CCW 2024 Berlin: 5 Key Takeaways

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CCW 2024 has come to a close, and the halls of the Estrel center in Berlin were abuzz with one topic: “AI, AI, and… AI!” That’s what Giuseppe Villani, Strategic Relations and Sales Manager at Infinit.cx, had to say about the conference. “Everyone who’s coming to our booth is like, who’s got the best AI?”

2024 is the year AI went from a curiosity to ubiquity

What was novel last year has become a necessity in contact centers. The conversation around AI was properly anticipated by speakers and presenters, whose talks coalesced around two topics: the why and how of AI in customer care. 

On the floor, promises of AI optimization and integration were nearly everywhere, often without much explanation. “There’s a lot of AI here” said Garry Ovenell, Vice President Solution Engineering EMEA at Talkdesk, who also shared his desire for the industry to prioritize responsibility. “Everyone’s talking about AI.”

“Almost every location has the words AI,” said Jochen Kinzinger, Senior Solution Engineer with SNcom GmbH. “Now the question is always: what or how can I use it, which workflows can I implement with it, and what has to happen behind it?”

“We talked to many customers about new ideas,” said Sven Buchholtz, Senior Managing Consultant and Team Lead for GenAI at NTT Data. “We are overall absolutely happy. Everyone from our team who showcased our translation was fully booked.” 

What we learned at CCW 2024:

From presentations to meaningful chats, here are the five key takeaways from CCW 2024.

1. AI is here to stay.

It was impossible to look in any direction without seeing vendors demoing their AI capabilities. However, many exhibitors are still holding back on the latest developments, such as Generative AI.

2. The telephone has always been the most popular communication channel in customer service.

Companies are now beginning to recognize the benefits of Voice AI to enhance the telephonic service experience with innovative technology. Despite the multitude of chatbot solutions presented at CCW, this positive development is emerging as an inevitable requirement in customer service.

3. People are beginning to understand the power of real-time translation.

The ability for one agent to support customers in multiple languages has huge implications for how contact centers will operate moving forward. This fills the gap of agents when they are required to speak languages that are not so common, reduces contact center costs, and ensures that every customer can have a superior support experience in their own language. In a year focused on proving the business case for AI with agents, this conversation allowed BPOs to understand AI as an essential asset.

4. Setting agents up for success is key.

In the midst of an AI maelstrom, this was still a key theme of the show. However, there remains space to better address how GenAI can be leveraged to make agents’ workflows easier in other ways prior to them receiving the call, like more intelligent routing or answering recurring questions.

5. More education around AI is needed.

Customers and attendees are looking for a better understanding of how AI actually alters the journey for customers and agents, and what differences exist between concepts like conversational AI and generative AI. This is a conversation that will undoubtedly continue next year.

One thing doesn’t change: The importance of relationships

CCW 2024 hosted a unique exchange of ideas and a chance to connect with friends, form new relationships, share a laugh with partners, and check in with competitors. “It’s the petri dish for ideas, growing and growing when they come here,” said Joachim Rahlf, CEO and Chairman SC Soft-Concept GmbH. “CCW this year was a really great experience again,” said Joachim’s colleague Julius Gaismayer, SC Soft’s Salesforce Consultant and Project Manager for AI-Digitization. “We really love celebrating the customer service of the next century.”

Overall, CCW Berlin 2024 offered an opportunity for the industry to get a hold on how AI is transforming the customer experience, and how that will affect every stakeholder at every level.

Changes are happening so rapidly that it will be fascinating to see how exactly AI advances the industry in the next twelve months. We’ll see you there.

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