• October 22, 2021
  • By Michael Ringman , chief information officer, TELUS International

4 Tips for Setting Up AI Solutions for CX Success

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AI-powered solutions like chatbots and robotic process automation (RPA) have been used for several years by brands to revolutionize how they deliver superb customer experiences (CX), but recently, they have seen impressive surges in their adoption rates.

According to Deloitte's latest survey of executives across the globe, the number of organizations deploying intelligent automation programs at scale has nearly doubled since 2019. Yet, like any technological revolution, this wave of intelligent automation has its fair share of missteps. According to research from BCG, 70 percent of digital transformations fall short of their objectives.

In regards to CX, sometimes brands looking to capitalize on RPA and chatbots to boost efficiency and increase customer satisfaction fail to take their customers’ feedback and expectations into account. Instead of using this feedback to optimize the automation they already have in operation, they add more bots to fill the gaps. This leads to bot sprawl—the mass proliferation of bots that leaves licenses underutilized and minimizes ROI—causing companies to miss out on the full range of opportunities afforded by intelligent automation solutions.

Becoming part of a daunting digital transformation failure rate statistic doesn’t have to become part of your company’s future. Here is how you can get started on the right path.

Understand Your Customers’ Needs

Part of a successful AI implementation is ensuring that your team knows and is investing in what they actually need, not what they think they need. That means gathering enough customer data insights to inform a strategic automation road map.

Start with gathering customer feedback to inform your strategy. Incentivize that feedback by offering discounts or access to limited-time offers, products, or services. Use customer satisfaction surveys and direct feedback to determine pain points and opportunities for improvement along the customer journey.

Next, use social listening and gather indirect feedback from other sources such as finding out the most referenced questions in your FAQ and discussions on forums or across social media platforms. This feedback can help identify where some gaps may exist in your customer journey and what your customers likely need in order for you to address them. It'll also help determine the role AI will play in making your CX more personalized and free of frustrating roadblocks.

Make Sure Your Bots Are Always Learning

Failure is often a byproduct of failing to adapt and pivot. Things change and expectations evolve. Whether you’re talking about new jargon or new technology, the pace of change is brisk on all fronts when it comes to digital. Your bots and automation programs should continually evolve to address any changes and should be constantly updated to answer questions about the latest products and services accurately.

Bot and automation solutions should also be regularly maintained and improved. Like your employees themselves, bots need to be continually learning and advancing their skill sets and knowledge base. It’s not enough to just point them at a task; bots need to fit into the broader CX journey.

Get a Holistic View of Your Automation Initiatives

According to Deloitte's intelligent automation survey, process fragmentation and lack of IT readiness are key roadblocks to success when executing an automation strategy. It's unsurprising – how can you understand what's going wrong when you don't have the full picture?

With many bot and automation solutions running at the same time, you’re bound to encounter some overlap. One way to gain a holistic view of all automation platforms is through developing a centralized platform where you can audit your bots’ performance as stand-alones and as part of the larger context. Ultimately, a holistic management system will let you visualize your digital workforce, no matter how large or diverse it is.

Optimize, Optimize, Optimize

With the right platform, you can analyze and optimize a bot as part of the entire automation portfolio. You can also identify opportunities to expand the bot’s scope, calculate its ROI, track its life cycle, and collect additional, complementary RPA idea submissions all in one place. This type of platform and dashboard will allow you to test concepts and monitor processes while also identifying missteps and course-correcting in real time.

That's why investing in an automation dashboard is the key to streamlining your bot program. It will give more visibility into what a bot is doing and how it is impacting the brand while also helping you manage that bot’s life cycle. Optimizing your automation program mitigates failure, helps streamline your business, and prepares you for thoughtful scaling of your AI program. Ultimately, the level of efficiency you achieve with your bots and automation initiatives will translate to driving higher customer satisfaction scores and brand love.

A successful intelligent automation implementation requires careful planning and thoughtful strategy, but by taking the time to understand your customers’ needs, making it your mandate to continually improve your AI and automation program, monitoring all automation initiatives centrally, course-correcting in real time, and prioritizing optimization, you can harness the power of AI to drive positive CX and become an intelligent automation success story.

Michael Ringman is chief information officer at TELUS International. Prior to joining TELUS International in 2012, he was VP of global infrastructure at TeleTech, and before that, a network consultant for IBM Global Services.

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