Customer service is an integral part of any company’s success and companies continue to invest in new technologies to aid in customer service efforts. With emerging technology hitting the scene faster than ever before, it’s inevitable that some will prove successful and some will fail.

As organizations navigate the change created from these new advancements, customer service organizations must remain nimble, adopt technology that works best for their needs and not get caught up in the hype that inevitably surrounds any new technology trend.

With that in mind, here’s a look at five trends in customer service technologies we can expect:

Voice recognition: Technology related to voice recognition will be most impactful in 2018. The improvements in voice recognition have led to an increase in the use of voice assisted controls, ranging from voice controls on mobile phones to home assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo. Consumers will engage with companies via these voice-enabled channels and will have higher expectations on the accuracy and their capability to help answer customer service issues.

Emotional detection: Technologies such as motion-engines, which help analyze input to determine customers’ emotions, could help personalize interactions and may prompt a seamless transfer to a customer service professional as a next step. For example, if a customer is repeating voice commands over and over and has an elevated voice, an immediate transfer might be prompted.

Augmented reality and virtual reality: In relation to customer service, technologies like AR and VR will not be as impactful in 2018. Customers are just starting to use these technologies and it is still too cumbersome to have regular customer engagement through use of these technologies. Eventually a customer service professional could help a person fix a technical solution by doing a live AR demonstration, but there is not enough infrastructure in place for that to have a significant impact in 2018.

Video: The use of video will continue to evolve in the customer service space. There has been an increase in using video to provide customers with things like visual “how to guides” and product demonstrations. These are much more effective than trying to illustrate something over the phone. Personalized videos are being used to provide customers with customization related to the specific services or products that they are interested in.

Gamification: Gamification will grow as a trend because most of the customer service workforce will be millennials or Gen Z. Both of those groups learn, absorb information and get motived differently, so incorporating gamification into recruitment, training and coaching will continue to become more and more important.

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