Gartner: Plan Now for Critical Shifts in Customer Interaction Patterns

Hindsight may be 20/20, but foresight is what gets you ahead in business. Are you dedicating enough time and resources to staying proactive? Tomorrow’s innovations are going to be filled with new technology, and that technology presents new challenges for how organizations will connect with their customers.

Gartner recently published a report on the anticipated (and critical) shifts in customer interaction patterns that will be occurring over the next five years. They’ve highlighted how emerging technology will enhance customer self-service and how that will reduce the number of interactions that commonly take place with human service representatives. The report includes advice on how to prepare for the shift in customer behavior as virtual assistants, IVR, and chatbots become the norm.

Some of their key findings include:

■ By 2022, 72% of customer interactions will involve an emerging technology such as machine-learning applications, chatbots or mobile messaging, up from 11% in 2017.

■ Through 2022, application leaders will face the task of onboarding 12 immature but rapidly improving customer interaction channels for CRM.

■ Though the proportion of phone-based communication will drop from 41% to 12% of overall customer service interactions, a human agent will still be involved in 44% of all interactions.

Stay informed on the latest trends affecting the customer service industry. Read more about how customer behaviors will change with new technology in Gartner’s Plan Now for Critical Shifts in Customer Interaction Patterns.

Gartner examines customer experience innovation for 2017

Bad decisions are, well, bad. Yet, it can be difficult to make good decisions without the right information. That’s why analytics are important—they enable you to make educated changes to your organization, rather than changes based on opinions.

The use of customer analytics to improve the customer experience has become an area of increasing focus for organizations. According to Gartner, “By 2020, more than 40% of all data analytics projects will relate to an aspect of customer experience.”

To distinguish your organization from others, the use of data to improve how your customers interact with your company is crucial. Gartner’s Survey Analysis: Customer Experience Innovation 2017—AI Now on the CX Map explores the customer experience projects of numerous organizations, as well as what makes them successful.

Gartner’s report discusses:

  • New and Continuing CX Improvement Projects in 2016
  • Projects With the Biggest Impact on Customer Experience in 2016
  • CX Projects Planned for 2017
  • Customer Experience Technology Investment Increases for 2017
  • Customer Analytics Priorities for 2017
  • Plans for Emerging Technologies in Customer-Experience-Related Projects
  • Measuring the ROI of CX Improvement Projects

To learn more about the customer analytics technology customers are investing in, access a complimentary copy of Gartner’s report Survey Analysis: Customer Experience Innovation 2017—AI Now on the CX Map for a limited time.

Survey Analysis: Customer Experience Innovation 2017—AI Now on the CX Map, N. Ingelbrecht, O. Huang.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Gartner: Knowledge Management Will Transform CRM Customer Service

Knowledge management can make or break your organization’s customer service. Not only can it impact productivity and profit, it can also affect customer and agent satisfaction.

But what exactly is knowledge management? According to Gartner, knowledge management is “a discipline that emphasizes an integrated approach to managing an enterprise’s knowledge assets: the information available to an enterprise about its “best practices,” critical business processes and operating environment.”

Proper knowledge management and self-service can help:

  • Reduce support costs
  • Improve your company’s ability to answer customer questions
  • Increase customer satisfaction

According to Gartner, “Improved delivery of contextual knowledge to an employee or customer reduces a provider’s time to answer by 20% to 80%, raising competency and satisfaction.” In this report, Gartner covers the impacts of good knowledge management as well as KM recommendations, such as how to focus on people and processes.

Download Gartner’s Knowledge Management Will Transform CRM Customer Service and learn how to create a knowledge management culture within your organization.

Knowledge Management Will Transform CRM Customer Service, M. Maoz, 9 November 2016.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Gartner's FrontRunners Quadrant for Help Desk Software

If you’re a small business software buyer, your decisions can have a direct impact on your company. It’s important to consider your company’s needs in addition to the value and capability of each software.

