The customer experience high-wire act.
Customers today expect fast, frictionless, personalized service. In the midst of a global crisis, the stakes are even higher, and businesses recognize this. According to a June 2020 survey conducted by Aberdeen, 66% of contact centers today still rank improving customer experience results and consistency as their top goal.
Typically, organizations look to tackle this first through automation. Historically, this is not uncommon. The Brookings Institution reports that for each of the three recessions that have occurred over the last 30 years, the pace of automation has increased.
Fortunately, we are at a unique time in which self-service and the use of automation no longer detracts from a contact center’s ability to provide exemplary custom experience. In fact, self-service is now the preferred form of service.
But self-service of the past is not the same thing as the AI-assisted self-service options we see today. We have evolved from auto attendants to basic IVR to a full, intelligent conversational exchange. In June 2020, Gartner updated its “The Use of Conversational AI for Customer Service” report, projecting that 20% of customer service interactions will be handled by conversational agents by 2022 and that 30% of all organizations will utilize AI-enabled process orchestration and intelligence.
It’s fairly easy to quantify the benefits and ROI of conversational AI technology. It’s also easy to understand why IT leaders would feel especially pressured during this time. They were already walking the digital transformation tightrope, when increased pressure to meet customer expectations during a time of crisis elevated that rope to a high wire. AI assisted self-service is all about options; the question is, where to start?