Rush to AI Adoption in Contact Centers Generates Contrasting Reactions from Businesses and Customers, According to Waterfield Tech Survey

November 30, 2023/ By Jacob Gutierrez/ Under

Survey findings additionally reveal gap between C-suite and CX frontline leaders regarding satisfaction with AI and cloud-based contact center solutions

BOSTON, December 5, 2023 — Waterfield Tech, a leading global customer engagement solutions provider, today released new research findings that spotlight a disconnect between CX leaders and consumers over satisfaction with current contact center technologies. According to the survey of more than 200 CX leaders, nearly 80% report being very satisfied with their contact center and supporting AI solutions. However, data from a survey conducted by Waterfield Tech of consumers shows only 36% are fully satisfied with the different contact center technologies that support their customer service interactions.

Waterfield Tech’s survey of CX leaders found this disconnect exists even within the businesses themselves when it comes to sentiment around AI and cloud-based systems in the contact center. While senior executives were very satisfied with their contact center technologies overall, the closer the respondents were to managing the contact centers, the more likely they were to identify shortcomings in their solutions. For example, 77% of C-suite executives report overall high levels of satisfaction with their AI contact center technologies while only 65% of those in the trenches (e.g., vice president and director levels) expressed satisfaction with their solutions.

AI Adoption is Increasing – But at What Cost?

Waterfield Tech’s 2022 survey of CX leaders showed only 56% of respondents were either developing an AI strategy or beginning to deploy AI in contact centers. Now, more than two-thirds (67%) of CX leaders report having conversational AI (CAI) or generative AI solutions halfway or fully implemented while only 30% are in the early stages.

This rapid increase could be leading to issues. For example, among the 2,000 consumers Waterfield Tech surveyed in May, 83% worry AI-powered chatbots don’t always understand what they mean, 43% say they feel annoyed when they interact with a chatbot, and 50% feel AI doesn’t improve the customer experience. However, consumers do see the benefit of AI, with 60% believing it can help reduce the amount of time they need to spend interacting with customer service agents to solve a problem.

“With the advances made in the past year, simple and powerful APIs are now readily available and the adoption and deployment of LLM-powered AI in and around the contact center is increasing fast,” said Michael Fisher, Chief Product Officer at Waterfield Tech. “But organizations need to understand the ease of initial adoption can mask the difficulty of getting to the finish line. There is a last-mile problem in getting LLM-powered AI production ready. Successful implementations require a customer-centric and data-driven approach that combines the right technology, design, and AI training to help organizations actually meet their business goals, their compliance and security needs— and their customers’ expectations.”

Additional Findings:

Those Closer to the Contact Center See the Shortcomings

  • 40% of directors/VPs reported their Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions are not meeting all their expectations.
  • Those in the C-Suite are more likely than directors/VPs to say their tech solutions across the contact center “definitely” are integrated (66% vs. 45%) while directors/VPs are more likely to say they only “probably” are (52% vs. 32%).
  • Those in the C-Suite are more likely than directors/VPs to say their employee experience strategy supports their CX strategy as one cannot exist without the other (34% vs. 16%) while directors/VPs are more likely to say it somewhat supports it, but the two strategies are not as integrated as they should be (20% vs. 6%). 

State of the Contact Center in the Cloud

  • 60% of CX leaders surveyed report their contact center as being cloud-based.
  • Of the 40% not already in the cloud, 30% of respondents expect to migrate their contact center in 2024.
  • Among those who are not all or almost all cloud-based, data security concerns was the primary reason, with 29% of survey respondents citing security as the primary reason they haven’t fully migrated, followed by concerns of high costs (18%). 

