Gartner: Customer Service Leaders Have Three Priorities to Improve Customer Experience In 2024

Discover how contact center strategies will evolve over the next 12 months

Gartner: Customer Service Leaders Have Three Priorities to Improve Customer Experience In 2024
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Published: February 5, 2024

Charlie Mitchell

Gartner has revealed that customer service leaders will prioritize customer journey analytics, self-service, and generative-AI-powered agent-assist in 2024.

In doing so, the research firm shared the results of a survey of 246 customer service and support leaders conducted in October last year.

Commenting on the findings, Kim Hedlin, Senior Principal of Research in the Gartner Customer Service & Support Practice, stated: “Advances in GenAI (generative AI) and shifting customer preferences are pushing service and support leaders to reimagine what’s possible for their organization in 2024.

Leaders are focused on how they can leverage technology to accomplish their top priorities, including improving customer experience and optimizing their operations.

Each priority seemingly blends into the next. Indeed, service operations may use customer journey analytics to spot customer experience pain points that increase contact volumes.

From there, they can remove some of those pain points with targeted self-service applications.

When that’s not possible, they may improve upon the pain points with improved agent guidance.

While Gartner stopped short of this observation – in its press release, at least – it added more color to each priority, as shared below.

1. Leaders Invest in Journey Analytics to Understand Customer Experience Holistically

Within the next 18 months, 56 percent of service leaders will invest in the customer journey analytics market, finds Gartner.

The technology allows brands to analyze all their customer conversations, surfacing intent, sentiment, and attitudinal data.

Sharing his thoughts on this statistic, J.J. Moncus, Principal of Research in the Gartner Customer Service & Support Practice, noted: “Customer service and support leaders are using CJA to gain a more holistic understanding of what customers need.

Customers’ and executive leaders’ expectations for service interactions will only continue to rise. Service and support leaders need to identify and understand significant customer touchpoints in order to deliver a better experience.

Interestingly, Gartner’s survey suggests that – of those who will invest in customer journey analytics – 45 percent will do so for the first time.

2. Shifts in Customer Preferences Push Leaders to Prepare for the Future of Self-Service

According to Gartner, “many” support leaders will experiment with new self-service tools in 2024 to meet “the growing preference” for self-service amongst younger customers.

The research firm also cites the rise of GenAI in bolstering leaders’ confidence in self-service solutions.

As Hedlin stated: “The GenAI hype is providing momentum for leaders’ self-service investments.

Leaders have seen glimmers of a future in which conversational interfaces powered by GenAI could handle more complex interactions than a traditional chatbot. That vision is helping shape leaders’ self-service strategy in 2024.

However, Gartner acknowledges the considerable implementation challenges contact centers face regarding self-service.

It notes that 51 percent of those service leaders who indicate self-service is a priority also named it a significant challenge for 2024 – citing data disorganization and organizational resistance.

3. Leaders Pilot Employee-Facing GenAI to Assist Reps

83 percent of enterprises have plans to invest in GenAI or already have done so.

Within those organizations, 94 percent of customer service leaders are at least “exploring” the possibility of implementing an employee-facing virtual assistant or “copilot”.

According to Moncus, many see such assistants as the first rung on the GenAI ladder. “Many leaders see employee-facing GenAI as an experimental step on the way to deploying customer-facing virtual assistants,” he said.

Respondents indicated it’s an important way to learn the risks of GenAI while still having a human in the loop, before moving on to riskier customer-facing deployments.

Also interesting is that 79 percent of service leaders say that the business keeps them in the loop regarding enterprise plans for GenAI adoption.

Since 17 percent have no GenAI plans, that seems to highlight how service leaders are playing an increasingly integral role in the broader business strategy.

That said, the prevalence of GenAI opportunities in customer-facing functions makes this less surprising – with lots of excellent examples in this article.

Gartner often posts fascinating insights into the customer experience space. To dive into some of its other notable findings, check out our articles:

Agent AssistGenerative AISelf ServiceVirtual Assistant

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