Gartner: Customer Data and Analytics Key To Achieving Customer Service Goals in 2023

January 10, 2023

New Gartner Research Outlines Key Customer Service and Support Focus Areas and Realities for the New Year

Customer service and support leaders cited customer data and analytics as a top priority for achieving organizational goals in 2023, according to a survey from Gartner, Inc.

In a Gartner online survey of 283 customer service and support leaders from August-October 2022, 84% of customer service and service support leaders cited customer data and analytics as “very or extremely important” for achieving their organizational goals in 2023. Eighty percent of respondents ranked digital channel effectiveness as “very or extremely important,” along with employee performance, development and quality assurance.

The Gartner survey revealed improving operations and growing the business are the two most important business goals for 2023.

“Understanding customers’ needs and expectations for their service experience is integral for improving loyalty and creating customer value, especially when organizations are up against economic headwinds,” said Jonathan Schmidt, Sr Principal, Advisory in the Gartner Customer Service & Support practice. “Executing on this vision requires investment in customer data and analytics, knowledge management, and an enduring partnership with IT.”

In light of recent economic headwinds, customer service and support leaders plan to devote more resources to improving, automating or eliminating inefficient processes (59% of respondents), migrating service volume to digital and self-service channels (51%) and contributing to the top-line by creating customer value (46%) in the near future.

Ray Pasquale the CEO and Founder of Unified Office explained, "Operational efficiency, service excellence, and the ability to adapt quickly to changing business conditions translate directly into customer loyalty, increased revenue and profitability. This is particularly true of the quick service restaurant industry given the challenges of coping with a real-time consumer. Companies have spent years creating digitalization solutions that while helping customer service cope with numerous important challenges has now resulted in an almost total disintermediation from the business. Analytics focused not just on digital but also human interactions are critically important when taken together going forward.

“In tough economic times, customer service and support leaders are often encouraged by their CFOs to make do with what they have,” said Schmidt. “Given how difficult it is to hire and retain talent, it makes sense that they are tackling inefficiencies and prioritizing digital channels as a strategy for driving down costs without reducing headcount or sacrificing customer experience.”  

With these survey findings in mind, Gartner recommends customer service and support leaders:

Collect actionable customer data across channels through a robust VoC program that goes beyond surveys and incorporates more advanced methods such as speech, text and digital experience analytics. Leveraging these methods for decisions on personnel, processes and technologies, is key to a successful customer service function. 

Build digital self-service teams to oversee the digital channel strategy, manage channels like products, and work closely with data analysts to develop and measure success metrics.

Enable customer service agents with technology, such as connected desktops, to help them better guide customers through resolution.

According to Akshay Sharma, CTO, Kovair Software, and former Gartner Analyst, “We agree with the Gartner findings, that a data driven, CRM-based real-time operations solution is needed with all other strategic efforts, like M&A IT, to Digital Transformation, with Innovative Service Creation, and Solutions Productization. We see a cloud-native infrastructure as critical to the success of building a strategic Digital Transformation strategy, with Industry4.0 Applications enablement. Newer iPaaS: integration Platform as a Service, with real-time integration to CRM, ERP as well as custom applications from vendors like Kovair providing applications integration to newer Value Stream Management and Delivery will need solutions from Kovair supporting Project and Portfolio Management to define the department people, projects, tasks, workflows, etc., and with DevSecOps, or ALM all supported by IT teams doing any development on prem or to the cloud.”

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