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NICE: Two thirds of contact centers are using some form of AI

Article ImageChatbots and IVAs get better at resolving customer issues – but are far from smart

The majority of contact centers plan to invest in AI or automated technologies, especially those focused on customer-facing AI for self-service, according to a study by enterprise software company Nice inContact.

The number of businesses using at least one AI channel reached 66% in 2020, an increase from 50% in 2019.

The annual study comprised a survey of 1,000 contact center decision makers in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, in companies with at least 25 contact center agent stations.

March of the bots

In 2020, 71% of contact centers said chatbots and virtual assistants make it easier for customers to get issues resolved, up from 63% in 2019.

However, these technologies are not considered to have reached maturity, with 90% of businesses saying chatbots and virtual assistants need to get smarter before customers start using them regularly. The number was was almost the same a year ago.

Larger contact centers have a higher degree of customer trust in AI, with 31% reporting high trust in AI, compared to 17% overall.

Contact centers continue to move forward with IT deployments, with 42% planning to invest in new contact center technology, up from 38% in 2019.

Investments in AI and automation include 52% of businesses planning to use AI to improve customer service with predictive forecasting, 40% for customer-facing AI for self-service, 39% to identify customer sentiment, and 38% using agent-facing AI for better efficiency.

Overall performance of AI channels was found to compare almost exactly to the performance of self-service channels overall.

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