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In order to cope with the avalanche of digital information and activities, customers — like organizations — will increasingly turn to automation, according to Gartner, Inc.

“There is often a lot of discussion about how enterprises continue to invest in artificial intelligence(AI) to save time and money, but we often overlook the next generation of customers being equally amenable to conducting their personal experiences the same way,” said Anthony Mullen, senior research director at Gartner.

Over the next 10 years, the trend of assigning digital activities to virtual personal assistants (VPAs), chatbots and other self-service tools by customers will grow due to the large amount of information consumers have to consider.

Shift in Customer Self-Service

Self-service has become the norm – Customers want to solve their own problems and expect an effortless experience in doing so. According to this report “Providing an effortless experience increasingly means using naturalistic engagement methods like voice and other AI-powered technologies. In many industries, AI is rightly viewed as a top game-changer technology, with 91% of organizations planning to deploy AI within the next three years.“ Gartner further adds, „by 2030, a billion service tickets will be raised automatically by customer-owned bots.“

This report describes four scenarios, which represent the future of self-service.

  1. Do it myself
  2. Do it together
  3. Let my bot do it
  4. Let our bots do it

The essential characteristics and highlights of each scenario, along with specific recommendations for actions by application leaders are outlined in the full version of Gartner's report.

“As customers embrace these DIY mindsets, they will choose providers that allow them to interact easily with these consumer-controlled touchpoints, like smart speakers and VPAs. Enterprise-provided user interfaces will increasingly play second fiddle to customer-controlled experiences,” said Mr. Mullen. “Since customers won’t be able to keep up with the level of self-service required to manage their digital lives, they will delegate to their own bots to manage it for them. The customer self-service of the future is not just about the customers themselves, but both customers and their bots.”

Generation Z Is Most Comfortable With Automation

According to this report,“ There is a desire for automation and the use of AI to save time and money across all generations and use cases, Generation Z is the most amenable to using automation and delegation technologies to make their lives easier and more pleasurable.2 By 2030, personal technologies will become the go-to for user experience delivery; in particular, the VPAs that are deeply woven into the operating systems of tech digital dragons like Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Amazon and Apple. As Generation Z will represent the largest customer base through to 2030, they will lead in the use of customer-directed automation technologies to obtain service and value from organizations.“


Gartner The Future of Customer Self-Service: The Digital Future Will Stall Without Customer-Led Automation, Anthony Mullen, Brian Manusama, Nadine LeBlanc, 18 April 2019