Industry Deep Dive

  • Those in Consumer-Packaged Goods (CPG) are more likely than those in Banking/Finance/Insurance, Retail/e-tail and Manufacturing to say they are very satisfied with their current contact center solutions (91% vs. 67%, 72% and 75%, respectively).
  • When asked about their level of satisfaction with their contact center AI solutions, opinions varied. Respondents from the CPG and Manufacturing industries were most satisfied, with 78.1% and 71.4% saying they were “very” satisfied, vs. only 59% of those in Banking and 58.3% of those in Retail/e-tail.
  • When asked what best describes their goals for AI customer service initiatives in the coming 12 months, CX leaders in Manufacturing, Retail/e-tail and CPG reported “deploying customer-facing AI” (64.3%, 61.1%, 59.4%) as their primary goal. The top stated goal for those in the Banking sector was “Generating ROI on AI” initiatives (59%).

Contact Center Crystal Ball: What Does the Future Hold for Contact Centers?

  • Over half of respondents (53%) say their primary initiative for improving their contact center is to improve CAI while 48% say it is to improve overall contact center efficiency and/or flexibility. Over two in five (44%) say their primary initiative is to get better data and/or analytics from their systems.
  • Almost three-quarters (73%) say they see generative AI having a major impact on customer service in the future while 70% say voice recognition software will. 50% say the metaverse will and 48% say avatars and/or 3D chatbots will have a major impact on customer service in the future.

Survey Methodology

This online survey was fielded by Regina Corso Consulting on behalf of Waterfield Tech in October 2023. The survey collected responses from 203 senior leaders in customer service at companies with at least 100 employees.

 

About Waterfield Tech

Waterfield Tech transforms customer engagement for organizations worldwide. Operating across six continents, our employees leverage a consultative, client-centric approach to design, build, and manage scalable, omnichannel and AI-enabled customer experience solutions. Our breakthrough innovations in contact center technology, applied artificial intelligence (AAI), and workforce engagement reduce business costs, improve customer satisfaction, and help customers deploy a smarter utilization of the human workforce. To learn more, visit waterfieldtech.com.

Waterfield Tech Named Avaya North America Partner of the Year Award Winner

August 29, 2023/ By Jacob Gutierrez/ Under

Boston August 30, 2023 – Waterfield Tech, a leading global customer engagement solutions provider, today announced it was named Avaya North America Partner of the Year for State, Local, and Education (SLED). Avaya selected Waterfield Tech for its exceptional collaboration, contribution, and dedication to accelerating growth and enabling customers and others to choose their own cloud journey.

“Avaya carefully chooses partners based upon their innovation and ingenuity − adding the perfect elements and expertise to complete our solutions,” said John Lindsley, Vice President of North America Channel Sales, Avaya. “Waterfield Tech plays an integral role as a trusted advisor to our shared customers’ unique cloud journeys. Avaya celebrates Waterfield Tech’s noteworthy accomplishments as a Partner of the Year and looks forward to another promising year ahead.”

For close to 20 years, Waterfield Tech has partnered with Avaya to deliver bespoke customer engagement solutions that are secure, reliable, and scalable to meet the distinct needs of education and government entities.

“We’re thrilled to be Avaya’s SLED Partner of the Year — it’s a testament to our shared vision of ‘innovating without disruption’,” said Evan Jones, Chief Customer Officer of Waterfield Tech. “The State, Local, and Education sectors face unique challenges. They’re looking to move away from dated, on-premises systems while also adopting the latest cloud applications and technologies. Avaya’s hybrid cloud solutions, complemented by Waterfield’s technology orchestration services, let you migrate at your own pace and are tailor-made to address these needs.”

Avaya partners are chosen based upon their growth and revenue. Waterfield Tech joins more than 4,000 global Avaya partners that help power their customers’ experiences through Avaya’s Edge Program. The award-winning partner program helps support joint customers—no matter if their communications are built in the cloud, on-premise, or delivered as a hybrid of both.

 

About Waterfield Tech

Waterfield Tech transforms customer engagement for organizations worldwide. Operating across six continents, our employees leverage a consultative, client-centric approach to design, build, and manage scalable, omnichannel, and AI-enabled customer experience solutions. Our breakthrough innovations in contact center technology, applied artificial intelligence (AAI), and workforce engagement reduce business costs, improve customer satisfaction, and help customers deploy a smarter utilization of the human workforce. To learn more, visit waterfieldtech.com.

