Based on a survey of customer service and support (CSS) leaders around the world, Gartner has shared four key trends, using five technologies, to watch in customer service.
Four key customer service technology trends
Trend Number One: Technologies that enable reps are bringing most value to service organizations
While newer technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) are increasingly growing in popularity within the customer service space, Gartner says that employee-centric technologies like workforce management, case management, consolidated desktop agent, internal collaboration tools, and unified communications currently deliver the most value to the customer service function.
These types of technologies focus on performance, monitoring, and development to support day-to-day or intraday flexibility, new operational needs to manage the new work world, and new demands and expectations of customers.
Trend Number Two: The future lies in understanding the preferences and behaviours of digital customers
Gartner’s survey revealed that in the next two years, digital self-service channels like online account portals and mobile applications, as well as predictive customer analytics, are expected to become valuable capabilities for service organizations.
Digital self-service channels can help service organizations save money, and according to Gartner, CSS leaders should invest in analytics to be able to understand and predict customer behaviours on these channels to improve customer experience.
Trend Number Three: CSS leaders expect most gains from data and analytics
Over the next few years, the focus will not only be on analyzing customer data using digital analytics, sentiment analysis, and machine learning, but also taking that data to make informed decisions using the actionable insights, according to CSS leaders.
An example of this would be virtual customer assistants (VCAs)/chatbots and interaction assistance tools that can make use of the insights provided by speech and text analytics to better understand the customer’s language and intent behind queries. These insights enable VCAs to read between the lines and recommend the best course of action for customers.
Trend Number Four: Substantial investments on the horizon in the deployment of AI and chatbots
Trend number four reveals that CSS leaders will invest in VCAs/chatbots and AI in the next several years, according to the Gartner Technology Roadmap Survey.
Today, only one in four service organizations are fully deploying these technologies, but 37.5 per cent of CSS leaders are planning to deploy chatbots by 2023, and 36.3 per cent of them are doing the same for AI capabilities.
Additionally, CSS leaders are also running pilots for technology like speech analytics, predictive analytics, and mobile-based messaging.