Despite a Rise in Demand by Consumers for Greater Personalization, Only 30% of Retail Contact Centers Are Using AI at Scale

New Talkdesk Research report, ‘Powering Retail Growth: The Next Generation of Contact Centers,’ offers insights into the technology investments that will be needed to support growing customer expectations

Talkdesk, Inc., the global customer experience leader for customer-obsessed companies, today released its new research report, “Powering Retail Growth: The Next Generation of Contact Centers,” revealing a critical gap between the high availability of solutions capable of exceeding customer expectations and their low adoption levels within the retail industry. While retail is rallying around the importance of elevating customer experience (CX), many retailers have yet to seize the potential of using their contact centers to scale personalized service. In fact, only 30% of retail contact centers are using artificial intelligence (AI) tools at scale to deliver the personalized experiences customers expect.

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CX as a Key Business Driver and the Slow Implementation of AI

Talkdesk Research™ finds a majority of retailers are prioritizing improvements to CX and initiatives aimed at building customer loyalty. Fifty-four percent of CX professionals cite it as a top priority, and 87% clearly understand how their CX strategy fits into their organizations’ broader business goals. Retailers that have seen a significant increase in their customer satisfaction over the past two years also experienced a sizable increase in revenue during the same time period and expect revenue gains in the next year as well.

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Yet despite a clear connection between CX and business performance, retailers struggle with the unpredictable variety and volume of customer needs (50%) and high CX operational costs (44%). Data will be key to overcoming these challenges. Indeed, almost half of retailers surveyed say that better management of customer data across all relevant channels is a top component of their CX strategy.

AI represents a key area of opportunity for retailers to use customer data to fulfill personalization expectations at scale, but only a third of survey respondents are using AI capabilities such as intelligent knowledge bases, virtual agents, and chatbots. Looking ahead, more than half say they plan to increase investments in these areas.

“CX professionals in retail understand that today’s customers expect highly personalized interactions whenever, and however, they may engage with a brand. They also understand that the AI tools required to meet and exceed those evolving preferences are available, yet most haven’t implemented them at the necessary scale,” said David Gardner, vice president of research & insights, Talkdesk. “This disconnect shows how critical AI can be as an investment for contact centers. Looking forward, our research indicates that CX leaders must find ways to address customer needs, while mapping out the future of the contact center in a way that leverages AI at scale and still keeps costs in check.”

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