25% of Customer Service Operations Will Use Virtual Assistants by 2020

25% of Customer Service Operations Will Use Virtual Assistants by 2020

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25 percent of customer service and support operations will integrate virtual customer assistant (VCA) or chatbot technology across engagement channels by 2020, up from less than two percent in 2017, according to Gartner.

Gene Alvarez, managing vice president at Gartner, said more than half of organizations have already invested in VCAs for customer service, as they realize the advantages of automated self-service, together with the ability to escalate to a human agent in complex situations. "As more customers engage on digital channels, VCAs are being implemented for handling customer requests on websites, mobile apps, consumer messaging apps and social networks," Alvarez said.

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. "A great VCA offers more than just information," said Alvarez. "It should enrich the customer experience, help the customer throughout the interaction and process transactions on behalf of the customer."

A 2017 Gartner survey found that 84 percent of organizations expected to increase investments in customer experience (CX) technology in the year ahead. Other Gartner predictions for CX leaders to know when developing a customer strategy include that by 2019, 20 percent of brands will abandon their mobile apps.

By 2022, says Gartner, 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.

Gartner also predicts that by 2020, more than 40 percent of all data analytics projects will relate to an aspect of customer experience. At the same time period, 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.

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