Monday, 05 November 2018 16:33
AI is an Irish priority, but implementation is low
33% planning AI for customer service “soon”
Over a third of Irish organisations with customer contact centres view Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a high priority for Customer Relationship Management (CRM). However, only 14% currently use AI solutions, and only 33% of organisations plan to implement AI in the immediate future for customer service management, according to new research.
Research Reveals Artificial Intelligence is a Priority for Customer Service, But Implementation Levels are Low in Irish Organisations
Microsoft Ireland and Codec research shows:
- 65% of Irish organisations with customer contact centres currently view Artificial Intelligence (AI) as an average or high priority
- Seven out of ten see AI as a high priority for the future for both their general business (69%) and customer service (68%)
- But, only 14% claim their organisation is currently using AI for customer service
- 33% are planning to implement AI in the future with 44% currently working on projects to use AI as part of their customer relationship management
- The main perceived benefits of AI for customer service is its ability to make processes more efficient (80%), enhancing self-service for customers (76%), and the ability to improve the overall customer experience (65%)
The research reveals that the importance of AI will continue to increase for decision makers at Irish organisations, with seven in ten saying that AI will be a high priority in the future, both for the general business (69%) and for customer service (68%) activity. The growing importance of AI is highlighted by the finding that 93% of organisations plan to use AI as part of future ongoing customer service activities.
Interestingly, one in three organisations (36%) in Ireland currently use customer service tools that already include AI capability – not utilising this functionality demonstrates a significant missed opportunity.
According to the research, the main perceived benefits of AI for customer service are its ability to make processes more efficient (80%), enhance self-service for customers (76%), and improve the overall customer experience (65%).
When asked how they managed or collected insights to better help customers, 41% of organisations have an in-house customer service system, with 91% saying customer response time is a key priority, and 84% saying customer satisfaction is key. When it came to measuring feedback, 81% use survey and customer feedback forms. Under half (48%) use feedback captured by the call handler.
Respondents recognised the value of AI for gathering customer insights, with 51% noting its ability to predict customer behaviour as a key benefit, and 41% identifying AI as a beneficial way to better understand customers. It can also be used to drive product sales, with 29% of organisations listing AI’s ability to flag hot prospects for selling or upselling as a major benefit.
Larry Tobin, Dynamics 365 Practice Director, Codec said: “We think this is a valuable piece of research for the customer service industry in Ireland. It is clear that the organisations that took part in this survey continue to focus on delivering an excellent customer experience and recognise the many benefits that AI offers to optimise business processes ensuring a seamless end to end customer journey experience. Customer service organisations must put their customer first in the pursuit of customer experience excellence and applying innovation and creativity through AI will assist them in achieving this goal,” Dorothy O’Byrne, Managing Director, Customer Contact Management Association (CCMA) Ireland.
CCMA Ireland is a not for profit industry association representing customer service organisations operating in Ireland. The goal of the association is to promote best practice through networking and benchmarking, and to raise the profile of the sector in Ireland. It is run by industry professionals on a voluntary basis. The CCMA has approximately 2,000 members representing approximately 50% of organisations in Ireland with customer contact and shared services centres.