Twenty-five 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 research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc.
Speaking at the Gartner Customer Experience Summit in Tokyo on Monday, 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,” Mr Alvarez said. “This is underpinned by improvements in natural-language processing, machine learning and intent-matching capabilities.” Mr Alvarez was quoted on IT Pro.
Gartner also found that 84 percent of organisations expect to increase investments in customer experience (CX) technology in the year ahead - and by 2019 20 percent of brands will abandon their mobile apps.
“Many brands are finding that mobile applications are not delivering the level of adoption and customer engagement they expected,” Gartner research read. “Original return-on-investment calculations are missing the mark due to the cost of support, maintenance, upgrades, customer care and marketing to drive downloads.”
Instead, brands are now investing to build presence in consumer messaging apps, such as Facebook Messenger and WeChat, via bots, to reach customers where they spend more of their time, the report said.