3 Mistakes You Must Avoid in Customer Service AI/Automation

How much is exactly the right level of investment in AI and automation in customer and supplier interactions? How do you avoid overpaying for it? Are you aware of the full potential of AI and automation? Or are you missing out on some key opportunities?

Maybe, you have been on an AI driven automation journey for a while. Or perhaps, you’re just getting started. Here are 3 mistakes you must avoid as you enable AI led automation in your organisation.

  1. Misunderstanding what AI/Automation can enable
  2. Getting Bogged Down in Long Winded Projects
  3. Spending too much

1. Misunderstanding what AI/Automation Can Enable

Have you considered how many customer and supplier interactions are ripe for automation? Don’t limit the use of AI and automation to automated chat support or to only a few uses cases in a single channel only.

80% of customer and supplier interactions can be automated using AI.

You should seriously consider automating a major chunk of your customer support phone calls, and emails. Consider a multichannel approach.

Think multichannel right from the start.

You don’t need to feel overwhelmed. You could always start with a few use cases in one or two channels first, but you must consider the whole picture and have a game plan in mind. Otherwise, you may end up with an implementation that has provided tiny benefits, and may need to redo some, if not most, of the work at a later stage.

Other than direct customer and supplier interactions, back office processes needed to handle these interactions are a prime candidate for automation and AI.

Some of the other use cases include invoice processing, inventory and stock updates, processing orders and bookings, placing and updating orders, and any other internal processes which requires lot of manual effort and are mostly repetitive in nature.

2. Getting Bogged Down in Long Winded Projects

Now that you have invested some time in understanding the potential of AI and automation. You see the potential of AI and automation to transform your business. And you want all of it.

You’ve started to conceive a game plan. Perhaps, you’ve put together a team to crystallise your vision, or maybe, you’re on your own for now, leading the charge. It’s a rather slippery slope.

It’s easy to get bogged down in a long winded project that will transform everything, but once it’s done. After a very long period of time.

Meanwhile, you’ll be stuck with what you have for a rather long period of time. It’s a very risky approach. Even when you get to the “end”, you may need to adjust some of the initial assumptions you made about the overall solution. Change will be expensive.

To minimise your risk, and maximise benefits, focus on getting a small implementation, as early as possible. As early as within a few days, or a few weeks at most.

You still have your longer term game plan, but you execute it in smaller chunks. This approach enables you to get into a position of measuring the benefits and impact, and make necessary adjustments based on actual data.

3. Spending Too Much

You could save a substantial amount in operational costs using AI and automation. It helps you reduce customer wait time, improve staff morale by enabling them to focus on meaningful interactions instead of the mundane stuff.

The key question is, what’s the right level of investment to get started on this journey? How much is too much?

Wouldn’t it be better if you didn’t need to invest tens of thousands upfront to get started? You should aim to invest very little upfront. It doesn’t mean getting a free trial of sorts. Rather, it should mean selecting a product that works in your environment with very little of your own investment.

Be careful of the products that would limit you to one or two channels. These can hamper you down the line.

Select a product that works across multiple channels. And then, get it working in your environment with minimal or no capital investment from your side.

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