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Key Findings

The results of the 2020 ITWeb/Freshworks AI & CX Survey are out. It ran for three weeks on ITWeb during April and was completed by 318 respondents. 

Of the respondents, 70% are decision-makers – 26 are C-level executives, while a further 44% are at the mid-management level. 

51% work for large companies, with over 1 000 employees, while 13% work in the SME sector (under 200 employees).

Below are some key findings:

1. A third of respondents (30%) indicated that their organisation is currently experimenting with AI in customer service. In comparison, 16% said they had deployed AI in their customer service, while 25% do not use AI in any form at all.

2. The survey revealed that 33% of respondents believe that AI provides insights and ‘next best actions’ within their helpdesk; although 13% declared they use AI but are not sure if it helps.

3. The top three barriers to AI adoption are integration into existing processes (58%); lack of know-how (38%) and culture and change management (37%).

4. When it comes to what organisations are providing in terms of self-service, 59% cited having knowledge-base articles, 38% indicated they make use of chatbots, and 38% have an online discussion forum.

5. The survey shows that more than half of companies (53%) consider customer service to be a cost-centre, while 28% they don’t and 19% aren’t sure.

6. Multiple customer channels that are not integrated emerged as the main challenge when organisations are faced with putting together a single view of customers (36%).

7.The most substantial incentive for AI investment is strategic business innovation (47%), which is followed by incremental cost reduction (24%), coming in third is incremental top-line/revenue growth at 21%.

8. Although there are many expectations from integrating AI into CX, 73% of respondents cited improve engagement as their main expectation, 67% chose to improve customer experience, which was followed closely by streamline and automate operations at 66%).

9. When it comes to virtual customer assistants and chatbots improving customers experience, an overwhelming majority of participants (76%) expect to reduce time to response, and just over half (52%) expect to reduce the cost to serve.