A recent 8×8 survey of US, UK, and Canadian contact centre and IT leaders confirms that conversational AI helps make contact centres more efficient and effective.
But the study also confirms that smaller contact centres are more likely to encounter barriers to implementation of conversational AI and miss out on the benefits of AI, despite recognizing the potential value of the solution.
To understand what might help create a more level playing field, Karina Howell at 8×8 takes a look at the factors contributing to this situation and provides some clues as to how it can be turned around.
Reaping the Benefits of AI
The improvements cited by respondents already using AI encompass a wide range of contact centre success metrics. Notably:
- 92% report that AI saves time resolving customer issues
- 87% say that AI reduces agent effort
- 74% report that AI increases revenue
When it comes to chatbots—the most common use of conversational AI—84% of respondents with medium or large contact centres reported that they are currently using the technology for digital channels, while 59% reported using chatbots for voice.
Respondents with small contact centres reported using chatbots in much lower numbers, however: 59% for digital and 47% for voice.
Barriers to Artificial Intelligence Implementation for Smaller Contact Centres
Given the noteworthy benefits, what is holding smaller contact centres back from leveraging this technology?
8×8’s research reveals that these contact centres encounter limitations, barriers, and constraints to a degree not shared by larger organizations. For example:
- While 42% of small contact centres consider lack of internal resources to be an impactful barrier, only 9% of medium/large contact centres do.
- 34% of small contact centres considered budget constraints to be a major barrier, but only 9% of medium to large contact centres do.
- While 26% of small contact centres cite technology limitations, only 6% of medium to large contact centres consider this to be a barrier.
Escalating Customer Experience Expectations
Historically, the benefits of AI have primarily been accessible to large enterprise contact centres that enjoy generous budgets and extensive internal resources to build and maintain successful automated experiences.
Once the bar is raised by larger organizations able to leverage conversational AI and other advanced technologies, customer expectations for more rapid, convenient and engaging experiences escalate across the board.
This creates a dilemma for smaller organizations who invariably need to compete with their larger peers. Escalating customer expectations mean that smaller organizations are challenged to step up their game, which exacerbates the need for solutions that level the playing field.
An Integrated Solution for Contact Centre AI Adoption
This leads us to the questions of what type of solution is best equipped to bridge this gap. Once again, 8×8’s survey provides clues.
Eighty-five percent (85%) of respondents to the survey report they would prefer to use AI already integrated into an existing contact centre solution.
But not just any solution will do. When choosing AI technology for contact centres, organizations are most likely to take into account solution features, as well as ease of integration and security. The top solution features cited as important include:
- Channels for digital (91%)
- Analytics integrated/unified with current systems (86%)
- Pre-built integrations/access of integrations (74%)
- Low code/no-code admin or editing (69%)
Given these results, a solution is a great option for smaller contact centres looking to add AI capabilities. ICA fills a gap in the market by reducing the major barriers, constraints and limitations smaller contact centres face, for example:
- The barrier of extensive resources that has traditionally held smaller contact centres back from deploying conversational AI is reduced by a graphical click-and-scripting tool that offers ease of use for managing dynamic customer experiences.
- The constraint of high operational costs is reduced with rapid deployment made possible by out-of-box templates allowing administrators to build journeys. This means the cost barrier is reduced while IT independence is increased.
- The burden of integrating solutions is reduced by pre-built integrations with CRM and other applications that allow organizations to deliver personalized customer experiences without requiring an extensive IT team.
- Finally, technology limitations are reduced with built-in, comprehensive analytics solutions that provide actionable insights for performance optimization.
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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.