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Salesforce: Customer service teams have accelerated digital plans in 2020

The 'State of Service' report suggests 60% of decision-makers have invested in new service technology due to the pandemic

A woman working as a call centre agent

The pandemic has exposed a number of technology gaps in customer service, according to 88% of service professionals, as customers switched from physical to virtual locations during 2020.

This caused many customer service leaders to accelerate digital transformation strategies, according to a report from Salesforce

The 'State of Service' report provides a "snapshot" of priorities, challenges and trajectories of global customer service teams. The findings are based on a survey of customer service agents, decision-makers, mobile workers, and dispatchers with over 7,000 respondents across 33 countries.

In response to the pandemic, 85% of service teams said they had changed their policies to provide more flexibility to customers with 60% adding that they had invested in new service technology. 

"Leaders are taking this time to rethink the value of experiences and reimagine engagement with customers and employees alike," said Brian Solis, global innovation evangelist at Salesforce."

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"It's not just about technology. Sometimes technology is at its best when invisible. We're going to see significantly more agile, innovative, and relevant organisations emerge from this crisis that provides modern and sought-after experiences that change the game for everyone."

According to the report, 88% of service professionals said the pandemic exposed technology gaps, and 86% said the same for service channel gaps as customers flocked away from physical locations and towards digital methods of engagement.

Teams also found shortcomings that went beyond the obvious, with 87% realising that their existing policies and protocols - such as cancellation fees for events that were prohibited by public health measures - were not suited for current circumstances.

In the face of these challenges, service teams were forced to make digital transformations that will endure beyond the pandemic. 78% said they had invested in new technology because of the pandemic, with 32% suggesting they had ramped up their adoption of artificial intelligence systems

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