Artificial Intelligence in the Call Centre: Survey Results


What Contact Centres are Doing Right Now Featured Image AI Chapter

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This article contains the extracted Artificial Intelligence chapter of our ‘What Contact Centres Are Doing Right Now’ 2021 survey report, which was sponsored by Nuance.

Where Is Your Artificial Intelligence Strategy?

More Than Half of Contact Centres Have Created an AI Strategy

The appetite for AI across the contact centre industry is clear, with 51.8% of contact centres already developing a special strategy.

2021 Survey Graph Where is Your Artificial Intelligence Strategy?

Of course, for many contact centres, this strategy is still in its infant stages – with 30.4% of participants reporting that they were “working on it”.

Yet others are making impressive progress. 9.4% have a joined-up strategy in place, while a further 12.0% have implemented departmental strategies.

Together, these findings indicate that more than one in every five contact centres has completed a major AI project.

What Are the Biggest Drivers for Implementing AI?

Customer Satisfaction Is Driving AI Growth

According to 60.3% of our industry professionals, customer satisfaction is a key driver for the implementation of AI technologies. This makes it the biggest motivator for most contact centres.

2021 Survey Graph What are the Biggest Drivers for Implementing AI?

Considering the cost-cutting capabilities of automation technologies, this was quite a surprise. Yet 47.4% of participants also considered “cost reduction” to be a major motivator, while 51.6% identified contact reduction as a key goal for implementing AI.

These findings perhaps indicate that getting the balance right – in terms of both customer and business outcomes – is a significant consideration. Therefore, there is no one definitive driver of AI adoption.

More AI Motivations

Alongside each of the options presented in the chart, 6.8% of participants pinpointed several other objectives for implementing contact centre AI. These included:

  • Boosting customer loyalty/lifetime value
  • Creating a better advisor support system
  • Improving the employee experience
  • Lowering staffing requirements
  • Using chatbots to provide another customer service channel

How Exciting Do You Find Each of the Following AI Technologies?

Interaction Analytics Steals the Limelight

Interaction analytics appears to be the AI-based technology that’s best capturing the attention of contact centre leaders.

2021 Survey Graph How Exciting do You Find Each of the Following AI Technologies?

Almost two-thirds of those surveyed consider the software to be “very exciting”, while a further 26.3% are somewhat excited by its potential.

Other AI-powered tools that over half of participants were very excited by include predictive routing (56.5%), customer prediction modelling (52.7%) and automated insight generation (52.4%).

Augmented Reality Isn’t Setting Pulses Racing

One technology that contact centres cannot yet perceive value from is augmented reality (AR).
While AR is being innovatively used in eCommerce, its application within contact centres is not yet setting the world alight.

34.6% of contact centres find AR “not exciting at all”, which is even higher than the percentage that believes it’s “very exciting” (28.0%).

Another AI tool that slots into this category is campaign modelling, with 34.2% of contact centres finding no promise in the technology.

What Has Been Your Experience in Dealing With Other Organizations’ Chatbots?

Chatbots Are a Mixed Bag

Chatbots are undoubtedly a tricky technology to get right. Some contact centres have succeeded, but others have missed the mark.

2021 Survey Graph What Has Been Your Experience in Dealing with Other Organizations’ Chatbots?

Such a conclusion can easily be drawn from the chart above, in which 55.3% of contact centres report that their experiences with chatbots have been “mediocre”.

The good news, however, is that 30.9% of respondents have either had good or excellent experiences with chatbots. Compared to the 13.8% that stated their experiences to have been “bad” or “terrible”, that’s a considerable difference.

So, while the jury is still out on the overall impact of chatbots on customer experiences, many great models are delivering high customer satisfaction.

Which Do You Think Is the Most Valuable Use of AI in the Contact Centre?

Self-Service AI Is Held in High Regard

From a list of five common AI applications, improving self-service was by far and away the most promising use-case, according to our industry professionals.

2021 Survey Graph Which do You Think is the Most Valuable Use of AI in the Contact Centre?

42.8% of those surveyed stated so, a much higher percentage than those who believed that chatbots were the most valuable example of AI (11.2%).

For now, this perhaps underlines that self-service is still viewed as a much more reliable method of reducing contact volumes.

Two other uses of AI, capturing data from customer interactions (27.3%) and identifying call types and passing contacts through to relevant channels (15.5%), also drew significant attention.

Yet using AI technologies to replace interactive voice response (IVR) processes didn’t receive quite the same hype, with only 3.2% of contact centres choosing this option.

Follow this link to view the full Call Centre Helper survey report ‘What Contact Centres Are Doing Right Now‘.

This survey was done in partnership with Akixi, NICE, Nuance, Odigo, Poly and ProcedureFlow.

Published On: 4th Apr 2022 - Last modified: 23rd May 2022
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