Conversational AI and Customer Service: What's Driving Adoption?

Conversational AI by Route 101

Why are organisations increasingly looking to implement Conversational AI and automation in their service strategy? 

The Age of AI is coming – these technologies are predicted to be mainstream within the next 5 years, their usage has increased by 400% since 2017 and they’ll certainly have a huge impact on the way organisations serve their customers.

We firmly believe that the organisations who recognise the direction of travel and adopt a more holistic approach to Conversational AI and machine learning adoption are those who’ll get the most from these tools.

83% of IT leaders say AI and Machine learning is transforming customer engagement. Gartner themselves predict that by next year, 20% of all service interactions will be handled by Conversational AI agents, and expects chatbot and virtual assistant technologies to hold their value for organisations over the next two years, becoming mainstream within 2-5 years. This presents a very compelling vision of the future - IBM predict chatbots will eventually be able to handle between 40 to 80% of common service enquiries.

Conversational AI for Customer Service

So why are organisations increasingly looking to implement Conversational AI and automation in their service strategy? Where is this trend going in the next few years?

The Rise of Digital-First Service

Now, naturally you can’t read anything these days without someone mentioning the elephant in the room – so consider this our obligatory mention of the Covid19 pandemic as an accelerator for transformation.

We’re all familiar with the phrase “new normal” – IDC have predicted that by the end of this year, 65% of organisations will have shifted to digital first through automated operations and contactless experiences.

This is supported by Forrester, who have said that this year, digital customer interactions will increase by 40%.

This transition to a digital first strategy means an accelerated focus on improving interactions with customers by building proactive engagements on digital messaging channels.

The Growth in Messaging

According to the Zendesk CX Trends 2021 report, the volume of support tickets handled over WhatsApp alone jumped by 101% in 2020, and those over Facebook Messenger and Twitter Direct Messages rose 58%.

And when it’s done right, many customers prefer it!

74% of customers who messaged with a company in 2020 say they plan to keep using messaging for future queries.

Gartner have said that by 2025, 80% of service organisations will have abandoned native mobile apps in favour of messaging for a better experience. This should be a great thing for both customers and companies – according to research, support teams that have the fastest resolution times and the highest CSAT are 42% more likely to be messaging with their customers.

What’s really exciting about the rise of digital-first interactions and the growth in messaging use is the capacity it creates for Conversational AI and automation.

According to Gartner, by 2022, 20% of customer service interactions will be handled by conversational agents, and 70% of customer interactions will involve emerging technologies such as machine learning, chatbots, and mobile messaging.

Changing Customer Expectations

The final driver for Conversational AI and Automation in Customer Service is changing customer expectations. Innovation has really increased your customer expectations – they want quick, easy, accessible service because they’re used to receiving it from the businesses they deal with. Customer experience has never mattered more, I’m sure we’re all familiar with the Gartner stat that customer experience is now the biggest differentiator – more important than price.

93% of customers are likely to make a repeat purchase after receiving good customer service, and it’s a proven fact that the brands who offer a superior experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than their competitors.


Conversational AI is a big trend, it's only going to get bigger, and it’s set to have a big impact on how you interact with your customers.

To see the power of our Conversational AI solutions for yourself, book a discovery call with a member of our experienced team. Alternatively, click here to learn more about Omilia, our Conversational AI partner.