Use of AI & Gamification to double in 2019
UK contact centres have revealed their technology investment plans for 2019 – and despite all the noise, it’s not artificial intelligence that’s at the top of the list.
The Game’s Afoot
A ContactBabel report (The UK Contact Centre Decision-Makers’ Guide), surveying 213 UK contact centres, shows that the use of gamification is expected by businesses to grow by the greatest proportion. Although only 9% of operations used this in 2018, survey respondents expect this to grow to 23% by the end of the year.
Gamification – motivating agents through competition and the achievement of goals – rewards the behaviours and skills most valued by the business, while keeping agents engaged and interested in their work. It’s currently used most in sales environments, but service-based contact centres are looking closely at this too.
The Rise of the Robots
AI & machine learning was the hot topic of 2018, and 2019 should see talk become action, with AI usage expected to more than double. Chatbots – automated chat agents that handle customer queries on the website – are perhaps the best-known example of AI in the contact centre, but it can be used in other channels, and to provide the agent with real-time advice as well.
Robotic process automation (RPA) is also expected to more than double in use. RPA helps contact centres handle repetitive, rules-based tasks at high speed – as if an agent were typing and navigating systems faster than humanly possible (and without making a single mistake), as well as providing the right data at the right time to the agent within the call. With 89% of contact centres requiring their agents to use more than one desktop application, RPA speeds up calls, improves data consistency and avoids errors that can cause problems downstream.
The Truth Is Out There
Interaction analytics is expected to almost double, going from 20% in 2018 to 38% this year. Originally used mainly for compliance, analytics functionality has grown in depth, and can be used to understand the customer journey and experience, collate best practice, quality assure 100% of calls and identify problems and opportunities before anyone has even considered them.
Talk Isn’t Cheap (And Neither Is Chat)
Web chat is already a well-established technology, and is very popular with customers. Despite the opportunity that web chat offers to cut the cost of service, a typical web chat costs almost as much as a phone call (£4.24 vs £4.27). As such, adding AI to web chat to cut cost is an area of great interest for many contact centres in 2019.
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