Businesses are failing to prepare for a future led by Artificial Intelligence (AI), virtual reality, augmented reality and holograms, Servion Global Solutions has warned.
While automation has played a role in customer experience for some time, industries are reaching a tipping point – not only are intelligent machines on the verge of taking over, but consumers want them to. Indeed, Servion predicts that, by 2025, AI will power 95% of all customer interactions, including live telephone and online conversations that will leave customers unable to 'spot the bot'.
At the same time, consumer expectations that businesses use visual technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, and holograms, are set to skyrocket. Businesses that fail to prepare for this future now face a severe risk of being left behind by their competitors.
"Quite simply, everything has become commoditised – with organisations struggling to compete on price and product offerings, delivering a better customer experience has become the only differentiator," commented Shashi Nirale, SVP&GP EMEA at Servion Global Solutions. "Businesses are realising that keeping customers is more profitable than acquiring new ones. If customers aren't satisfied, the business can suffer a deathly blow to its bottom line.
Consumers today already expect automated tills at the supermarket, automatic answers to simple queries on the phone and online, and automated payment at the car park – by the next decade they will expect so much more. Businesses that can only offer the option of struggling against a simple, automated chatbot or answering service will soon find themselves left by the wayside."
Gartner has predicted that, by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human. However, in the following decade, even these simpler apps and automated systems will be replaced with advanced AI technologies designed to improve the overall customer experience by being proactive, anticipating customer needs and engaging on an emotional level.
Ultimately, only five percent of customer interactions will require human involvement at all. At the same time, technologies such as holograms, virtual and augmented reality, are already seeing a boom in popularity. Interactions such as viewing a holiday rental property in virtual reality; solving technical issues through augmented reality; or greeting shoppers and demonstrating products by hologram will become not just luxuries, but part of the expected customer experience by 2025.
"Businesses that don't adopt these technologies will become irrelevant in less than a decade," said Sameet Gupte, CEO of Servion Global Solutions. "The challenge is not deciding whether to adopt, but how to do so quickly and successfully. Success means integrating all communications channels, and being able to add more as they appear.
To do this, businesses need to take a holistic view: bringing all communication channels, data and technologies together in a single 'hub' that controls all customer interaction. By taking this approach, organisations can ensure they have control over the customer experience, whether it takes place in person or with an AI in virtual reality. Ultimately this means a better customer experience and a business that is ready for the future."