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How to overcome the challenges of adopting AI in your call center

Michelle Mitchell,
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Challenges to adopting AI: Three key areas that might be giving you a headache, and a few others that you need to ponder on!

Yes, AI is here to stay. From news articles telling us it’s the future, to teenagers using it to do their homework, the world is AI crazy. Unlike the ‘bubble skirt’ it’s not going to fade away as a passing fad. You are enthusiastic about the possibilities of using AI to improve your process efficiency and customer experience, to deliver an effective and personalized experience with better channel options and more targeted self-service. Where to start! Let’s look at some challenges that are commonly cited as being the prime suspects to delaying AI adoption.

  1. Integration Complexity: Integrating AI solutions with existing contact center infrastructure can be complex. Ensuring seamless integration with legacy systems and processes is a challenge that organizations often face.
  2. Lack of Skilled Workforce: Implementing and maintaining AI systems require a skilled workforce. There is often a shortage of professionals with expertise in AI technologies, making it challenging for organizations to effectively deploy and manage AI solutions.
  3. Regulatory and Corporate Compliance: Contact centers must navigate regulatory frameworks that may impact the use of AI, especially in industries with strict compliance requirements. Ensuring that AI solutions adhere to relevant regulations is crucial for legal and ethical reasons.

Lots of challenges there! I always think the ‘crawl, walk, run’ approach is the best strategy. Let’s start with some questions.

What business outcome would be a good target? What customer experience do you want to improve? Do you want to increase self-service? Would a chatbot or virtual assistant provide a low touch starting point? Do you get a lot of email that could be answered automatically? The ‘crawl’ stage really drives a lot of discovery. What opportunities are there that require only a light touch with existing systems? Can we overcome the first challenge of ‘Integration Complexity’ by picking a target that requires only the lightest level of integration with legacy systems or is already built on technology which readily supports AI.

If you can identify these first steps on your AI journey, you can examine the challenges of finding the right resources to drive these early stages. Maybe start with decisions that are already automated in some cases through business rules, and augment those with AI to increase automation and begin chipping away at that one high value, manual decision point. What models will you need? Do you have the right decisioning people within your organization or do you need to hire? Do you have the audit and compliance resources that can oversee this innovation? Once you can see what you are aiming for you can find the right people to fill any gaps and make it happen.

There’s your homework. This gets you the ‘crawl’ badge!

There are other considerations that you will need to bake into your thinking and planning. Customer and employee response is a good example. Some customers may be resistant to interacting with AI-driven systems, and some employees may view the entire exercise with fear and suspicion. Overcoming customer and employee skepticism and ensuring a positive experience for all is crucial for successful AI adoption.

It is also critical to keep an eye on costs and ROI concerns. Initial investments in AI technologies can be significant. Having a clear business case that outlines the costs and anticipated returns should help justify the adoption of AI in your contact centers.

To learn how AI can support strategic goals and which AI capabilities can drive the most value read the Pega eBook, AI in the enterprise.

And lastly, AI decision-making processes may raise ethical concerns, especially when it comes to issues like bias and fairness. Ensuring that AI systems are developed and trained responsibly is essential to avoid negative impacts on customers and reputation.

For more information and to see how Pega is helping clients overcome these challenges including a fascinating and informative ‘AI Manifesto’ please read on at Unleashing the power of AI innovation | Pega.


Défi: Engagement client Groupe de produits: Customer Decision Hub Industry: Tous secteurs Thème: Autonomous Enterprise Thème: IA et prise de décision

À propos de l'auteur

Michelle Mitchell is a collections Fellow at Pega, with more than 35 years in the collections market, focusing on operational and strategic excellence and Best Practice.

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