Over a third of Irish organisations with customer contact centres view Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a high priority for Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
This is according to new research from Microsoft Ireland and Codec, which found that despite this statistic, only 14% currently use AI solutions, and only 33% of organisations plan to implement AI in the immediate future for customer service management.
Highlighting the potential importance of AI in the retail space, 93% of organisations plan to use the advanced software as part of future ongoing customer service activities.
“The research shows that most organisations understand and can see the value of AI in capturing and extracting valuable insights for better customer service. However, AI is seen as a high priority for the future but less so today, which means that organisations are missing out on the opportunity to deliver the best possible customer experience right now,” said Ger Perdisatt, Enterprise Director, Microsoft Ireland.
As it stands now, 36% of the organisations surveyed currently use customer service tools that already include AI capability.
“We see that organisations may already have AI capability in their existing systems but may not fully realise it. In addition, 41% have their own in-house and legacy solution which is costlier to manage and maintain and doesn't leverage the full benefit of the cloud for customer experience. Organisations need to consider these missed opportunities and the associated costs of not taking action today,” Perdisatt added.
The main benefits of Artifical Intelligence for customer service, the survey found, its ability to make processes more efficient (80%), enhance self-service for customers (76%), and improve the overall customer experience (65%).
91% of those surveyed said customer response time is a key priority, and 84% said customer satisfaction is key.
81% of organisations said that they use survey and customer feedback forms to measure feedback, however, under half (48%) use feedback captured by the call handler.
51% of respondents recognised AI’s ability to predict customer behaviour as a key benefit, and 41% identified 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 up-selling as a major benefit.
“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,” Dorothy O’Byrne, Managing Director, Customer Contact Management Association Ireland.
“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.”
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.