Gartner Identifies Four Imperatives That Customer Service and Support Leaders Must Address to Deliver Digital Customer Service in 2019

Digital Technologies and Growing Customer Expectations Mean
Service Leaders Must Get the Digital Experience Right, According to

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–lt;a href=”” target=”_blank”gt;#AIlt;/agt;–Emerging digital trends are top of mind for customer service and support
leaders in 2019, according to a recent survey by Gartner, Inc.
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

“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,” said
Lauren Villeneuve, advisor at Gartner. “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
organization and help drive growth.”

Gartner identified four
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).
  • Prioritize 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 prioritizing investments in the digital
    experience over other initiatives, such as upskilling talent.
  • Explore digital applications to improve operational efficiency:
    More than 70 percent 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 organizations are rapidly adopting digital channels
and capabilities,” added Pete
, vice president at Gartner. “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.”

Additional details on Gartner’s top priorities for 2019 are available to
Gartner for Customer Service & Support Leaders clients in the report 2019
Outlook: 4 Challenges With the Digital Customer Service Experience

About Gartner for Customer Service & Support Leaders

The customer service and support function is vital to the satisfaction
and loyalty of a company’s customer base. Gartner
for Customer Service & Support Leaders
provides indispensable
insights, advice and tools needed to achieve mission-critical
priorities, improve the customer experience and contain costs. Gartner’s
research, advice and best practices equip customer service and support
leaders to reduce customer effort, optimize service channel strategy,
and hire, develop and retain high-potential frontline talent.

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT), is the world’s leading research and advisory
company and a member of the S&P 500. We equip business leaders with
indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their
mission-critical priorities today and build the successful organizations
of tomorrow.

Our unmatched combination of expert-led, practitioner-sourced and
data-driven research steers clients toward the right decisions on the
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for more than 15,000 organizations in more than 100 countries — across
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Kelly Blum

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