This topic has resonated in the customer care sector for quite some time, which is evidenced by a report from AnswerThePublic – when you enter the topic of “Customer care”, then the most frequently asked questions include “Will customer service be replaced by robots”.
From presentations of interesting chat bots, voice bots, mail bots and similar solutions, customers can learn how bots work, yet it is not quite clear what bots can actually solve and what benefits they will bring.
We ourselves have both positive and negative experience from this field.
For instance, we have presented our e-mail automation solution to two customers from the e-commerce logistics segment.
In the first case, we presented a fairly trivial solution – automatic message sorting using a bot that was able to recognize appointment cancellation and several other simple topics. We were able to estimate what percentage of communication these topics account for, what portion of them we can automatically sort and prepare for the agent to base their response on, and how this could be used to reduce the workload on agents.
We eventually implemented the solution, which effectively reduced the time needed to handle e-mails by 20%.
To the other customer we presented an analysis of texts from their e-mail and web chat communication, and within one hour we presented a comprehensive data set containing a long list of phrases that were statistically evaluated in a certain manner. Unfortunately, the entire presentation and demonstration gave a too academic impression, which completely veiled the reason why the automation solution should be implemented and what impacts it would have.
Therefore, we agreed to continue discussions on the topic with the other customer in order to better identify what benefits our automation solution would actually bring them.
Our experience so far indicates that it is important to focus on the simplest topics that are easy to identify rather than to try and cover all possible aspects.
Our view of this topic is that rather than for direct interaction with customers, automation makes more sense in combination with AI as “assistance for agents”, who can benefit from AI support by having source information and documents made available faster to facilitate their communication with customers.