Long waiting times, complicated menu systems, insufficient information, and unavailable out-of-hours service - are the most common negative customer service experiences, according to survey results conducted by United Call Centers (UCC). Artificial Intelligence solutions addressing many of these problems are already widely available, and in a few years around two thirds of transactions will be automated and AI-driven.
Nearly 500 responses to the UCC survey revealed that the most sensitive issues for customers in customer service interactions are complex, often unclear menu systems and long waiting times. The weight of the two negative experiences is roughly equal: while 82% of respondents consider the former to be a significant or serious problem, 78% consider the latter to be a major problem. A similar negative experience is the operator's inability to provide an adequate solution, with 73% of respondents citing this as a problem of at least a significant degree. Another common complaint is when customer service is only available during working hours, but this was considered a less significant problem by 48% of respondents.
Filtering out negative customer experiences is in the best interest of all service providers, as the survey also found that such negative experiences have a significant impact on the perception of the organization by 43% of respondents, a significant impact by 34%, and a minor impact by 18%. Only 5 percent indicated that such an experience had no impact on their insight.
"In order to increase the customer experience, a fundamental transformation is already taking place in customer service activities," – emphasized Zsolt Máté Juhász, managing director of United Call Centers. – Artificial intelligence is at the heart of the digital transformation that is taking place at full speed, and the various applications driven by it are already largely available today. Last year's analysis of the industry by the consulting firm McKinsey predicted that the number of digital transactions in the customer service segment would increase by one and a half times in two years. According to our experience, this pace of transition can be maintained and may even accelerate in the coming years."
Artificial intelligence is not only being used by service providers to filter out negative customer experiences. The trend over the years has been to increase besides the number of customer service contacts also the complexity of the tasks, while the pool of skilled staff available is limited. Apart from helping to automate manual activities and coordinate multichannel access, AI can also help to enhance the customer experience by running advanced analytics back-end software to proactively initiate personalized solutions to problems that the customer may not have even encountered.
Human operators will still be needed in the long term
The UCC survey also shows that increasing confidence in technological advances will also be an important task: given the choice between an automated or live operator, 61% of customers prefer the latter. While the popularity of AI-driven automated systems may grow rapidly following the positive experience of advanced development, in the long term there will remain specific, more complex tasks that will need to be left to human resources. In the long term, McKinsey's analysis estimates that around 65% of tasks in AI-driven customer service systems will be automated, while 50-70% of contacts will be made without the assistance of a live operator.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
About United Call Centers (UCC):
United Call Centers (UCC) is one of the market-leading providers of outsourced customer service solutions. The main profile of its activity is multilingual customer support by phone, email, and chat, the automation of business processes, and the development of services based on artificial intelligence. The Hungarian-owned UCC, founded in 1999, operates in more than 50 languages and 40 countries and works with 700 employees worldwide.
Published: Monday, February 5, 2024
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