The Key to Contact Center Success: Evaluating Customer Service Tech at Just the Right Time

5 minute read

Allison Frieden Content Marketing Manager

Understanding what technologies are a good fit for your organization is often a long process. It involves multiple internal stakeholders weighing in from different departments with competing needs. While the web development team wants an easily deployable solution that integrates with what’s already being used, contact center teams want to streamline everyday operations while simultaneously boosting customer service. So, satisfying everyone for selecting the right technology can be an arduous effort for all involved.

If that technology is being used to provide a service to customers, the research and selection of the right one can get a little more complex. Aside from multiple stakeholders weighing in, there’s a need to ensure a great experience for customers from start to finish of their journey through their time with your organization.

Is your organization (really) ready for change?

To help organization’s customer service areas, analyst firm Gartner puts out its 2023 Hype Cycle for Customer Service and Support Technologies. In it, Gartner goes into detail around these technologies’ maturity and risks to help guide organizations. What stood out to us was its spot-on assessment of what happens when a technology is selected, but the organization isn’t ready for it.

“Many organizations have adopted innovative solutions but have yet to fully realize their potential due to the lack of mature business practices relative to expectations. This highlights the importance that customer service and support leaders realistically assess their organization’s appetite for operational change to incorporate the capabilities of newly adopted innovations.”

In other words, oftentimes organizations take on a technology that transforms everyday operations but isn’t quite ready for that change. When something as big as a new customer service and support technology is implemented, there’s bound to be an impact on daily work routines. For this, it’s necessary for organizations to make sure they not only select the right technology, but they have the right infrastructure and teams in place to implement it to its fullest capabilities. Otherwise, it’s possible your organization will have wasted a great amount of time and resources alongside any possible lost revenue along the way.

Technology Maturity—The Forgotten Evaluation Step

When it’s time to find technology to enhance current customer service issues or address potential future problems, organizations typically have a set way of how this is done. After researching what’s available out there, typically budgets are then factored in along with other technologies already in place.

However, according to Gartner, there’s more to consider when choosing customer service and support technologies. While emerging technologies can be tempting, the analyst firm advises organizations to think about the transformational ways these could impact employees and operations.
One of the biggest factors that might not be often thought of is the maturity of a particular technology. What this means is thinking about how long a technology has been around in combination with its adoption by mainstream organizations. Gartner recommends balancing both the transformational aspects of the emerging technologies with what’s going to positively impact your organization in the next two years. To help understand which ones will reach maturity in the next few years, the analyst firm put together its Hype Cycle for Customer Service and Support Technologies:

As you can see, there are varying degrees of maturity levels. For instance, while Gartner predicts we won’t see the full maturity of a Customer Technology Platform for another five to ten years, Generative AI will get there in the next two to five years. However, we would be remiss if we didn’t highlight the combination of two key areas for our audience—Knowledge Management Systems for Customer Service and Contact Center as a Service.

Foundational Customer Service and Support Technologies to the Rescue

With Contact Center as a Service on track to reach full maturity in less than two years, we’re excited to see Knowledge Management Systems for Customer Service right behind it on the upward trajectory. As more devices are connected, customers have more access to knowledge, perhaps more than ever before. This means they expect superior customer service with each interaction. If an organization’s contact center can’t deliver that through its multiple touchpoints, customers may figure out the answer to their query on their own or go to another business. So, it’s important for contact centers to have the best access possible to their organization’s knowledge. It’s the root of providing high-quality customer experiences.

Before moving forward with any other customer service and support technology, it’s important for organizations to have the basics. A solid foundation place to start for organizations given the maturity levels of current customer service and support technologies is undoubtedly having a good grasp on their knowledge management systems and its capabilities.

To learn more about other technology maturity levels and where your organization may want to invest, check out our complimentary offer of Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Customer Service and Support Technologies, 2023.

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