Will chat­bots Take over cus­tomer ser­vice op­er­a­tions?

Go­ing by a Gart­ner ob­ser­va­tion, it says that 25% of Cus­tomer Ser­vice Op­er­a­tions Will Use Vir­tual Cus­tomer As­sis­tants by 2020

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Will bots steal your jobs? While that such prospect is a long term re­al­ity in a larger con­text, but some of the tech­nol­ogy ver­ti­cals like test­ing and cus­tomer ser­vices op­er­a­tions are al­ready see­ing the ag­gres­sive adop­tion of bots. In the con­text of cus­tomer ser­vices op­er­a­tions, it’s called Chat­bots and their es­ca­la­tion is in­deed im­pres­sive, go­ing by a Gart­ner ob­ser­va­tion.

WHAT IS A CHAT­BOT?

Go­ing by Wikipedia, “A chat­bot (also known as a talk­bot, chat­ter­bot, Bot, IM bot, in­ter­ac­tive agent, or Ar­ti­fi­cial Con­ver­sa­tional En­tity) is a com­puter pro­gram which con­ducts a con­ver­sa­tion via au­di­tory or tex­tual meth­ods. Such pro­grams are of­ten de­signed to con­vinc­ingly sim­u­late how a hu­man would be­have as a con­ver­sa­tional part­ner, thereby pass­ing the Tur­ing test. Chat­bots are typ­i­cally used in dia­log sys­tems for var­i­ous prac­ti­cal pur­poses in­clud­ing cus­tomer ser­vice or in­for­ma­tion ac­qui­si­tion. Some chat­ter­bots use so­phis­ti­cated nat­u­ral lan­guage pro­cess­ing sys­tems, but many sim­pler sys­tems scan for key­words within the in­put, then pull a re­ply with the most match­ing key­words, or the most sim­i­lar word­ing pat­tern, from a data­base.”

“The term “Chat­ter­Bot” was orig­i­nally coined by Michael Mauldin (cre­ator of the first Ver­bot, Ju­lia) in 1994 to

de­scribe th­ese con­ver­sa­tional pro­grams. To­day, chat­bots are part of vir­tual as­sis­tantssuch as Google As­sis­tant, and are ac­cessed via many or­ga­ni­za­tions’ apps, web­sites, and on in­stant mes­sag­ing plat­forms.Non-as­sis­tant ap­pli­ca­tions in­clude chat­bots used for en­ter­tain­ment pur­poses, for re­search, and so­cial bots which pro­mote a par­tic­u­lar prod­uct, can­di­date, or is­sue.”

EN­TER CHAT­BOTS

25% of cus­tomer ser­vice and sup­port op­er­a­tions will in­te­grate vir­tual cus­tomer as­sis­tant (VCA) or chat­bot tech­nol­ogy across en­gage­ment chan­nels by 2020, up from less than 2% in 2017, ac­cord­ing to Gart­ner.

Speak­ing at of the Gart­ner Cus­tomer Ex­pe­ri­ence Sum­mit in Tokyo, 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.” Or­ga­ni­za­tions re­port a re­duc­tion of up to 70% 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% 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.

CHAL­LENG­ING THE APPS

By 2019, 20 % 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. Orig­i­nal re­turn-on-in­vest­ment (ROI) cal­cu­la­tions are miss­ing the mark due to the cost of sup­port, main­te­nance, up­grades, cus­tomer care and mar­ket­ing to drive down­loads. Brands are now in­vest­ing to build pres­ence in con­sumer mes­sag­ing apps, such as Face­book Mes­sen­ger and WeChat, to reach cus­tomers where they spend a high per­cent­age of their time.

Also by 2022, two-thirds of all cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence projects will make use of IT, up from 50% in 2017.As the num­ber of dig­i­tal chan­nels ex­pands, self-ser­vice or dig­i­tal com­merce in­ter­ac­tions are in­creas­ing, as well as the move away from hu­man face-to-face or voice­based in­ter­ac­tions. The pro­por­tion of projects us­ing IT to im­prove the cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence will steadily rise. Those not us­ing tech­nol­ogy tend to be projects re­lated to re­cruit­ing, train­ing, gov­ern­ing and man­ag­ing cus­tomer­fac­ing em­ploy­ees.

AR­TI­FI­CIAL IN­TEL­LI­GENCE

By 2020, 30 % of all B2B com­pa­nies will em­ploy ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI) to aug­ment at least one of their pri­mary sales pro­cesses.AI in sales al­lows for more ef­fi­ciency and ef­fec­tive­ness in busi­ness pro­cesses, of­ten with up to 30 per­cent higher con­ver­sion rates when en­gag­ing prospects or leads, ac­cord­ing to Gart­ner. It is be­com­ing an at­trac­tive al­ter­na­tive for sales or­ga­ni­za­tions with high vol­umes of lead pro­cess­ing, op­por­tu­ni­ties and fore­cast­ing pro­cesses be­cause it pro­vides fast and ac­cu­rate sup­port when per­form­ing the dif­fer­ent sales stages.

DATA AN­A­LYT­ICS

By 2020, more than 40% of all data an­a­lyt­ics projects will re­late to an as­pect of cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence. Data and an­a­lyt­ics is al­ready prom­i­nent across mar­ket­ing, sales, dig­i­tal com­merce, cus­tomer ser­vice, so­cial me­dia man­age­ment and field ser­vice de­part­ments. How­ever, an un­der­stand­ing of the over­all con­di­tion of the cus­tomer’s at­ti­tude to­ward the en­ter­prise is lack­ing for the ma­jor­ity. What mat­ters is not the cus­tomer’s at­ti­tude about a store, depart­ment, process or prod­uct, but the level of trust they have in the or­ga­ni­za­tion as a whole and their likely in­tent to re­main loyal.

AUGUMENTED RE­AL­ITY

By 2020, aug­mented re­al­ity, vir­tual re­al­ity and mixed re­al­ity im­mer­sive so­lu­tions will be eval­u­ated and adopted in 20% of large en­ter­prises as part of their dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion strat­egy. Or­ga­ni­za­tions will have the abil­ity to pro­vide em­ploy­ees, cus­tomers and sup­pli­ers with a means to ob­tain real-time in­for­ma­tion, ex­pe­ri­ence vir­tual en­vi­ron­ments and en­gage in so­cial col­lab­o­ra­tion with­out a small, lim­ited dis­play and a lim­ited point of view. Con­sumers al­ready ex­pe­ri­ence some form of im­mer­sive tech­nol­ogy, such as Snapchat fil­ters and 360-de­gree video and pho­tos on Face­book.

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