94% of contact centre agents say artificial intelligence will support them in their roles

Cirrus research reveals positive frontline attitudes to new technology in the contact centre

The overwhelming majority (94%) of contact centre agents say artificial intelligence will support them in their role, despite the perceived threat to jobs.

Citing the benefits, the majority (57%) believe AI will help solve customer queries faster, provide them with more information on the customer (56%) and enable them to focus on more challenging tasks (56%), according to an independent poll commissioned by Cirrus, the market leaders in cloud contact centre solutions.

The study of 250 contact centre agents in the UK, conducted by Norstat, Europe’s largest independent data collection agency, sought to understand how technology can empower agents to deliver upon omnichannel strategies in the post-Covid world.

With the increased adoption of new contact centre solutions such as AI and chatbots, agents remain confident about the role they play in the contact centre of the future.

When asked what improvements could be made to the current systems they use, agents called for faster systems that enable them to quickly access customer details (58%), greater information on customers (55%) and the ability to move between channels to understand the customer journey (47%).

Rather than putting contact centre agent roles at risk, Jason Roos, founder and CEO of Cirrus, believes new technology will prove to be an enabler, allowing them to focus on queries that require a human touch.

He said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace of change in the contact centre world, with increasing numbers of businesses looking to adopt cloud solutions to enable their agents to work remotely with no loss of service. In the stampede, there is a fear that the needs of agents are not being considered during the decision-making process.

“We strongly believe that technology is only as good as the agents using it. What this study shows us is how those operating on the frontline of customer service believe technology should be deployed to help them provide a superior experience.”

Agents polled in the study believe customers most value having queries answered at the first point of contact, followed by not having to queue.

When asked what contact centre agents can do that automated systems, such as chatbots, cannot, the respondents said, providing a more personalised service (65%), handling complex queries (63%), showing empathy (58%) and servicing customers across any channel (47%).

Roos added: “We have been humbled by the many stories of contact centre agents going above and beyond over the last 18 months, despite the huge upheaval and disruption they have faced. We believe that helping to create ‘super agents’ is the first step in future-proofing the industry and, ultimately, serving customers better.”

Click here to find the full report.

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