 

About Avaya

Businesses are built by the experiences they provide, and every day, millions of those experiences are delivered by Avaya LLC and its affiliates. Avaya is shaping the future of customer experiences with innovation and partnerships that deliver game-changing business benefits. Our communications solutions power immersive, personalized, and memorable customer experiences to help organizations achieve their strategic ambitions and desired outcomes. Together, we are committed to helping grow your business by delivering Experiences That Matter. Learn more at https://www.avaya.com.

Waterfield Tech Appoints Michael Fisher as Chief Product Officer

May 10, 2023/ By Angela McPherson/ Under

Former Co-Founder and CEO of ElephantDrive Brings Extensive Product Management and Technical Experience to Waterfield Tech

BOSTON, May 10, 2023 — Waterfield Tech today announced the hiring of Michael Fisher as its newly appointed Chief Product Officer. Fisher’s addition to the team comes as Waterfield Tech continues to accelerate its vision of providing the most complete and innovative customer engagement solutions on the market.

In his role as CPO, Fisher will lead the product and marketing teams. Together they will work to strengthen Waterfield Tech’s partner relations and grow the portfolio of contact center technology, automation, and conversational AI solutions that enable businesses globally to address inefficiencies across the contact center and capitalize on digital transformation opportunities.

“We are thrilled to have Mike join our team at Waterfield Tech,” said Steve Kezirian, CEO of Waterfield Tech. “His background in product and technology leadership makes him the perfect fit for this role. Mike’s expertise will be invaluable as we continue to build out our portfolio of solutions and strengthen our partner relationships to provide the best possible products and services to our customers.”

“I am incredibly excited to join the growing team at Waterfield Tech,” said Fisher. “Waterfield Tech stands alone as one of the true platform-agnostic technology firms in the contact center space. The breadth of their solutions and their unparalleled reputation as one of the most innovative and trusted partners in the contact center industry are true differentiators. I am eager to begin work alongside the Waterfield Tech team to help drive the next phase of growth for our clients, partners, and our company.”

Fisher brings a wealth of experience leading product, technology, and operations teams in organizations ranging from early-stage startups to publicly traded companies. He joins Waterfield Tech after a 16-year tenure with ElephantDrive where he oversaw the strategy, product development, and operations for the ElephantDrive platform that safeguards billions of files for individuals and small offices.

 

About Waterfield Tech

Waterfield Tech transforms customer engagement for organizations worldwide. Operating across six continents, our employees leverage a consultative, platform-agnostic approach to design, build, and manage scalable, omnichannel customer experience solutions. Our breakthrough innovations in contact center technology, automation (conversational AI), and workforce engagement reduce business costs, improve customer satisfaction, and help customers deploy a smarter utilization of the human workforce. To learn more, visit waterfieldtech.com.

Waterfield Tech Launches Impact Analysis Offering to Streamline CX Decision-Making in the Contact Center

March 15, 2023/ By Angela McPherson/ Under

New solution improves contact center operations and captures new financial upsides by uncovering organizational operational inefficiencies

BOSTON, March 16, 2023 — Waterfield Tech, a leading global customer engagement solutions provider, today announced the launch of their Impact Analysis program, a new prescriptive engagement aimed at helping clients address inefficiencies across the contact center and capitalize on digital transformation opportunities. This consultative solution engages all levels of a contact center to uncover process breakdowns and areas ripe for technological transformation.

Waterfield Tech’s Impact Analysis follows a rigorous and proven methodology to help companies improve their contact center operations and capture new financial upsides. With this consultative offering, Waterfield Tech’s customer experience strategists dive into the organization’s contact center operations, identify costly areas of inefficiencies, and provide recommendations to increase efficiencies through automation and other improvements to deliver financial gains — often with no additional out of pocket cost. This serves to align the organization’s contact center operational processes, technology ecosystem, and people and provide a complete solution roadmap that yields substantial returns for the bottom line.

