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STAMFORD, Conn., September 16, 2021

Gartner Says Contact Center as a Service Will Hit Mainstream Adoption for Customer Service and Support Organizations in Less Than Two Years

The 2021 Gartner Hype Cycle for Customer Service and Support Technologies Assesses the Maturity and Risks of the Most-Important Technologies for Supporting Customers

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 (see Figure 1), 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.

Figure 1: Hype Cycle for Customer Service and Support Technologies, 2021

Work-From-Home (WFH) Agent Technology Hits Mainstream Adoption

WFH 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% 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.”

Consumer Messaging Applications Reaches Mainstream Maturity

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 increasingly being used for B2B to support direct sales and engage channel partners. Organizations that successfully 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. Seek to develop a unified strategy beyond omnichannel to enable continuous experience across channels.

Digital Customer Service Expected to Have a High Impact in Two to Five Years

The proliferation of digital engagement channels has only 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.”

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.

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) delivers actionable, objective insight to executives and their teams. Our expert guidance and tools enable faster, smarter decisions and stronger performance on an organization’s most critical priorities. To learn more, visit gartner.com.

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About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) delivers actionable, objective insight to executives and their teams. Our expert guidance and tools enable faster, smarter decisions and stronger performance on an organization’s most critical priorities. To learn more, visit gartner.com.