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New report shows an adapting customer service is the key

No matter how effective a business is at selling products or services it's the quality of customer service that often determines how consumers feel about it.

A new report from research company Gartner looks at the importance of mobile customer service and how it will need to adapt in the future.

Although automation of support tasks may reduce the number of interactions, Gartner reckons that by 2017 a third of all customer service queries will still need human input.

This is down from the 60 per cent that needed human input in 2014 but it will still require companies to retain a core of trained customer service representatives.

"Businesses need to focus on what key customer experiences would benefit from customer engagement with a human," says Michael Maoz, vice president at Gartner.

"It is important to poll customers and internal stakeholders such as those in marketing, sales, customer support and inventory/shipping/billing, where the availability of a human customer support representative can mean the difference between a sale or no sale, the acceptance of an offer or its rejection, and/or a quality customer experience".

The Internet of Things is set to play a part too. By 2018 it's estimated that five per cent of support calls will be initiated by internet connected devices.

"The explosive growth of the IoT and associated use cases will bring a transformational change in the customer service space". says Olive Huang, research director at Gartner. Industries including healthcare, banking, insurance and retail are expected to lead the way in this trend.

Growth in the use of mobile devices will also lead to more video chats being used for resolving customer service issues.

Gartner estimates that more than 50 of the 500 largest global businesses will introduce video-based chat for customer-facing interactions by 2018 and this is set to double in three years.

"Video chat provides customers with a richer sense of presence, personalised experience by helped coordination of communication and the support of emotional expression, and the real-time sharing of content," says Brian Manusama, research director at Gartner.

More detailed analysis is available via the Gartner website and analysts will further discuss mobile CRM trends at the Gartner Customer 360 Summit to be held in Tokyo next month.

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