Not seeing meaningful results from your AI strategy or looking to get started with AI? While it has become a key initiative for many contact centers, businesses are still not seeing the ROI they expect from AI across their customer service operations.
Gartner®, the company that delivers actionable, objective insight to executives and their teams, has studied this topic in great detail. In a recent report titled “How to Use AI to Improve the Customer Experience,” their analysts proposed ways that businesses can improve their AI strategy to better understand their customers and see the maximum impact from AI deployment.
Here’s a quick recap of what you’ll find inside:
- How the top AI use cases can be leveraged to drive transformational change across your organization
- Key AI challenges that are preventing businesses from improving their customer experience and bottom line
- Recommendations for getting more out of your AI strategy.
Read on for key highlights below.
Where can AI have the most impact?
A large area of focus for AI deployment is speech recognition and analytics.
The prevalence of natural language processing and the growing customer favorability of voice assistants has especially accelerated growth in this area for customer experience leaders looking to modernize.
The report details how speech analytics tools offer “quick wins” before core AI functionality even comes into play.
According to the report emotion detection within speech analytics offerings has advanced significantly over the last decade. Emotional call categorization was basic and relied almost exclusively on keyword usage. By analyzing tone, pitch, keywords, and talk over, the AI models present in off-the-shelf tools can now detect customer relief, anger, or customers losing patience as a call drags on. These segments can be analyzed after the fact or even deployed in real-time to prompt agents to alter their approach if a call takes a negative turn”.
As part of Gartner’s “View From the Board of Directors 2020,” 77% of surveyed board members view AI as one of the biggest game-changers, if not the biggest, for their organizations.
From an industry landscape point of view, AI investment in the contact center is on the rise, with adoption rates and applications steadily climbing year over year for the next 36 months.
- By 2022, 20% of customer service will be handled by conversational agents.
- By 2023, 80% of consumer apps will be developed with a “voice-first” philosophy.
- By 2023, 30% of customer service organizations will deliver proactive customer services.
What about implementation?
In order to get the biggest bang for your buck when investing in AI, Gartner recommends using a three-pronged approach to planning and implementing:
- Ensure your AI initiatives are efficient and relevant to your business objectives by closely aligning them with existing CX initiatives.
- Prioritize use cases by focusing on areas of high friction — where high-volume, high-value, and customer pain points intersect.
- Hardwire ROI measurements into deployment strategies by allowing for A/B testing, staggered roll-out, or using control groups so successes (or failures) can be attributed with higher confidence to specific initiatives.
Gartner recommendations for getting started
Gartner zeroes in on a few areas where AI can be leveraged to improve value for customers and maximize early ROI. Those are speech and sentiment analysis, personalization, and customer journey analytics. In each area, Gartner recommends “data and analytics leaders should use existing data on channel volumes, sales revenue and margin, as well as customer complaint/feedback information, to prioritize their first (or next) use cases for AI.”
Gartner®, How to Use AI to Improve the Customer Experience, David Norrie, Melissa Davis, 16 April 2020
Gartner®, Toolkit: Presentation for Key Findings From the 2020 Board of Directors Survey, Apoorva Chhabra, Partha Iyengar, Jorge Lopez, 10 April 2019