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How to create a business case for investing in AI for your contact centre

If you work in customer service, the trend is clear: contact centres are evolving to provide superior customer experiences and streamline operations by integrating conversational AI and chatbot technologies. Worldwide, AI-driven solutions are proving their value by helping people find what they want more quickly, reducing the time it takes to resolve issues and making operations more efficient. This transition to AI-driven solutions provides considerable savings and demonstrates how service and automation combined lead to happier customers and healthier businesses.

Look at AND UK, who implemented the Cirrus contact centre platform to transition from manual processes to automated ones with Conversational Artificial Intelligence (CAI). This shift has not only saved the equivalent of 5-6 full-time positions in costs but has also cut customer wait times from 5-10 minutes to less than 2 minutes. Furthermore, it has reduced call handling times by ten minutes, thereby elevating overall efficiency. Yet, this is just a glimpse into the potential of AI.

The global outlook indicates a swift expansion of AI within contact centre operations, that will improve customer interactions across the board. Deloitte’s research highlights that 53% of organisations are already utilising AI to enhance customer service, with another 72% planning to invest more. While it’s beneficial to invest in AI-driven contact centre solutions, it’s crucial to do so with a clear understanding of the costs involved and with a solid business case that shows a tangible return on investment.

Understanding the Need for AI in Contact Centres

Customers really just want to feel heard and get their problems sorted out quickly when they call for help. Nobody likes waiting for a long time or having to tell their story over and over to different people. But when a company gets bigger, keeping up with all the calls and giving each customer the special attention they’re looking for is tough. It’s like trying to fill up lots of water balloons at once—you’re bound to miss a few! This is where AI comes into play. This assistant can quickly look up what each customer likes or has done before, making it easier to help them in a way that feels personal. Plus, it can handle a bunch of calls at the same time, so people don’t have to wait as long. So, by using AI, help centres can make sure everyone gets the quick and personal help they want, even as the company gets busier.

Identifying Key Benefits of AI Implementation

Enhancing Customer Support with AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing how we handle customer service, making it possible to address many more customer questions around the clock without needing a live person. For example, chatbots are now adept at managing routine tasks such as looking into account details or processing payments, tasks that typically require significant time from human agents. Gartner has found that businesses see up to a 70% decrease in calls, chats, and emails after bringing in virtual customer assistants.

Streamlining Call Flow with AI

AI takes call routing to the next level by analysing customer information and the complexity of their questions to direct calls to the most appropriate agent. This approach minimises waiting times and enhances customer satisfaction by ensuring customers speak with agents who are best equipped to help them based on their expertise or knowledge area. Moreover, AI systems learn from each interaction, progressively refining their ability to route calls more accurately.

Predictive Insights for Proactive Service

AI examines patterns in customer behaviour to forecast future needs and preferences, enabling contact centres to tailor their service and proactively address potential issues. Through predictive analytics, it’s possible to identify customers who might require support soon based on how they use products or services, allowing for preemptive communication. For example, a telecom company uses predictive analytics to identify customers with high data usage nearing their limit, proactively reaching out with personalised data plan upgrade options before they incur overage charges.

Empowering Agents with AI Support

AI tools offer real-time support to agents during customer conversations by providing immediate access to customer histories, product details, and solutions. This not only reduces the time it takes to solve issues but also ensures responses are more precise and consistent. Additionally, AI can highlight areas where agents may need more training, suggesting focused educational opportunities.

Estimating the Investment Required

Initial Costs

Implementing AI technologies in contact centres involves several initial expenses:

  • Software Acquisition: Costs associated with purchasing AI software or platforms, including chatbots, virtual assistants, and analytics tools.
  • Integration: Expenses related to integrating AI solutions with existing IT infrastructure and customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
  • Training: Investment in training for staff to effectively use and manage AI tools.

Ongoing Expenses

Cost of maintenance and periodic updates include:

  • Software Updates: Regular AI application updates to ensure effective and secured performance.
  • Maintenance: ongoing support and troubleshooting of AI systems
  • Subscription Fees: monthly or annual subscription charges for cloud solutions.

ROI Considerations

Evaluate ROI by comparing cost savings and efficiency gains to initial and ongoing expenses, focusing on handling time reduction, customer satisfaction improvement, labour savings, and overall speed of other improvements.

Developing a Strategic Implementation Plan

Here are some strategies you can use to implement AI in your contact centre.

Phased Approach

Start with pilot projects to test how AI works in your contact centre before committing to a full-scale implementation. Eventually, refine strategies with feedback for further investment.

Choose The Right Technologies

Choose AI technologies that match the nature of your customer inquiries, the complexity of operations, and the amount of time you wish to automate customer interactions. Consult with AI providers and perform a detailed needs assessment for informed decision-making.

Training and Development

Training your staff to work alongside AI tools to foster experience and education on offering better customer service. Ongoing development opportunities can help staff adapt to evolving AI capabilities effectively.

Overcoming Potential Challenges

Integrating AI into contact centres can encounter reasonable challenges – from privacy concerns to technological complexities. Yet, with collaborative strategies, these obstacles can be overcome smoothly. Here are some major challenges and tips to overcome them discussed in brief.

Data Privacy

Protecting customer data is paramount. Strict compliance with regulations like GDPR through anonymisation and robust security measures maintains trust while enabling AI.

Integration Difficulties

Adding AI to existing infrastructure can only be challenging with flexible and scalable solutions like those offered by Cirrus Response. Cirrus prepares contact centres for a smooth transition with AI integration for enhanced operations.

Organisational Resistance

Scepticism toward change is expected. Demonstrating AI’s tangible benefits through focused trials can do the job. Be prepared to conduct continuous staff training and maintain transparent goals to build staff confidence.


There is no doubt that AI can transform contact centre efficiency to improve customer satisfaction through personalised and quick service while reducing costs. Adopting AI is full of challenges, but you can overcome them through strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, and supporting advanced technologies.

Visit Cirrus Response to learn more about our AI solutions and start your journey towards a more efficient, customer-centric contact centre today.