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AI is the Tailwind for 2024 Contact Center Technology Investments

DMG Consulting LLC

Presented By: DMG Consulting LLC

On an annual basis, DMG Consulting conducts a worldwide survey of enterprise, customer experience (CX), contact center, and customer service executives and managers to ask about their top business priorities and technology investment plans for the following year. The survey we conducted in December 2023 captured this information for 2024. DMG’s primary research findings reveal that global business and contact center leaders plan to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) and automation technologies; and they are focused on enhancing the CX, improving productivity, and reducing operating expenses. 

Are contact centers investing in AI?

We began with this question because it’s top of mind for most executives. The survey found that 28% of contact centers are already using AI; 37.1% plan to invest in AI technology by the end of 2024; 9.1% anticipate using AI by the end of 2025; and 25.9% do not yet have plans to use AI. The results show that in general, contact centers around the world are quickly adopting AI and automation. DMG believes adoption is already faster than the numbers suggest, as most cloud-based contact center systems and applications currently incorporate AI technologies, which vendors are delivering to system users, whether they are aware of it or not. 

What are your top contact center goals/priorities for 2024?

Enhancing self-service systems and improving the customer experience tied as the top contact center business goal for 2024.  Both were identified by 59.3% of survey respondents. This is the first time in many years that improving the CX was not the sole top priority for contact centers and service organizations. After spending years trying to improve the CX, executives are becoming more prescriptive in how they plan to address this challenge. And the new generation of conversational AI-enabled self-service solutions, particularly those enhanced with generative AI, are ideal tools to help them achieve this goal. Improving productivity came in second place for contact centers in 2024 (51.7%), and reducing operating costs came in third (50%). These two objectives generally trend together, and their placement in the survey findings reflects organizations’ great need to control and reduce contact center costs, most of which are people-related. Improving employee engagement was ranked as the fourth-highest business priority for contact centers in 2024 (44.1%). Although they also prioritized the need to reduce staff-related costs, leaders appreciate the importance of enhancing work conditions and better engaging their employees. The fifth-place business goal in 2024 is investing in AI to enhance the contact center (41.5%). Some business leaders know how they intend to apply AI to improve performance; others are in the early planning stages, but they know that AI is essential for achieving their goals. 

Which contact center technology and applications do you plan to invest in during 2024?

Self-service solutions came in first place for contact center technology investments in 2024 (51.8%), aligning with the year’s top servicing goal. Workforce management (WFM) was the second most frequently selected investment area for contact centers in 2024 (37.5%). Managers need enhanced WFM capabilities to better optimize and engage agents; both goals must be balanced in contact centers. Knowledge management (KM) is the third-highest area of planned investment for contact centers in 2024 (30.4%). The demand for KM capabilities is expanding as these solutions increasingly support live agents, self-service solutions, and AI initiatives. Interaction (speech and text) analytics (IA) is the fourth-highest technology investment category for contact centers in 2024 (28.6%). IA solutions surface critical customer (and employee) insights, and they provide the underlying AI-based technology to support a growing number of applications used in contact centers, including transcription, real-time guidance, analytics-enabled quality management, and automated post-interaction summarization. Reporting/business intelligence (BI) came in fifth place for contact center technology investment in 2024 (26.8%). Improved reports and BI capabilities are commonly included as top-ten technology investment priorities for these operations. 

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