One of the market’s leading analytics companies, Gartner, has shared its predictions on the changes in the customer service and support technology landscape. According to Gartner, many vendors in this environment are reshaping and reinvesting in broader portfolios for their customers.
Going into 2020 and beyond, Gartner believes that vendors of all sizes will need to start focusing on four major pillars of excellent customer service, including knowledge/insight, resource management, process orchestration, and getting connected. Additionally, a growing multivendor ecosystem investment could lead to higher total cost of ownership and less efficiency for end-users – highlighting a need for more consolidated solutions.
Gartner predicts that if businesses want to gather as many customers as possible for their customer service technologies in the years to come, they’ll need to start changing their strategies. This could be sourcing more solutions from vendors that address customer needs and working with industry peers across the customer service landscape to create a more compressive core platform.
The Customer Service Industry is Evolving
According to Gartner, there are many major factors driving the evolution of customer service tech. For instance, by 2025, customer service organisations with access to multichannel, AI engagement platforms could achieve up to 25% better operational efficiency. Additionally, by 2022, Gartner predicts that CCaaS will become the preferred model for contact centre adoption in 50% of environments with more than 750 agents.
What’s more, customers will be changing the way that they interact with customer service too. Gartner notes that 70% of self-service interactions may be initiated by speech by 2023, through smart speakers and assistants.
To thrive in this changing environment, companies in the customer service and support environment will need to deliver solutions that are intelligent, effortless, consistent, and easy to customise. Using insight from client discussions and the vendor landscape, Gartner has put together a selection of four key pillars required to facilitate excellent customer service.
Gartner’s Pillars of Excellent customer Service
The four pillars identified by Gartner as crucial to great customer service include:
- Knowledge and Insight: Intelligent access to knowledge will be crucial for contextual conversations and informed decision-making processes
- Managing resources: Staff need to be empowered and engaged by the resources that are suitable for their day-to-day jobs
- Process orchestration: Businesses will need to create an environment that allows for more complex and highly personalised engagements with customers
- Getting connected: Gartner believes that customers should be easily able to connect with brands through a channel-less architect design that allows for intelligent self-service
Currently, Gartner believes that there is no unified system for customer service and support that encompasses all of the four pillars required for excellent customer experience. However, the analytics brand also believes that vendors and resellers can access exceptional opportunities in aligning as many pillars as possible to suit their target audience.
Vendors from various landscapes are already beginning to increase the value of their offerings by combining their technology with adjacent brands. Solution providers are beginning to offer customer service support across multiple pillars, connecting the contact centre to everything from analytics, to workforce management, and CRM support.
Making the Pillars of Customer Service Stronger
According to Gartner, while each of the four pillars of excellent customer service is essential to the future of today’s business/consumer interactions, they’re more successful when they’re combined. For instance, Gartner notes that contact centre vendors often offer strong support in the “getting connected” pillar. However, these brands also need to reach out to partners for help with managing resources.
On the other hand, customer relationship management centre vendors provide excellent solutions for knowledge, insight, and process orchestration. However, if they can link with the getting connected vendors, then businesses can achieve better context and relevant information on the backend.
Application leaders and vendors for the customer service and support industries need to move beyond just focusing on one pillar of ambition for their efforts and start considering the benefits of at least 3 forms of primary landscapes. Gartner believes that this shift will lead to better outcomes for every interaction.
Gartner’s Recommendations for the Future of Customer Service
To truly embrace the four pillars of excellent customer service and deliver the solutions that businesses are looking for today, Gartner recommends that customer service and support vendors should consider investing in tech partners and system integrators that will give a boost to their internal capabilities. Additionally, vendors may need to consider system integrators that have already proven their ability to work well in the CPaaS environment, and with flexible APIs.
Gartner also recommends that vendors should look for solution providers with a robust partner ecosystem and proven delivery in their chosen region. By taking steps like these, customer service vendors will be able to expand their offering to deliver exactly what users need.