Gartner is known as a key source for enterprise decision makers when identifying, evaluating, and selecting business software vendors, however, there is a newly launched FrontRunners quadrant powered by Gartner Methodology.

http://www.softwareadvice.com/help-desk/#top-products
FrontRunners scores and graphic are derived from individual end-user reviews based on their own experiences, vendor supplied and publicly available product information, and do not represent the views of Gartner or its affiliates.
 
The January 2017 FrontRunners for Help Desk Software is a data-driven assessment identifying products in the Help Desk Software market that offer the best capability and value for small businesses. That means no analyst interpretations. According to the FrontRunners methodology, “Data sources include user reviews and ratings, public data sources and data from technology vendors.” That way you can decide which help desk software system is best for your business for yourself.

To learn more about leading help desk software systems, access your complimentary copy of FrontRunners for Help Desk Software, January 2017.

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.

Gartner: Top Use Cases and Benefits of Consumer Messaging Apps for CRM

Odds are you've heard of Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Kik, Line, or Snapchat. Maybe you’re even an avid user of a few.

With the emergence of yet another form of communication, people are spending more and more of their time in social messaging apps. The Gartner report cites, “eMarketer projects that 2.19 billion consumers will use consumer messaging apps by 2019.” Social messaging apps are quickly becoming another space for businesses to meet customers and exceed support expectations, as well as to explore deeper and sophisticated methods to engage your customers.

Gartner’s report, Top Use Cases and Benefits of Consumer Messaging Apps for CRM, offers the top messaging app use cases to learn from, the benefits of consumer messaging apps, and recommendations for businesses, including how to:

  • Increase brand recall with consumer messenger advertisements.
  • Deflect support costs by solving customer issues over consumer messaging applications.
  • Explore ways to generate new business using consumer messaging apps for digital commerce

The full report is no longer available for complimentary download. Read more about this and other Gartner research on the Gartner website.

Gartner: Top Use Cases and Benefits of Consumer Messaging Apps for CRM, J. Sussin, 3 August 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.

The full report is no longer available for complimentary download. Read more about this and other Gartner research on the Gartner website.

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.

Gartner: CRM Applications Will Fail Without Consideration of Customer Empathy

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are game-changing technologies, but they won’t help your business leap forward if you don’t also build customer empathy into your customer process design. According to a recent report* by Gartner, “Through 2020, businesses that deploy CRM technology in such a way that it reflects empathy toward the customer are three times more likely to fend off a digital disrupter.”

While it’s still early days for being able to measure the economic impact of empathy in business, it’s worth noting that companies that have successfully disrupted existing business models did so because of the empathy they felt for customers dealing with inefficient processes and experiences.

The report explains why it will be important for CRM leaders to:

  • Highlight the potential impact of empathy on existing business models and obtain support from executive leadership to make systems empathetic.
  • Focus technology and process investment on empathetic improvement.
  • Use the voice of the customer (VoC) initiative to glean a critical understanding of what will drive customer empathy.

The full report is no longer available for complimentary download. Read more about this and other Gartner research on the Gartner website.

*Gartner, CRM Applications Will Fail Without Consideration of Customer Empathy, Michael Maoz, August 2016

Gartner's The State of Customer Experience Innovation 2016: Customer Analytics Gets Critical

There's no denying it, businesses that want to prioritize customer experience will need to make big investments in customer analytics solutions. In fact, according to a recent Gartner report, "by 2018, 50% of agent interactions will be influenced by real-time analytics".*

For organizations to make the most of the technology offered, they must understand which data strategies and metrics are most impactful for improving the customer experience. Gartner offers insights for improving customer experience:

  • Customer analytics has taken an important role in improving the customer experience.
  • A majority of businesses will invest in customer experience technology in 2016.
  • Measuring customer experience is an ongoing obstacle for many organizations.
  • Both predictive and prescriptive analytics are necessary for a thorough understanding of the customer experience.

The full report is no longer available for complimentary download. Read more about this and other Gartner research on the Gartner website.

