Study Reveals Hidden Drivers of AI Adoption


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New research from The Harris Poll and Interactions offers new look into AI decision-making

FRANKLIN, MA, February 27, 2020Interactions, LLC, the world’s largest stand-alone artificial intelligence (AI) company, today announced the release of “State of AI Decision-Making,” a report that unveils top drivers of AI adoption in the enterprise, with surprising results.

The leading narrative when it comes to investing in AI and automation is the potential to cut costs; however, this new research, conducted with The Harris Poll, reveals that immediate financial benefits in AI adoption are far less important to business leaders than is perceived. While 87 percent of mid-to-high level executives surveyed believe that companies value the hard benefits of AI more than its soft benefits, the report shows that soft benefits like improved customer experience (CX) and customer loyalty are among the primary drivers of AI deployment.

In fact, the report reveals that improved CX is now the most frequently cited primary driver of AI implementation decisions (53 percent), ranking above cost reduction (cited by 48 percent) and the ability to drive top-line revenue (cited by 39 percent). In the contact center specifically, 61 percent of respondents report that they are “very likely” to implement AI technology if it dramatically improves CX but only marginally reduces costs.

“Our primary research reveals that, as exceptional CX continues to grow in importance as a top competitive differentiator, companies are investing in AI deployments not for immediate return but for long term transformation,” said Jim Freeze, Chief Marketing Officer at Interactions, LLC. “As business leaders continue to invest at the intersection of two exciting tech trends—adopting artificial intelligence and enhancing the customer experience—they signal a trend towards putting the customer first, prioritizing transformational customers experience over costs savings.”

Key findings from this research include: 

Soft benefits trump hard benefits in AI decision-making

  • Soft benefits such as potential for competitive advantage (66 percent) and ability to accelerate digital transformation (63 percent) are frequently cited as “very important” potential outcomes of AI technology.
  • A majority of mid-to-high level executives surveyed rated improved CX and increased customer loyalty as “very important” potential outcomes when evaluating an AI solution specifically for their company’s contact center (68 percent and 64 percent, respectively); in comparison, fewer attribute the same level of importance to the ability to reduce costs (60 percent) or drive top-line revenue (54 percent).
  • An overwhelming 71 percent of respondents report their company measures the ROI of an AI project using demonstrable soft benefits.

Soft benefits of AI are critical to long-term success

  • Virtually all respondents agree that improved CX means increased sales (97 percent) and increased customer loyalty (97 percent).
  • 93 percent of respondents believe that companies that fail to leverage AI to improve CX could be left behind, with 97 percent believing that AI plays a key role in CX transformation.
  • 95 percent of respondents agree companies cannot maintain a competitive advantage without a strong focus on CX.

For more information on the report, including a detailed breakdown of AI purchasing behavior and trends, see here. To review the full report, please contact [email protected].

Survey Method

Research for the “State of AI Decision-Making” was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Interactions from November 20 to December 9, 2019, among 151 mid-to-high level executives who met the following criteria: aged 18 or older, employed full-time, have a title of manager of above, work for companies with revenue of $400 million or greater which provides B2C or B2B/B2C products or services and have a contact center, are involved in evaluating and/or purchasing technology solutions for company’s contact center, and are familiar with AI. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in online surveys, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete research method, please contact [email protected].

About Interactions

Interactions provides Intelligent Virtual Assistants that seamlessly assimilate conversational AI and real-time human understanding to enable businesses to engage with their customers in highly productive and satisfying conversations. With flexible products and solutions designed to meet the growing demand for unified, omnichannel customer care, Interactions is delivering unprecedented improvements in the customer experience and significant cost savings for some of the largest brands in the world. Founded in 2004, Interactions is headquartered in Franklin, Massachusetts with additional offices worldwide. For more information, visit

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