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CX Update: How AI, Data, CCaaS Are Coming Together
Two of the hottest areas of customer experience (CX) technology right now are data and AI. Enterprises are becoming aware of the need to integrate customer data and make it available to the contact center, so agents can resolve issues more efficiently and potentially drive not just customer satisfaction but revenue. Similarly, AI holds immense promise, both for customer interaction and automation, as well as backend functions in the contact center.
However, it also seems that many enterprises are struggling with these two critical areas. In the keynote address to this week’s Enterprise Connect (EC) virtual summit, “Building Customer Experience for the Next Generation,” Mila D’Antonio and David Myron, principal analysts at Omdia, presented research data showing some significant areas of concern and struggle.
Integrating data will elevate an enterprise’s CX by helping give agents the ability to respond proactively, according to D’Antonio. “Employee empowerment really comes down to data democratization,” she said.
Getting there may be a challenge, however. D’Antonio cited Omdia’s State of Digital CX 2022 survey, in which respondents were asked, “What are the biggest barriers preventing your organization from visualizing customer data and responding proactively?” The top responses:
- Organizational silos that prevent holistic views of the customer: 54%
- Lack of shared data delivery tools and metrics/insights dashboards: 53%
- Inability to find, map, and unify first-party and third-party data: 48%
- Slow digital transformation: 46%
Likewise, obstacles stand in the way of enterprises making the most of AI in the contact center. In the Omdia survey, respondents cited the following reasons why AI was currently delivering limited value for them:
- Incorrect implementation: 69%
- Lack of training: 50%
- AI doesn’t integrate into existing systems: 50%
- Organizational misalignment: 44%
The news is somewhat more promising when it comes to cloud migration. Myron shared research showing that the CCaaS market grew 61% year-over-year in 2021, though “the cloud rush is slowing down,” Myron said, with 20% year-over-year growth forecast for 2022. Separate Omdia data showed that on a global basis, cloud-connected agent seats will outnumber premises-connected seats by 2025; in North America, the crossover point is forecast to be 2023.
Myron offered three pieces of key advice for enterprises, regardless of whether they’ve already moved to the cloud or not:
- Consider staying power: “The CCaaS market is crowded,” Myron puts it. Omdia identified 27 CCaaS players currently in the market, meaning this segment is ripe for consolidation, he added. So, it’s critical to scrutinize potential providers carefully.
- Plan for omnichannel: Systems that give agents the ability to serve multiple channels through a single pane of glass are important here.
- Automate with AI: Myron recommended seeking systems that support chatbots, intelligent call routing, agent assist, sentiment analysis, and social listening and ticketing capabilities.
D’Antonio and Myron will present research findings at Enterprise Connect 2023 in March. D’Antonio will lead a session on customer engagement platforms, while Myron will present our Contact Center 2026 session, focusing on the prospects for CCaaS, AI, and workforce optimization (WFO) over the next three years. We’ve continued to add sessions to our Contact Center/CX track, which will be our most extensive ever. I hope you'll check out the incredible content we have planned for this track — and the entire EC program — and that we'll see you the week of March 27, 2023, for Enterprise Connect 2023.
With that, the Enterprise Connect newsletter will be taking the next two weeks off, returning on January 5. I hope everyone has a wonderful end-of-year break, that you get some time to enjoy with friends and family, and we all come back rejuvenated for the start of 2023. Happy holidays from the entire Enterprise Connect team!