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Customer Service Dream Team

Customer Service remains a key influencer of the customer experience and brand loyalty but many organizations still struggle to meet even the most basic of customer expectations. In the UK for example, the Institute of Customer Service recently reported that in July 2023 the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) was 76.6 (out of 100), a drop of 1.8 points compared to July 2022 and that this was its lowest score since 2015. Similar studies are commonplace around the world. All is not well in Customer Service.

However, there is no quick fix to this. Numerous overlapping issues are dragging down the potential Customer Service has as a key influencer of customer loyalty and advocacy. The top 10 most commonly observed hurdles we see (in no particular order) are:

  1. Embracing the reality that most customer service experiences start digitally and only conclude with an agent interaction as a last resort
  2. Achieving a consistent, connected and personalized experience across multiple touchpoints via many devices offering different modalities
  3. Delivering a positive self service experience that contains customers whilst not creating an aura of pushing them away 
  4. Leveraging the full potential of “AI”, ensuring consumer trust, and delivering real value
  5. Ensuring personal data shared by customers is used to create an adaptive and more enjoyable engagement experience. Leveraging the wealth of rich data captured within customer interactions and sharing insight across the enterprise
  6. Improving employee engagement to increase operational performance and reduce attrition
  7. Ensuring employees have the right skillset, level of engagement, and support from AI-delivered contextual content to resolve increasingly complex customer issues
  8. Working from anywhere or hybrid working. And the importance of the third space in businesses
  9. Cloud strategy, migration and the future of Cloud. New industry clouds are shaping better Cloud benefits
  10. Technology sourcing in a complex and overlapping landscape.

Beyond these somewhat obvious (but still important and difficult to resolve) current hurdles, organizations are also challenged with contemplating and planning for the future of customer service. It is becoming clear that the fundamental role and scope of the traditional customer service “department” as we know it is being called into question. For example:

  • Should customer service evolve to be a relationship center taking greater responsibility for sales and marketing and not just “serving” the customer when they have an issue?  (hint: yes)
  • What constitutes as “service” in the first place and where does the service experience actually begin? (hint: usually way way before the customer actually picks up their phone).

Meet the Customer Service Advisory Dream Team

Actionary was founded by Gartner customer service analysts, who have been creating the thought leading research consumed by thousands of organizations worldwide over the past two decades. These analysts have defined the markets and submarkets we know today and published many magic quadrants. After distinguished careers at Gartner each advisor went on to become a c-suite executive themselves but have how returned to their passion of providing highly tailored advice to organizations such as yours.

All three team members published market-defining research, had daily inquiry calls with c-suite clients, vendors and investors. And were global keynote presenters.

Simon Harrison

FORMER SENIOR Director Analyst, Gartner

  • Future of Apps KI leader and Chief of Research advisor. 
  • MQ leader and co-author for Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS), Workforce Engagement Mgmt (WEM) and CRM Customer Engagement Mgmt (CEC).
  • KI leader approving research by 180 analysts and 16 agendas incl. ERP, CRM, CX/EX, Digital Workplace, Procurement, Sales Technology and Blockchain.
  • CX Summit track manager. Shaped the story for Gartner client events in London, Sydney, and Tokyo.
  • Former Chief Marketing Officer at Avaya.

Jim Davies

FORMER VP Research Analyst, Gartner

  • Agenda Manager for Customer Service.
  • Founder of the Workforce Optimization (WFO) and Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) markets and author of the associated Magic Quadrants.
  • One of Gartner’s core CX analysts, creator and lead analyst for the Voice of the Customer (VoC) research and author of the associated Magic Quadrant.
  • Conference Chair for the CRM Summit in London and Paris.
  • Former Chief Experience Officer at Calabrio.

Brian Manusama

FORMER Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

  • MQ leader and lead author for the CRM Customer Engagement Center Management (CEC) research
  • Founder and lead author of the Digital Customer Services research including the Digital Customer Service Market Guide.
  • One of Gartner’s core Conversational AI analysts, creator and lead analyst of the Virtual Customer Assistants/Chatbot research and author of the associated Market Guides.
  • Conference Chair for the CX Summit in London.
  • Former Chief Strategy officer at

Giving Leaders Superheroes

Whether you are a customer service software vendor or leader of a customer service department, this team can transform your business.

How we help end user organizations:

  • Technology/portfolio strategy
  • Technology selection (CcaaS, CEC, WEM)
  • Journey/process design
  • CX measurement (VoC)
  • AI/analytics/reporting
  • Self Service containment
  • Employee engagement
  • Generative & Conversational AI use cases

How we help software vendors:

  • Executive sounding board
  • Vison/USP definition
  • GTM Sales and Marketing strategy
  • Product strategy – R&D and M&A
  • Competitive Intelligence
  • Keynote speaker
  • Partnerships
  • Referral partner (ie the vendor can refer a customer to us for consulting assistance)

Accelerate Strategic Goals