The State of AI in the Contact Center 2019
New research from Vanson Bourne shows that almost all (99%) of organizations are using some form of artificial intelligence (AI) in the contact center. That’s great, but just how far along are they in their implementation, and how much further do they have to go? That, the data shows, is something entirely different. The research found that organizations using AI in the contact center are most likely to be only halfway through their implementation. All in all, the majority (70%) feel they are not getting the most out of AI in this area of their business.
Companies are at a delicate point in their rollout of AI where the path ahead of them splits into two. Executives must make the right decisions now to ensure success of a full and effective AI rollout; one that not only transforms the contact center but impacts essential functions enterprise-wide (47% feel they aren’t able to effectively apply AI in any part of their organization).
So, what’s stalling adoption of AI in the contact center? How can executives ensure a full and effective rollout in this area of business and beyond? Let’s break things down…
Top Barriers of Contact Center AI
According to Vanson Bourne:
- 74% of companies lack understanding of AI and/or the skills in-house to facilitate AI adoption
- 40% have data protection and regulatory fears
- 32% feel they are stifled by underperforming existing IT infrastructure
- 36% struggle with lack of data and/or disparate data
- About 30% feel they don’t understand AI because of inaccurate reporting on its capabilities and/or the over-reporting of AI “scare stories”
While it’s good that most organizations are using AI to some degree in the contact center, it seems fear and misunderstanding are driving future decision-making. To overcome that, let’s move onto what’s needed for effectively rolling out AI.
Your Best Strategy
According to Vanson Bourne, 24% of organizations’ AI solution is or will be exclusively developed in-house, with the same amount (24%) planning to have their solution fully developed by a third-party. The majority (52%) are looking to a mix of in-house and third-party AI development. Overall, 85% agree that they will need stronger third-party support as AI becomes more prominent. Here’s what you can start doing today:
Seek freedom of cloud deployment: Executives need freedom of cloud deployment to be able to invest in different delivery models where it makes the most sense across their organization depending on specific applications and needs (not every application is meant to be on the same cloud, if at all). This enables you to gain access to the AI-based functionality you need without having to rip and replace existing contact center systems, while keeping other apps and workloads on-premise as required.
Explore an application ecosystem: This environment provides access to seemingly endless “click-to-add” AI-based apps and features for creating a custom-fit contact center that meets the exact needs of customers and employees. Internally collected data can be leveraged with these apps and features to expand the use of AI enterprise-wide, helping organizations with such things as tracking financial analytics and performance management for HR.
Prioritize a holistic contact center approach: End-to-end portfolio integration allows executives to seamlessly expand their use of AI across the enterprise. You can focus on the many crucial aspects of contact center transformation—AI-enhanced desktop, omni-channel, contextual analytics—while applying AI to other departments that are not as likely to be using the technology. For example, analyzing social trends in the CRM for marketing purposes or transcribing contact center conversations for sales to send more targeted follow-up messages.
In the End
Over 80% of executives believe that failing to get on board with AI now will cost their organization over the next decade. Learn more about the current state of AI in the contact center with Vanson Bourne’s new research report, “AI: The De Facto for Contact Center Experience,” commissioned by Avaya.