Artificial Intelligence isn’t new, and it’s rapidly evolving to say the least. Which raises the question, how will AI impact contact centers in 2024?
Zendesk research shows that 65% of CX leaders see AI as a “strategic necessity.” So, how are contact centers utilizing artificial intelligence? They’re using it to interact directly with customers, to enhance agents’ performance, and to analyze data.
Using AI to Interact Directly with Customers
Two of the most popular ways contact centers are implementing customer-facing AI technology are with chatbots and self-service systems.
For example, AI-powered chatbots are often engaged for initial customer inquiries, which allows an agent to be better prepared when taking over for their part of the interaction.
AI automation is utilized in self-service systems to handle inquiries such as checking the status of orders, making appointments, reconciling data, and preparing service requests for live assistance.
AI can also help contact centers live up to consumer expectations of 24/7 customer service, though it must be implemented strategically and with appropriate safeguards to alleviate quality concerns about security, compliance, and quality of AI-generated responses.
In addition to these automated systems that are powered by AI, Zendesk’s research also shows that 70% of CX leaders plan to integrate generative AI into many of their touchpoints in the next 2 years, beginning in 2024.
Generative AI is expected to be utilized in the following customer-facing touchpoints:
- Chat-based customer support (57%)
- Email communications with customers (53%)
- Search functionality (45%)
- Voice-based interactions (42%)
Using AI to Enhance Contact Center Agents’ Performance
In addition to its role in the customer-facing systems and touchpoints mentioned above, AI is also used in algorithms to predict customer needs and streamline operations behind the scenes in contact centers.
In this way, AI can help agents answer questions faster, resolve problems quicker, communicate more clearly, and provide a better overall CX.
Generative AI is also playing a larger part in contact centers. Looking ahead, Gartner predicts that “by 2025, 80% of customer service and support organizations will be applying generative AI technology in some form to improve agent productivity and customer experience.”
Dave Hoekstra of Calabrio says, “Contrary to popular concern, 70% of contact center managers believe the number of agents will increase. This forecast indicates that AI will augment human abilities, creating a heightened demand for well-trained agents proficient in integrating AI into their workflows and efficiently engaging with customers.”
This aligns with what Rob Jekielek of Harris Poll says: “AI is helping employees do their existing and evolving jobs better and faster.”
Additionally, Forrester research predicts that AI initiatives will boost productivity and creative problem-solving by 50%.
Using AI to Analyze Data
There are numerous benefits of using AI to analyze your contact center data, including the ability to more easily do the following:
- Identify trends or issues across your customer base.
- Identify top-performing agents and improve training and coaching.
- Analyze data automatically at scale.
- Provide real-time guidance during customer interactions.
- Automatically disseminate analysis across the organization.
- Take action to quickly fix issues and improve strategies.
Using AI-driven predictive analysis can also help inform outreach strategies, score and prioritize leads, and even suggest the best time to call customers based on past success markers like conversion rates or customer sentiment scores.
The Biggest Ways AI Will Impact Contact Centers in 2024
Whether via direct interactions with customers, enhancing agent performance, or analyzing data, AI can significantly improve the CX your organization delivers.
For example, CX Today predicts that generative AI tools in particular will impact contact centers in the following ways:
- Eliminating repetitive tasks.
- Enhancing data analysis.
- Improving efficiency and speed of customer routing.
- Reducing contact volumes.
- Improving hiring and onboarding.
- Supporting agents during calls.
- Enhancing employee training.
- Streamlining the search for information.
- Simplifying content creation and rapid responses to messages across different channels (email, SMS, chatbots, social media, etc.).
Further, 80% of contact center leaders report a belief that AI will help them increase their organization’s revenue and profits by enhancing their relationships with customers and boosting customer satisfaction scores.
Ready for AI to Impact Your Contact Center in 2024?
Not sure how to put AI technology to work in your contact center? Need help with training or implementing it?
At ARC, we stay on top of industry best practices but also immerse ourselves in your company culture and your processes. Then, we combine both to tailor a unique solution that’s just right for you.
We look forward to connecting with you to personally discuss potential solutions to make your contact center even better.
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