Five ways customer service will change by 2022

Modern technology offers many opportunities for businesses to enrich customer experience. But which trends should we expect to see in the next four years?
26 March 2018

Today, customer experience is being transformed by digital in many exciting ways. Source: Shutterstock

O ver the past few years, customer service has changed dramatically thanks to advancements in technology. Customers are no longer having to wait on hold for what seems like all of eternity to speak to a customer service rep or wait two to three working days for their email inquiry to be answered. Today, you’re more likely to get answers in an instant from either chatbots or virtual assistants.

Modern technology offers many opportunities for businesses to enrich customer experience and this is developing at breakneck speed. But how should we expect to see the future of customer service to look like?

Based on its experience working with brands as well as its own in-house research, global technology research firm, Gartner, has come up with five critical ways that customer service will evolve in the next five years.

Say goodbye to mobile apps

Gartner have predicted that soon brands will start to abandon their mobile apps. Source: Shutterstock

According to Gartner by as early as next year, 20 percent of brands will abandon their mobile apps, due to a lack of adoption and customer engagement.

It seems that return-on-investment calculations are missing the mark due to the cost involved in support, maintenance, upgrades, customer care, and marketing efforts to drive downloads.

Instead, we are seeing a growth in brands turning to consumer messaging apps such as Facebook, in an attempt to reach customers in a place where they spend a high percentage of their time.

The partnership of IT and Customer Service

IT professionals and customer service professionals are beginning to partner up. Source: Shutterstock

It seems that customer service and IT professionals are beginning to align their planning and workflow processes. According to Gartner, the percentage of projects using IT to improve customer experience will steadily rise, with over 66 percent of customer experience projects leveraging IT by 2022.

Artificial Intelligence to drive sales

Artificial Intelligence is set to drive sales | Source: Shutterstock

The use of AI technology in driving sales is looking to become a growing trend in the future of customer service. By 2020, 30 percent of all B2B businesses will employ AI to augment at least one of their primary sales processes.

The leveraging of AI in sales can lead to increased efficiency and effectiveness in a variety of business processes. According to Gartner, this will be an attractive alternative for sales organizations who experience a high volume of lead processing, opportunities, and forecasting. It provides fast and accurate support when performing the different stages of sales.

Zoho Zia is an example of a well-known AI bot incorporated into customer relationship management (CRM) tools. Zia can detect system usage anomalies, suggest optimal workflows and macros, as well as advise salespeople on when to reach out to a prospect.

Using analytics to improve customer experience

An increasing amount of organizations will leverage the use of data and analytics to improve customer service. Source: Shutterstock

Data and analytics already plays a large part in enhancing business processes in many areas of a company, including marketing, sales, digital commerce, and customer service.

According to Gartner, there seems to be a lack of understanding of a customer’s overall attitude towards the enterprise, outside the realms of what can be found on social media activity.

With the amount of trust a customer has in your organization playing a key role in their loyalty to your company, increased efforts to discover a customer’s attitude is needed.

As a result, it is predicted that more than 40 percent of all data analytics projects will relate to an aspect of customer experience by 2020.

The mainstream integration of AR, VR, and MR

AR, VR, and MR is set to transform the future of customer service. Source: Shutterstock

Though often associated with gaming applications such as Pokemon Go, brands are increasingly beginning to think about how to revamp their businesses using augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR).

This technology can completely transform the customer experience. Want to see how a cushion looks on your sofa, how a shade of lipstick looks on you, or what a sunset cruise will be like? Many companies such as Ikea are strengthening their customer experience by making this possible.

As well as this, many companies are using VR for employee training purposes. American retail corporation, Walmart, uses VR to train employees in things such as preparing for situations like Black Friday or emergencies where you cannot set up a stimulation in a store, learning customer service skills, as well as operational training such as how products should be stacked.