To see how service leaders are progressing in the New Normal, we surveyed over 7,000 customer service professionals from 33 countries and six continents. The results of the research have been published in the 4th edition of the State of Service report.

In this blog, we explore: 

  • the changes in technology due to the gaps exposed by COVID-19

  • the impact of COVID-19 on high-performing and underperforming service organisations 

Now let’s get started!


Service leaders need to move faster

In our survey, we found that service organisations that were digitally mature were better prepared to pivot and address new challenges. They viewed challenges as opportunities and they transformed important functions to better meet the needs of their customers. 

Unfortunately, many organisations that didn’t have the right technologies in place scrambled to implement digital transformation projects. The report shows that:

  • 81% of decision makers say they’re accelerating digital initiatives.

  • 78% of decision makers say they’ve invested in new technologies as a result of the pandemic.

  • 81% of service professionals say that the pandemic changed their technology needs.

The digital arms race is already underway. And high-performing service organisations have a considerable head start that’s only threatening to grow larger. 


Service organisations need to digitally transform

Today’s service organisations are relying on digital solutions more than ever. New customer behaviours have challenged organisations to smash silos, connect teams, and use advanced technology to serve them.

Service organisations have also been encouraged to use data more intelligently in pursuit of new strategies and better processes. The COVID-19 pandemic also revealed a notable gap between service teams that have digital solutions in place and teams that are still struggling to transform. 

Our report reveals:

  • 59% of respondents say that COVID-19 has exposed the technology gap to a great extent or a moderate extent.

  • 58% say that it’s exposed service channel gaps to a great or moderate extent.

  • 74% of decision makers say that the pandemic has made them more reliant on data.


The importance of connecting teams and customer experiences

The COVID-19 pandemic also led to more customers engaging on digital channels. Now, those customers are demanding connected experiences. 

In our survey, we discovered that 76% of customers expect seamless, consistent interactions across departments. And 53% say that it feels like sales, service, and marketing don’t share information. 

This is a worrying figure for organisations that are still operating in silos. Especially when a company’s service is as important as its products.

These figures highlight how important it is for organisations to connect their teams, share metrics, and provide a holistic view of the customer:

  • 79% of service professionals say that it’s impossible to provide great service without a complete view of customer interactions.

  • 83% of service organisations use the same CRM as their colleagues in marketing and sales.

It’s evident that the technological gap is intrinsically connected to the performance gap. So what are some available solutions for underperforming service teams?


How underperforming service leaders can chart a path towards success

The easiest and most effective way for service leaders to improve underperforming teams is to quickly address technology gaps. Organisations that don’t keep up with their better-connected competitors will face being left behind. 

Our report reveals that 88% of high-performing service teams have all the tools and technology they need. Meanwhile, only 52% of underperformers can say the same.

Here are some Salesforce solutions that can help meet some of the most pressing challenges for service leaders:

Einstein: Sales leaders can leverage AI solutions to automate tasks and suggest the next best actions for service agents.

Salesforce Platform: Designing the perfect app is as easy as dragging and dropping components. This makes it the perfect choice for service leaders with no coding knowledge.

Service Cloud: Service leaders can establish better cross-functional collaboration, nurture relationships, and personalise experiences.

Salesforce Field Service: Even in the face of remote working, field service remains an integral part of service organisations’ strategies. It helps service leaders resolve calls faster, increase productivity, and get real-time operational visibility.  


Service leaders must close technology gaps to thrive

Service leaders must gain stronger organisational skill sets, more agile workforces, and new forward-thinking technologies. By focussing on innovation, digitalisation, and communication, today’s service leaders can close technology gaps and level the playing field.

Read the full State of Service report to get more insights into how service leaders are closing the gaps left by the COVID-19 pandemic.