By 2025, 80% of customer service organizations will have abandoned native mobile apps in favor of messaging for a better customer experience, according to Gartner, Inc.
Digital transformation for service organizations initially focused on websites for desktop users but shifted to enterprise-native mobile app experiences with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets. However, despite significant investment and promotion, most service organizations have failed to gain strong customer adoption of their service apps. As a result, service organizations will increasingly retire native mobile app experiences in favor of messaging.
“Messaging channels such as SMS and third-party messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WeChat and WhatsApp have been widely embraced in the global market, making them ideal for service organizations,” said Philip Jenkins, senior director analyst in the Gartner Customer Service & Support practice. “By transitioning to messaging platforms, customer service and support leaders will reduce dependency on native mobile app experiences, reduce cost, increase digital and self-service effectiveness, and achieve a persistent experience for customer engagement.”
Other Gartner customer service and support predictions for 2021 and beyond include:
By 2025, 40% of customer service organizations will become profit centers by becoming de facto leaders in digital customer engagement.
Due to the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, buyers’ behavior no longer reflects most organizations’ structures. According to Gartner’s Future of Sales report, 33% of all buyers desire a seller-free sales experience — a preference that climbs to 44% for millennials. As a result, customer service will evolve from a cost center into a profit center by having greater responsibility for the customer relationship and journey. In a profitability scenario, the customer service function is likely to drive new business outcomes supported by new objectives, metrics and organizational structures.
By 2025, 10% of customer service organizations will revamp hierarchical staffing models to create huddle groups.
In increasingly complex product and organizational environments, customer service leaders are finding that they need access to a broader set of skills than ever before. Gartner recommends that customer service leaders collaborate with cross-functional leaders to create huddle groups focused on customer groups — for example, by industry, product class or subscription type — as opposed to internal functions.
By 2025, proactive customer engagement interactions will outnumber reactive customer engagement interactions.
Customer engagement is often reactive rather than proactive. This has resulted in high-customer-effort experiences limiting the effectiveness and profitability of self-service. However, the current pandemic and economic crisis has motivated many organizations to more rapidly develop capabilities to personalize proactive conversations.
“An initiative to reach out to customers proactively creates a major opportunity for customer service organizations, said Brian Manusama, senior director analyst in the Gartner Customer Service & Support practice. “Along with the cost optimization benefits of reducing call volumes and increasing engagement with self-service channels, customers feel a greater sense of appreciation toward the provider and its service organization.”
Gartner Customer Service and Support Leaders clients can learn more about these predictions in the report "Predicts 2021: CRM Customer Service and Support".
About Gartner for Customer Service & Support Leaders
The customer service and support function is vital to maintaining customer loyalty and influencing brand perceptions. Gartner for Customer Service & Support Leaders provides indispensable insights, advice and tools needed to achieve service and support leaders’ mission-critical priorities, specifically improving the customer experience while managing costs. Gartner’s research, advice and best practices equip customer service and support leaders to design an optimal service channel strategy; measure and reduce customer effort; and hire, develop and retain high-potential frontline talent.