Leading a Customer Service Talent Strategy

Resources to identify customer service skills your team needs to be successful

Changes in customer behavior and service technology are impacting talent needs

In addition to rising customer expectations, increased investment in self-service channels and capabilities has enabled many customers to resolve their simple issues on their own. As a result, the most challenging and complicated issues are ultimately left to live representatives to solve. These new realities have significant talent implications for service leaders, making it even more imperative that you have the right reps with the right customer service skills. 

Gartner found 70% of customers are using self-service channels during their resolution journey. The problem is only 9% are wholly contained in self-service.

Hire customer service reps that really deliver

Download the customer service rep interview guide.

By clicking the "Continue" button, you are agreeing to the Gartner Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Contact Information

All fields are required.

  • Step 2 of 3

    By clicking the "Continue" button, you are agreeing to the Gartner Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    Company Information

    All fields are required.

  • Step 3 of 3

    By clicking the "Submit" button, you are agreeing to the Gartner Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    We’re now hiring from the best of the best.

    Manager, Student Lifecycle Services

    Attract, retain and hire the best candidates for today’s frontline customer service rep job

    Even with advances in self-service, frontline reps continue to handle most customer contacts. Gartner research has found that contrary to popular belief and traditional management preference, empathetic representatives are not the most effective in today’s customer service environment. Instead, Controller reps — with the customer service skills to “take action” and actively guide customers through interactions — deliver the lowest-effort customer service experience.

    Controllers succeed because they provide customers with what they want and need in today’s complex and information-rich world. They emphasize fast and easy resolution, have a take action mentality, and offer less choice and more guidance in issue resolution.

    Insights you can use

    Gartner research helps organizations recruit, develop and retain employees who deliver high-quality, low-effort customer service by showing leaders how to attract the right individuals, measure performance and encourage accomplishment. 

    The controller rep is most effective at delivering low-effort customer service experiences. But do your current hiring practices enable you to find these reps? Use this interview guide to identify controllers among your job candidates with the ideal customer service skill set.

    Gartner studied manager approaches to employee coaching and development to understand which style best improves service rep performance. The results were slightly unexpected, but provide relief to service leaders and managers who may feel stretched thin.

    To keep up with a more complex world of customer service, companies should modernize the way they evaluate their reps. Download our one-page overview of recommended quality assurance competencies.

    Evaluating your customer service representatives’ perspectives on serving customers, coaching effectiveness and productivity practices is key for your organization to equip them to provide a low-effort customer experience. Download a sample report of the Gartner Rep Experience Survey.

    Questions about becoming a Gartner client?

    Gartner Customer Service & Support Webinars

    Become a world-class customer service leader with insights and strategies delivered straight from our experts.

    Gartner topic experts

    Gartner service experts span the globe to support service leaders with their most important initiatives, no matter where they are. Meet a few of our leaders.

    Deb Albvord
    Senior Director Analyst

    Mark Dauigoy
    Senior Director, Advisory

    Sarah Dibble
    Senior Principal, Advisory

    Philip Jenkins
    Senior Director Analyst

    Devin Poole
    Senior Director, Advisory

    John Quaglietta
    Senior Director Analyst

    Peter Slease
    VP, Team Manager

    Lauren Villeneuve
    Director, Advisory

    Gartner is an objective resource for 15,000 enterprises in 100+ countries.

    Gartner for service provides service and support leaders with insights, advice and tools to address their mission-critical priorities.