25% of brands will use virtual customer assistants by 2020, says Gartner

25% of brands will use virtual customer assistants by 2020, says Gartner
Research reveals a 70% reduction in call, chat and email enquiries after implementation

Elly Yates-Roberts |

According to research and advisory firm Gartner, 25% of customer service and support operations will integrate virtual customer assistant (VCA) or chatbot technology by 2020.

Speaking at of the Gartner Customer Experience Summit in Tokyo, Japan, Gene Alvarez, managing vice president at Gartner, said that over half of organisations have already invested in VCAs for customer service.

“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 Alvarez. “This is underpinned by improvements in natural-language processing, machine learning and intent-matching capabilities.”

The research found that organisations reported a reduction of 70% in call, chat and email enquiries after implementing a VCA.

“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.”

Gartner has also predicted that by 2019, 20% of brands will stop using mobile apps and instead invest in building a presence in consumer messaging apps.

By 2022, two-thirds of all customer experience projects will make use of IT, an increase of from 50% in 2017.

By 2020, 30% of all business-to-business companies will employ artificial intelligence (AI) to augment at least one of their primary sales processes. AI allows for more efficiency in business processes, often with up to 30% higher conversion rates when engaging prospects or leads.

By 2020, over 40% of all data analytics projects will relate to an aspect of customer experience as brands aim to increase the level of trust customers have in the organisation.

By 2020, augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality immersive solutions will be adopted in 20% of large enterprises as part of their digital transformation strategy.

Customer experience trends will be discussed at the Gartner Customer Experience Summit 2018, 19-20 February in Tokyo, Japan and at the Customer Experience & Technologies Summit, May 24-25 in London, UK and June 18-19 in Sydney, Australia.

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