New Simplr Study Finds CX Programs are being Hindered by Automation Costs and Complexity

Survey of 160+ CX decision makers at global enterprises finds customer frustration with automation and chatbots to be top challenge in delivering effective customer service

The challenges of implementing AI and automation in CX are brought to the fore in a commissioned study published today, conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Simplr. Derived from the insights of more than 160 CX decision makers at global enterprises, Driving Next-Gen Customer Experience Through Chatbot-Agent Collaboration finds that the inability to connect the dots behind the scenes between customer service chatbots, human customer service agents, and data sources required for both to be effective, is resulting in less than optimal experiences for customers across industries.

Value-based routing–the process by which higher value customer inquiries are automatically routed to human agents for the most effective and efficient resolution–and poor integration capabilities among disparate CX technologies are cited as the top challenges when it comes to investing in CX automation. Fifty-two percent of respondents indicated having challenges with value-based routing. Additionally, 52 percent also said they struggled with integration capabilities.

“Value-based routing is the key to establishing CX programs that optimize on cost efficiencies, for it ensures that customer inquiries which hold the greatest potential for gaining traction with customers–and the greatest threat of losing them–are handled via the personalized and impactful touch of human agents,” said Daniel Rodriguez, Simplr CMO. “Value-based routing represents a huge step forward in the evolution of CX programs which truly move the needle within their companies. The question now becomes: Which CX programs will be the first to overcome the hurdles and implement routing mechanisms which consistently drive down costs and drive up customer satisfaction?”

Other top challenges when it comes to CX automation include: 

·       The costs associated with maintaining and optimizing AI and automation are too high (50% of respondents) 

·       The inability to quantify the impact of automation technologies on CX (48%) 

·       The available budget is not keeping pace with customer complexity (48%) 

Poor chatbot experiences, long consumer wait times continue to plague programs.

The study also found that CX programs continue to struggle with core elements of both the customer and agent experience, along with an inability to properly convey their value to the organization at large. The following were cited by respondents when asked to identify the situations that occur as a result of customer service challenges: 

·       Customer frustration with automation and/or chatbots (45% of respondents) 

·       Agent time wasted on administrative tasks (42%) 

·       Lack of alignment between customer metrics and broader business KPIs (40%) 

·       Long wait times in chat queues (37%) 

·       Too many systems required for agents to handle customer requests (36%) 

“There has been a cambrian explosion of chatbot vendors and other CX technologies over the past few years purporting to solve all types of customer service issues. However this study clearly demonstrates that CX leaders are still struggling with the same issues today that they did five, even ten years ago,” said Rodriguez. “Today’s NOW Customer will no longer stand for long wait times, impotent bots, and slow agents. Therefore I challenge CX leaders with the following: Demand that your technology providers step up and deliver on the results they promised today, or risk starting to lose your customer base tomorrow.” 

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