Dejan Deklich of 8×8 shares his predictions for how contact centres will begin to use artificial intelligence (AI) in 2020.
2020 will be the year AI and machine learning (ML) early adopters will begin to scale their AI deployments.
Prediction 1 – Companies Will Employ AI to Support Their Growth
Companies that adopted AI/ML early will have their data and capabilities to a point where they can start to drive the impacts out at scale.
This is according to McKinsey research, which shows that 58% of organizations have embedded at least one AI capability into a process or product in at least one function or business unit, up from 47% in 2018.
The emphasis for AI/ML projects will shift from cost reduction/operational efficiency to include more growth projects.
AI/ML capabilities will continue to deliver automation and operational efficiencies, but 2020 will also see more companies deploy AI in ways that support growth.
Prediction 2 – Chatbots Will Be Used More to Assist Agents
Virtual sales assistants that make relevant product and service suggestions to the inside sales agents at the speed of the conversation is one way that chatbots are being used more effectively in contact centres.
Yet while chatbots are a form of AI that’s easy to grasp, there are many more uses of AI in the contact centre, as AI is becoming embedded in technologies such as self-service, IVRs and analytics systems.
Artificial Intelligence in the contact centre is moving from an industry buzzword to a growing technology market worthy of substantial investment.
Prediction 3 – AI Will Be Used to Remove Contact Centre Silos
Validated by a rapidly expanding pool of proof points across verticals, customer experience (CX) AI solutions will quickly evolve, and specific silos of data within the contact centre will be combined with data sources across the enterprise to deliver more accurate and impactful results.
CX-focused companies will realize that this flexibility and integration with a wider suite of AI solutions can be a great key to their success.
Prediction 4 – More Contact Centres Will Use AI to Collate Knowledge
Customers don’t want to wait around for answers – and next year, they won’t have to. AI has a huge role to play in connecting the collective knowledge pool of organizations.
Moving into 2020, we’ll increasingly see AI connect the data gaps between cloud-based communication solutions and contact centres, allowing customers to learn and benefit from the knowledge of different departments within an organization in real time.
This will include the proliferation of virtual assistants and the use of video applications to improve the quality and speed of customer experiences.
Prediction 5 – Better Managing Data Will Become the Fundamental Use of AI
Many of the innovations in AI that get attention today are related to things like self-driving cars and drones, but what’s happening in the enterprise that will increase in 2020 is a greater focus on machine learning and its use to manage troves of data.
AI and ML have the power to become predictive so companies can glean better insights from their data and make more informed decisions – ultimately helping them get to the future, faster.
This year, AI didn’t mature as quickly as people thought it would. Currently, general AI adoption and success rates across industries are low, and AI start-ups are increasingly focused on changing that.
Moving into 2020, we’ll see increased AI and ML activity and consolidation of companies in the AI space, with larger companies picking up hotter start-ups to add to their portfolio of solutions.
Next year, with the rise in AI technology, we’ll see not only an increased need for data engineers but likely also an increased demand for sales/marketing staff to promote new AI technology.