According to a Gartner study, virtual assistants such as Siri and Alexa, which are becoming an increasingly important part of the digital customer experience, from discovery through search marketing to customer support, may soon be used by protesters to disrupt organizations by flooding customer support channels.
They feel this is a result of the growing use of virtual assistants for real customer care queries.
Virtual assistant usage will increase from 3.25 billion in 2019 to 8.4 billion by the end of the following year, according to Statista.
Customers utilize these devices, which are quickly becoming more sophisticated, to communicate with businesses.
According to The Gartner 2023 Leadership Vision for Customer Service and Support report, 37% of customers would experiment with utilizing a virtual assistant to communicate with customer care by 2025.
Now, these interactions are being used for perfectly acceptable causes, such as placing a pizza order and waiting on hold. Even when the consumer isn’t directly involved, it’s becoming more and more crucial to make these interactions as frictionless as possible for the customer.
Why do we care?
This is a fascinating and worrisome example of the unintended repercussions of technology. Making something more user-friendly and efficient has significant market advantages. In particular, when it comes to customer service.
As every marketer is aware, nothing fosters loyalty like first-rate customer service. If you do it poorly, your brand will suffer greatly.
Now, it’s possible that technical usability could also be a flaw. Now what? Increase capacity, boost automation, and be prepared to use additional resources. Who knows if these attacks will occur, but it is wise to be ready just in case.
It is challenging to predict all the potential outcomes for the future. A group of science fiction authors is employed by the Pentagon to help them foresee potential threats. In the event that these attacks occur, private enterprises might seek to follow suit.
The number of legitimate contacts with virtual assistants will rise. Last year, there were more than 130,000 skills available for Amazon Alexa that could be used to automate transactions.
Virtual helpers will soon be able to use all customer care channels to initiate service requests, receive messages, conduct recurring transactions, report problems, and gather product information.
The rise in demand for customer service presents a problem for businesses. According to Gartner, virtual assistants will make up 20% of inbound contact volume in two years.
As a result, a lot of businesses are investing in systems that make use of these capabilities, including printers that can automatically order more ink without the user having to do it. With chatbots and interactive voice response systems, they are also automating customer support.
But according to Gartner experts, these appropriate encounters with virtual assistants will open the door for demonstrations.
The paper notes that protests directed at commercial and governmental institutions are becoming more digital. “At least 9.84 million distributed denial of service (DDoS) assaults, which include flooding websites with bandwidth to bring them down, were placed in 2021. This was an increase from 2019 of 14%.
Virtual assistants will be an effective vehicle for protest because of their usability.
“Citizen-driven denial of service (cDoS) attacks are a new sort of denial of service, directed by normal people rather than hackers, and done using virtual assistants,” according to the report.
By 2024, users will use virtual assistants to launch denial-of-service assaults against a large worldwide corporation’s contact center.
Those protesting “social issues” are likely to launch these attacks, rather than maliciously motivated hackers.