The customer service landscape is rapidly evolving with technology disruptors, societal changes, and demographic trends requiring service leaders to contemplate what the Future of Service looks like.

Demands on all aspects of service continue to grow, be it omnichannel service, in field, in person, and/or via contact centers. Reducing costs, growing revenue, improving customer experience, and cultivating talent remain top of mind for executives. However, the strategic importance of service as a critical asset to differentiate firms from their competitors continues to be a major priority.

The mission of customer service continues to evolve beyond issue resolution. As the driver of a company's main relationship touchpoints with customers, the service organization shapes experiences, drives choices, and reinforces perceptions and beliefs. In doing so, customer service functions transform from being cost centers to being customer retention and profit centers.

Deloitte’s view of the Future of Service is based on our work with hundreds of global service organizations, thought leaders, and technology-enabling alliances. We believe a series of disruptive forces are likely to profoundly change the way service is delivered in the future, and we think about them in five major themes.

the future of service chart

Distributed complexity

  • Service segmentation will continue to proliferate
  • It’s not just what is simple vs. complex, but also high-value vs. low value, high-risk vs. low risk, and emotionally involved vs. automatic
  • How complexity is defined and handled will be a critical strategic element

Personalized and proactive

  • Customers will mandate that service is tailored to their own uniqueness
  • Employees will demand they can do their job faster with a more personal touch
  • Customers will want to be provided with insights via data analytics that they otherwise would not know
  • Successful customer experience execution will require a coordinated effort between field service, sales, marketing, and other functions

Integrated ecosystems

  • Ecosystems will need to be connected and integrated to be person to person, tech to tech, etc.
  • How service is delivered is likely to change due to the gig economy, outsourcing, and partnerships
  • Cloud will continue to be a major force in how things are connected and scaled

Workforce redefined

  • New skills like a hospitality mindset and tech fluency will be required, impacting screening, training, and internal mobility 
  • New tools like intelligent knowledge management and sentiment analysis will change how service professionals do their jobs

AI omnipresence

  • AI will become a core business requirement
  • Various levels of maturity (RPA, Cognitive, ML) will need to be considered to satisfy business and customer needs

Read more about the themes and how to start preparing for the Future of Service and watch our video below on elevating the human experience.

The Future of Service: Elevating the human experience

Andy Haas leads Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Customer Service and Contact Center practices with 23+ years of cross-industry and global experience helping clients realize business value through customer engagement capabilities within servicing functions. He focuses on improving customer experience, reducing costs, and growing revenue for companies in customer engagement and service functions by taking a holistic approach across the customer operating model including strategy, customer experience, engagement channels, talent, process, sourcing, operations, analytics, and enabling technologies.