Debunking the Top AI Myths in the Contact Centre Industry

Facts vs myths concept.

As artificial intelligence (AI) disrupts industries at a breakneck pace, the contact centre industry hasn’t been immune to a fog of misconceptions and myths clouding its true capabilities and limitations.

We tackled these misconceptions head-on during our webinar titled “Top things you really need to know about AI in the contact centre,” where industry experts Garry Gormley, Founder of FAB Solutions, and Matthew Yates, VP of Engineering at MaxContact, delved into the most prevalent stereotypes and opinions surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) in the contact centre industry.

The panel worked through each myth one by one, revealing whether it was true or false and sharing their invaluable insights on the topic.

As AI continues to revolutionise the contact centre landscape, it is crucial for industry leaders to separate fact from fiction to make informed decisions about implementing this technology.

Myth 1: 74% of People Believe AI Is Unethical

False. While a Forbes article from April 2023 reported that 96% of people consider ethical and responsible AI to be important, the majority do not believe AI is inherently unethical.

Yates emphasised the importance of ethics in the context of AI, stating, “Trustworthy AI and ethics is really important, and I think it’s a topic we’re going to see more of.”

He also highlighted the need for human accountability, traceability, and good privacy and data governance when building and using AI applications.

Gormley added, “It’s defining what actually is ethical AI. And I don’t think there is a really clear description around what ethical AI is.”

He also emphasised the importance of transparency, fairness, and privacy, particularly in areas like voice biometrics, where additional safeguards may be necessary as the technology develops.

Myth 2: Only 1 in 10 Contact Centres Can Afford to Implement AI

False. A study from Call Centre Helper stated that 51.8% of contact centres now have a strategy built around AI in 2024.

Gormley pointed out that contact centres have been incorporating elements of AI for some time, saying, “It’s affordable. I think it’s accessible, even more so now with all of the different CCaaS vendors starting to integrate more AI technology into things like their chatbot technology and their agent assist.”

He emphasised the importance of having the right strategy and deciding how to scale AI throughout the customer journey.

Yates added, “I hope that in 2024, every contact centre out there is thinking about their strategy around AI.”

He encouraged decision-makers to identify pain points and opportunities in their customer journey lifecycle and evaluate suitable vendors and solutions accordingly.

Myth 3: AI Can Detect Customer Emotions Correctly During 65% of Interactions

True. AI sentiment analysis has been found to have from 55 to 65% accuracy, which is not far off the human level of sentiment detection, which sits around 60 to 70%.

Yates explained that sentiment analysis involves two parts: analysing the words used in conversations and examining the audio for human emotions.

He noted that sentiment analysis through text is currently more mature than audio analysis but expects a combination of the two to provide a holistic view of emotion in conversations within the next 2-3 years.

Gormley expressed excitement about the potential of speech analytics, saying, “I think there are two aspects that I look at. Firstly, the customer perspective, and that’s easier to analyse in terms of the words, the language, and the phrases that customers are saying. But I think there’s also something to think about in terms of the agent sentiment as well.”

Garry explained that sentiment analysis can also be used to highlight agent vulnerability, lack of support, or confusion, identifying areas for further training.

Myth 4: 14.2% of People Have Never Interacted With a Chatbot

True. A study conducted by Userlike found that 80.2% of customers said they have interacted with a chatbot, 14.2% have never, and 5.5% said that they couldn’t remember.

Gormley emphasised the importance of chatbot design, stating, “It’s never about the interaction for me. The key to a successful chatbot implementation begins all the way back right back at the start. It’s important to think about what issues we’re trying to solve with the chatbot.

What’s the flow, and what’s the kind of common customer questions that are being asked so that we can program into a chatbot to have the correct self-serve options.”

Yates agreed, adding, “It’s important to really think hard about what use cases you want to truly solve the problems with a chatbot, and some are too complex.”

He noted that while some chatbots can effectively solve problems, others simply act as a holding pattern before connecting with a real agent, which can lead to frustration.

Myth 5: AI Can Help Cut Compliance Costs by 10%

True. A study in June 2023 found that AI was already helping 36% of tightly regulated industries, such as finance, cut compliance costs by 10%.

Yates highlighted three areas where AI can help with compliance: script adherence, mandatory statements, and vulnerability detection.

He explained, “Those three are areas that we see quite a lot across our client base. And certainly, AI could help with those because it can identify any outliers across all the contact centre’s interactions, which in turn helps improve risk posture in the organisation.”

Gormley focused on the impact of consumer duty regulations, particularly in the financial services sector.

He noted that AI can help identify issues like misleading statements, misadvice, and selective presentation, which can lead to significant fines from the FCA. Gormley mentioned that in 2024 alone, the FCA had already issued £54 million worth of fines to contact centres.

Myth 6: AI Can Help to Automate 84% of Contact Centre Interactions

False. A study by Zendesk actually suggests that around 40% of customer interactions can be handled by AI.

Gormley questioned the Zendesk poll, stating, “I would love to see that poll by Zendesk done again because I think it’s probably higher in the last maybe 6 to 12 months.”

He mentioned that as chatbots and AI are deployed across the contact centre, they can become more intelligent and handle more queries independently.

Yates encouraged contact centres to think carefully about which interactions they want AI to handle and which ones are best left to humans.

He gave an example, saying, “For example, if a customer wants to phone up and cancel their Sky subscription, if I’m Sky or if I’m a representative working on behalf of Sky, I probably don’t want to offload that issue to an AI chatbot and would want a human agent to handle that particular query to gain a better understanding of why the customer wants to cancel and to try and retain them if possible.”

Myth 7: 21% of Contact Centre Leaders Say That AI Is Already Helping Them Create a Better Customer Experience

True. An internal research report from MaxContact in October 2023 confirmed that even in the early stages, AI in the contact centre is already proving to enhance CX.

When asked where contact centres should start with AI to boost CX, Matthew Yates recommended, “Start by understanding the problems and opportunities, and identify where AI can best help.”

He suggested beginning with quality assurance and compliance, as it offers a tangible ROI and is easy to understand the benefits of using AI to analyse 100% of calls rather than the 2-3% that are manually reviewed today.

Gormley stressed the importance of getting the customer experience right, citing statistics showing that customer satisfaction is starting to drop.

He emphasised the need to identify the purpose of using AI, the use case it’s trying to solve, and the data that underpins the journey.

Gormley advised, “Let’s take one journey at a time and iterate. Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.”

Mindful Implementation for AI Success

As the webinar demonstrated, while AI is an exciting development in the contact centre industry, it is essential to approach its implementation mindfully.

By debunking common myths and stereotypes surrounding AI, contact centre leaders can make informed decisions about how to best leverage this technology to enhance customer experience, improve efficiency, and remain compliant with industry regulations.

The insights shared by Garry Gormley and Matthew Yates serve as valuable guidance for navigating the evolving landscape of AI in the contact centre industry.

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of MaxContact – View the Original Article

For more information about MaxContact - visit the MaxContact Website

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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: MaxContact

Published On: 22nd Apr 2024 - Last modified: 23rd Apr 2024
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