At the recently held, Gartner Customer Experience Summit in Tokyo, Gene Alvarez, managing vice president, Gartner, shared that organisations have started investing in virtual customer assistant (VCA). Realising the advantages of automated self-service, together with the ability to escalate to a human agent in complex situations more than half of organizations have already invested in VCAs for customer service.
As more customers engage on digital channels, Chatbots or VCAs are being implemented for handling customer requests on websites, mobile apps, consumer messaging apps and social networks. Organizations report a reduction of up to 70 percent in call, chat and/or email inquiries after implementing a VCA, according to Gartner research. They also report increased customer satisfaction and a 33 percent saving per voice engagement.
Mr. Alvarez elaborated, “This is underpinned by improvements in natural-language processing, machine learning and intent-matching capabilities.”
“A great VCA offers more than just information. It should enrich the customer experience, help the customer throughout the interaction and process transactions on behalf of the customer,” he added.
A 2017 Gartner survey found that 84 percent of organizations expected to increase investments in customer experience (CX) technology in the year ahead. By 2019, 20 percent of brands will abandon their mobile apps. The study shared that brands are now investing to build presence in consumer messaging apps, such as Facebook Messenger and WeChat, to reach customers where they spend a high percentage of their time.
By 2022, two-thirds of all customer experience projects will make use of IT, up from 50 percent in 2017. Also, by 2020, 30 percent of all B2B companies will employ artificial intelligence (AI) to augment at least one of their primary sales processes. AI in sales allows for more efficiency and effectiveness in business processes, as it provides fast and accurate support when performing the different sales stages.
By 2020, augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality immersive solutions will be evaluated and adopted in 20 percent of large enterprises as part of their digital transformation strategy. Organizations will have the ability to provide employees, customers and suppliers with a means to obtain real-time information. Consumers already experience some form of immersive technology, such as Snapchat filters and 360-degree video and photos on Facebook.