Latest 8×8 Research Reveals IT and Contact Centre Leaders Embrace Conversational AI or Fear Falling Behind

8×8, a leading integrated cloud contact centre and unified communications platform provider, announced findings from its 2023 State of Conversational AI in the Contact Center report.

Key findings reveal that contact centre and IT leaders believe conversational artificial intelligence (AI) is the future of the contact centre 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 centre business leaders surveyed include:

  • Investing in Contact Center automation is a top priority: 99% of organizations plan to dedicate more spending on contact centre 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 centre 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 centre. 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 centre 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 centre 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 centre 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 centre, with an even greater number experimenting with it, 8×8’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 centre 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 8×8, we understand how the contact centre 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 8×8, 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 8×8 Intelligent Customer Assistant, to help drive their digital transformation and business success initiatives.”

For the report, 8×8 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.

View the 8×8 2023 State of Conversational AI in the Contact Center Report.

8×8 delivers the 8×8 XCaaS (Experience Communications as a Service™) integrated cloud contact centre and unified communications platform, which includes cloud contact centre, business phone, video meetings, team chat, and SMS capabilities. 8×8 XCaaS is a resilient, secure, and compliant platform, offering the highest levels of reliability with a financially backed, platform-wide 99.999 percent uptime SLA across an integrated cloud UCaaS and CCaaS solution.

About 8×8 Inc.

8×8, Inc. (NASDAQ: EGHT) is transforming the future of business communications as a leading software as a service provider of 8×8 XCaaS™ (Experience Communications as a Service™), an integrated contact centre, voice communications, video, chat, and SMS solution built on one global cloud communications platform. 8×8 uniquely eliminates the silos between unified communications as a service (UCaaS) and contact centre as a service (CCaaS) to power the communications requirements of all employees globally as they work together to deliver differentiated customer experiences.

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