Connected Reps Will Improve Contact Center Efficiency by 30 Percent, Gartner Finds

In just three years, customer service functions that implement the connected rep strategy will improve contact center efficiency by 30 percent, according to new research by Gartner.

The firm defines the connected rep as a strategy that enables customer service agents to perform high-quality assisted service at scale. It bridges technology and talent, using context, guidance, and design to reduce agent effort and increase consistency across interactions.

"As CSRs handle more complex customer interactions, upskilling or recruiting strong talent is a challenging and costly approach to help reps respond, especially in a tight labor market," said Kathy Ross, a senior director analyst in the Gartner Customer Service & Support practice. "Instead, leaders must go beyond traditional talent levers and include rep enablement technology as a core component of talent strategy. This is the crux of the connected rep."

By investing in a connected rep strategy, customer service and support leaders can reduce their reliance on costly talent strategies and increase the value of their assisted service interactions at scale, the firm said, pointing to a March 2022 benchmark that found a 25 percent median attrition among customer service reps.

"Rep enablement technology can create lower rep effort, drive consistent outcomes, and promote customer experience (CX) and efficiency," Ross said. "A dollar invested in rep technology is a dollar that stays when the rep leaves."

Gartner recommends that customer service and support leaders looking to reap the economic, CX, and employee experience (EX) benefits gained from investing in the connected rep should do the following:

  • Evaluate the gaps and growth areas in the current state of rep enablement technology and build a legacy system shutdown strategy with enterprise partners.
  • Secure approval of rep enablement investments by developing a business case that prioritizes helping inexperienced reps perform in highly complex environments.
  • Build a roadmap to support their connected rep implementation by partnering with IT to assess the current technology architecture and data management capabilities against the requirements to implement the leader's vision.