A quarter of customer service operations will use chatbots by 2020

Tyrone Stewart

Chatbot25 per cent of customer service and support operations will integrate virtual customer assistant (VCA) or chatbot technology across channels by 2020, as businesses begin to realise the advantages of having automated help.

According to research and advisory firm Gartner, over half of organisations have already invested in VCAs for customer service, and those that have implemented it have seen up to a 70 per cent reduction in call, chat, and email enquiries. They also report increased customer satisfaction and a 33 per cent saving per voice engagement.

“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,” said Gene Alvarez, managing vice president at Gartner. “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.”

Gartner’s research has also indicated that 20 per cent of brands will abandon their mobile apps by 2019, due to lower-than-expected levels of adoption and engagement. Furthermore, 30 per cent of all B2B companies are expected to employ artificial intelligence to augment at least one of their primary sales processes, and 20 per cent of large enterprises will use augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality solutions as part of their digital transformation strategy, by 2020.