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A fifth of organisations to adopt virtual reality in 2018, says Gartner

More organisations are moving into the digital age, as more are expected to adopt virtual reality, artificial intelligence and chat bots over the next year.

By April Slattery

The use of virtual reality and virtual customer assistants within organisations is set to increase over the next year, according to Gartner research.

Gartner said that a quarter of customer service operations will use virtual customer assistants (VCAs) or chat bot technology across customer engagement platforms by 2020. This figure is a significant increase on last year’s number, which found less than 2% of organisations planned to use the technology in 2017.

The rise comes as more organisations look for better ways to engage with their customers, aiming to boost the services they provide. To date, Gartner’s findings revealed that over half of organisations have already invested in virtual customer assistants for customer service.

“As more customers engage on digital channels, VCAs are being implemented for handling customer requests on web sites, mobile apps, consumer messaging apps and social networks,” Gene Alvarex, Managing VP at Gartner said. “This is underpinned by improvements in natural-language processing, machine learning and intent-matching capabilities. A great VCA offers more than just information. It should enrich customer experience; help them throughout the interaction and process transactions on behalf of them.”

A fifth of organisations to adopt virtual reality in 2018, says Gartner

Customer service is expected to be bettered with the use of new technologies.

Gartner’s result found that organisation had managed to reduce the number of call, chat or email enquiries by 70% after implementing VCA. The implementation of the technology also brought increased customer satisfaction and 33% saving per voice engagement.

In addition to the increased adoption of VCA’s, Gartner’s survey also found more organisations plan to tap into projects using more IT. By 2022 two thirds of customer experience projects will incorporate IT, up by 50% from 2017. Additionally, 30% of B2B companies are expected to use AI to augment at least one of the primary sales processes by 2020.

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Gartner also found that augmented, virtual and mixed reality technology will be adopted in a fifth of large organisations as part of the digital transformation process. The aim of using AR and VR gives organisations the ability to provide workers, customers and suppliers with the ability to gain real-time information and experience virtual environments to trial and test innovations.

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The use of AI and chat bots aim to make the experience and business processes easier for both workers and customers. Therefore, with more organisations adopting the technology it looks like a positive future for the UK in the digital environment.

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