Gartner: 4 key technology trends in customer service

This, of course, requires the collection of data on customer behavior and experience.

Customer service and support managers (CSS) need to make key investment decisions as the technological environment, including the four trends mentioned in this title, is evolving rapidly.

Today’s coolest customer service technologies focus mainly on supported services and freeing up customer service staff time, reflecting the growing shift towards digital self-service platforms and analytics capabilities.

These reflect emerging technological trends that support the company’s ability to better understand and anticipate customer needs. The increase in ROI and the introduction of these technologies indicate that managers want to provide better experiences for digital customers.

“Customer service managers indicate that they are increasingly savvy about analytics and self-service technologies that help understand and serve digital customers,” said Connor Seidenschwarz, research director at Gartner. Based on the market research firm’s global survey of customer service and customer support (CSS) executives, the following four key trends in customer service technologies need to be addressed.

1. trend: Technologies that support company representatives bring the most value to service organizations.

Although artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and virtual reality (VR) are high port turmoil in customer service, currently most of the value is provided by employee-centric technologies to the customer service function such as workforce management, case management, consolidated desktop agent, internal collaboration tools, and unified communications. These technologies focus more on performance, monitoring, and development to support: Daily or intraday flexibility. New operational aspects needed to manage hybrid teleworkers. New customer needs and expectations. Growing expectations for creating an enhanced customer experience.

2. trend: The future lies in understanding the preferences and behavior of digital customers

Over the next two years, digital self-service channels (eg online billing portals and mobile applications) and predictive customer analysis will be the most valuable capabilities of service organizations. Digital self-service channels offer tremendous cost savings to service organizations, and CSS managers need to invest in analytics to understand and predict customer behavior on these channels and improve the customer experience.

3. trend: CSS managers expect the most gains from data and analysis

CSS managers have indicated that over the next two years, it is not just customer data through digital analytics, mood analysis and machine learning. emphasis is placed on the analysis of data, but also on making informed decisions using usable data for usable recognitions.

For example, virtual customer assistants (VCAs) or chat robots and interaction tools can use the insights provided by speech and text analysis to better understand customer language and the intent behind queries. These insights allow VCAs to read between lines and suggest optimal course of action to customers.

4. trend: Significant investment on the horizon in the deployment of AI and chat bots

According to the Gartner Technology Roadmap Survey, CSS managers will invest heavily in VCAs and chat bots over the next few years, and artificial intelligence. Today, only one in four service organizations is making full use of these technologies, but 37.5 percent of CSS executives are running pilots or planning to introduce chatbots by 2023; 36.3 percent do the same for AI abilities. Additional capabilities that customer support and service managers run pilots include speech analytics, predictive analytics, and mobile messaging.

With the rapid development of the technological environment, CSS managers have to make difficult investment decisions. To do this, they must do the following: Review core service objectives, understand customer preferences and behavior, and conduct a thorough market survey to select and rank the technologies to be invested. They need to collaborate and coordinate in other areas, including IT, marketing, and finance, to understand existing plans or technologies, their perspectives, and potential coordination interfaces. Data should be collected on customer behavior and experience to determine the current and potential role of technology in customer service. They should examine the performance of existing technologies by evaluating usage, costs, customer experience, representative experience, and strategic relevance, and in relation to market trends.