Johannesburg, South Africa, May 2018 -- Artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots and automation are the trends that will experience the greatest growth in customer experience over the next 12 months, according to the latest research from Aspect Software.
The research, which set out to discover the technology trends currently disrupting customer journeys, surveyed contact centre managers and discovered that 89% of those polled believe AI will experience the greatest growth in adoption in customer engagement over the next 12 months. This was closely followed by chatbots and automation with 76% and 55% respectively, stating these technologies would experience the greatest growth in the next year.
In contrast to this, only 5% stated they believe remote/home agents would experience great growth, and only 11% stated they expect social media to experience great growth.
Stephen Ball, Senior VP Europe and Africa at Aspect, commented: "The modern customer is demanding ever-increasing ways to interact with brands and companies so it's encouraging to see that contact centre managers are realising this and implementing technologies that enable them to adapt accordingly. Those investing in these strategies are effectively investing in their customers by ensuring they have access to a range of different communications channels to suit their individual needs.
"However, while it's great to see the uptake in advanced technologies, it's important that organisations do not ignore other significant channels of communication such as social media and mobile apps.
"Crucially, organisations should understand their customer base and provide a range of communication channels that cater to these customers, including self-service options wherever possible."
Looking specifically at chatbots, 37% stated they currently use an automated chatbot, and a further 55% stated they don't currently use chatbots but are planning on implementing them in their contact centre in the next 12 months.
The research also found:
* 92% believe natural language processing is an important element of the customer experience in automated self-service.
* Chatbots are most commonly deployed for Web sites, with all respondents stating they either already do or are planning to deploy a chatbot on their Web site. Following this is Facebook Messenger (46%) and Twitter DM (17%). Only 9% currently deploy or are planning to deploy chatbots on WhatsApp and only 3% on SMS/iMessage.
* Desktop Web chat is the most frequently deployed communication channel in the cloud, with 71% stating this. This is followed closely by voice and mobile Web chat, with 66% stating this for both categories.
* 74% are planning on integrating new cloud-based solutions in their contact centre within the next 12 months.
* Only 16% state that less than 40% of the contact centre will be based in the cloud, and only 13% state that more than 70% will be in the cloud.
Ball added: "Integrating advanced technologies in the contact centre is vital for maintaining competitive advantage and for maintaining customer relationships. It's great to see the level of implementation due to take place over the next year, but organisations must ensure they deploy these technologies with the customer in mind, while also re-organising the workforce to ensure their potential is maximised."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
About Aspect Software:
Aspect Software contact center and workforce optimization solutions engage consumers, empower agents, improve quality, and lower the cost of delivering remarkable experiences. Our cloud, private cloud and on-premises products are used by millions of agents every year – supporting billions of consumer interactions. Aspect provides flexible, reliable,comprehensive solutions for all areas of customer interaction and workforce management including inbound (automatic call distribution/ACD), outbound (auto dialing, predictive dialing and more options), interactive voice response/IVR, self-service through chatbots, workforce optimization (workforce management, quality management, performance management) and speech analytics. Leveraging a worldwide cloud infrastructure and over 40 years of industry ingenuity, Aspect conveniently and easily connects questions to answers while helping enterprises keep service levels high and operational costs contained.
Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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