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LATEST THINKING


Intelligent Conversations

The Future of Digital Customer Service

Overview

Digital technologies have reshaped the customer service function over the past ten years. The widespread adoption of social networks and smartphones has redefined how customers expect to interact with companies.

The next ten years will see even more profound changes, as the next wave of digital technologies, notably Artificial Intelligence (AI), Speech Recognition, Augmented Reality and the Internet of Things build on the past innovations.

Customer service will look very different in a world of “Intelligent Conversations” where computing power is everywhere and everything is connected.

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Background

Today, the majority of customers expect at least some part of their customer service experience to be digital.

Most companies recognize this requirement and have deployed digital capabilities. Assessing the impact of digital on the customer experience was top of the list of companies’ digital actions. Yet as digital technologies have become more widespread, customer expectations have risen and their frustrations with service remain the same.

In applying the next wave of digital innovations, customer service professionals need to address these customer pain points, whilst simultaneously being cost conscious and strengthening customer relationships.

Key Themes

The future of digital customer service will be characterized by four overall themes:

Change in the Balance of Power between companies and customers

As customers use powerful devices and AI powered digital assistants, they will have as much information as the companies they contact, changing the nature of the customer relationship.


Bias for Prevention Rather than Cure

Companies will use sensors, data and predictive technologies to eliminate the sources of customer problems before customers even notice.

Supercharged Digital Channels

Today’s digital channels will gain new capabilities, expanding what can be achieved. Augmented Reality will let customer service agents quite literally look through their customers’ eyes.


New Role for Customer Service

Leading companies will expect customer service functions to provide deep insights into customer behavior, helping to shape new product developments and new ways of working.

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