Computers can learn to code too. Analysts at Gartner estimate that by 2026, the call center industry could save nearly $80 billion by replacing humans with AI chatbots.
The call center industry is investing in conversational AI for its customer service operations to save labor expenses. AI’s advanced natural language processing and text-to-speech models are so accurate that people would feel like they are interacting with a human, not a bot. Analysts at Gartner say that by 2026, the call center industry could save up to $80 billion by replacing humans with AI chatbots.
The incompatibility and other conversational signs developed when humans start chatting with AI machines by voice or instant messaging would reveal the non-human version of the non-human with whom you chat online. However, Call center companies don’t discourage themselves from these setbacks and expect the AI tech to improve with time.
Gartner’s estimates revealed that 17 million call centers worldwide would together invest a sum of $2 billion on AI software by this year-end. Daniel O’Connell, a VP analyst at Gartner, said staffing shortages are leading to the adoption of conversational AI. He said, “Many organizations are challenged by agent staff shortages and the need to curtail labor expenses, which can represent up to 95 percent of contact center costs. Conversational AI makes agents more efficient and effective while also improving the customer experience,”
Gartner further expects that by 2026, conversational AI will perform roughly 10% of agent interactions. Presently about 1.6% of online interactions are automated. They include a combination of text-based chatbots and fake voice bots increasingly installed for the next few years.
According to O’Connell, automation comes in various stages, and as technology advances, companies can benefit by automating the process in sections. For example, automating the initial stage of customer interactions can help direct their request to appropriate agents.
He said, “While automating a full interaction – also known as call containment or deflection – corresponds to significant cost savings, there is also value in partial containment, such as automating the identification of a customer’s name, policy number, and reason for calling. Capturing this information using AI could reduce up to a third of the interaction time that would typically be supported by a human agent.”
However, the system of maintaining and utilizing conversational AI is quite challenging. Although AI conversation technologies can replace human customer service agents, companies must maintain their software by hiring technical staff. Gartner reveals that companies will have to shell out roughly $1,000 to $1,500 as additional support for their conversational AI agent. In other cases, the cost can increase to $2,000 per agent. Not sure whether the estimate is for per year, a one-shot, or a lifetime expense.
Moreover, O’Connell has warned, “Implementing conversational AI requires expensive professional resources in areas such as data analytics, knowledge graphs, and natural language understanding. Once built, the conversational AI capabilities must be continuously supported, updated, and maintained, resulting in additional costs.”