79% of CX leaders plan to increase investment in AI and contact center automation

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Talkdesk®, Inc., a global leader in cloud-based contact centers for customer-obsessed companies, today released its latest Talkdesk Research™ report, The Future of AI 2022: Advancing AI Maturity in the Contact Center. Findings show that despite consensus (85%) on the value of artificial intelligence (AI), companies are hedging their approach by continuing to invest but limiting deeper deployments in the short term due to challenges around organizational alignment, security and gaps in the talent.

As customer service expectations rise in every type of industry—from retail and consumer goods, to financial services and insurance, even healthcare—fast-growing organizations are gaining a competitive advantage by using AI and automation to deliver better services and increase productivity. To take advantage and avoid being left behind, 79% of customer experience (CX) professionals say their company plans to increase investment in the coming year. Fifty-two percent admit that without AI and automation, customer satisfaction will decrease; 48% expect a decline in the productivity of the contact center team. Yet the use of AI and automation in contact centers has declined; for example, their use in self-service has decreased from 69% in 2021 to 60% today.

Implementing new technologies is always uncharted territory for companies, and AI is no different. The previous rush to adopt AI initiatives seems to have collided with the reality of the challenges facing companies, mainly around these key areas:

Misalignment with AI business goals

CX professionals report less confidence in their own understanding of AI. The percentage of those who say they feel moderately to extremely familiar with AI in the contact center fell from 93% a year ago to 87%. Likewise, the number of respondents characterizing their organization’s implementation of AI technology as more advanced dropped to 35%. Resistance to change in their organizations and a lack of strategic vision are often cited as obstacles.

Security risks and IT challenges

Eighty percent believe AI will improve identity security and authentication in the next two years. Almost as many (75%) agree that AI technology will allow customer data to be more secure than with a live agent. The belief that AI will improve security appears to contradict findings that security is a key barrier to AI implementation; however, half of respondents attribute security concerns to the limitations of legacy contact center infrastructure.

Lack of in-house expertise in artificial intelligence

Another common barrier to advanced AI implementation is the lack of AI professionals who can build, train, and support AI solutions. New technology, such as human-in-the-loop tools, can help democratize the use of AI in the contact center by making it easier for agents to train and support AI models without the need for specialized programming skills. According to the survey, 15% of companies are already taking advantage of these emerging tools.

“As contact centers continue to evolve from cost centers to growth centers, insufficient AI maturity can negatively impact not only the most important contact center KPIs, such as customer satisfaction and productivity, but also the broader business goals around revenue and customer lifetime value,” said Ben Rigby, Talkdesk’s senior vice president and global head of product and engineering, AI, automation and workforce. “Working closely with a CX technology partner that has deep AI expertise can enable organizations to overcome barriers to adoption and achieve their AI ambitions.”

Download the report The Future of AI 2022: Advancing the Maturity of AI in the Contact Center to see all the findings and get guidance on removing common barriers to implementation.

Methodology

Talkdesk Research’s quantitative online survey was conducted in April 2022 in five global markets, including the US, Canada, France, Germany and the UK. The surveys were supplemented by 500 qualitative interviews with CX professionals employed by organizations with more than 100 full-time employees. business day covering all major industries including healthcare, financial services and insurance, retail and e-commerce. CX professionals include leadership and management for customer service, customer experience, CX operations, IT and contact center agents.

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About Talkdesk

Talkdesk® is the global leader in cloud-based contact centers for customer-obsessed companies. Our automated customer experience solutions we optimize our customers’ most critical customer service processes. Our speed of innovation, vertical expertise and global footprint reflect our commitment to ensuring that businesses can deliver better experiences in every industry and through every channel, leading to higher customer satisfaction and accelerated business results.

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