Gartner's Three Technologies That Will Transform Customer Service and Support by 2028
Generative artificial intelligence, digital customer service, and conversational user interfaces (CUIs) will transform customer service and support by 2028, according to research firm Gartner's Hype Cycle for Customer Service and Support Technologies, 2023 report .
"The common theme of these three technologies are their ability to streamline the customer journey and enable customer service leaders to meet customers' growing expectations," said Drew Kraus, vice president analyst in the Gartner Customer Service and Support practice. "Within the next five years, we expect these technologies to change the face of customer service and support."
Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80 percent of customer service and support organizations will be applying generative AI in some form to improve agent productivity and customer experience (CX). Generative AI, which is currently at the Peak of Inflated Expectations, will primarily be used for content creation, AI-supported chatbots, and automation of human work.
Generative AI's biggest impact is likely to be on customer experience. According to a recent Gartner poll, 38 percent of leaders see improving customer experience and retention as the primary purpose of initiatives to deploy applications trained on large language models.
"The impact of AI on the customer service function cannot be overstated," Kraus said. "Not only do we expect organizations to replace 20 percent to 30 percent of their agents with generative AI, but also anticipate it creating new jobs to implement such capabilities."
Conversational User Interfaces
Conversational user interfaces enable natural language interactions for fulfilling requests, such as answering a question or completing a task. They provide direct control between the customer service agent and the applications they are using. When used to automate support via chatbots, this technology improves customer experience and self-service adoption, according to Gartner.
"Customers increasingly expect to be able to interact with the applications they use in a natural way, and this has been accelerated by the emergence of large language model-enabled enterprise applications such as OpenAI's ChatGPT and Microsoft 365 CoPilot," Kraus said. "CUIs will be vital for driving efficiency and meeting customers' changing expectations."
Digital Customer Service
As organizations have introduced digital engagement channels, customers have grown to expect instantaneous, effortless customer service experiences. Simultaneously, introducing more channels can increase customer effort as customers move between them. Digital customer service offerings focus on seamless conversation orchestration across digital channels. The desire for self-service, combined with the emergence of conversational AI, has led to an evolution of most engagement models. As such, Gartner sees the emergence of a new area of customer care referred to as "digital customer service."
"Digital customer service will transform customer experience outcomes by reducing friction and eliminating unnecessary customer effort," Kraus explained. "By creating a seamless customer experience, this technology will reduce churn and enhance customer satisfaction."