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Three tech foundations to growth through service


June 30, 2022

During the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations rapidly adopted new approaches to customer service. Longstanding physical contact centers went virtual. Complex processes—like filing for unemployment benefits—were adapted for multi-day chat under the crushing demand. And more people than ever before embraced the opportunity to use digital channels both to buy products and services and to access customer service. Together with our ecosystem partners, Salesforce and AWS, Accenture helped power many of these rapid-cycle service transformations.

Now, as the proverbial dust continues to settle, many organizations are still working to solve classic customer complaints—like being stuck on hold for too long or having to provide the same information multiple times. All the while, organizations are grappling with several urgent service-related challenges. Among them:

  • Growing demand for service and ever-increasing customer expectations;
  • Digital self-service that’s functional but doesn’t align with the brand promise and experience;
  • Difficulty finding and keeping service talent.

Another complex challenge is emerging thanks to increasingly tight integration between products and services from different companies. Consider troubleshooting a non-working speaker that you operate via an app on your phone. What’s causing the issue: your phone? Your Wi-Fi? The app? The device? All these components come together so people can listen to music. What happens when the music won’t work? Who do you call? Over the long term, this lack of clarity “at the seams” creates friction and barriers to growth.

Organizations can’t resolve these challenges simply through greater service speed or efficiency. What’s needed is an entirely new approach to customer service.

Serving up more value for your customers—and your business

When an organization commits to reimagining service—from mindset to tech stack—it can tackle persistent challenges AND seize new opportunities. That can include driving higher revenue growth. In fact, Accenture’s End-to-Endless Customer Service study found that companies that fully view service as a value creator (not a cost center) are achieving 3.5x more revenue growth.

What are their service secrets?

Our research and analysis point to three pathways:

1. Grow trust through proactive and predictive service. Make life easier for customers by infusing proactive, predictive capabilities. In other words, reduce the need for a customer to contact service in the first place.

Our research found that 78% of B2B and 65% of B2C customers believe proactive service solutions are important. However, providers are currently underserving them.

2. Grow usage by becoming a “trusted advisor.” Want to deliver more value to customers? Tell and show them how through personalized, contextually relevant strategic advice.

Customers welcome this support. In fact, in our research, the number two value driver for B2C customers was when service helps them get more value from their products.

3. Grow possibility by feeding service-generated insights into product innovation. Reshape how you develop products and services by integrating insights from the service organization into your innovation process. Why? Because your service function is closest to your customers. Every day, this team collects valuable data about what customers like, what doesn’t work well and where customers are suggesting changes.

Organizations can’t resolve these challenges simply through greater service speed or efficiency. What’s needed is an entirely new approach to customer service.


Brian Kalberer

Lead – Salesforce Business Group, North America

What’s standing in the way of proactive customer service?

Our End-to-Endless Customer Service study also revealed the number-one barrier service organizations are facing in achieving growth outcomes: lack of technology.

I would add a nuance to that: our clients typically have the technology required. But they often struggle to effectively fit the technology together and apply it in the right way. That’s where we’re often able to help.

Here are the three must-have capabilities your technology must be able to stand up to:

1. Channels unified across the tech stack to drive a more consistent customer experience. Current customer experiences have been at the mercy of channels designed, built and operated in silos based on the technology that enabled them. That has led to customers having very different experiences over phone, chat, email and web. Look for a single solution like Salesforce with AWS. With the right configuration and integration know-how, the Salesforce platform makes it possible to enable ALL channels and design with the end in mind.

2. Asynchronous options so customers can have continuous conversations through time and space. As individual customers, we’ve all experienced the pain of long wait times and chat sessions that crash. With the Salesforce platform, customers can start a service request, pause, go about their life, go back to work and then pick up the interaction in a couple of hours. In other words, they can be served when convenient for them—all without starting over.

3. More complete set of data for predicting customer needs and tailoring experience to the individual. Data is truly the key to unlocking more proactive and predictive service…to becoming a trusted advisor to B2C and B2B customers at scale… and to infusing service-generated insights into product development. Salesforce with AWS can help in identifying where an organization can capture these opportunities and support higher growth.

By taking the three pathways—and growing the three tech capabilities—you can transform service into a key driver of business growth. Now is the time to get started on your journey to End-to-Endless Customer Service.