U.S. Firms Embrace Contact Center Automation, ISG Finds

U.S. companies are engaging with customer experience services providers as they seek to rapidly automate contact centers and move them to the cloud, according to a new research report by Information Services Group (ISG).

The 2023 ISG Provider Lens Contact Center–Customer Experience Services report for the U.S. finds that companies have sharpened their focus on customer experience (CX) as a competitive differentiator. Service providers that can provide a broad range of CX capabilities across multiple channels, in the cloud, and from any location are increasingly important partners in this mission, it said.

"To modernize contact centers, enterprises need to bring a wide range of technologies to bear," said Wayne Butterfield, ISG partner for digital solutions. "The contact center is the perfect place for AI-enabled technologies to add real incremental value. Beyond efficiencies, these technologies deliver a deeper level of understanding of what customers want and a real-time view of what is happening in your contact center operation."

New technology adoption continues to shape U.S. companies' approaches to contact center customer experience, the report says. Cloud-based contact center operations have become mainstream in the United States, which leads the world in cloud migration, and AI is now becoming a standard part of their customer experience toolkits for features such as chatbots, the report said.

Additionally, most U.S. companies view AI as a useful, well-controlled tool and worry less than their counterparts in Europe about dangers to privacy and other concerns. While AI usage is more highly evolved in the U.S., most enterprises have not yet deployed generative AI in production, according to ISG.

Analytics also plays a growing role in contact center modernization in the U.S. and other markets, the report says, noting that advanced analytics tools can integrate data from many sources to give agents as much insight as possible into customer queries, moods, and past interactions with the company before and during calls.

Companies recognize that consumers' impressions of their brands might extend beyond customer care to multiple channels, including social media, chatrooms, and even websites created to impugn them, ISG says. They are engaging with providers for omnichannel services that include monitoring consumer sentiment.

"Customers today expect more than to have their queries resolved," said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader of ISG Provider Lens Research. "They want a holistic experience across all their contacts with the company, and service providers are making that possible."