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Will 80% Of Customer Service Organisations Migrate To Messaging?

Gartner predicts that 80% of customer service organisations will migrate to messaging by 2025, while abandoning native mobile apps. Added to this, proactive customer engagement interactions will outnumber reactive customer engagement interactions.

Introduction

Gartner is predicting three significant customer service shifts by 2025:

  1. Customer Service will be messaging focused.
  2. Proactive customer engagements will outnumber reactive customer engagements.
  3. 40% of customer service organisations will become profit centres.

These Shifts Are Driven By A Few Factors

◼ As seen below, smartphones are becoming our preferred avenue of going online.

◼ Users have messaging app notifications on by default, and users pay attention to their messages, hence proactive outreach is feasible. Messaging is also seen as the next step in the digital transformation process.

The digital transformation sequence of events.

◼ Messaging is where users spend their time and critical mass has been reached in user bases spread over only a few messaging applications. As seen below

Most popular global mobile messenger apps as of January 2022, based on number of monthly active users

◼Apart from messaging specific design affordances, conversational interfaces are generic. The same conversational experience can be replicated across mediums and languages.

By 2025, proactive customer engagement interactions will outnumber reactive customer engagement interactions.
~Gartner

◼The cognitive load of a conversational experience is much lower for a user than a GUI. With a GUI with tabs, buttons, etc there is added demand on the user to structure their input according to the graphic interface. User queries and needs must be categorised and matched according to available buttons and menu options. Often there is ambiguity when matching user desire with available graphic affordances.

◼ With a GUI, user affordances are limited to the screen size. With a GUI, less is more. With a conversational interface, more is more. In the case of conversational interfaces, design and user affordances are invisible, and an abundance of affordances (intents) allows for a natural conversation. Some of the elements for natural conversation are digression, disambiguation, contextual awareness, etc.

◼ A GUI demands of the user to structure their input, while conversational interfaces allows for unstructured user input. And subsequently the chatbot creates structured data from the unstructured conversational input. This allows for ease of use and a significant reduction in cognitive load.

◼ The democratisation of access to chatbot development frameworks has lead to the proliferation of bots.

◼Conversational AI applications are well suited for an agent assisted solution.

Messaging apps are dominating the top mobile application downloads.

“Messaging channels such as SMS and third-party messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WeChat and WhatsApp have been widely embraced in the global market, making them ideal for service organisations,”
~ Philip Jenkins

Digital Transformation

According to Gartner, digital transformation for service organisations initially focused on websites for desktop. But users shifted to enterprise-native mobile app experiences with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets.

Despite substantial investment and promotion, most service organisations have failed to gain strong customer adoption of their service apps. As a result, service organisations will increasingly retire native mobile app experiences and replace it with messaging interfaces.

Conclusion

Voicebots were not mentioned in the report. Considering the focus from mobile operators and customer demands on companies like Kore AI, the demand for voicebots are high.

The reason for this is the promise of automating calls into the call centre, and having a voicebot handle those calls instead of a live agent.

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Cobus Greyling

Cobus Greyling

Chief Evangelist @ HumanFirst. I explore and write about all things at the intersection of AI and language; NLP/NLU/LLM, Chat/Voicebots, CCAI. www.humanfirst.ai