In one example, Waterfield Tech’s strategists were able to construct a financial model and business case for a national healthcare leader that demonstrated how automation could reduce operator handled calls by up to 48%, resulting in a net financial gain of $2.1M over five years.

From start to finish, Impact Analysis engagements are completed in an average of 30 days. Additionally, the costs of the Impact Analysis work are rebated to clients that choose to move forward with the study’s recommendations, helping to drive immediate ROI.

“The cost of human capital is not only a concern, but also neither reliable nor predictable in today’s market,” said Chanley Geveshausen, VP of Solution Consulting at Waterfield Tech. “Businesses must identify automation and cost-savings opportunities within their contact centers and that’s where Waterfield Tech can make a significant difference with our Impact Analysis.”

Waterfield Tech’s Impact Analysis helps organizations apply a quantitative financial value to their customer experience so they can make the right decisions for the business based on the best financial outcome. This offering includes CX consulting across the entire contact center landscape including:

CONTACT CENTER WORKFORCE ENGAGEMENT
Carrier Call Recording | Encryption
Data Network Compliance and Regulations
Secure Remote Workers Quality Monitoring
Inbound Voice Operations Coaching
Call Back Applications Forms and Scoring
Proactive Outreach Applications Workforce Management
Knowledge Management Forecasting and Scheduling
Omni-Channel (Chat, Email, SMS, Fax) Payroll Integration
Chat Bots Balanced Scorecards
IVR – Interactive Voice Response Desktop Analytics
Conversational AI Speech Analytics
Fraud Identification – Confidence Scoring Customer Survey and Feedback
Biometrics – Confidence Scoring BI-Tool integration
Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) Performance Management
Reporting Analytics Gamification

To learn more about Waterfield Tech’s Impact Analysis offering, visit https://waterfieldtech.com.

 

About Waterfield Tech

Waterfield Tech transforms customer engagement for organizations worldwide. Operating across six continents, our employees leverage a consultative, platform-agnostic approach to design, build, and manage scalable, omnichannel customer experience solutions. Our breakthrough innovations in contact center technology, automation (conversational AI), and workforce engagement reduce business costs, improve customer satisfaction, and help customers deploy a smarter utilization of the human workforce. To learn more, visit waterfieldtech.com.

Waterfield Tech Acquires IT and Telecom Solutions Provider Dice Communications

February 23, 2023/ By Angela McPherson/ Under

Fourth Acquisition in Just Over a Year Further Solidifies Waterfield Tech’s Leadership in the Contact Center Solutions Space

BOSTON, February 23, 2023 – Waterfield Tech, a leading global customer engagement solutions provider, today announced it has acquired Omaha-based IT and telecommunications company Dice Communications. The acquisition brings complementary services that broaden Waterfield Tech’s solution portfolio and new, value-added services for existing customers to drive efficiencies and positive financial impacts in the contact center environment.

Dice Communications offers a range of IT solutions, including networking, security infrastructure, wireless LAN infrastructure, Disaster Recovery as a Service, and IT managed services. The organization has proven expertise in providing IT resources to more than 2,000 customers across various industries, including state and local government, education, county government, healthcare and transportation.

“We are excited to continue our growth momentum into 2023 and welcome Dice Communications into the Waterfield Tech fold,” said Steve Kezirian, CEO at Waterfield Tech. “Dice’s solutions, combined with its deep telecommunications industry background, are a perfect fit for our company and customers. With our continued expansion and the new services we’re gaining through acquisitions, Waterfield Tech is perfectly positioned to provide the innovative contact center solutions our customers need to create the best customer experiences as well as drive efficiency and effectiveness for their organizations.”

“The team at Dice Communications enthusiastically looks forward to becoming a part of Waterfield Tech,” said Zach Dice, CEO, Dice Communications. “The strong alignment of our company cultures and wealth of combined industry experience will undoubtedly lead to a successful collaboration for the business and greater value for our clients.”

