Ian Jacobs

VP, Research Director

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Qualtrics’ $1.125B Acquisition Of Clarabridge Upends The Customer Feedback Management Market

Judy Weader July 30, 2021
Yesterday evening, Qualtrics announced that it’s acquiring Clarabridge in an all-stock deal worth $1.125 billion. This is a great move for Qualtrics. In one swoop, it has secured the best-in-class analytics capabilities that will define the future of voice-of-the-customer programs as firms decrease their reliance on surveys and focus instead on understanding customers based on […]
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Blog

Unified Agent Augmentation Tools: A Fractured And Disorganized Landscape In Customer Service

Ian Jacobs June 16, 2021
Agent augmentation tools make the lives of contact center agents easier by enabling them to deliver high-caliber customer support. Yet today’s technology is siloed; there isn’t a unified agent augmentation solution that aggregates all of the tools that agents need and/or should have. This gap in the customer service technology market creates the conditions for […]
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Microsoft Doubles Down On Healthcare And Conversational AI With $19.7B Purchase Of Nuance

Daniel Hong April 15, 2021
Earlier this week, Microsoft announced its intent to acquire Nuance for $19.7 billion in its second-largest acquisition after LinkedIn. For the past 15 years, Nuance has been the largest independent speech recognition vendor servicing healthcare and enterprise customer service markets. With this acquisition, Microsoft gets serious healthcare chops, an arsenal of conversational AI assets (including […]
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Blog

Brands Bear (Some) Blame For Conditions At Outsourcers

Ian Jacobs January 13, 2021
Between really bad press (here and here) and bankruptcy (here), large contact center outsourcers have seen a rough last few months. Bad press for outsourcers spells trouble for and affects the brands that contract with them: Consumers will react regardless of whether the news comes from the company itself or up the supply chain. Negative […]
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Blog

Predictions 2021: It’s All About Empathy, Digital, And Virtualizing Customer Care

Ian Jacobs October 21, 2020
The purpose of customer service is no longer just to alleviate run-of-the-mill inconveniences; it is to provide fundamental and necessary services for consumers devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn how customer service will evolve in 2021.
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Blog

Extend The Life Of Your Chatbots By Looking Beyond The Holiday Season

Ian Jacobs October 21, 2020
Let’s just get it out of the way at the start of this blog: COVID-19 has remade retail and has forced a rapid shift toward digital customer service interactions. And now the holidays are nigh, and e-commerce seems to be the order of the day (or the “plague year”). To help with this rush of […]
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Blog

Key Takeaways From Forrester’s Customer Service Executive Roundtable On Turning Challenges Into Opportunities

Ian Jacobs June 12, 2020
Twenty-two customer service executives shared their victories and challenges during the coronavirus pandemic. Read key takeaways from this conversation about customer service during COVID-19.
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Blog

FORRward: A Weekly Read For Tech And Marketing Execs

Emily Collins April 27, 2020
COVID-19 Is Proving That Consumer Voices Can Influence Business Decisions Last week, major corporations learned firsthand the power of values-based consumers. Many received harsh backlash after applying for and receiving funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), intended to help small businesses keep their workforces employed amid the COVID-19 crisis. The US government allocated $349 billion to the program, but many small businesses were denied after larger players received […]
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Blog

Plan For The Work-At-Home Contact Center You Want, Not The One You Were Forced To Build During This Pandemic

Ian Jacobs April 21, 2020
To help brands navigate the historic customer service challenges posed by the current pandemic and subsequent need for mass mobilization of a remote workforce, Forrester has created a four pillar framework for a building a successful work from home contact center.
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Blog

Work-At-Home: Just The First Step In Contact Centers’ Response To COVID-19

Ian Jacobs April 9, 2020
Learn why now is the right time for brands to move to a work-at-home model for contact center agents.
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Blog

Choose The Right Global Omnichannel Contact Center Outsourcer

Ian Jacobs March 16, 2020
The brand damage of poor customer service outsourcing had become apparent. So, why are more companies considering outsourcing more?
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Blog

The Impact Of Chatbots On Your Seasonal Workforce

Ian Jacobs November 1, 2019
Can chatbots help meet your holiday hiring needs — and should they? Forrester Principal Analyst Ian Jacobs explains in this video.
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Blog

Predictions 2020: AI Shakes Up Customer Service Workforce And Operations

Ian Jacobs October 31, 2019
AI will change how organizations staff, run, and manage their customer service teams. Read Forrester's 2020 customer service predictions to learn more.
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Blog

“Why Can’t This Stupid Chatbot Do What I Want?”

Charles Betz October 2, 2019
For all their promise, chatbots are still decidedly imperfect. With good reason: The processes underlying their functioning are numerous and complex. But, there's hope.
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Blog

A Recession Looms — How Will You Keep Experience In Focus?

Ian Jacobs September 11, 2019
In this short video, I ask a simple question with no simple answer: How can customer service organizations avoid wild swings between a focus on experience and a focus on efficiency if macroeconomic conditions deteriorate? Let me know your thoughts on what your organization is doing to avoid this oft-repeated behavior. Email me at ijacobs@forrester.com. […]
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Blog

Why Chatbots Can’t Read Your Mind

Charles Betz August 21, 2019
Chatbots rely on natural language processing (NLP) to understand you. Before they can process a language, they must learn it. Read more.
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Blog

Cut Through The Chatbot Hype To Find The Right Conversational AI Solution For You

Ian Jacobs June 26, 2019
In this short take, I discuss the lessons learned from evaluating 14 vendors for the Forrester New Wave™: Conversational AI For Customer Service, Q2 2019. Check out the video below. For more insights, Forrester clients can dig into the full evaluative research here. And if you have more questions, reach out via inquiry.
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Blog

Stop Trying To Replace Your Agents With Chatbots — No, Seriously!

Ian Jacobs April 17, 2019
Will chatbots save you money? Your short-term savings likely won’t outweigh the long-term damage caused by continuously frustrating your customers.
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Blog

Forrester’s Latest Infographic: Consumers Don’t Believe The Chatbot Hype

Ian Jacobs February 4, 2019
Consumers really don’t like your chatbot. It’s not exactly a relationship built to last — a few clicks here, a few sentences there — but Forrester Analytics data shows us very clearly that, to consumers, your chatbot isn’t exactly “swipe right” material. That’s unfortunate, because using a chatbot for customer service can be incredibly effective when done […]
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Blog

Emphasize Emotion In Your Holiday Customer Service

Ian Jacobs December 4, 2018
As the holidays approach and the post-holiday return rush quickly follows, a few things will occur simultaneously: Hundreds of millions of customers will make purchases, total holiday retail sales will push the $720 billion mark, and millions more will send odd, ill-fitting, or unwanted gifts back from whence they came. It’s in this frenzy of […]
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