19 Jun

Pros and Cons of Automation and AI in the Contact Center


Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have transformed how businesses operate, and the contact center industry is no exception. With the advancement of technology, businesses have found ways to automate various processes, such as customer service, sales, and support. Automation and AI have become increasingly prevalent in many industries, benefiting businesses and consumers. Both automation and  AI can help businesses automate tasks, reduce wait times, improve accuracy, and enhance the customer experience. However, there are also potential drawbacks associated with automation and AI in contact centers. This blog post will discuss the pros and cons of automation and AI in the contact center industry.

Automation and AI

Automation involves using technology to streamline processes and reduce the need for human intervention. It consists of operating machines, software, and other tools to perform routine tasks that would otherwise be carried out manually. For example, a call center may use an automated system to greet callers and provide them with self-service options for everyday inquiries, such as account balances or order tracking.

On the other hand, AI refers to the ability of machines to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as reasoning, learning, problem-solving, and decision-making. AI uses algorithms, machine learning, and neural networks to enable machines to learn from experience, adapt to new situations, and make data-based decisions. 
For example, a chatbot powered by AI can aid by using natural language processing to understand the issues and offer accurate responses.

In summary, while automation involves using technology to perform repetitive tasks, AI uses technology to enable machines to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence.

Even though they have different meanings, automation and AI have similar pros and cons that impact the organization’s operations.

Pros of Automation and AI in the Contact Center

Apart from technological advancements, there are various benefits of automation and AI, which are as follows:

Improved Customer Experience

One of the primary benefits of automation and AI in the contact center industry is that these technologies can improve the customer experience. Automated and AI-powered systems can give customers instant answers to frequently asked questions, such as account balances, product information, and order status, freeing human agents to focus on more complex issues. This can reduce wait times and improve customer satisfaction as customers can receive assistance faster and more efficiently, ultimately leading to repeat business.

Cost Reduction

Another significant benefit of automation and AI in call centers is that these technologies can reduce costs. Businesses can save money on labor costs by automating repetitive tasks, such as data entry and call routing. Additionally, automated, AI-powered systems can handle more inquiries, reducing the need for additional staff during peak hours.

Improved Efficiency

Automation and AI can also improve the efficiency of contact centers. Automated and AI systems can handle inquiries around the clock, reducing wait times and the need for manual intervention. This can free up staff to focus on more complex tasks, such as resolving customer complaints or providing personalized support. It also improves agent productivity and reduces staffing costs, as fewer agents are needed to handle the same workload.


Automated and AI-powered systems provide a consistent customer experience, ensuring everyone receives the same level of service. This consistency can help develop trust and loyalty, as customers know what to expect when interacting with the business.

24/7 Availability

AI-powered and automated systems can also provide 24/7 availability to customers, allowing them to receive assistance whenever needed. This can improve customer satisfaction and reduce wait times, as customers do not have to wait for business hours to receive help.

Cons of Automation and AI in the Contact Center

Despite various benefits of automation and AI, it also has certain drawbacks, which are as follows:

Reduced Personalization

One of the potential drawbacks of automation and AI in contact centers is that these technologies can reduce personalization. While AI-powered systems can analyze data and provide tailored recommendations, they lack human agents’ emotional intelligence and empathy. Also, automated systems can provide a different level of personalized service than a human agent. Customers may feel frustrated or disconnected when interacting with a machine rather than a person, especially when dealing with complex issues.

Lack of Empathy

Automated and AI-powered systems also lack empathy, which can be crucial in certain situations, such as when a customer is upset or emotional. A human agent can provide empathy and compassion, which can help de-escalate a problem and provide a better overall customer experience. Such interactions cannot happen with automated and AI-powered systems. Organizations must also ensure that customer data is handled securely and complies with privacy regulations.

Technology Dependence

Automation and AI in contact centers require a significant investment in technology. Businesses must ensure that their systems are reliable, secure, and up to date. Additionally, businesses must train staff on how to use the technology, which can be time-consuming and costly.

Limited Flexibility

Automated and AI systems is designed to handle specific tasks and may be unable to adapt to new or changing situations. This can be a problem if a customer has an issue that falls outside the scope of the automated system, requiring human intervention. However, with technological advancements, AI can perform human-like tasks efficiently with the assistance of machine learning, but it still needs more flexibility, apart from missing other aspects like empathy.

Need for Proper Training and Maintenance

AI-powered and automated systems require proper training and maintenance to function effectively. Businesses must ensure that the staff is trained to use the system and that the system is regularly updated and maintained. Please do so to avoid technical issues and decreased efficiency.

Initial Investment

AI-powered systems require an initial investment in technology, software, and infrastructure. Businesses must consider the costs of implementing and maintaining the system and the potential ROI over time.

Things for Maximizing the Benefits and Minimizing the Risks of Automation and AI

Purpose: First and foremost, organizations must understand the meaning of these technologies. The adoption of these technologies is for improving the performance of the organizations (call centers) rather than replacing human resources. These technologies are also beneficial for agents to perform more critical tasks instead of monotonous ones.

Human-centric Training: It is a well-known fact that human resources are considered the most significant resource of an organization. Therefore, the same should be considered while providing training, i.e., training must include human touch and not be provided by AI and automated systems. These technologies can only be included in agent training programs to guide and streamline the programs. Human trainers or supervisors must provide evaluations based on the data collected by AI or automation systems.

If these technologies provide training, agents may lose interest and turn it off, impacting growth and performance.

Classify the Focus Areas: Before implementing automation and AI, the supervisors must identify the areas that would benefit from such implementation. Once such areas are identified, these technologies must only focus on such areas. For example, if a customer requires assistance on low-priority issues or any mundane tasks, AI and automated systems can handle such tasks or issues. If a customer comes up with new and complex issues, such issues must be addressed by the call center agents.


AI and automated systems can potentially transform contact centers, providing numerous benefits. AI-powered systems and automation can improve the customer experience, increase efficiency, and offer 24/7 availability. However, there are also potential drawbacks associated with AI and automation, such as reduced personalization, ethical concerns, maintenance, and initial investment. Businesses must consider the benefits and disadvantages of AI and automation before implementing them in contact center operations. Ultimately, the decision to use AI and automation should be based on the specific needs of the business and the preferences of its customers.

NEQQO supports call centers to automate workflows for agent coaching and disputes. With built-in workflows, call centers can effectively drive agent coaching and audit escalations with customization options. Learn More!

Request for Demo