The AI-powered channels dictating the future of the contact centre

Keeping up with the AI Joneses

Online, always on, your door is always open, regardless of business hours. You understand that today’s customers ask questions at any time of the day or night and you have invested in self-service customer contact channels to address to this need.

But are you trying to impress customers with archaic self-service tools on your website?

Recently, after a well-known retail brand presented me with biblical proportions of static FAQs on their website, I was perplexed to discover the plethora of enterprises still offering dusty old customer support tools. Left on the website shelf for years, site search, static FAQs and info@ email options were eagerly on-boarded years ago, as new digital service channels to keep up with, or intimidate the competition, without a thought to how these channels would have to adapt to the future.

It is fair to say that legacy systems are not just dust bunnies to be swept away and be replaced by shiny new AI-powered channels. A symptom of dated business models means that many customer touchpoints are independently run across enterprise and even conflict or compete within the customer journey. And many CFOs find it difficult to invest in new technology with lengthy budget cycles, clearly reportable ROI and the risk of disruption to the business standing in the way of agility.

But customers are already digital; brands need to catch up. Businesses must be ‘present’ on their customers’ preferred support channels and respond swiftly, no matter the means customers use to get in touch.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past year or so, you would have noticed how the hype around AI and bots, especially headlines predicting ‘the death of the contact centre’ and how bots will take over our jobs. It has created uncertainty, fear and a frenzy – much like the goldrush – to make organisations experiment with customer engagement through this new channel.

Some believe the overall impact of deploying AI-powered channels in customer support and e-commerce will replace jobs, however real-world cases show how the sensible deployment of conversational AI translates into cost savings, time savings and improved customer experience with minimal demands on IT resources.

As consumers grow more and more comfortable with messaging, AI applications offer the contact centre some dramatic benefits that stretches way beyond chatbots. But for AI to introduce new value and break fresh ground, strategists must take an innovative approach to CX and consider its impact beyond its novelty. Moreover, AI cannot be hampered by legacy views and processes around today’s customer experiences.

Whether you’re a CFO, CMO, CC Manager, CIO, CTO, Customer Experience Officer, Chief of Marketing or Head of Digital, AI represents a golden opportunity to improve and modernise customer experience. And with the right strategy, intelligent CX can thrust businesses on an accelerated maturity path to help digitally transform the organisation with purpose and customer centricity.

Why not view a recording of othis webinar that dives right into the chatbot phenomenon. Leave with actionable ideas on implementing AI-powered customer support with US Practice Managers explaining AI / Virtual Agent strategies for improving top-line growth along with increasing deflection rates and dramatically improving first contact resolution.