7-Part Series On Customer Service Technology, Part 5: Technology Maturity

Good customer service is the result of the right attention to strategy, business processes, technology, and people management. This seven-post series focuses on customer service technology and explains the what, why, how, and when technology questions.

Part 1 reviewed the customer service technology ecosystem.

Part 2 reviewed the challenges caused by the complexity of this technology ecosystem.

Part 3 reviewed the tactical outcomes of poor customer service.

Part 4 focused on the ways that the customer service technology ecosystem is changing.

Let’s now focus on the how we categorize customer service technologies by their maturity and business value delivered.

 

Technology ecosystem phase

Technologies for customer service

Why technologies are categorized in  this way

Survival

Cobrowse, enterprise feedback management (EFM), interaction analytics (speech and text), mobile customer service, process guidance, social customer service, virtual assistants

These are technologies that have limited adoption in the marketplace to date, yet have seen commercial success. Some technologies are gaining momentum like mobile customer service, and virtual agents. Some have niche uses like process guidance for process-intensive industries (healthcare, financial services, telecom), or for cobrowsing. Some are just hard to do and derive near-real-time business value, like interaction analytics.

Growth

ACD (more multichannel interactions), chat, community solutions, knowledge management, next best action, proactive outbound, social listening, video

These are technologies that have a clear value proposition and are being implemented at a rapid clip in customer service organizations. Some technologies are seeing new uses — like ACDs for queueing and routing of digital and social inquiries or proactive outbound over digital and social channels as well as voice. Some have very clear ROI and low costs to implement like chat, and communities.

Equilibrium

Case management, email response management, IVR, predictive dialing, quality monitoring, speech recognition, workforce management

These technologies see a steady demand in the marketplace and vendors offer comparable and comprehensive capabilities. They enable customer service organizations to be productive and efficient at delivering service.

Decline

CTI, unified agent workspace

These technologies are being replaced by alternatives. CTI capabilities are still very important, but are being incorporated into ACDs, which means that CTI as a separate technology category is on the decline. Unified agent workspaces are being replaced by some level of process guidance.

 

Check out our TechRadar™ report for an in-depth analysis of why we categorize these technologies this way.

In my next blog post, I will focus on what this all means to you.

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