*Gartner The State of Customer Experience Innovation 2016: Customer Analytics Gets Critical, Nick Ingelbrecht, Olive Huang, Julie A. Meyer, May 2016

Gartner’s 2017 Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center

2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant CRM

In a new report, Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center 2017, Gartner examines the global market for customer service and support applications. The report notes that by 2019 “... over 85% of new packaged customer service and support software will be delivered on a cloud-based model, and SaaS will emerge as an essential selection factor for CRM customer engagement centers.”

In its analysis of service providers in the space, Zendesk is once again in the report’s Leader quadrant—moving higher in ability to execute and further in completeness of vision—which we consider to be a reflection of the success of our 101,800 customers. Their selection of Zendesk over more-complex legacy vendors is what keeps us in our leadership position, along with our product innovations over the last year (like text/SMS support, Satisfaction Prediction, and Channel Framework).

The Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center 2017 report is available for complimentary download for a limited time. Read the full report to learn:

Gartner's 2017 Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center

  • How Gartner views the current ecosystem of CEC technologies
  • Considerations for businesses looking to implement CEC technologies
  • Vendor capabilities for addressing the needs of today’s CECs
  • How Gartner analysts compare Zendesk to other technologies

The Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center 2017 provides valuable information for business leaders seeking technology solutions for this critical part of the business.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Zendesk.

Gartner: Best Practices for Making Live Chat a Must-Have Engagement Channel

Edmunds.com, a customer of Zopim, was featured in this Gartner report. Read on to find out more about Edmunds.com’s 24x7 multi-channel support.

There are so many ways people can chat or message each other every day: through Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, or apps like WhatsApp, SnapChat or WeChat. That's why it comes as no surprise that live chat, as a digital customer service channel, is increasing in both popularity and usage.

According to an October 2015 report from Gartner: "Live chat is increasing in popularity as a preferred customer digital engagement channel, today representing 2% of overall interactions, and growing to 10% in 2018. By 2018, over 80% of companies will offer some form of live chat on their website or on mobile devices to interact with their customers." However, implementing chat as a long-term strategy can be challenging.

In this report, Gartner analyst Brian Manusama makes the following recommendations:

  • Craft the customer service journey and find the moments of truth in the digital touchpoints to proactively offer personalized live chat on your website and within your mobile apps.
  • Position live chat as part of an overall long-term customer engagement strategy.
  • Set up a comprehensive knowledge base to provide consistent responses and support multiple simultaneous chats.
  • Articulate how you want to organize the handling of live-chat sessions in your customer engagement center.
  • Understand the importance of the UI design for both customer and agent window alike.
  • Start small—limit the number of scenarios where live chat becomes active, and continuously measure the performance of chat agents and their impact on customer experience.

The full report is no longer available for complimentary download. Read more about this and other Gartner research on the Gartner website.

You might also like this Gartner report about CRM customer engagement centers, which is available for complimentary download via Zendesk.

Gartner Best Practices for Making Live Chat a Must-Have Engagement Channel, Brian Manusama, 29 October 2015.

Gartner Predicts 2016: CRM Customer Service and Support

In 2015, industry leaders were challenged to innovate and engage customers across all support channels: mobile, social, phone, chat, email, self-service, in-app, IoT, and more. 2016 and beyond are shaping up to be even more challenging and complex.

How can leaders in customer service choose the right projects, stay focused, and continue to innovate in the future?

Access your complimentary copy of the Gartner Predicts 2016: CRM Customer Service and Support report to read Gartner's predictions, analysis, strategic planning assumptions, and recommendations in areas that promise to dominate the landscape into 2018, including:

  • The mobile customer service experience
  • Voice of the customer
  • Understanding customer intent
  • The Internet of Things (IoT)

This report is no longer available for complimentary download. Read more about this and other Gartner research on the Gartner website.

You might also like: Gartner’s 2016 Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center

Gartner Predicts 2016: CRM Customer Service and Support, M. Maoz, J. Davies, J. Sussin, O. Huang, and B. Manusama, 17 November 2015.

