2018 Enterprise Service Goals
On an annual basis, DMG conducts a worldwide survey of enterprise, customer service and contact center servicing goals for the upcoming year. The results of DMG’s annual survey reflect enterprise priorities and investment direction. This information is helpful for companies because it indicates where their competitors are focusing their spending. It also benefits vendors by providing guidance about the types of products and services companies are most likely to buy during the year.
In December 2017 and January 2018, participants were asked to identify and select their top servicing objectives from a list of 33 choices, and were also invited to write in additional goals. There were 11 write-ins that fell into the following categories: recording on a station-to-station basis, testing, improving workforce optimization, automation with bots and artificial intelligence (AI), root cause identification, implementing robotic process automation (RPA) to improve the customer experience (CX), and improving staff education and integration.
While there were clear industry trends, the diversity of the objectives selected reflects a broad interest in improving many operational and technical areas. The breadth of goals makes it clear that companies worldwide are making substantial investments to improve customer service.
Top 10 for 2018
As seen in Figure 1, the top 10 enterprise servicing goals for 2018 are:
- Delivering an outstanding CX
- Improving productivity
- Increasing use of self-service
- Delivering a personalized customer experience
- Reducing customer effort
- Reducing operating costs
- Improving cross-departmental coordination
- Improving customer journey mapping and analytics
- Enhancing customer engagement
- Enhancing staff engagement
Figure 1: Top 10 Enterprise Servicing Goals for 2018
Source: DMG Consulting LLC, January 2018
The top servicing goals in 2018 were similar to those in 2017, although 2 new items made it onto the top 10 list: improving customer journey mapping and analytics, and enhancing staff engagement. The two items that dropped out of the top 10 were improving customer retention and enhancing reporting analytics. These two goals are still on the list, but are ranked lower in importance in 2018 than in the prior year.
The Major Service Challenge
While it’s great to see an increasing level of investment and commitment to improving customer service, enterprises continue to face major challenges in improving their service organizations. An ongoing frustration (or challenge) for executives is that it appears as if the quality of service continues to fall farther and farther below customer expectations. This is despite the strongest and broadest investment cycle experienced in more than a decade. (It is also notwithstanding the gains many companies have seen in their Net Promoter Scores.)
While many blame the speed at which news travels with the advent of social media, DMG does not think this is the underlying cause of customer disappointment. Instead, it seems as if there is a major misalignment between what companies think they should be doing and what their customers expect. “Business as usual” no longer works because customers have been exposed to a new generation of business that successfully uses technology and innovative business models to meet and exceed their expectations (think Amazon and the leaders of the “sharing economy”).
The companies that are going to be winners in the “customer first era” are those that are successful in changing the culture and mindset of their entire organization, in addition to making a long overdue overhaul of their customer service and contact center infrastructure and operating environment. The cultural shift sounds easy, but has proven elusive for most organizations. Companies must adopt a policy of delivering service in the manner and channels desired by their customers, instead of forcing customers to do business the way the company wants. The results of DMG’s 2018 study of enterprise servicing goals indicate that companies are moving in the right direction, but not fast enough.
DMG Consulting LLC is a leading independent research, advisory and consulting firm specializing in unified communications, contact centers, back-office and real-time analytics. Learn more at www.dmgconsult.com.