Story image

Gartner’s four musts for digital customer service

13 Feb 2019

Emerging digital trends are top of mind for customer service and support leaders in 2019, according to a recent survey by Gartner. 

Customer-facing artificial intelligence (AI), big data, customer activism and rising CRM costs are key priorities for customer service and support leaders this year.

However, the survey of 533 customer service leaders also showed a low-preparedness level to address these issues, despite the rising pressures to increase digital capabilities and enhance the digital experience.

“The propagation of digital technologies and growing customer expectations in the service space are driving the need for greater digital capabilities and a more seamless digital experience,” says Gartner advisor Lauren Villeneuve. 

“With increasing internal and external expectations, service leaders are on the line for mastering digital. Only then will they be able to truly differentiate their organisation and help drive growth.”

Gartner identified four imperatives that customer service and support leaders must address for delivering digital customer service in 2019:

  • Meet increasing internal pressures and accountability - Service leaders are adopting digital technologies to help alleviate pressure from leadership to scale resources. While these technologies, including automation, are geared to improving the customer experience, many service leaders report they struggle with managing technology.  
  • Gain control over service website - More than half of service leaders report they do not have ownership of their service websites. Those that do have ownership report they share that ownership with another function (typically marketing, IT or digital teams).  
  • Prioritise and improve the digital experience - Customers today expect Zappos-like service from every company they interact with, regardless of the product, service or industry. Given these heightened expectations, service leaders are faced with the difficult task of making trade-offs - often prioritising investments in the digital experience over other initiatives, such as upskilling talent.  
  • Explore digital applications to improve operational efficiency - More than 70% of customer service leaders indicate that big data and back-office automation are big priorities for the year. As such, service leaders must work closely with IT leaders to enhance their teams’ digital capabilities and improve operational efficiency.

“Customer service organisations are rapidly adopting digital channels and capabilities,” adds Gartner vice president Pete Slease. 

“While this can be an effective means of fulfilling customer needs and expectations, a common mistake is expanding digital offerings without fully considering what aspects of the digital experience are most valuable to customers and service staff. Gaining these insights as soon as possible and then applying them to decision-making is critical to making the most of digital investments and successfully upskilling digital capabilities.”

Dell EMC launches interactive AI Experience Zones
The AI Experience Zones are designed to educate visitors about how to start, identify, and implement an AI project.
EXCLUSIVE: Forcepoint global channel chief talks strategy
As a solution sold 100% via the channel, cybersecurity solutions company Forcepoint places a strong emphasis on its partner relationships.
IDC: Semiconductor market declines after three years of growth
However, it says that semiconductor revenues will recover in 2020 and log a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.0% from 2018-2023.
D-Link hooks up with Alexa and Assistant with new smart camera
The new camera is designed for outdoor use within a wireless smart home network.
Vocus slams ComCom mobile review as “disgraceful”
The Commission says there is no need for measures to improve competition in the NZ mobile market. Vocus says this decision will be “crippling.”
Virtustream launches new services for cloud applications
The new suite of professional and managed services expands Virtustream’s enterprise application and services solutions.
Secureworks Magic Quadrant Leader for Security Services
This is the 11th time Secureworks has been positioned as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Managed Security Services, Worldwide.
Datto expands A/NZ presence with Sydney office
This investment will enable Datto and its partners to continue to grow and address the IT needs of small and medium businesses (SMBs) in the region.