62% of customers would prefer to “hand out parking tickets” than wait in an automated phone tree for service or have to repeat themselves multiple times to different team members. — Hubspot

After more than one bad experience, around 80% of consumers say they would rather do business with a competitor. — Zendesk

35% of customers have become angry when talking to customer service. — American Express

We’ve all been there — long wait times; agents who don’t know why you are contacting them and don’t have the skills to help you out; having to repeat yourself over and over to every new agent; not being able to find answers to questions online.

Modern customer service solutions — if well implemented — address all these issues. They offer omnichannel engagement, allowing customers to move seamlessly across channels; they capture, route, and empower agents to resolve customer inquiries to defined SLAs; and they assist managers with reporting and insights to manage the quality of service that’s delivered. They also support many extended functions such as knowledge management, self-service, and workforce engagement.

It’s the rise of predictive and generative AI that will transform customer service operations. How? AI will automate customer interactions, capture customer intent, and route inquiries to the right skilled agent. AI will guide agents through next best actions. AI will summarize cases, take notes, create service replies, and draft knowledge content. AI will offload every repetitive, predictable task from agents so they can focus on the more complex interactions that require empathy and personalization. Agents and AI working together will let organizations manage the rising volume of customer interactions across more channels without increasing headcount.

AI will make much of the customer service operations that we know today obsolete. We will staff self-service bots and manage the quality of their interactions. AI will increasingly handle routine tasks, with agents dedicated to customer exceptions and escalations. These agents will be more highly skilled, trained, and compensated. Lower-tier agents will be reassigned to manage automation — like supervising chatbot training or creating self-service content.

Read our customer service landscape report for an overview of 24 providers. Read our Forrester Wave™ evaluation to dig into the features and functions of the 12 vendors that matter most and how they stack up. Connect with us over inquiry to explore this topic in more detail.