About Waterfield Tech

Waterfield Tech transforms customer engagement for organizations worldwide. Operating across six continents, our employees leverage a consultative, platform-agnostic approach to design, build, and manage scalable, omnichannel customer experience solutions. Our breakthrough innovations in contact center technology, automation (conversational AI), and workforce engagement reduce business costs, improve customer satisfaction, and help customers deploy a smarter utilization of the human workforce. To learn more, visit waterfieldtech.com.

# # #

Waterfield Tech Recaps Record Year of Growth: Deepens Conversational AI Expertise with Key Acquisitions and Expands Global Reach

February 8, 2023/ By Angela McPherson/ Under

Acquisitions of bot strategy and design leader VoxGen and conversational automation provider Nu Echo position Waterfield Tech for ongoing CAI industry leadership

BOSTON, February 8, 2023 – Waterfield Tech, a leading global customer engagement solutions provider, shared business growth highlights for 2022. Underscoring Waterfield Tech’s ability to offer customers the benefits of one of the industry’s fastest-growing and most deeply experienced conversational AI (CAI) practices, the company successfully completed two strategic acquisitions – VoxGen and Nu Echo, as well as the acquisition of services provider VOX Network Solutions. These acquisitions helped strengthen Waterfield Tech’s end-to-end customer engagement capabilities from strategy and design and implementation to ongoing training and optimization critical to delivering solid business outcomes.

“2022 was a transformational year for our organization and the entire conversational AI industry,” said Steve Kezirian, CEO at Waterfield Tech. “Through our acquisitions and rapid new client and organic account growth, we are well-positioned to help our clients with their digital transformation initiatives. These added capabilities with a unified global delivery team give us a unique advantage in delivering more effective, connected customer experiences that drive competitive advantages for our clients.”

2022 Business Highlights

Strategic Acquisitions:

  • VoxGen (January 2022) – This U.K.-based leader in bot strategy and design expands the size and reach of Waterfield Tech’s CAI team, led by former VoxGen CEO Kerry Robinson, who now serves as Waterfield Tech’s VP of CAI strategy.
  • VOX Network Solutions (May 2022) – By acquiring this services organization with six fundamental practice areas (Consulting, Contact Center, Collaboration, Network, Security, and Managed Services), Waterfield Tech strengthens delivery capabilities with strategic partners like Avaya and Cisco.
  • Nu Echo (August 2022) – Nu Echo’s call center and speech recognition solutions advance Waterfield’s AI technology and implementation offerings. Nu Echo’s former CEO, Yves Normandin, is now VP of AI Technology at Waterfield Tech.
  • The company also expanded its global footprint, adding offices in the Philippines, Canada, Colombia, and India as well as numerous new sites throughout the US and UK to meet the growing needs of Waterfield Tech’s North American and European clients.

Today, Waterfield Tech provides clients worldwide with immense value, including:

  • Global contact center expertise at scale: Both organically and by way of acquisition, Waterfield Tech experienced record-breaking 200% workforce growth in 2022. Today, nearly 600 experienced strategists, speech scientists, engineers, and solution architects, design, deploy and support integrated AI solutions.
  • Agnostic approach to technology with expertise on industry-leading platforms: The company offers a unique, technology-agnostic approach as a reseller and strategic delivery partner with industry-leading manufacturers.
  • Ability to accelerate innovation through intellectual property: Waterfield Tech offers innovative solutions for businesses requiring a hybrid AI solution or needing a low-risk means of validating AI use cases, testing technical feasibility, and identifying areas of opportunity before making a full investment.
  • Strategic vision across industries: Customers benefit from Waterfield Tech’s four decades of experience across every major industry vertical, helping to align customer, business, and technical needs to map a vision and path forward to conversational AI maturity – all supported by a detailed business case.

To learn more about Waterfield Tech’s Conversational AI Practice, visit waterfieldtech.com and subscribe to our weekly conversational AI insights.

