By 2020, chatbots or Virtual Customer Assistants (VCAs) will be integrated in up to 25 percent of customer service operations, according to one of the expert predictions unveiled during the Gartner Customer Experience Summit 2018, which was held in Tokyo from February 19 to 20. The increase in the use of VCAs and chatbots compared to 2017 means that more and more business organizations have come to realize the benefits of investing in automated self-service platforms on messaging apps, websites, and social media networks. What’s more is that in complex scenarios, chatbots have the ability to escalate issues to human personnel, thus streamlining day-to-day customer service operations.
More Predictions Related to Customer Experience (CX) Investments
There are numerous other Gartner predictions that are expected to shape customer experience campaigns in the next few years. By 2019, for example, Gartner analysts have calculated that 20 percent of brands will ditch mobile apps because of ROI considerations. Brands will then turn to WeChat and Facebook Messenger instead of mobile apps. Additionally, it is expected that by 2020, over 40 percent of all projects centering on data analytics will have something to do with improving customer experience. And by 2022, two-thirds of all CX projects will utilize information technology.
The Problem of Employee Engagement
In a recent gathering from June 18 to 19 in Sydney, analysts at the Gartner Customer Experience & Technologies Summit unveiled the findings of a CX-related study conducted between February and March 2018. It has been shown that employee engagement is the top challenge affecting the delivery of CX enhancements. Up to 86 percent of CX execs pointed to employee engagement as equal to or having more impact on project success as data skills and project management. Employee-related aspects that may make or break CX improvement efforts include badly communicated goals, low morale, low commitment, poor or lack of training, and lack of incentives.
A separate Gartner study involving over 2,000 customer service agents from roughly 30 firms shows that service providers can have a 19 percent productivity increase and 25 percent attrition rate decrease by simply prioritizing their service reps instead of the customer.
The rationale for this is that a more focused and dedicated service rep is highly motivated to create more meaningful customer interactions, thus improving, among others, customer loyalty to and engagement with the brand.
To enhance service rep engagement that translates to customer loyalty, Gartner recommends three things. Service organizations might want to eliminate barriers to the productivity of their agents, acknowledge as well as perhaps implement service rep-led and tailored solutions to usual customer issues, and strike a balance between service quality and productivity.
How does your business enhance it’s service engagement?