Join getAbstract to access the summary!

The Future of Customer Service Is Fast, Lean, and Agile

Join getAbstract to access the summary!

The Future of Customer Service Is Fast, Lean, and Agile

Boston Consulting Group,

5 min read
3 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Agile isn’t just a buzzword – it’s necessary to your company’s survival.

Editorial Rating



  • Overview
  • Visionary
  • Inspiring


Your company can’t make the mistake of falling behind when it comes to automation – your competition is using artificial intelligence to reduce costs and expedite processes, so you have to, too. But you also can’t make the mistake of optimizing for speed and cost reduction at the expense of customer service. Automation can streamline customer service, but unique or uncommon customer requests will always require a human touch. In this report, the Boston Consulting Group describes how leading companies are getting great results by creating specialized, agile, largely autonomous customer service teams.


Despite advances in automation, customer service still requires a human touch, particularly when it comes to unique requests. 

As technology improves, many customer service functions can be automated and standardized for repeated or common requests. Unique requests still require a level of responsiveness and specialization, and that’s where automation falls down on the job. It doesn’t matter how cost-effective your automated system is if you lose customers by failing to provide the right type of service at the right time. 

An agile customer service operating system involves four key features: “end-to-end servicing,” meaning that requests rarely change hands before getting resolved; “autonomy and accountability,” meaning that agents can usually resolve issues without...

About the Authors

James Sattler, Bodo von Hülsen, Payam Djavdan, Peter Hildebrandt, Edzard Wesselink and Jack Clarkson are professionals with the Boston Consulting Group.

Comment on this summary