Using conversational artificial intelligence (AI) in contact centers could cut labor costs by up to $80 billion in 2026, said analyst firm Gartner.
Daniel O’Connell, VP analyst at Gartner, said, “Many organizations are challenged by agent staff shortages and the need to curtail labor expenses, which can represent up to 95% of contact center costs. Conversational AI makes agents more efficient and effective while also improving the customer experience.”
However, Gartner’s report stated that the fragmented vendor landscape and complexity of deployments would result in lower adoption over the next two years.
Large-scale conversational AI deployments can take multiple years as more call flows are built out and existing call flows are fine-tuned for improvement. Integration pricing, as Gartner forecasted, could also reach between $1,000 to $1,500 per conversational AI agent, though some organizations cite costs of up to $2,000 per agent.
Therefore, the early adoption of conversational AI will be primarily led by organizations with 2,500 or more agents with a budget for the requisite technical resources.
Fortunately, big tech companies such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Apple are working hard to democratize advanced AI so that companies can use its capabilities to introduce increasingly complex experiences.