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As inflation continues to rise and uncertainty rattles markets, contact centers have become more important than ever for brands to nurture customer satisfaction and retention in order to grow revenue.

A new study from Observe.AI revealed startling insights with regards to the impact of conversation intelligence on overall customer interaction visibility, agent coaching and performance, and confidence about the future of the business. Overall, 48% of contact centers did not feel their business was “very prepared” for the future, and nearly one quarter considered the majority of their agents to be bottom performers; conversely, contact centers using conversation intelligence were 10x more likely to feel prepared for the future, 2x more likely to report majority top-performing agents, and over 5x more likely to implement formal agent coaching programs.

In addition, despite adoption and availability of AI and automation technologies, 67% of contact centers said they still rely on manual processes – including spreadsheets and word processing documents – for critical workflows such as agent coaching and quality assurance. These inefficiencies are compounded by tool juggling, as 70% of respondents reported their operators switched between two or more tools for interaction analysis. This persistent reliance on manual processes is reflected in an overall lack of interaction visibility – with just 16% of contact centers saying they analyze 100% of customer conversations – meaning many are missing opportunities to improve agent performance and strategic decision-making.

Pie graph. Caption: Conversation Intelligence technology drives better agent performance in the contact center. 82% of respondents who say they are "top performers" say they use conversation intelligence, vs. 12% saying no, they don't.

To better understand the current state of the contact center – including how the business operates, effectiveness of existing technologies, and future outlook and plans – Observe.AI commissioned Zogby Analytics to survey over 300 North American contact center leaders across industries. Thirty-five of respondents represented enterprises with $500 million+ in revenue, and 52% had employee counts greater than 500. Top industries represented were financial services, healthcare, insurance, retail and ecommerce, and consumer goods and technology.

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Read the full report by Observe.AI.

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