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AI in the contact center

AI in the Contact Center - When and Where

Artificial Intelligence (AI)  in the contact center.  Does this phrase elicit excitement or many questions? 

To some, AI in the Contact Center, conjures up images of chat bots or AI call center agents.  While many contact centers are experimenting with chat bots, many also see the vision of infusing their entire call center with AI. They are creating a strategic roadmap for acquiring and broadly deploying AI call center software.

Regardless, it is important to  

  • Understand your call center strategy
  • How AI for call centers can transform that strategy
  • How to devise a roadmap to take you from many questions to a focused plan 

NICE inContact partnered with Forrester in early 2019 to conduct research and asked call center leaders world-wide how they are planning to use AI call center software. Below is a brief summary of what they had to say.

Why AI in the Contact Center

To establish context for why there is a need for AI in the contact center, we wanted to see if business leaders view the contact center as key to achieving strategic business goals.

We found that

  • 98% agree that their contact center is key to creating customer loyalty.
  • 82% believe that their contact centers improve their ability to grow revenue. 
  • 87% believe their contact center provides valuable customer insights to help leaders respond to market changes and to identify new sources of revenue.

How AI can help improve the Contact Center

With great potential comes many challenges.   Advances in web, mobile and social as well as increasing customer expectations are all making it much more difficult for aging call centers to meet growing demands.

  • 95% of contact center decision makers report experiencing challenges in these areas. 
  • 69% said that the tools used in their call centers prohibit them from fully meeting customer, agent and business expectations.

Specific challenges highlighted include

  • meeting increased demand for contact center services.
  • hiring, training, and retaining skilled agents.
  • forecasting and meeting resource demand.
  • needing to simplify access to systems and data used by agents. 

These challenges are not merely inconveniences – they are business inhibitors!

AI is seen as emerging technology that can offer transformational solutions to many of these problems.   While AI chat bots deliver tangible benefits, they do not represent the full scope for how AI can be used in the broader contact center. 

A single investment in AI Chat Bots is not a “one and done” proposition.  AI can be infused into almost every aspect of contact center operations.  Therefore, it stands to reason that a strategy must be developed for where, when and how AI will be broadly introduced.

Planning for AI in the Contact Center

AI is delivering benefits in initial trials resulting in 64% of contact centers now planning to increase their investment in AI call center software.  But deciding the when and where depends on your business and contact center strategy.  This is where the Forrester research can help.  It offers valuable insights from peer contact center leader who have taken steps to infuse AI into their contact centers.  Their collective experience can help you shape your own AI roadmap.

Consider these questions:

  • Where can AI deliver the greatest impact?
  • What staffing, expertise and business process is required to support AI? 
  • How can vendor partners be best utilized? 
  • What is the best method to measure business impact? 

To help answer AI contact center questions and to develop a road map for your own cognitive contact center, NICE inContact is publishing the following three valuable resources:

  1. Art Schoeller, Forrester VP & Principal Analyst, will present a webinar where he breaks down research findings and discusses highlights and key recommendations. Get the answers to your questions, register for one of our webinars below:

2. Read the summary of this Forrester research, and its key findings and takeaways. Download a free copy of AI-Infused Contact Centers Optimized Customer Experience.

3. Starting Oct 15, 2019 get your own customized recommendations for where you should start or focus your AI investment by using special interactive tool built by Forrester to help you understand your firm’s readiness to adopt AI in the contact center, and how you compare to your peers.

AI in the Contact Center!  This is going to be exciting!