Only 20% of Managers Leverage AI Despite its Transformative Impact

To shed light on the work of contact center agents, their satisfaction levels, and how contact center managers leverage AI technology, Invoca has published its 2023 State of the Contact Center Report. The report reveals intriguing insights and highlights the untapped potential of integrating AI into contact centers, showing that a data-driven approach can yield positive results.

Despite recognizing the transformative impact of AI on performance and efficiency, only 20% of contact center managers currently utilize AI, and just 30% employ conversation intelligence. This indicates that the contact center industry is poised for transformation, as there is a clear correlation between agent job satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and the underutilization of AI and conversation intelligence.

"Today's consumers expect a seamless experience—even as they move across channels from digital to phone calls—and it's mission-critical for companies to ensure their contact centers connect these disparate experiences and analyze agent performance at scale. This report shows that AI and conversation intelligence are key to combining the power of data, automation, and the human touch so agents can focus on providing empathetic service, delighting customers, and driving revenue," said Gregg Johnson, CEO at Invoca.

When contact center agents were questioned about the most valuable information to have before engaging in a conversation with a customer, the survey revealed that the top responses were as follows: 41% considered it crucial to know the specific products or services the caller was interested in, 30% emphasized the importance of knowing which web page the caller was browsing before making the call, 29% highlighted the significance of knowing the items in the caller's cart before calling.

The untapped potential of Conversation Intelligence 

The findings reveal that only 30% of contact center managers utilize conversation intelligence to analyze calls. Surprisingly, this percentage is nearly equivalent to those who rely on manual call listening for quality assurance (32%). Moreover, an even smaller proportion of managers (20%) reported using AI technologies, despite their immense potential to enhance operational efficiency, provide valuable analytics, and allow agents to dedicate more time to sales-driven activities.

By adopting advanced technologies, managers can effortlessly identify best practices, greatly enhance agent productivity, and expedite the onboarding process. Surprisingly, a significant portion of managers (62%) state that they cannot analyze a sufficient number of calls to accurately evaluate agent performance, while an almost equal number (61%) highlights the crucial role of appropriate call analytics technology in enabling more effective agent coaching.

Still, the contact center industry is witnessing a notable increase in the adoption of AI, aligning with trends seen in other sectors. In fact, 85% of contact center managers surveyed expressed their likelihood of implementing a conversation intelligence solution within the next year.

60% of agents leave every year  

The high turnover rate among contact center agents is widely known, and the report confirmed that most agents (60%) leave their positions each year. Agents face a demanding job that requires them to handle various responsibilities. Interestingly, 64% of agents now handle sales and service calls, eliminating the specialization in specific call types. This dynamic creates a challenging environment as agents must navigate the diverse needs of customers.

According to the report, incorporating conversation intelligence solves the challenges contact centers face. The result is a substantial 39% increase in agent retention, which not only contributes to increased sales revenue but also improves operational efficiency and significantly reduces talent acquisition costs.

Agents prefer a hybrid remote/in-office setup  

As contact centers adapt to remote work, evaluating and coaching agents becomes a significant challenge. Currently, most contact center agents (64%) have hybrid work arrangements, combining remote and on-site work. Agents in hybrid arrangements express higher job satisfaction (68%) than those who work fully remotely (44%).

The survey results reveal an intriguing divergence between the perspectives of agents and managers regarding the impact of the work environment on delivering the best customer experience.

While a majority of agents (60%) believe that a hybrid work arrangement allows them to provide the best customer experience, only about a third of managers (35%) share this sentiment. The disparity is even more pronounced when it comes to working exclusively on-site, with only 18% of agents, compared to 35% of managers, stating that a completely on-site work arrangement enables them to deliver optimal customer service.

Elsewhere, Invoca has expanded its PreSense product for modern contact centers to integrate with popular platforms, including Five9, NICE inContact, Genesys, Salesforce, Amazon Connect, and others.