Gartner Research

Future of Work Reinvented for Customer Service and Support Leaders

Published: 16 August 2021


Customer service and support leaders have a unique opportunity to reinvent the future of work. COVID-19 has reshaped the workplace and employee expectations. This content presents guidance on embracing this transformation to improve functional performance and attract and retain talent.

Customer service and support (CSS) leaders recognize the significant impact that their functions have on customer loyalty and organizational performance. As leaders, they are expected to seamlessly and proactively orchestrate customer engagements that drive favorable outcomes for both customers and the organization.

While many progressive CSS leaders have sought to deepen customer relationships and optimize customers’ view of the organization, there is a seismic shift reinventing how work gets done that must also take top priority. COVID-19 has forced CSS leaders to completely rethink the way their work gets done. Figure 1 highlights key elements of Gartner’s future of work reinvented. For more information on this topic, see the Future of Work Reinvented resource center.

Figure 1. Future of Work Reinvented Resource Center Overview

Service and support functions were predominantly in-office, but COVID-19 rapidly shifted service employees into remote work. Now, CSS leaders are strategizing how to maintain the flexibility that will be a significant part of attracting, managing and retaining top talent as the world starts to go back to “normal.”

The future of work impacts CSS leaders uniquely because they must prioritize the needs of internal and external stakeholders. Internally, CSS leaders should use the concepts in the future of work reinvented to attract, engage and retain top talent. Employees preferences are shifting, and CSS leaders must evolve or risk seeing increases in voluntary turnover. As CSS leaders reinvent their futures of work, they must balance the demands of these two constituencies.

The lives of customers have also evolved; their lives and workplaces have been reshaped by the pandemic. Their work times, durations and locations are unlike they were even a few years ago. With many organizations shifting to hybrid work designs, customers might not be working in an office headquarters during the typical 9-to-5 work day.

This presentation helps CSS leaders contextualize the broader concepts of the future of work reinvented and focus on the elements with the most impact on their organizations. Specifically, CSS leaders have a unique opportunity to:

  • Rethink the workplace.

  • Design for human-centric work styles.

  • Embrace digital enablement.

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