Consumers Still Divided on Positivity of AI in Customer Service

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Less than one third (30%) of consumers believe AI will have an overall positive impact on customer service.

While 44% believe AI might negatively impact the customer experience through a lack of human interaction – according to the latest findings from the CCMA (Call Centre Management Association), supported by Odigo, the leading Contact Centre-as-a-Service (CCaaS) provider.

The research surveyed 2,000 consumers asking about their perceptions and expectations of contact centre providers.

It has been nearly two years since the launch of ChatGPT, and the resulting normalisation of Generative AI (GenAI) in daily life.

Since then, public sentiment has continuously shifted as more beneficial use cases and possible risks come to light on the international stage.

So, it is no surprise that 37% of consumers remain undecided on whether AI’s impact is positive or negative.

When it comes to customer service, industry professionals are generally excited about the promising benefits of GenAI in the field.

However, for consumers, when presented with a list, only 32% selected “assisting human advisors” as a benefit, and 27% did not pick any of the six options as potential positive impacts of AI.

Showing that these benefits have been mixed in with the fears and hesitations portrayed in the media leaving many confused about its impact.

In stark contrast, respondents could easily identify potential risks – with five out of six being picked by more consumers than the top AI benefit.

The proportion of consumers who did not choose any of the threats (16%) was also lower than the proportion who selected none of the benefits (27%). This highlights the need for further public education around the positive impact of AI, such as helping to serve customers faster.

Leigh Hopwood, CEO of the CCMA, comments: “Unsurprisingly, sentiment around AI deployment in customer service reflects much of the wider public discourse on the topic.

The risks are more salient than the benefits, and consumers worry about losing the human touch. Inevitably, our own contact centre colleagues will share similar concerns especially when it comes to the fear of it having a negative impact on their roles.

The onus is on our industry to make informed decisions about AI, and to reassure both colleagues in the contact centre and customers.”

One of the most obvious uses of AI in this space is chatbots, and 39% of respondents do feel that they are getting better compared to 18% who feel chatbots are getting worse.

While this bodes well for the future, the impact of poor experiences has reduced consumer willingness to self-serve.

David Mason, Director of Service and Operations UKI at Odigo, explains: “Technology is evolving at an unprecedented pace, and contact centres are finding themselves at the forefront of innovation.

This research sheds light on how AI is poised to deliver exciting changes in our industry, provided we clearly communicate the benefits to customers and undertake to deploy these solutions ethically.

As brands learn from the past and self-serve experiences improve, it is predicted that consumer perceptions will rebound. AI-driven solutions promise to help revolutionise customer interactions.

From chatbots capable of handling complex queries to AI-powered analytics providing actionable insights, as self-service and efficiency improves by leaps and bounds, agents can be there for customers who really need them.”

The research and complete contact centre consumer findings are available

For more information about Odigo - visit the Odigo Website

About Odigo

Odigo Odigo helps large organisations connect with individuals through world-class, cloud-based contact centre solutions. Our cutting-edge, proprietary technologies enable a seamless, efficient, omnichannel experience for your customers and a satisfying, engaging experience for your service agents.

Find out more about Odigo

Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.

Author: Odigo

Published On: 10th Jun 2024
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