COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Aug. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) and Oracle released a new research report, Next Generation Service: The Role of AI, IoT and Automation in Contact Center Transformation. The report focuses on cutting-edge technologies that are rapidly infiltrating today's contact centers and how they are changing the customer experience in new and positive ways. With evolving technologies come new expectations, and this research report explores how organizations are adapting to new advancements, including self-service options, artificial intelligence, connected devices and more.
By analyzing survey data from over 300 contact center professionals, the ICMI and Oracle teams uncovered trends that point to the future of the Contact Center.
Use of AI and IoT Technologies Increases Customer Service Experience
According to the research, within the next 6-12 months, 57 percent of organizations intend to support or offer IoT/connected technologies, a 21 percent increase. In regards to AI, 41 percent of respondents expect their contact centers' use of bots/AI to increase in the next 12-18 months.
This change in perception is linked to the benefits of using new technologies. Organizations offering IoT/connected technologies reported a 50 percent increase in customer satisfaction, while 44 percent of organizations offering IoT/connected technologies reported satisfaction remaining the same.
"The increased presence of connected devices and artificial intelligence in the contact center is inevitable. Contact centers are wise to look toward the future and make it a priority to adopt new technologies that support these capabilities," said Justin Robbins, group director, content & community, ICMI. "The benefits of adopting these new technologies will be realized from the executive office to the frontline employee to the individual customer and will have a major impact on the entire customer service experience."
Contact Centers Slow to Adopt AI and IoT Technologies
IoT and connected product data can enable an organization or contact center to completely differentiate themselves in the service experience. There is a major competitive advantage to adopting these new technologies and more than half of the consumers surveyed, 58 percent, own at least one connected device, while only 36 percent of contact centers currently support connected technologies. This lack of adoption parallels other facets of future technologies as 65 percent of contact centers remain reluctant to utilize Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Leveraging Data Remains Top Challenge for Contact Centers
As contact centers embrace advanced technologies they will have to accurately leverage the information that they collect. Currently, only about half of all contact centers surveyed are leveraging the data from connected devices and 51 percent of contact centers use data from connected sources to empower contact center managers with real-time metrics, KPIs and customer data. Furthermore, 47 percent of contact centers are unable to use data from their connected sources to identify or resolve a detected problem.
Other key findings include:
Within the next year, the percentage of organizations supporting IoT is expected to jump from 36 percent to 57 percent.
Two-thirds (67%) of contact centers have had to train agents to handle customer interactions differently because they now offer or support IoT/connected technologies.
Offering or supporting IoT/connected technologies increased agent satisfaction in 40 percent of contact centers, while 53 percent report satisfaction remaining the same.
Fifty-two percent of organizations consider service to be their primary competitive differentiator; 31 percent considered it to be their product, while just 17 percent considered it to be their price.
To collect data for this report, ICMI and Oracle surveyed 354 contact center professionals from a variety of business sectors including Communications, Financial, Healthcare, Legal and Retail. Seventy-nine percent of the survey respondents were made up of executives, directors and managers, with the remaining 21 percent filled by supervisors, analysts and consultants.
For more information about ICMI, please visit: icmi.com
About ICMI The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) is the leading global provider of comprehensive resources for customer management professionals -- from frontline agents to executives -- who wish to improve customer experiences and increase efficiencies at every level of the contact center. Since 1985, ICMI has helped more than 50,000 organizations in 167 countries through training, events, consulting, and informational resources. ICMI's experienced and dedicated team of industry insiders, trainers, and consultants are committed to helping you raise the strategic value of your contact center, optimize your operations and improve your customer service. ICMI is organized by UBM plc. UBM is the largest pure-play B2B Events organizer in the world. Our 3,750+ people, based in more than 20 countries, serve more than 50 different sectors. Our deep knowledge and passion for these sectors allow us to create valuable experiences which enable our customers to succeed. Please visit www.ubm.com for the latest news and information about UBM.
About Oracle The Oracle Cloud offers complete SaaS application suites for ERP, HCM and CX, plus best-in-class database Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from data centers throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit us at oracle.com.
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SOURCE International Customer Management Institute (ICMI)