Gartner executive survey 2016: CEO’s rank customer service as most important priority after growth!.. Can Customer Service Cope?


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CEOs have underlined that growth will be their top business priority for 2016, according to a recent survey by Gartner.

The 2016 Gartner CEO and senior business executive survey found that despite indications that the global economy is struggling in early 2016, CEOs do not plan to significantly change their priorities.

After growth (54 percent), the second and third business priorities are customers (31 percent) and workforce (27 percent). “The big rise of explicit mentions of the word “customer” was very noticeable in the results of this year’s survey,” says Mark Raskino, vice president and Gartner Fellow.

“CEOs seem to be concerned about improving customer service, relationship and satisfaction levels.

Customer Service a priority??? Draws many a snicker even today!
This is history in the making for the customer service industry, where industry professionals have the opportunity to step up.

However CAN industry professionals step up? Do we possess the capability and capacity to meet organisational growth goals that the CEO requires of us?

Customer Service can be seen as a strategy (the CEO focus currently) or a cost centre and more often than not, a cost centre. Transitioning from cost centre to a strategic centre requires a shift from an operational focus to a strategic one.

Here is a stat from 1,700 odd customers who use Snapshotz currently…

Snapshot Stat: Only 1 in 10 centres have a formal plan for the future. The budget is not a plan, it is a budget.
And another…
Snapshot Stat: in the month of April, 2016, 3 in 5 customer service heads have been replaced by ‘non customer service’ trained folk from within the business or outside of the business.

Lessons for Customer Service Managers
What the stats are telling us is a strategic business focus is more beneficial than a purely operational focus. Operational experience gained has now to be applied to growth objectives of the organisation.

Successful managers from both the Private and Public Sector are employing scientific approaches of strategy such as a SWOT analysis to support centre and organisational growth plans. (See areas a SWOT needs to cover… See also Snapshotz Online Customer Service Assessment)

I would welcome your own experience and feedback: [email protected]

Deepak Selvaratnam
Deepak is the cofounder and Director of Customer Services Audit limited, the developers of Snapshotz Online Assessment and Benchmarking tool for Contact Centres. Launched in 2009 Snapshotz is being employed by over 1,700 contact centres across Australasia, Africa's, the Middle East, North America, Latin America and China.


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