Hungry for AI? Don’t Bite off More Than You Can Chew.
In recent years, AI-powered chatbots have become an essential part of many business’s customer service operations. Gartner predicts that chatbots will power 85% of all customer service interactions by the year 2020. (That’s next year!) But the benefits of AI needn’t be limited to post-sale support; There are opportunities all along the customer journey to personalize interactions and drive better business metrics. That’s why we here at Bold360 recently announced our transition to a suite of products for various customer service, support, and sales use cases.
The benefits of AI chatbots for post-sale support are awesome. Customers can self-serve when they want to, agents are less strapped when repetitive questions are handled by a bot, and businesses reap revenue gains derived from improved Customer Experience. Everybody wins when customer service chatbots are done right. So, it’s really no surprise that others in your organization – your marketing team, sales representatives, and customer-facing agents out in the field – are also looking to add AI to their workflows. However, in light of our expansion of offerings, now is probably a good time to warn you not to bite off more than you can chew.
According to Forbes, 84% of digital transformations fail. One major reason for this failure is that many businesses approach AI as an instant fix to all their customer and operational woes. A common misconception is that after buying and implementing AI technology across your organization, your customer satisfaction rates will soar, revenue will explode, and customers and agents alike will sing praise of your business to all who can hear. Unfortunately, it’s just not that simple! But luckily there are some steps you can take to set yourself up for success with AI.
Step 1: Make sure your policies are customer-friendly.
No matter how smart, cute, and witty your customer-facing chatbot is, it can only follow the policies and procedures you put in place. If, for example, your e-commerce business sets a hard policy that returns are not simply accepted, no technology stack in the world is going to make customers happy about that. You are likely going to have some very unsatisfied customers who probably will not purchase from you again the next time. Fix your unfriendly policies first.
Step 2: Get your house in order.
At its core, digital transformation is human transformation. Some of the biggest challenges with integrating new technologies are people problems: management resistance, internal politics, cultural shifts, and changing responsibilities. It’s imperative that you get organizational buy-in from the boardroom to the contact center. You may likely need to do some organizational restructuring as you shift from an IT-led engagement approach and create a team dedicated to customer experience. Help people get comfortable with the fact that changes are coming by involving them in the restructuring and vendor selection processes. People are much more open to change if they feel they are a part of it, rather than feeling like changes is happening to them.
Step 3: Choose ONE problem to solve first.
Ok, so now your business is customer-friendly, and your workforce is ready for change. It’s time to go buy that software, right!? Wrong. Before you put out any RFPs, make sure you decide which problem you are trying to solve! Perhaps the biggest mistake companies make when they set out to improve customer experience is focusing on the technology and forgetting about what business problem they need to fix. If you find yourself and your team members talking a lot about “getting on the cloud” or “adding AI,” you are probably losing sight of the real objective. What is your business’s problem? Are customers not converting on your website, wasting advertising spend? Is customer retention too low, yielding a poor ROI on marketing and sales efforts? Or are your agents overloaded, preventing them from delivering high-quality customer service?
These problems might all need to be addressed, but you’ll be more successful if you choose one to start with. Choose a metric that represents your problem and examine how you are tracking it. How will adding AI technology help you move the needle on that metric? Understanding what problem you are trying to solve, and focusing all of your efforts on that problem, will bring more success than trying to tackle all of them at once.
So, even though Bold360 has everything you need to improve the customer and employee experience across the entire journey, we don’t recommend tackling AI for every use case all at once. Remember: don’t bite off more than you can chew.
If you’d like to learn more about the different ways to use Bold360, check out this webinar!