How AI can enhance the virtual customer experience

Gartner's research vice president Annette Zimmerman explained why the market for virtual assistants is rapidly growing.

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Following the announcement of AI customer assistants at Microsoft Ignite, TechRepublic's Alison DeNisco met with Gartner's research vice president Annette Zimmerman to discuss how an increasing amount of businesses are adopting virtual assistants.

"Even though this technology has been around for quite a while--virtual personal assistant--the enhancement with AI is really important, and this is where we see lots of vendors going," Zimmerman said. And it's already a competitive market.

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According to Zimmerman, in a few years, 25% of all customer interactions will have some form of virtual customer experience, or assistant, going across many different channels. "We want to offload a lot of work that real people are doing right now to machines, obviously to make it a really good experience," she said. "It needs to be a very good experience for consumers to adopt it, of course."

For enterprises looking to integrate virtual customer assistants into their business model, she suggests first deciding what type of experience or interaction your company wants to achieve. From there, enterprises can then look at the different capabilities vendors offer, and then choose which type of language processing fits their needs.

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Image: iStock/stanciuc