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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.
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.