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37% of service leaders are either piloting or using artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual customer assistants (VCAs). This is according to a recent Gartner report, which also found that no other channel technology has piqued the interest of customer service and support leaders like AI and VCAs.
AI and VCAs become more significant
Overall, Gartner collected responses from 452 service leaders across all industries and business types. Respondents from around the globe "collaborated to benchmark plans for 45 established and emerging technologies. According to the press release, AI bots and VCAs are becoming more widely adopted across the enterprise. At present, they are "of medium-high importance" but Gartner expects their significance to grow in the future. Confidence is accelerating technology adoption, according to the report. In fact, 68% of service leaders indicated that they believe AI bots and VCAs will be "more important in the next two years."
Benefits of AI bots and VCAs
As Gartner notes, these technologies act on behalf of companies in order to deliver information. In addition to this, AI and VCAs act on behalf of the customer to perform a transaction. As a result, bots and VCAs can "guide customers to the right resources at the right time", freeing up company resources. It is therefore no surprise that 67% of respondents said that AI and VCAs are high-value tools in the contact centre. AI bots are also able to solve simple tasks, which allows human advisors to focus on more complex issues. In effect, bots are able to "help serve a growing customer base without the necessity of adding advisors." By operating at a faster speed than human advisors, AI bots can drastically reduce customer wait time. One client reported chatbots replying within five second of customer contact, while typical advisors take 51 seconds on average. Finally, AI bots allow companies to benefit from better gatekeeping. A bot's ability to recognise other bots trying to gain access to systems frees up advisors to just focus on actual customers.