It is estimated that by the year 2025, artificial intelligence technology will support 95% of interactions with customers. What does this mean for the future of the contact center?
The contact center has come a long way since the 1960s, when the technology of automatic call distribution (ACD) was introduced for the first time, which led to the development of call centers. What began as a way for customers to obtain billing information or make requests, evolved significantly as the technology became more robust. With the incorporation of interactive voice response (IVR) technology, outbound dialing and intelligent call routing, the call center became a center for the voice of the customer. And the industry continues to innovate to drive a better customer experience.
As new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and analysis, continue to change the way we interact with customers, the question is: What will the 2025 Contact Center look like? As we approach 2025, technology will continue to influence the way companies interact with customers. Companies that find the balance between technology and people will win.
Continuation Of Technology Adoption
In the last decade, advances in analysis have opened new ways for companies to get an idea of the wishes and needs of customers. For example, many companies use voice analysis to understand customer voice data at both the individual and aggregate levels. In addition, the AI has begun to impregnate the contact center, manage the influx of interactions and meet the growing expectations of customers. 80% of companies plan to implement chatbots by 2020.
There are a variety of reasons why companies are not adopting new analytical or artificial intelligence technologies. According to a recent report, 39% of business leaders admit trusting too much in a single data point, and only 12% of organizations use contact center statistics to inform decisions. In addition, MIT discovered that, while 85% of companies believe that AI is beneficial, only 20% have incorporated it into commercial processes.
As companies struggle to implement these technologies, business leaders are losing key knowledge about customer behavior. Meanwhile, customer expectations continue to grow. In fact, 83% of buyers expect to be sent immediately to the most informed agent, but not just by phone. They want to communicate through the web, social networks, email, text or any other channel. Customers also want a personalized experience, and the contact center must meet those demands.
The Contact Center Approach Of 2025
It is estimated that by the year 2025, artificial intelligence technology will support 95% of interactions with customers. Other advances, such as sentiment analysis and predictive analytics, offer companies an additional insight into what customers say and feel, which helps them identify what customers want.
However, it is important that contact centers balance the convenience of technology with the personalization that only humans can provide. The technology must inform the behavior of the agent, not replace it. Even in 2025, customers will still want to talk to a human being.
According to a recent Calabrio report, 74% of customers are more loyal to a company if they can talk to a human being, and 58% of clients believe that talking to an agent will allow them to get the best and most efficient service. The message is clear: people still want the human connection. Agents are, and will continue to be, the backbone of the modern contact center.
With the new technology, call centers will depend less on human beings for lower-level consultations and, thanks to customer feedback, contact center employees will be better informed and more valuable than ever. This not only allows agents to engage in more complex solutions that technology can not resolve, but it will also free people to do what they do best: establish emotional connections and build deep relationships.
Human Contact Will Remain In The Center
In 2025, the contact center will continue to be the epicenter of interactions with customers, but its agents will be knowledge workers. To be successful, agents must be brand ambassadors that receive assistance from sophisticated technologies. When enabled by the appropriate technology, agents will create connections with customers that will create loyalty and drive revenue.
As companies adopt and accept analysis and artificial intelligence in the contact center, that technology will be a key factor for business decisions that exceed customer expectations. However, companies must implement those technologies with a purpose and understand when technology can replace people and when they cannot. Agents can, and will provide, a remarkable service that machines can never replace.