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  • Writer's pictureSharon Holland

The Future of AI is NOW!

Updated: Feb 12, 2023

As we all grow accustomed to live chat and chatbots on websites, and in some cases even expect them, it is no surprise to hear that the industry is experiencing exponential growth. Customer Services has always been at the forefront of AI adoption, and research confirms that this is set to continue. Salesforce research shows that Chatbot usage has increased by 67% since 2018 and the Virtual Assistant market is expected to reach $44.25 billion by 2027 according to Allied Market Research.

Gartner agree, estimating that 70% of customer interactions will involve chatbots, machine learning and mobile messaging by 2022. This is not a far-off future – this is a future that has already arrived! Accenture and McKinsey highlight the incredible potential of AI to continue to grow at these exceptional rates. Accenture research suggests that 80% of customer interactions can be resolved by well-designed bots. McKinsey focus on the breadth of industries and job roles that could be impacted with predictions that 33% of activities could be automated in about 60% of occupations. Therefore there is still plenty of growth to come in the near future.

Employees Also Benefit from AI

It is not just customers that can benefit from AI, Gartner highlight that 25% of employee interactions with applications will be via voice by 2023, up from under 3% in 2019. This solely looks at voice interactions, the figures will be much higher when we include other types of messaging chatbots and Virtual Assistants.

Another of the primary benefits of AI and automation is the removal of high volumes of repetitive, mundane tasks, enabling staff to undertake much more fulfilling roles. The more of the mundane enquiries and tasks that can be automated, the more that staff can work smarter not harder. This brings a separate challenge where customer advisors will have to be even more knowledgeable to deal with a larger amount of complex enquiries. Here again, AI can assist by listening in on calls and text chats and presenting the most likely responses for the advisor to use.

AI Being Driven By The Consumer AND The Business

Contributing to the increasing interest in AI is the willingness of businesses to invest, as well as customers preferring to interact with organizations in this way. An astonishing 95% of IT leaders are prioritising workflow automation technologies like chatbots (Salesforce), making it a case of organizations definitely being left behind if they are not looking to implement workflow automation. Not only is this a high priority for businesses, but for many it has now become more important than other communications methods with 50% of enterprises telling Gartner that they will spend more on bots than traditional mobile app development this year.

Consumer wants and expectations are all helping to fuel this growth. Consumers want to take the initiative with 81% of all customers attempting to take care of matters themselves before reaching out to a live representative (Harvard Business Review). With Ovum stating that 60% of consumers are still looking for even easier access to self-serve solutions it is clear they are keen for more customer service to be delivered in this way. This shows that the customer is happy to self-serve if it answers their enquiry and they only want an agent if they can't get the answers they need. If organizations can provide an equal or better customer experience, with reduced costs, then this is a win-win situation. The business is happy and the consumer is happy.

The Pandemic Aided AI Adoption

Then we had Covid-19. Whilst the worst is hopefully over, we are still seeing organizations need to close, or re-deploy people, due to staff that are self-isolating. This has demonstrated that the ability to answers thousands of customer enquiries, without the need for live agents, is vital and very soon will be expected as standard.

Those businesses that deployed or extended their AI estate during the pandemic reaped the benefits. Now everyone else is playing catch up. It is no longer a case of why are you looking at AI, but why AREN’T you?

To ensure you are ahead of the competition contact us or call us on 0333 6000 360 to start your AI journey.

And don't forget to download our Future of AI Infographic.

Future of AI infographic
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Ovum Report - Get It Right: Deliver the Omni-Channel Support Customers Want

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