Research Reveals Concerns About AI Deployment 

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Filed under - Contact Centre News, ,

Research released from the CCMA (Call Centre Management Association), the body representing UK contact centre professionals, shows that public perceptions of customer service are rebounding following declines in previous years.

CCMA’s latest research ‘Voice of Contact Centre Consumer 2024’ shows that consumers are more positive about customer service today than in 2023.

Growth in positive sentiment is particularly strong in utilities (+15 percentage points improvement in net ratings compared with 2023) and for train and bus companies (+11 percentage points improvement).

CCMA’s ‘Voice of Contact Centre Consumer’ research has been tracking consumer sentiment since 2020. For the first time, this year’s edition reveals public perceptions of the use of AI in customer service.

The research shows that AI risks are more salient than AI benefits, with the biggest perceived risk being ‘lack of human interaction’ cited by 44% of consumers.

The biggest perceived AI benefit is to ‘assist human advisors’, cited by 32% of consumers. Consumers’ desire to maintain ‘the human touch’ in contact situations underpins both the leading risk and the leading benefit.

Furthermore, CCMA’s research shows that consumers continue to turn away from self-serve channels and that seven out of 10 people (70%) who have tried a self-serve journey in the past year failed at least once, requiring human assistance to resolve their query.

Focused on supporting the contact centre industry, this latest research from the CCMA offers answers to questions such as:

  • Does the public believe customer service is getting better, or worse?
  • Are channel preferences evolving over time?
  • How do consumers feel about the use of AI in customer service?

Leigh Hopwood, CEO, CCMA, says: “After the lows of 2023, this year we are seeing positive perceptions bounce back, especially in hard-pressed sectors such as utilities and public transport.

Contact centres deserve credit for having redoubled their efforts to support customers during difficult operating conditions.”

Stephen Yap, Research Director, CCMA, said “While overall public opinion is moving back in the right direction this year, acceptance of self-serve continues to go backwards. Jaded by poor experiences, consumers continue to turn away from self-serve in favour of assisted channels.

AI promises the upgrade in self-serve experiences that will bring people back, but for this to happen providers must overcome public concerns surrounding the potential negative impact of AI.”

David Mason, Director Service & Operations UK & Ireland, Odigo, said: “This research validates industry efforts to transform customer experiences through innovation. While there is still work to do to meet consumer expectations, we can see signals that we’re on the right path.

At Odigo, we’re proud to support the CCMA’s in-depth research which provides guidance for the entire industry. Technologies like our AI Orchestrator enhance rather than diminish human interactions, and we’re happy to see consumer appetite aligning with our long-term direction.”

Author: Guest Author

Published On: 7th Jun 2024
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