Contact center as a service (CCaaS) will likely hit mainstream adoption in less than two years, according to Gartner Inc.
Positioned in the Slope of Enlightenment on the 2021 Gartner Hype Cycle for Customer Service and Support Technologies, some early adopters of CCaaS have overcome the initial hurdles and are beginning to see the benefits of the service.
“CCaaS is a growth market,” said Drew Kraus, vice president analyst in the Gartner Customer Service & Support practice. “The technology offers greater software agility with a lower cost of ownership, making it a key area of investment in innovation and customer service applications that surpasses the offers of legacy premises-based or server technology.”
To realize the full benefits of CCaaS, service and support leaders should reduce the impacts of transitioning off legacy systems by focusing on providers with referenceable transition frameworks and methodologies for migrating from relevant on-premises systems to their CCaaS offerings.
Work from home agent technology is the only technology to enter the Plateau of Productivity in the 2021 Gartner Hype Cycle for Customer Service and Support Technologies. The Plateau of Productivity highlights technologies that are hitting mainstream adoption within organizations.
“The adoption of WFH agent technology has passed 50 percent across organizations thanks to the move to remote work during the early stages of the pandemic,” said Kraus. “Many leaders are now reviewing technologies and processes to optimize what is becoming a mainstream business practice of supporting flexible work environments for customer service agents, in addition to what will become standard practice for maintaining business continuity during future disasters.”
In parallel, consumer messaging apps have reached mainstream maturity and will begin to impact businesses in less than two years. These chat-based applications enable consumers to communicate among themselves and with organizations. Although most used for B2C, the applications are being used for B2B to support direct sales and engage channel partners. Organizations that leverage consumer messaging applications will broaden the reach to customers, generate traffic to direct channels and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Gartner recommends service organizations start by using consumer messaging applications to address the most common types of customer interactions such as account balance, order status and change notifications.
The proliferation of digital engagement channels has reinforced customers’ expectations of instantaneous, seamless and effortless service experiences. The customer’s need for self-service, combined with the emergence of conversational AI, has led to an evolution of most engagement models. As such, Gartner sees the emergence of a new area of customer care referred to as “digital customer service.”
Digital customer service offerings focus on seamless conversation orchestration across digital channels. Customer-centric organizations that embrace digital customer service will reap the benefits of customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and mitigate the risk of disconnected conversations with less procedural structures.
Gartner for Customer Service and Support Leaders clients can learn more about these technologies and others in the report “Hype Cycle for Customer Service and Support Technologies, 2021.”