Customer Service Innovators More Likely to Use GenAI

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Companies that use a combination of omnichannel orchestration strategies, advanced data analytics, and cross-team collaboration reach 57 percent more of their service strategy goals than their competitors, making them what Deloitte Digital calls service innovators.

These companies use generative artificial intelligence and other technologies to empower agents to provide a better customer experience, Deloitte notes in its 2024 Global Contact Center Survey.

“Improving efficiency has never been more important for contact center leaders,” says Tim McDougal, service excellence lead at Deloitte Digital. “Service innovators stand to gain the most in this evolving landscape. While customer service remains near the top of leaders’ priorities, the organizations who are best positioned to succeed will likely be those who embrace the power of generative AI, collaborate across the business, and those who can provide value enterprise-wide.”

And, in a separate report, Deloitte concludes that few areas show more potential for generative AI-driven improvements than customer service.

With a typical customer support call, for example, generative AI-enabled tools at the front end can drive faster authentication for the customer while providing pre-interaction journey summarization to the agent. During the call, the technology can help summarize and simplify customer information and solution options. After the call, generative AI can provide automated call summaries and follow-up recommendations.

Deloitte adds that similar benefits are possible across a range of channels and support technologies.

These and other benefits are already generating rewards for a growing number of companies.

“We’ve always suspected that there are organizations that provide an excellent customer experience, but the correlation of high levels of customer experience with the use of advanced capabilities was surprising to me,” McDougal says. “We found that service innovators were 4.4 times more likely to have an excellent customer experience than others and have 2.5 times more likelihood of excellent employee satisfaction.”

One in six contact centers have deployed generative AI today, with service innovators eight times as likely to have deployed the technology as organizations with less advanced service capabilities, according to the research.

McDougal also identified a few capabilities that separate generative AI’s early adopters from less advanced organizations. These include channel steering and omnichannel orchestration, self-service coupled with cross-functional strategy, and investments in analytics and insights.

“I would argue that these capabilities are differentiating and suggest greater efficiency and operational performance,” he says. “Most contact centers have a person or team charged with identifying continuous improvement opportunities. I tend to believe that leaders tend to have a strong cross-functional team comprised of strategy, operations, and technical resources that facilitated the early identification of use cases for generative AI. In these organizations, there is a tendency, desire, and ability to test and learn.”

Other qualities that define service innovators include the following:

  • Four in five companies have activated channel steering strategies that deliberatively guide customers to the most effective channels for their inquiries.
  • Twenty-six percent of companies have well-defined cross-functional strategies to improve self-service capabilities.
  • Twenty percent are currently investing in better self-service capabilities (with an additional 30 percent planning to invest by the end of the year).
  • Service innovators are 2.7 times more likely to invest in analytics compared to organizations with less advanced capabilities.

The study also found that one-third of companies have implemented omnichannel integration tools, resulting in a 9 percent lower cost per assisted contact.

“Omnichannel integration tools are simply tools that enable organizations to have visibility to and guide customers across multiple channels,” McDougal says. “Think of a customer who starts an inquiry by navigating an FAQ website, transitions into a chatbot, and then decides to call the contact center.”

In most cases, the agent has little visibility into what the customer is doing and, more importantly, no context and little understanding of what the customer has already seen or researched, McDougal explains. “The result is a choppy, less impactful conversation that often requires a customer to repeat steps and repeatedly answer similar questions, leaving the customer and even the agent frustrated. Omnichannel tools enable this visibility and, when used effectively, can create shorter, more meaningful interactions, improving CX while also reducing cost to serve.”

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