8x8: Conversational AI Is Future of Contact Center8x8: Conversational AI Is Future of Contact Center
The expectations and stakes for conversational AI are high among business leaders.
October 2, 2023
Conversational AI (artificial intelligence) is the future of the contact center, according to new research.
Eight out of 10 IT and contact center business leaders say conversational AI says capabilities will be a must have in the near future. Forty-one percent think that if companies don’t adopt these capabilities they will fall behind, says 8×8’s 2023 State of Conversational AI in the Contact Center report.
Almost all (99%) of organizations plan to dedicate more spending on contact center operations over the next year. Much of that investment going towards adopting or increasing automation.
Interestingly, U.S. respondents were more likely to consider automation extremely important (27%), versus their U.K. (8%) and Canadian counterparts (16%).
The report indicates that both expectations and stakes for conversational AI are high. Eighty-seven percent of respondents believe that conversational AI/chatbots increase productivity. Seventy-six percent say conversational AI/chatbot capabilities are revolutionizing business communications. Seventy-two percent believe these capabilities will increase company profitability and revenue and lower company risks.
Conversational AI in Use in the Contact Center
Of those already using AI capabilities, 92% report they have resolved customer issues faster and reduced effort for agents (87%) and the overall cost of contact center operations (53%). Respondents in the U.K. are taking it a step further, with 94% rating voice chatbots as a top two priority for AI-based capabilities for contact center and customer support operations. That’s compared to 68% in the U.S.
More than anything, organizations currently using conversational AI in the contact center are doing so to improve customer service capabilities (62%). They are also using it to streamline internal workflows (42%), improve customer satisfaction (36%), and reduce customer wait times. Only 6% of adopters are using it as a means to reduce employee and agent headcount.
Trust Issues Surround Generative AI
8×8’s Hunter Middleton
Despite the reported high take-up of generative AI in the contact center, 8×8’s research shows that organizations still struggle with fully trusting generative AI at this stage. Sixty-four percent of respondents said they would very much or completely trust generative AI to answer customer questions, but from there, percentages dropped significantly. Just 24% put their full trust in the technology to directly engage with customers, and 23% trusting generative AI to guide their contact center agents.
“It’s important to understand the needs and requirements of organizations, including how they actually use the different technologies available to them. We are committed to working closely with our customers to deliver AI-driven tools and resources,” said Hunter Middleton, chief product officer at 8×8, Inc.
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