AI for the Customer Experience
With cutting-edge apps like Alexa, Uber, and Siri, consumers have become accustomed to intelligent, personalized, and engaging experiences. This means that companies have little choice but to adopt their own innovative digital systems in order to avoid losing customers. It really is existential. In light of this, it should be no surprise that technologies like chatbots are experiencing substantial growth to improve AI Customer Experience.
They allow companies to leverage sophisticated AI that can greatly improve the customer experience. In fact, according to the MIT Technology Review Insights’ survey of over 1,000 business leaders, the respondents indicated that customer service was the area with the highest interest in AI deployments.
The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly accelerated this trend. Companies have had to scramble to rethink their core business models and strategies.
Granted, there continues to be lots of hype with AI. It seems like most tech companies make claims that they are using this technology. So yes, the marketplace has become confusing.
But when it comes to chatbots, the AI has a long history. Keep in mind that NLP (Natural Language Processing) systems were developed back in the 1960s! In other words, there has been extensive development – and there continues to be robust innovation.
The McAfee Story
Cybersecurity giant McAfee is an example of a company that has been seeing strong ROI from its investments in chatbots. The company, which has been around since the late 1980s, manages one of the world’s largest subscription businesses. Consider that its systems cover over 600 million devices. In terms of customer service, McAfee must handle interactions with large numbers of consumers, small-to-medium size businesses and large enterprises.
The evaluation process for a chatbot system was intensive. But in the end, the company selected the offering from Aisera. The timing of the implementation also proved critical. “With Covid-19, we would not have survived without these investments,” said Aneel Jaeel, who is the Senior Vice President of Customer Success at McAfee.
At the heart of the evaluation process was a focus on the business outcomes. “In my department, the questions were: How is this going to help our customers reduce their effort? How is it going to increase the productivity of my employees? How is it going to enhance the customer experience for McAfee products? And how is the technology going to impact my bottom line in terms of cost? Basically, if the solution does not address at least one or more of these segments, then I question its validity.”
As for Aisera, Jaeel had a pilot program to test its capabilities. He also placed a time limit on this. After all, technology and AI Customer Experience should get to value quickly.
“We started with a set of use cases and saw that Conversational AI was really good,” said Jaeel. “Over time, we would go on to expand the scope of the software into other areas.”
In the early stages, the deflection rate was 40% to 45%. But as the AI learned more from the data, this metric climbed to over 70% (note currently that the deployment of Aisera covers about 1,000 agents).
There was also strong performance with other key metrics, such as the following:
- Auto-resolution rate: 74%
- Improved agent productivity: 75%
- Increased CSAT: 5 points
There is even an RPA (Robotic Process Automation) part of this journey. That is, the technology essentially automates tedious and repetitive processes – all in the background.
For example, suppose a customer has a question about adding new devices to the McAfee subscription. The chatbot can present the right instructions. But the RPA will then take care of the process of making the change to the system. The result is that the staff will have more time to devote to valued-add activities.
“When it comes to the customer experience, I see it in two parts,” said Jaeel. “There is the issue resolution, and then there is the issue of remediation. Both AI and RPA can be essential for both.”
Conversational AI is not just for large companies like McAfee. It’s an affordable technology that does not require data scientists to implement and maintain. The returns can also be quick and grow over time, as the platform gets smarter and smarter with better AI Customer Experience.
“We all have to reinvent ourselves,” said Jaeel. “We need to rethink our ways of doing business to empower our employees and our customers.”