By 2026, Gartner, Inc. predicts customer service functions that implement the “connected rep” will improve contact center efficiency by 30%.
The connected rep is a strategy that enables customer service reps (CSRs) to perform high-quality assisted service at scale. It bridges technology and talent, using context, guidance, and design to reduce rep effort and increase consistency across interactions.
“As CSRs handle more complex customer interactions, upskilling or recruiting strong talent is a challenging and costly approach to help reps respond, especially in a tight labor market,” said Kathy Ross, Sr Director Analyst in the Gartner Customer Service & Support practice.
“Instead, leaders must go beyond traditional talent levers and include rep enablement technology as a core component of talent strategy. This is the crux of the connected rep.”
By investing in a connected rep strategy, customer service and support leaders can reduce their reliance on costly talent strategies and increase the value of their assisted service interactions at scale. This is increasingly important with there being a 25% median attrition among customer service reps, according to a March 2022 Gartner benchmark of over 100 customer service and support leaders.
“Rep enablement technology can create lower rep effort, drive consistent outcomes, and promote customer experience (CX) and efficiency,” said Ross. “A dollar invested in rep technology is a dollar that stays when the rep leaves.”
Customer service and support leaders looking to reap the economic, CX and employee experience (EX) benefits gained from investing in the connected rep should:
Evaluate the gaps and growth areas in the current state of rep enablement technology, and build a legacy system shutdown strategy with enterprise partners
Secure approval of rep enablement investments by developing a business case that prioritizes helping inexperienced reps perform in highly complex environments
Build a roadmap to support their connected rep implementation by partnering with IT to assess the current state technology architecture and data management capabilities against the requirements to implement the leader’s vision
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; designing an optimal service channel strategy; measuring and reducing customer effort; and how to hire, develop and retain high-potential frontline talent.
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