Talkdesk whitepaper reveals organizations have yet to master the art of transformational AI
Artificial Intelligence has taken the contact centre industry by storm in recent years, enabling organizations to reach new heights when it comes to accuracy, efficiency and revenue growth.
Indeed, it seems like the power of AI knows no limits, as more and more companies decide to invest in AI-powered solutions to improve the quality of experiences they deliver. Conversational AI, chatbots, voice-to-text capabilities, and self-service are just a few buzzwords circulating through the CX tech industry.
While the demand for AI solutions is high, many organizations are still in the early stages of AI maturity. In other words, many organizations have yet to master the art of AI for it to become transformational for their business.
The benefits of investing in AI are multifold, the biggest one being an improvement in customer experience. Yet, companies are moving slowly when it actually comes to implementing specific solutions. Why is that the case?
The latest report by Talkdesk entitled The Future of AI 2022: Progressing AI Maturity in the Contact Center reveals what is curbing AI ambitions and how contact center leaders can overcome hurdles to AI maturity.
On the bright side, organizations are well aware of the opportunity costs of not using AI. Discussing the top risks CX professionals cite around not investing in AI, Antonio Gonzalez, the Senior Manager for Industries Research & Insights at Talkdesk, says:
“Over half of CX professionals reported reduced customer satisfaction as the top risk for not implementing AI. This makes absolute sense because AI enables companies to accurately address a high volume of customer contacts in a timely manner.
“AI pushes the contact center towards the success that leaders are aiming for – improving customer satisfaction. On top of that, productivity and efficiency are increased. Investing in AI is integral to effective customer service.”
Despite being aware of the benefits of AI deployment, CX professionals report encountering barriers to AI maturity relating to security and IT, organizational alignment around AI goals, and talent gaps.
The progress of AI implementation has slowed as 35% of CX professionals said their organizations are advanced in the applications of AI, compared to 41% just a year ago.
Further, CX professionals are also less confident in their vision of how AI fits into their contact center, showing a decrease of 6% from 93% a year ago. Gonzalez explains:
“We’re seeing short-term scaling back of the specific ambitions of AI. When we looked at specific applications like AI for self-service, there seems to be fewer companies that have implemented or are currently investing in it.
“We’re also seeing a declining maturity in their AI deployment over the past year which is caused by three main issues, and these are security and IT infrastructure, organizational misalignments around the potential of AI applications, and talent gaps.”
According to the report, many contact centers are limiting their near-term investments in AI. While advancements in AI show no signs of slowing down, at the same time organizations are taking time to decide which challenges to tackle first.
The declining confidence among CX leaders could simply be diminished by finding AI providers that can proactively support and guide them throughout the AI deployment journey. Gonzalez explains this in detail: “Education and partnership is really important when it comes to organizational alignment with AI goals.
“AI is a field that’s continuing to evolve, there are new advancements and new vendors coming out regularly. It’s challenging for leaders to stay on top of everything and there’s an increased need in a role for technology providers to actually be leaning in and providing their expertise and guidance.”
Another challenge that concerns security and IT infrastructure often has to do with outdated legacy systems and myths around AI. Leaders are especially wary of implementing AI thinking that it will compromise security while it can also improve the security of data. Gonzalez continues:
“It is key to be able to create architectural clarity in the contact center. The connected systems need to be able to draw upon data effectively to overcome these security challenges and make full use of advanced security capabilities.
“Contact center leaders also need to ensure that AI models are continually updated and are reflecting the state of the world as it changes and evolves.”
Finally, contact center leaders report issues with talent gaps as one of the barriers to AI maturity. Although agents are becoming more comfortable using AI tools at work, the maintenance of the systems needs to be done by AI experts.
To combat this issue, Gonzalez advises companies to invest in AI solutions that are easy to use and maintain.
“Companies should look for new solutions that take some of that technical aspect out of the AI model, training and making it simpler and more straightforward. By using these types of solutions, frontline agents can train and maintain those models to fit their needs, bringing in new potential scenarios and situations.”
To find out how your organization can get one step closer to AI maturity, read the latest Talkdesk whitepaper on this link.