 

About Waterfield Tech

Waterfield Tech transforms customer engagement for organizations worldwide. Operating across six continents, our employees leverage a consultative, platform-agnostic approach to design, build, and manage scalable, omnichannel customer experience solutions. Our breakthrough innovations in contact center technology, automation (conversational AI), and workforce engagement reduce business costs, improve customer satisfaction, and help customers deploy a smarter utilization of the human workforce. To learn more, visit waterfieldtech.com.

# # #

Waterfield Tech Launches Ascend Solution to Streamline CX Value for Organizations

December 8, 2022/ By Angela McPherson/ Under

Cloud subscription service model, Ascend, helps organizations scale CX-cloud solutions and achieve operational efficiency.

BOSTON, December 8, 2022 – Waterfield Tech, a leading global customer engagement solutions provider, today announced the launch of Ascend, a first-of-its-kind subscription service that helps organizations lower their cloud migration cost while driving long-term customer experience (CX) and business value. Ascend combines an organization’s choice of a Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) platform with a full end-to-end CX service layer in one flat-rate subscription.

Ascend eliminates traditional barriers associated with CCaaS cloud implementations, such as cost and time, through a fully managed service subscription. As cloud migrations increase and updates and new features for CX technology are continually rolled out, organizations need an iterative, agile solution that grows with them. With a lower cost of entry than traditional on-premises or cloud systems, Ascend delivers value over time to ensure organizations realize the full potential of their cloud investment.

“As companies have embraced cloud CX technologies, too many have fallen short of realizing the full value of their investment because of archaic service engagement models,” said Owen B. Robinson, Vice President of CX Strategy at Waterfield Tech. “With Ascend, we are modernizing cloud CX services by providing a hassle-free subscription service that enables businesses to remain agile and responsive to their end customers while maximizing their cloud investment.”

The use of cloud technology in contact centers is quickly evolving from a competitive differentiator to the industry standard – especially for forward-thinking companies looking to deliver meaningful engagement, resolution, and satisfaction for customers. The upfront costs of implementing a cloud solution, including resources, time, and staffing, can be a barrier to unleashing the benefits of digital transformation for small- and medium-sized businesses. However, with access to ongoing service and specialized support from Waterfield Tech and Ascend, organizations looking to invest in cloud technology can streamline the migration to the cloud and lower overall costs.

Ascend helps organizations looking to optimize their CX management by:

  • Managing costs through the consolidation of CCaaS and CX optimization efforts.
  • Helping organizations complete a seamless CX transition to the cloud with access to a full team of migration experts.
  • Leveraging omnichannel engagement through fully integrated channel support for voice, callback, chat, email, SMS, and social.
  • Elevating CX with unlimited remote training, unlimited single-day projects, and unlimited moves, adds, and changes.
  • Providing ongoing support through real-time monitoring and around-the-clock assistance.
  • Proving value through quarterly business reviews illustrating quantifiable proof points to support cloud investments.

To learn more about Ascend, visit https://waterfieldtech.com/ascend or download the 2023 Guide to Contact Center Cloud Migration.

 

About Waterfield Tech

Waterfield Tech transforms customer engagement for organizations worldwide. Operating across six continents, our employees leverage a consultative, platform-agnostic approach to design, build, and manage scalable, omnichannel customer experience solutions. Our breakthrough innovations in contact center technology, automation (conversational AI), and workforce engagement reduce business costs, improve customer satisfaction, and help customers deploy a smarter utilization of the human workforce. To learn more, visit waterfieldtech.com.

# # #

Waterfield Tech Announces Exciting Application of Twilio-Flex with Xcelerate to help travel and reservation organizations get a head start to quickly build and move to a cloud contact center tailored to the way they work.

November 15, 2022/ By Angela McPherson/ Under

According to the US Travel Association, domestic leisure travel spending has already exceeded pre-pandemic levels. Domestic business travel volume is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels of 96% in 2023. International inbound travel is also making a big comeback, aided by the drop in pre-departure Covid testing. That’s why Waterfield Tech is announcing an exciting application of the Twilio Flex solution with Xcelerate designed to help travel agencies and reservation organizations quickly address growing demand and the time, effort, and staffing it takes to improve contact center infrastructures.

