires meticulous evaluation and due diligence, which goes beyond comparing service features and pricing and involves a deep dive into each contender’s capability to meet your company's current and future needs.

    Make sure you:

    • Conduct a thorough legal and compliance review of potential partners to ensure adherence to industry standards, data protection, privacy regulations, and new laws like the AI Act.

    • Evaluate your potential tech partner's financial health and stability to ensure they can be a long-term ally in your business growth.

    • Consider the scalability of solutions, the flexibility of service agreements, and the quality of enablement support provided.

    As mentioned earlier, the cultural fit and shared values are often the linchpin of successful, long-lasting partnerships.


    Finding a partner with a shared vision, technological innovation, and a commitment to mutual growth positions your business to meet and exceed the evolving demand for customer service.

    This careful selection process ensures a future-ready framework that enhances satisfaction, drives loyalty, and secures a competitive advantage in the ever-changing customer engagement landscape. 

    Need help making the best digital first impression? Download your copy of the ultimate RFP checklist for customer service software here.

    How can Khoros help?

    The key to success is always being available for your customers wherever and whenever they need you. Khoros Service is a solution that helps enterprise businesses scale their customer service operations quickly, seamlessly blending synchronous and asynchronous modes. ​​

    We are firm believers in the idea that every component, whether it is AI-powered bots or business applications, should work together to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of customer engagement strategies.

    Our customer service software allows brands to serve customers on their digital channel of choice with unmatched operational insight to boost satisfaction and reduce costs. When you unify multiple channels in a single workflow, you empower your agents with the ability to engage across all touchpoints, including but not limited to:

    • Messaging apps like WhatsApp, Apple Messages for Business, and Google Business Messages, Line

    • Social networks like Facebook, X, LinkedIn and WeChat

    • Review sites, like Google Play Store, iOS App Store, Yelp, and Trustpilot

    • Brand-owned channels, like web chat, in-app, email, SMS, and voice

    • Owned communities, forums, and knowledge bases

      Would you like to learn more about Khoros?