With the pandemic, the digitalisation process in the world accelerated in 2020 and 2021. In this period when everything is online, people are doing most of their work from home; artificial intelligence-based virtual assistants, chatbots and dialogic artificial intelligence have become more common in daily life to help them. But will these new trends in customer service continue to dominate in the next year too? Let’s see!
1- Sound-based bots
In the coming year, voice bots in all kinds of dialogic interfaces such as IVRs and general-use voice assistants will be more in life. Voice-based virtual assistants will not only target customers but will also play an important role in converting potential customers into customers. In 2022, it will be possible to see multilingual artificial intelligence-based voice assistants that understand which language the customer is speaking and serve in that language in many areas. Voice-based bots with advanced personalisation capabilities will offer great opportunities in customer service, especially in sectors with high customer interaction.
2- Automation options will cover many areas
In Juniper Research’s report on the subject, it is stated that consumer retail spending on chatbots, which was $2.8 billion in 2019, will reach $142 billion by 2024. This analysis represents an average annual growth of 400 percent over this period. Companies; will invest more in virtual assistants that provide end-to-end experience, including many processes and topics such as campaign management, lead generation, frequently asked questions, product search, purchase payment. Virtual assistants, which provide a simple and limited dialogic experience, will be highly personalized in 2022 and become more comprehensive thanks to integrations.
3- Deep customer data and human-like experiences with virtual assistant experiences
With developments in Natural Language Processing (NLP), Natural Language Generation (NLG), Sentiment Analysis and Multilingual Natural Language, virtual assistants are becoming more human. Delivering this enhanced experience has two components: understanding user intent and providing a personalised response. We will see progress in both these components as AI technologies and the integration capabilities of assistants improve. This will bring two-sided satisfaction for both users and companies. In addition, another important area in the continuation of these components is the interpretation of people’s emotions. The ability of virtual assistants to understand the feelings of users and to continue the dialogue accordingly with Sentiment Analysis will increase customer satisfaction in the coming period.
It can be said that 2022 will be a year when analytics and insights will emerge more and create value. Using their analytical capabilities, virtual assistants will be better equipped to measure and evaluate users’ preferences and satisfaction. For this to happen, virtual assistants will need to master the end-to-end customer view and interactions and become more integrated with ERPs, CRMs, and other software systems. The bots will then record, analyse, and turn the questions and answers into actionable insights.
4- Virtual assistants will take more place in institutive areas
After discovering the potential of AI-based virtual assistants as a customer interaction channel, companies began to see them as a way to increase productivity by automating their corporate processes. Gartner estimates that by 2022, 70 percent of white-collar workers will interact with speech platforms daily to accelerate their work. Especially large organisations with multiple business processes are more likely to deploy virtual assistants for internal use.
Virtual assistants, which brands are increasingly interested in and used, are becoming an integral part of both employee and customer experience. It can be said with certainty that the usage areas of virtual assistants, which find a place for themselves in many sectors from travel to education, from shopping to health, from insurance to banking, will increase even more. However, Gartner expects 70 percent of organisations to operationalise AI architectures by 2025, thanks to the rapid maturation of AI orchestration initiatives.
5- Messaging platforms will be the driving force of virtual assistants
The messaging market, where WhatsApp is the leader and whose competition is increasing day by day, will encourage users to shop with dialogic experiences through virtual assistants. Virtual assistants, which serve over messaging platforms, will cover all processes of e-commerce including search, purchase, payment, and support, and will become much more useful tools with very simple experiences.
Platforms equipped with virtual assistant functions will thus become an indispensable channel for companies in terms of brand awareness, sales/potential customer creation, customer deepening, and better customer support. Given this, many companies, large and small, will shift to messaging apps to more widely offer an AI-based virtual assistant experience with integrated enterprise functions.
So, it seems that customer service trends will continue to gain importance in 2022 in order to meet changing customer expectations and businesses should follow the new trends.