2015 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

Gartner: Why You Need To Rethink Your Customer Self-Service Strategy

Regardless of the industry, businesses everywhere are investing in customer self-service options to improve the customer service experience. In fact, according to a March 2015 report from Gartner, two-thirds of customer service interactions will not require the support of a human intermediary by the year 2017. As more and more businesses embrace self-service, research is beginning to show what works and what doesn’t for ensuring customer self-service satisfaction.

In the report, Why You Need To Rethink Your Customer Self-Service Strategy*, Gartner reveals its findings on how a strong self-service strategy can reduce operational costs, drive personalized customer experiences, and increase engagement. Among the many insights about self-service, you’ll learn why:

  • A customer self-service strategy should be part of a larger, holistic strategy
  • Self-service capabilities should be cross-channel
  • Information across all self-service engagements should be consistent and relevant
  • Self-service should take into account customer data insights for proactive support
  • Mobile self-service should be considered in any customer self-service strategy

Take your self-service strategy to the next level with a complimentary copy of the Gartner report Why You Need To Rethink Your Customer Self-Service Strategy.

The full report is no longer available for complimentary download. Read more about this and other Gartner research on the Gartner website.

*Gartner, Why You Need to Rethink Your Customer Self-Service Strategy, B. Manusama, 17 March 2015

Gartner’s 2015 Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center

Gartner Magic Quadrant
Note: The 2015 Gartner report referenced below is no longer available for complimentary download. But good news: the 2016 Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center is now available.

What’s important in the world of customer engagement today? In an April 2015 report, Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center, Gartner explores the trends and technologies in the fast-evolving customer service and support arena.

In the 2015 Magic Quadrant, Gartner moved Zendesk into the Visionary quadrant. We’d like to thank our 52,000 customers for that move, which we believe highlights Zendesk as an innovative alternative to some of the more-traditional vendors.

"Our agents love [Zendesk] because it offers the perfect balance of simplicity and power." — Vodafone

“Zendesk does what we need it to do today, and its vision ensures it’s a solid alternative in years ahead." — Senior Adviser of Innovation for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Read the full report to learn:
Gartner's 2015 Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center

  • How Gartner views the current landscape of customer engagement centers (CECs)
  • Vendor capabilities for addressing the needs of today’s CECs
  • Considerations for businesses looking to implement CEC technologies

The Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center provides valuable information for businesses leaders seeking technology solutions for this critical part of the business.

The 2015 report is no longer available for complimentary download. But good news: The 2016 Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center is now available!

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Want to learn more about the new addition to the Visionary quadrant? Watch the Zendesk demo:

Gartner Predicts 2015: Weak Mobile Customer Service Is Harming Customer Engagement

We know that customer engagement is at the forefront of conversation in the customer service space, and in 2015 industry leaders will continue to be challenged to innovate and engage customers across all support channels. In fact, today’s contact centers are tomorrow’s engagement centers.

A recent report by Gartner states, "No rallying principle in the enterprise matters more than the creation of superior customer engagement. IT leaders will need to innovate in engaging customers on all channels and have the metrics to choose the right projects."

Yet how can leaders in customer service continue to innovate, or choose the right projects?

Access your complimentary copy of the Gartner Predicts 2015: Weak Mobile Customer Service Is Harming Customer Engagement report to read Gartner's analysis and recommendations, based on the following strategic planning assumptions:

  • "By 2018, 5% of customer service cases will be initiated by Internet-connected devices, up from 0.02% in 2014."
  • "Over 100 of the 500 largest global businesses will introduce video-based chat by 2018 for customer-facing interactions."
  • "By 2017, one-third of all customer service interactions will still require the support of a human intermediary."
  • "By 2018, 75% of social-only customer service agents will be blended into the customer service agent pool."
  • "By 2018, 50% of agent interactions will be influenced by real-time analytics."

The full report is no longer available for complimentary download. Read more about this and other Gartner research on the Gartner website.

Gartner Predicts 2015: Weak Mobile Customer Service is Harming Customer Engagement, M. Maoz, J. Davies, J. Sussin, O. Huang, B. Manusama, and S. Slaymaker, 11 November 2014.

2014 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

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