Twenty-five percent of customer service and support operations will integrate virtual customer assistant (VCA) or chatbot technology across engagement channels by 2020, up from less than 2 percent in 2017, according to Gartner.

Organizations report a reduction of up to 70 percent in call, chat and/or email inquiries after implementing a VCA, according to Gartner research. They also report increased customer satisfaction and a 33 percent saving per voice engagement.

20 percent of brands will abandon their mobile apps by 2019. Many brands have found that mobile applications aren’t delivering the level of adoption and customer engagement they expected. Brands are investing to build presence in consumer messaging apps, such as Facebook Messenger and WeChat, to reach customers where they spend more time.

Mulesoft / Deloitte

65 percent of consumers would like to use popular messaging services such as WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook Messenger or iMessage to securely interact with organizations. The percentage is higher among millennial consumers (ages 18 to 34) at 78 percent, according to survey by Deloitte on behalf of MuleSoft.

Consumers are willing to speak to a “robot” if it means they get a superior level of service compared with speaking to a human. About half (48 percent) of respondents cited 24/7 customer service as the biggest benefit of chatbots, followed by not having to wait on the phone (46 percent), having queries answered quicker (37 percent), hopping in and out of conversations (35 percent) and buying something or making a payment more quickly (22 percent).

79 percent of consumers think they will benefit from intelligent chatbots that can offer a superior level of customer service in the future.

43 percent of consumers have engaged with a chatbot when contacting an organization in the prior 12 months, most commonly when interacting with a retailer or a bank.

Geographic Breakdown of Consumer Interaction with Chatbot

Country Percentage
Singapore 64
U.S. 48
Netherlands 43
Australia 43
Germany 41
U.K. 29

When you engaged with a chatbot, what was the result?

My query was completely resolved/answered by the chatbot 38
I was asked to call a customer service representative directly 26
The chatbot was unable to resolve/answer my query as it didn’t have access to the necessary information/systems 19
I was directed to a web form 14

Global sales of smartphones to end users grew 1.4 percent to 389 million units in the third quarter from a  year earlier, according to Gartner Inc.

Worldwide Top 5 Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 3Q18 (Thousands of Units)

Vendor 3Q18Units 3Q18 Market Share (%) 3Q17Units 3Q17 Market Share (%)
Samsung 73,360.1 18.9 85,605.3 22.3
Huawei 52,218.4 13.4 36,501.8 9.5
Apple 45,746.6 11.8 45,441.9 11.8
Xiaomi 33,219.7 8.5 26,853.2 7.0
OPPO 30,563.4 7.9 29,449.2 7.7
Others 153,960.0 39.6 159,742.0 41.6
Total 389,068.2 100.0 383,593.4 100.0

Source: Gartner (December 2018)