Travel organizations are looking more closely at their customer engagement platforms to reduce infrastructure and operating costs, together with call handle and deployment times. Delayed or canceled flights during heavier travel seasons this year contributed to increasing chaos experienced by customers and supporting organizations. Furthermore, a recent study by Forrester’s US 2022 Customer Experience Index showed that nearly 20% of brands saw a drop in customer experience quality which is a reverse in gains garnered in 2021 and could cost organizations brand loyalty and repeat business.

Waterfield Tech helps organizations deploy cloud omnichannel platforms such as Twilio Flex with Xcelerate for a better customer, supervisor, and agent experience to help organizations future-proof their business. This leading cloud programmable contact center platform allows customer experience leaders to own their own roadmap and to actively evolve differentiated customer experiences. Twilio-Flex, together with Xcelerate, simplifies deployment and provides agent and supervisor tools needed to support their business with speed, agility, and efficiency.

Clients deploying these cloud solutions will skip the upfront development and get up and running fast with prebuilt features and integrations with complete control to customize and adapt to their individual contact center. These solutions uniquely free them from the limitations of packaged SaaS applications or requiring long development timelines for change requests or carrying overhead to support legacy systems. With Xcelerate, organizations have even more flexibility, features, configurations, and functionality, positioning them well for the future of Twilio-Flex.

Requst a demo.

Learn more about Waterfield Tech.

Read our latest case study.

New Waterfield Tech Research: Customer Experience Leaders Lag Significantly in Deploying Conversational AI in the Contact Center, Forfeiting Critical Business Benefits

November 1, 2022/ By Angela McPherson/ Under

Despite current low adoption, AI viewed as vital contact center technology to mitigate effects of

soaring inflation and staffing shortages, deliver a superior brand experience

BOSTON, Nov. 1, 2022 – Waterfield Tech, a leading global customer engagement solutions provider, today announced research findings detailing a significant lag in the adoption of conversational AI in the contact center.

The study, which was conducted among senior customer experience and technology leaders across several industries, looked to understand the trends, challenges, aspirations and expectations around customer experience. The broad adoption of conversational AI for customer experience has been crucially delayed – despite AI’s potential to have a demonstrable positive impact on business and customer satisfaction metrics.

For an infographic that illustrates the findings from Waterfield Tech’s research further, visit https://solutions.waterfieldtech.com/top-contact-center-trends-for-2023.

Gartner’s “2022 CEO Survey — The Year Perspectives Changed” revealed 91.5% of leading businesses invest in AI on an ongoing basis. However, only 14% of Waterfield’s respondents say they’ve implemented conversational AI specifically, which includes natural language processing – the ability of machines to understand what people are saying (e.g., virtual assistants such as Siri or Alexa) and respond appropriately. These findings come as Gartner anticipates a 25% increase in 2023 customer satisfaction scores among organizations that use AI.

“When it comes to technology for driving superior customer experiences, AI implementation is lagging – and the missed opportunities are significant,” said Steve Kezirian, CEO of Waterfield Tech. “With AI, and specifically conversational AI, businesses can quickly and effectively address contact center staffing shortages and lower costs by enabling value-driven self-service that reduces the volume of human-agent interactions. Conversational AI can deliver an exceptional customer experience while enabling companies to more efficiently deploy their human and financial capital.”

Additional findings from Waterfield Tech’s research include:

The Value of Investing in the Contact Center

Respondent’s primary initiatives for improving the contact center in 2023 include:

  • Improve overall contact center efficiency/flexibility (51%)
  • Get better data/analytics from systems (48%)
  • Only slightly more than a quarter (28%) of respondents mentioned “get smarter/better about workforce deployment.” But given the potential for economic headwinds and staffing shortages in 2023, this may become a heightened priority for contact center leaders in the months ahead.

