You have been in customer service space for over 15 years now. What customer experience mean to you and what triggered you to start your own company in CX (customer experience) sector?
For me customer experience is an ever evolving concept. Just when you think that you understand your customer’s needs the demographic, needs and behaviours of the consumers change. With digitalisation and access to information, the consumer needs and behaviours change constantly, and quickly. Only the companies that can change with these will survive. Customer Experience is becoming a critical success criterion for companies…
We spotted a need in the market where companies lack customer behavioural analytics in order to understand WHY? And then be able to act on it. The AI predictions are also very new in the customer service space and will change the way we service our customers in the future.
2. What do you think in terms of AI and automation completely replacing the human touch in customer service? Can AI provide better customer experience than human?
AI and automation will never replace the human completely. It’s not machine versus human, its machine helping human services better. It is important to always benchmark what impact automation has on the customer experience, otherwise it could destroy the customer value completely. Our AI models will continuously monitor this impact by analysing feedback from consumers consistently.
3. Can you tell how AI impacts customer service today and what major changes are we going to see in the next 5 years?
We foresee that the simple service processes might be automated, but the more complex and empathy-based service processes will still be serviced by humans. With the rapid advancement of RPA and Chatbots, we could see a significant shift to automate or rather what we do, Proactive Customer Service. This simply means that we can predict WHO, WHY and WHEN customers would require service, and then proactively fix the issue or communicate with the customer before they have to request service. This is already happening with a few larger companies that we partner with. This Proactive service could be provided either with humans, digital channels or chatbots depending on the preferred customer channels.
4. As you are working in the industry, could you open up a little bit for beginners on how Artificial Intelligence is collecting customer experience data and turning them into analytics?
This is also actually ever evolving as we learn more about the AI capability. Remember this is still new and we are all still learning what the art of the possible is with AI in customer service. What we do know now is that we have to collaborate very closely with the companies and their data environments in order to get the optimal results. Its can be a basic data set to do deeper learning of a specific customer behaviour or large data sets for more complexed machine learning. Currently, depending on the business requirement and model we predicting on, we use CRM data, meta data, billing data, POS data, CX feedback (text verbatims) and customer call recordings (NLP) in an aggregated platform. Basically all the data points accumulated throughout the journey of the customer. Sales, Service and Retention processes. A critical success factor however, is to combine the data science with experienced business people to create Insights rather than dashboards. We have a strong team who understand the customer service needs of larger companies.
5. Which are the key factors in customer experience analytics that everybody should consider when focusing on sales and ROI?
One of the Achilles heals of AI, is that it is being used as a “concept” rather than providing real results in the market. It is essential to design the ROI and business benefits upfront when designing the asset/model upfront. This will change as it develops but at least there is a clear goal and benefits to strive for. We refer to it as the “True North” of the project, otherwise the AI modelling could take on a life of its own and you could miss the ROI completely. We are offering two “off the shelf” AI models that has already demonstrated strong ROI of over 500%. The first one is a “Customer Service Demand” prediction model and the second is a “Customer Churn” prediction model.. Both these can illustrate a clear ROI. In fact we are so bullish that we will provide commercial guarantees for these two models. However, some of our other models are still in the machine learning maturity process, and can’t guarantee the ROI yet.
6. There have been talks and rumours about Voice AI, is that something that your company is secretly working on?
If Voice AI means developing cognitive voice Chatbots, then no. If Voice AI means leveraging NLP to analyse customer behaviours, then yes. We can use voice and text files to feed the AI platform in order to gain customer insights, and predict on customer behaviours. For example, we are integrating into a global voice analytics platform in order to convert voice to text, and then feed the Genii AI platform in order to firstly identify the why customers are demanding service and when in the life cycle, and then predict on this for the future in order to enable proactive service, chatbots and automation. Remember, we don’t provide the Chatbots and automation platforms; we just enable them with our AI models. A bit like providing and intelligent engine.
7. What have you read or come across lately that has inspired you?
I love social media and to get inspiration from other successful entrepreneurs. There is a quote on Simon Sinek “The genius at the top doesn’t make the team look good. A good team makes the person at the top look like a genius”. Although I am the founder of this journey, I am just the entrepreneur who spotted the opportunity. I knew that I had to create the smartest team with the smartest people in order to firstly develop an AI company, but also to be able to compete globally. This is not a journey for the faint hearted , but they inspire me every day to reach our goal. When we started, we promised ourselves to have fun while we are doing this, and we are holding ourselves to that promise every day.