NICE inContact have announced the results of a new study: AI-Infused Contact Centers Optimize Customer Experience.
The study, conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of NICE inContact, found high interest among contact centre leaders in adopting AI across the contact centre.
Of those polled, 64 percent plan to increase their AI investment over the coming year.
For example, contact centre leaders see a range of opportunities for AI to enhance the agent experience. These include personalized agent and customer matching, augmenting agent capabilities to improve productivity, and support for management tasks such as workforce management.
“AI streamlines inquiry capture and resolution. It optimizes case routing, classification, and schedule management. It extracts useful information from voice and digital conversations to quickly surface trends in issues and customer sentiment that may affect customer retention and loyalty,” according to the Forrester report, The Three Customer Service Megatrends In 2019.
Yet, given the wide-ranging impact of AI, how best to lay the foundation for long-term adoption can be unclear.
Contact centre leaders acknowledge that AI requires a strategic, concrete roadmap to minimize implementation challenges, rather than blanket investment.
In fact, 77 percent agree that while AI increasingly peels off simpler customer service requests, it also increases the need for agents to develop additional skills to deal with more complex and higher-value customer inquiries.
Additional findings include:
Contact centre leaders anticipate a key role for agents alongside growth of AI.
80 percent of respondents agree that AI would help their contact centres increase agentless interactions. This, however, does not translate to a reduction in agent staff, as 74 percent of respondents state that the number of agents will either grow or stay the same this year.
While AI will handle simpler, repetitive interactions, agents are still needed to manage the more complex, higher-value interactions that require advanced skills and additional time to resolve.
AI is seen as a competitive differentiator.
According to 79 percent of respondents, AI would enable contact centres to deliver consistent, timely and contextually relevant experiences – a key expectation of today’s customers.
Implementation challenges are not deterring customer experience (CX) decision-makers.
Of those currently pursuing an AI strategy, 95 percent are taking steps to overcome AI implementation challenges, primarily by seeking more training, expertise, and support. Agent training is the leading avenue at 44 percent.
“The Forrester study found that 98 percent of businesses believe that contact centres are instrumental in improving customer experience,” said Paul Jarman, NICE inContact CEO.
“Leveraging AI to increase contact centre operational efficiencies while creating omnichannel agents adept at handling digital as well as voice interactions needs to be a top priority.”
“Higher interaction volume puts a heavy strain on agents, and AI has an incredible role in easing that burden so agents can provide the very best experiences to customers.”
“NICE inContact has invested heavily to infuse CXone with end-to-end AI capabilities to address real-life challenges and help contact centre leaders and agents stay one step ahead throughout customer journeys.”
In order to help businesses better understand their current AI strategy within the contact centre, NICE inContact commissioned Forrester Consulting to develop an interactive assessment tool.
Analysing the unique attributes of the contact centre, alongside stated programme goals and metrics, the assessment tools offers an AI roadmap outline, sharing key tips on the purposeful roll-out of a long-term AI plan.
The AI in the Contact Center Readiness Assessment tool is now available here.
To find out more about NICE inContact visit: www.niceincontact.com