Gen AI in customer care: Early successes and challenges

| McKinsey Direct

Generative AI (gen AI) arrived in the contact center in a big way in 2023—and with it came the potential for transformational improvements in agent efficiency and effectiveness, reduced operational costs, and improved customer experience. Since then, successful adoption has been uneven, with some contact centers deploying gen AI and AI technologies effectively while others are struggling to capture value.

This is a continuation of the transformation story seen in contact centers in recent years. Despite years of effort and a plethora of efficiency-enhancing technologies, customer care leaders still report that contact centers are burdened by increasing call volumes, consistent employee attrition, and talent shortages.1Where is customer care in 2024?,” McKinsey, March 12, 2024.

As businesses across industries look to capture the benefits of gen AI—and some 80 percent of organizations are anticipating an increase in AI and gen AI investments—it may be time for customer care leaders to reflect on the lessons learned from one and a half years of gen AI adoption.2Where is customer care in 2024?,” McKinsey, March 12, 2024. What are the barriers to capturing the value of gen AI technologies? And in the contact centers that have deployed gen AI, what were the results?

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