2017 technology trends in customer support centers

A great customer experience helps to build long-term relationships with customers, yet many support organizations don’t have the tools to provide consistent support.
A recent survey by Gatepoint Research finds that while the top goal for the majority of customer support organizations is to raise satisfaction levels, staff are still struggling with systems that are hard to use and integrate—making it difficult to deliver a consistent customer experience across channels and agents.

51% of Gatepoint survey respondents stated the leadership team views customer service as a potential competitive advantage. However, uneven service continues to be the main cause of customer frustration.

Survey participants shared current challenges and key trends including:

• Raising customer satisfaction scores is what matters most to them
• Uneven service continues to be the main cause of customer frustration
• Current customer support systems are hard to use and difficult to integrate

Access your complimentary copy of Technology Trends in Customer Support Centers below.

*Gatepoint Research, December 2016

Gartner Predicts 2017: CRM Customer Service and Support

2016 has challenged industry leaders to engage customers across all support channels, but the coming year, 2017, has taken a swift turn towards analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver better support interactions.

Customer service is going digital, and more and more customers expect seamless mobile support. With analytics and AI, support teams can tailor interactions to a customer’s needs and manage workflow and resource allocation. According to Gartner, “By 2018 50% of agent interactions will be influenced by real-time analytics.”

How will leaders in customer service improve customer experience with analytics and AI, and how will investments in these pivotal trends affect prospective employee skill sets and future roles?

Gartner’s key findings include:

  • Artificial intelligence (AI), a topic of interest for over 20 years, is at last finding rapid uptake as a tool to provide better customer service.
  • In addition to the power and productivity of AI harnessed for customer service, AI and automation will also disrupt the jobs of over a million customer service agents over the next four years.
  • Consumer messaging will overtake social media as the point of origin for customer support requests.
  • The use of virtual customer assistants (VCAs) will jump by 1,000% by 2020.

To learn more about Gartner’s predictions, analysis, and recommendations on using analytics and AI to deliver great support, you can access your complimentary copy of Gartner Predicts 2017: CRM Customer Service and Support.

Gartner Predicts 2017: CRM Customer Service and Support, M. Maoz, J. Davies, J. Sussin, O. Huang, and B. Manusama, N. LeBlanc, J. Robinson, 7 November 2016.

Modern Relationships: Predictive Analytics, Machine Learning and Meaningful Customer Relationships

Your company’s success hinges on building strong relationships with your customers, and relationships take work. Sometimes flowers and chocolates, too.

More than giving customers a single great experience, it’s vital to use data to provide a lifetime of great ‘dates’. In this 60-minute on-demand webinar, Jason Maynard, Director of Data and Analytics, and Dave Dyson, Senior Customer Service Evangelist, will show you how machine learning can help improve your customer relationships, and how Zendesk uses predictive analytics to improve our support and raise customer satisfaction.

This webinar will cover:

  • How you can use machine learning to improve your customer relationships
  • How predictive analytics impacts customer service agents
  • 4 business dating tips for forging more meaningful relationships with your customers

Jason Maynard

Jason Maynard is the Director of Data and Analytics at Zendesk. He heads up a team that builds products designed to unravel the complexity of customer relationships through data.

Dave Dyson

Dave Dyson is a Customer Service Evangelist at Zendesk's headquarters in San Francisco. Formerly a senior customer support manager, he now works to help share the best practices he’s learned to Zendesk’s customers.

How to Migrate Your Help Desk System

How to Migrate Your Help Desk System

A data migration project is enough to strike fear into your heart, especially if you don’t do it routinely. When you decide to change a critical system like your help desk, how do you choose what information must stay and what should go? And after that, you have to actually move the data and keep it intact so those who rely on it can carry on with their jobs.

The complexity involved in moving help desk data from one system to another is undeniable, but with the right kind of planning and preparation you'll accomplish it—and see your fears should be reserved for something else, like...penguins?

Learn more about the four Ps of a successful migration strategy (and penguins):

  1. Planning
  2. Preparation
  3. Phases
  4. Post-migration

Are customer surveys effective?

Customer surveys are an invaluable resource for brands. Instead of relying on their own perceptions, it gives a concrete sense of how the company is actually performing. So it's no wonder that, with the advent of customer survey companies and social media, many businesses are increasingly reaching out to their customers to find out what they're doing well, and what needs to be improved. It's an honest approach to getting better, and not taking advantage might be a wasted opportunity.

However, because it's easier than ever to conduct customer surveys, it seems that many companies are overdoing customer surveys. So much so, that it has the potential to annoy the very people companies are trying to please. As our latest infographic illustrates, customers are starting to show signs of 'feedback fatigue.' Respondents to a recent survey (there must be a good joke in there somewhere) claimed that customer surveys are too long, too personal, and inconvenient. Plus companies are asking customers to fill them out more than ever.

At Zendesk, we're big fans of customer surveys because they helps us improve. For our customers, we offer the Zendesk Benchmark, which helps them see how they stack up against industry peers or even similar sized companies. Rather than ask customers a series of tiresome questions or asking to rank various components of Zendesk on a scale of 1 — 10, when a ticket is closed, we simply ask if the solution was helpful. There are plenty of other metrics that go into the benchmark, but the customer is only asked to respond to a yes or no question.

Are customer surveys effective?