Together, we surveyed over 100 global customer experience leaders from EMEA and North America within the travel and retail industries to get a better understanding of their customer service priorities for 2020. The paper is designed to give a corporate overview of how brands are adopting messaging channels for customer service and the perceived impact bots & AI will have within the contact center. Read on for an overview of our findings, or get the full report here.
The Rise of Messaging
A high proportion of respondents stated that they are already using Messenger (69%) and WhatsApp (57%) for customer service. Despite this, 26% of businesses believe they’re behind the curve when it comes to preparing for private messaging adoption.
“Both consumer preferences and the platforms that facilitate B2C service interactions are driving industry-wide change. This offers real brand opportunity if taken seriously. But brands are still forcing customers to archaic channels, making them navigate through seemingly endless automated call menus or wait at their laptops for a live chat agent to respond.”
The next industry winners are being determined by which brands successfully build meaningful 1:1 relationships with customers on their preferred communication channel – messaging. In 2017, two billion messages per month were sent between consumers and businesses via Facebook Messenger. Fast-forward to now, just two years later, and that figure has grown ten-fold to a staggering 20 billion messages per month. Messaging allows consumers to communicate with brands on their own terms, not the other way around. It is clear that our respondents understand the shifting customer communication landscape and evolving strategies to make accommodations.
The significance of Customer Service Automation
96% of respondents believe that AI and automation will play a key role in the future of customer service delivery and 92% consider that automation will reduce customer support costs.
“The future of your customer service team isn’t man vs machine – it’s man (and woman) powered by machines. By combining automation and humans on one single platform and tapping into the power of messaging channels, brands can truly deliver effortless customer service from within the contact center.”
The rise of AI and bots is one of the biggest shifts in customer experience in years. With the continuing pivot to digital, and the rise of messaging, brands are struggling to keep on top of the volume of digital interactions. But bots, if combined with humans in the right way, can help brands deliver a faster and more effortless experience.
For example, if a customer wants to know when they can expect their order to arrive, a bot is able to pull the tracking number and provide an update. The customer may then follow up with a more complex request at which point the bot is intelligent enough to hand off to a human agent. The conversation history is also made available to the agent to ensure they’re equipped to provide a seamless customer experience.
"By combining automation and humans on one single platform and tapping into the power of messaging channels, brands can truly deliver effortless customer service from within the contact center."