How Technology Deployments Can Elevate Customer Experience and Operational Efficiency

Gartner highlighted key focus areas for customer service and support leaders in 2024, as they navigate the evolving landscape of customer preferences and technological advancements.Software solutions for improving customer experience

FreepikAccording to a survey conducted by Gartner with 246 customer service and support leaders between September and October 2023, self-service reimagining, employee-facing Generative AI (GenAI) pilot programs, and exploration of offerings in the customer journey analytics (CJA) market are set to dominate priorities in the coming year.

Kim Hedlin, Senior Principal of Research at Gartner Customer Service & Support practice, emphasized that advances in GenAI and changing customer preferences are compelling leaders to rethink possibilities for their organizations in 2024. The primary focus remains on leveraging technology to enhance customer experiences and optimize operational processes.

Leaders Pilot Employee-Facing GenAI to Augment Support Representatives

The survey reveals that 79 percent of service and support leaders are well-versed in their enterprise’s GenAI adoption plans. Among them, 83 percent indicated that their enterprises either have intentions to invest in GenAI or have already taken steps to do so.

While much attention has been on customer-facing chatbots, the survey indicates a growing interest in employee-facing GenAI assistants. A significant 94 percent of leaders exploring GenAI investments are considering or actively experimenting with employee-facing virtual assistants.

J.J. Moncus, Principal of Research at Gartner Customer Service & Support practice, notes that leaders view employee-facing GenAI as a stepping stone towards customer-facing virtual assistants, allowing them to understand risks before deploying in customer interactions.

Shifts in Customer Preferences Propel Leaders to Innovate in Self-Service

To meet the increasing preference for self-service, leaders are expected to experiment with new capabilities in 2024. However, challenges arise, with 51 percent of those prioritizing self-service adoption also recognizing it as a significant challenge for the year. Reasons for the challenges include organizational resistance and data disorganization, as uncovered in interviews with service and support leaders.

Despite challenges, early GenAI experiments have provided momentum for self-service investments. The prospect of conversational interfaces powered by GenAI handling more complex interactions than traditional chatbots is shaping leaders’ strategies in the self-service domain.

Leaders Invest in CJA for Holistic Understanding of Customer Journeys

Fifty-six percent of surveyed leaders express plans to invest in the CJA market within the next 12-18 months. CJA facilitates the comprehensive analysis of customers’ interactions with organizations over time and across channels. Of those planning to invest, 45 percent are venturing into the CJA market for the first time.

J.J. Moncus underscores the significance of CJA in providing a holistic understanding of customer needs. As customer expectations rise, service and support leaders utilize CJA to identify and comprehend significant touchpoints in order to deliver an enhanced overall experience.

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