What do service leaders think about the importance of AI and virtual customer assistants? Is there a place for this technology in the future?
In 2018, Gartner conducted a Technology Roadmap Survey. During the investigation, they interviewed 452 service leaders from a variety of locations, industries, contact center sizes, and business models. The topic of discussion was 45 established and emerging technologies.
The goal of the exercise was to identify the types of technology that we use in the service landscape and their internal or external impact. How will such technology be relevant to service leaders and contact centers in the future?
Service technology is like a bullseye with five slices. These slices include:
- Channel technology
- Voice-of-customer tools
- Infrastructure technology
- Customer engagement tools
- Employee engagement tools
In this article, we shall look into channel technology. We shall be exploring whether there is a place in the future for such technology.
Channel Technologies in the Service Industry
This is the most significant slice of the bullseye. This slice supports technologies that facilitate self-service and live channels. Quite a number of service leaders believe that providing the customer with multiple channel choices is an effective way to serve.
For such a strategy, you must recognize the benefits, costs, and limitations of such channels. The bullseye model can make you understand the technology landscape as well as benchmark the right strategy.
AI Bots and Virtual Customer Assistants
The popularity of AI bots is growing as the industry is embracing these virtual customer assistants (VCA). As of now, AI bots are of medium importance. We expect these AI/chatbots and VCAs to grow in importance as we march to the future.
Chatbot technology acts on behalf of your organization. They collect and deliver information to and from the customer. You can use them to perform a transaction with your clients or offer support. AI/Chatbots and VCA are quite effective in guiding customers to the appropriate resources. Having such a setup can lift off some of the pressure from your support teams.
According to Lauren Villeneuve, Senior Principal Advisory, Gartner, 68% of service leaders believe that virtual customer assistants and Chatbots will be essential to the industry in the coming two years.
Service centers must consider how they can integrate this technology into their current operations. There must be a way of integrating the tech into both customer-facing and rep-facing systems.
Practical Use of AI Systems and Chatbots
Using AI bots and VCAs in web chat platforms has been a success to many service centers. There are many benefits to the deployment of AI and Chatbots. These benefits include:
- Greater Capability and Scale: AI bots can solve the small issue while your advisors focus on complex tasks. With such a system in place, your customer support teams will have a lighter workload. You can serve a growing customer base without the need to hire more personnel.
- Faster Chat Speeds: A chatbot replying a text is five times faster than a human performing the same task. Ai bots can reduce customer wait time.
- Better Gatekeeping: AI bots can act as security. The AI programs can detect other bots trying to gain access to your system. Such a setup frees up your advisory team so that they can focus on actual customers.
The future is bright for AI systems and chatbots. Do you use these systems? Are you considering having this technology? If not, what are you waiting for? AI could be the advantage you need over your competition.