SMS and Web Chat Gaining Traction

While most customer experience leaders continue to rely on traditional technologies like email and voice, SMS and Web chat are gaining traction. When asked about the technologies used in their contact centers, respondents said:

  • 87% are using email
  • 80% are using voice
    • Voice is the top option in financial services and telecommunications/utilities, with 93% and nearly 86% of respondents, respectively, saying they use this technology in their contact center
  • 57% are using SMS
  • 48% are using Web chat

People Who Need “People”

Despite a minority (28%) of customer experience leaders deploying virtual agents, they recognize the benefits of this human-centric approach to the contact center experience. These leaders report looking to virtual agents to not only improve their business outcomes but to create a more emotional connection with customers. When asked, “What is the most important task a virtual agent can accomplish for your business?” the top four responses were:

  • Answer simple questions (e.g., “Resolving the FAQ to take this communication off staff responsibility”)
  • Fun/Make customers happy and satisfied (e.g., “Make the customer happy”)
  • Customer service/retention (e.g., “Solve problems while discovering opportunities”)
  • Handle more volume/speed (e.g., “Handle more inquiries at once”)

Industry-specific Insights:

  • Financial services: Respondents reported the top two initiatives for improving the contact center in 2023 were overall efficiency and introducing new channels. 72% of respondents say they’re developing a strategy or getting started with regard to AI. And, 50% indicated they “need to develop a strategy.” However, none of the respondents reported having yet implemented AI.
  • Telecommunications: 69% of respondents in the telecom industry believe conversational AI will have a major impact on customer service in the future, but 65% have not yet begun or are in the early stages of adoption.

The Contact Center Crystal Ball

When asked what the future holds for the modern contact center, respondents noted:

  • 50% say conversational AI is the most important technology of the future
  • 23% are exploring the Metaverse/Web 3.0

“It’s clear customer experience professionals not only desire but requires the ability to address contact center effectiveness, workforce issues, and business performance – and they realize conversational AI is an essential technology to help them get there. They now need to take the next step to reap the benefits,” Kezirian said.

Survey methodology: In fall 2022, Waterfield Tech conducted an email survey of 118 senior leaders in roles including customer experience and technology across a variety of industries, such as telecommunications, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, travel, utilities, and others.

 


About Waterfield Tech

Waterfield Tech transforms customer engagement for organizations worldwide. Operating across six continents, our employees leverage a consultative, platform-agnostic approach to design, build, and manage scalable, omnichannel customer experience solutions. Our breakthrough innovations in contact center technology, automation (conversational AI), and workforce engagement reduce business costs, improve customer satisfaction, and help customers deploy a smarter utilization of the human workforce. To learn more, visit waterfieldtech.com.

Waterfield Tech Acquires VoxGen, Strengthening Its Position as a Leader in Conversational AI and CX Technology and Services

January 27, 2022/ By Angela McPherson/ Under

Today we announce that Voxgen, a UK-based leader in bot strategy and design, is now part of Waterfield Tech. The acquisition adds breadth and depth to our well-established practice- better enabling our team to address fast-growing opportunities in retail, healthcare, government, and other B2C sectors related to AI in the contact center.

“VoxGen will be an integral part of our conversational AI practice,” said Evan Jones, Chief Customer Officer at Waterfield Tech. “Companies, from mid-market to enterprise, are transforming how they do business, and their customers are at the center of this movement. VoxGen’s expertise in bot strategy and design will better enable our clients to connect with customers through a more comprehensive, personalized consumer experience.”

Our conversational AI practice will be led by Kerry Robinson, an Oxford physicist with a Masters in Artificial Intelligence and over 20 years of experience in conversational AI.  “I’m delighted to be teaming up with Waterfield Tech so we can help many more companies deliver an amazing customer experience and maximize the ROI from their investments in conversational AI. Whatever the platform.”

Read the full press release.

Subscribe to our weekly conversational AI insights

Join Kerry for a new perspective on conversational AI and tactics for increasing the ROI of your bot workforce:  “Making Sense of Conversational AI” webinar on Wednesday, February 16th at 11am CT.

Join Our Team

We're hiring innovative, passionate team players.

See all open positions
NEXT Shuffle