AI will reduce contact center labor costs by $80 billion in 2026

Deployments of conversational artificial intelligence (AI) in contact centers will reduce agent labor costs by $80 billion by 2026, according to analyst firm Gartner, which also said that End-user spending for conversational AI solutions in contact centers is expected to reach $1.99 billion in 2022. However, the fragmented vendor landscape and complexity of deployments will lead to lower adoption over the next two years around, he said.

Conversational AI combines natural language processing, machine learning, and other related algorithms with traditional software like chatbots and voice assistants to engage users in human-like conversations.

“Implementing conversational AI requires expensive professional resources in areas such as data analysis, knowledge graphs, and natural language understanding,” said Daniel O’Connell, VP analyst at Gartner.

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Complex, large-scale deployments of conversational AI can take years as more call flows are created and existing call flows are refined for improvement. Gartner estimates the price of the integration at $1,000 to $1,500 per conversational AI agent, although some organizations cite costs as high as $2,000 per agent. Therefore, early adoption of conversational AI will primarily be driven by organizations with 2,500 or more agents with a budget for the required technical resources.

Gartner estimates there are about 17 million contact center agents worldwide today, O’Connell said. “Many organizations are facing agent shortages and the need to reduce labor expenses, which can account for up to 95% of contact center costs. Conversational AI makes agents more efficient and effective, while improving the customer experience,” he said.

Gartner predicts that one in 10 agent interactions will be automated by 2026, an increase from approximately 1.6% of interactions today automated using AI. Conversational AI can automate all or part of a contact center’s customer interaction through voice and digital channels, via voice bots or chatbots, and it is expected to have transformational benefits for customer service and IT organizations. assistance within two years.

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The sophistication of bots, and therefore their conversational AI capabilities, is largely determined by the sophistication of the AI ​​employed.

Big tech companies like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Apple are working hard to democratize advanced AI so businesses can leverage its capabilities to introduce increasingly complex experiences.

Current chatbots on the market already capture partial information such as customer name, police number and reason for the call, which could reduce the interaction time that would typically be supported by up to a third. by a human agent,” O’Connell said. , adding that “once built, conversational AI capabilities must be continually supported, updated, and maintained, which incurs additional costs.”

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