FORRESTER TOP TRENDS 20141
DELIVER PAIN FREE CUSTOMER SERVICE
Trend 1: Customers Demand Omnichannel Service
Customers want to use a breadth of communication channels for customer service. Across all demographics, voice is still the primary communication channel used, but is quickly followed by self-service channels.
Trend 2: Customer Service Will Adopt a Mobile-First Mindset
In 2014, companies will look to aligning mobile strategies, technology investments and user experiences across functional groups. More companies will move away from duplicating their web presence for their mobile offering, and will focus on deploying the right usage scenarios that add value to customers in a mobile environment, with focused user experiences that allow tasks to be efficiently accomplished.
Trend 3: BPM Tools Are Being Used To Standardize Service Delivery
Expect, as well, to see out-of-the-box best-practice process flows and industry-specific solutions. Expect to see better reporting and analytics in order to monitor overall key performance indicators (KPIs), as well to optimize the success of each process flow.
PROACTIVELY ENGAGE CUSTOMERS FOR SERVICE
Trend 4: Customers Expect Outbound Notifications
Forrester's Forrsights Networks And Telecommunications Survey shows that 29% of enterprises are planning to invest in proactive outbound communications in the next 12 months. This year, expect organizations to continue to adopt proactive outbound communication compliant with outbound regulations, and rely on vendor expertise in specific verticals to help pinpoint implicit and explicit preferences to personalize service.
Trend 5: Companies Will Explore Proactive Engagement
Proactive engagements anticipate the what, when, where and how for customers, and prioritize information and functionality to speed customer time-to-completion. This data is coupled with customer insight from other information systems and is used to proactively reach out to customers. In 2014, expect organizations to explore the power of proactive engagements.
PERSONALIZE CUSTOMER SERVICE INTERACTIONS
Trend 7: Decisioning Will Power Offers, Actions and Connections
Many organizations use a combination of rules and predictive analytics to present personalized cross-sell and up-sell offers to customers, or to decide whether to present an offer at all based on customer sentiment. In addition, predictive analytics are used to recommend the right content to customers and connect a customer to the right resource based on customer data and behavioral attributes.
Trend 8: Customer Feedback Will Be Used To Operationalize Insights
In 2014, customer service organizations will leverage customer feedback on two fronts: (1) they will double down on their efforts to gather customer feedback across communication channels and touchpoints and act on it; (2) direct customer feedback will be tied to agent performance and will start to be used as a metric to measure the success of operations.
Trend 9: Analytics Will Improve End-to-End Service
In 2014, expect customer service organizations to start moving forward with more holistic measurement programs for communication channels and touchpoints.
FOCUS ON PRODUCTIVITY FOR OPTIMIZED SERVICE
Trend 11: Customer Service Organizations Are Adopting SaaS Solutions for Agility
Forrester data shows that 15% of organizations have already replaced all or most of their on-premise customer service applications with software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions; and 24% complement their existing solutions with SaaS. The main benefits of SaaS include increased business agility, and speed of deployment, and allowing for more focus on other projects critical to the success of the business. Vendors are doubling-down on efforts to offer comprehensive customer service SaaS solutions. In addition, a new crop of SaaS based social customer service solutions have gained market attention. Expect customer service operations to continue to leverage SaaS solution to complement and extend existing capabilities.
Trend 12: Reliable Data At The Right Time Will Become A Cornerstone of Good Service
Customer service agents need the right data, at the right point in the service process to provide the right answers to customer questions. Good, reliable data is the result of mature data quality and data governance practices. In 2014, data pros who support customer service operations will continue to face challenges in convincing business process owners to take ownership and accountability for the quality and usefulness of the supporting customer data.
1 Forrester Top Trend Data for 2014 is edited for applicability. The complete Forrester data for 2014 can be found at Forrester Top Trend Data for 2014.