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Industry Research : Latest 8x8 Research Reveals IT and Contact Center Leaders Embrace Conversational AI or Fear Falling Behind

#contactcenterworld, @8x8

8x8, Inc. (NASDAQ: EGHT), an integrated cloud contact center and unified communications platform provider, announced findings from its 2023 State of Conversational AI in the Contact Center report. Key findings reveal that contact center and IT leaders believe conversational artificial intelligence (AI) is the future of the contact center with 80% saying these capabilities will be a must have in the near future, and 41% agreeing that if companies don’t adopt these capabilities they will fall behind. Further findings highlight how they are thinking about applying conversational AI through automation.

Key findings from over 300 IT and contact center business leaders surveyed include:

Investing in Contact Center automation is a top priority: 99% of organizations plan to dedicate more spending on contact center operations over the next year, with much of that investment going towards adopting or increasing automation. Interestingly, in the United States, respondents were more likely to consider automation extremely important (27%), versus their UK (8%) and Canadian counterparts (16%).

Conversational AI for the win: the expectations and the stakes for conversational AI are high, with 87% of respondents believing that conversational AI/chatbots increase productivity, 76% that conversational AI/chatbot capabilities are revolutionizing business communications, and 72% believe these capabilities will increase company profitability and revenue and lower company risks.

Automation improves CX: contact center and IT leaders are turning to AI and automation to assist with key challenges such as increasing support volume, staffing challenges, and the need to be more cost-efficient. In fact, 52% of organizations say they have already invested in conversational AI for the contact center. Of those already using the capabilities, 92% report it has resolved customer issues faster and reduced effort for agents (87%) and the overall cost of contact center operations (53%). Respondents in the UK are taking it a step further, with 94% rating voice chatbots as a top two priority for AI-based capabilities for contact center and customer support operations, compared to 68% in the US.
Conversational AI complements the human touch, it doesn’t replace it: organizations currently using conversational AI in the contact center are doing so to improve customer service capabilities (62%), streamline internal workflows (42%), improve customer satisfaction (36%), and reduce customer wait times. Only 6% of adopters are actually using it as a means to reduce employee and agent headcount.

Trust is still an issue for Generative AI: even though almost one third of organizations reported that they are currently using generative AI in the contact center, with an even greater number experimenting with it, 8x8’s research shows that organizations still struggle with fully trusting generative AI at this stage. 64% of respondents said they would very much or completely trust generative AI to answer customer questions, but from there, percentages dropped significantly, with just 24% putting their full trust in the technology to directly engage with customers and 23% trusting generative AI to guide their contact center agents.

Supporting these findings, Metrigy’s Customer Experience Optimization: 2023-24 report found that 51% of CX leaders say Al investment in customer engagement is a high priority. The research also shows successful companies using Al for customer engagement increase revenue by 38% and agent efficiency by 36%, improve customer ratings by 46%, and decrease operational costs by 6%.

"At 8x8, we understand how the contact center industry can shift and change—especially as new technologies are introduced, tested, and standardized—and we are proud to always be at the forefront of that changing technology landscape," said Hunter Middleton, Chief Product Officer at 8x8, Inc. "As we can see from the findings of the ‘State of Conversational AI in the Contact Center’ report, it’s important to understand the needs and requirements of organizations, including how they actually use the different technologies available to them. We are committed to working closely with our customers to deliver AI-driven tools and resources, such as 8x8 Intelligent Customer Assistant, to help drive their digital transformation and business success initiatives."

For the report, 8x8 surveyed more than 300 business leaders in Contact Center, Customer Support, Customer Experience, Customer Care, Customer Success, IT, IT Help Desk, IT/Vendor Procurement, and Operations. The survey was administered in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada between May and June 2023, through Hanover Research. Survey respondents included employees from organizations with more than 250 employees and included managers and above.

#contactcenterworld, @8x8

Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent

About 8x8 Inc.:
Company Logo8x8, Inc. (Nasdaq: EGHT) leverages its patented software technologies to deliver high quality voice solutions with integrated messaging and video to businesses of any size with employees in any location on a wide variety of business telephony, web and mobile platforms. 8x8 also offers managed hosting and cloud-based computing services.
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