Will implementing an AI solution to automate customer experience replace the existing systems and customer representatives?

We have all heard the conversations about how AI solutions that automate CX will replace existing systems and customer service reps. I’m curious to hear from this group about how this has actually played out in your businesses. Were reps replaced? Or do they just have more time to devote their energy and attention to tasks that require a heavier lift?

Jenna, I have seen both across our customer base. At the end of the day, it all comes down to organization objectives. “Number of hours saved” could be a good KPI to start with for a specific use case. Another way to look at it, is when you anticipate future growth and start planning on managing that load with existing FTEs.

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Hi, Jenna! I agree with Amir - and with the many automation initiatives I was part of at a large insurance carrier, we most often focused on “operational efficiency” as one of the KPIs. To Amir’s point, how that efficiency (i.e. capacity) was utilized would vary based on each business unit’s goals. Sometimes this enabled a business unit to realign some people to new initiatives where their subject matter expertise was needed. Or even to create more capacity during periods of growth, when there would also be an uptick in the demand for person-to-person interactions.

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My experience, more in banking, wrt self-service is that the first focus should be on those low value-added interactions that customers don’t really want to speak to someone about. They are typically low stakes but annoying issues they want to just handle and move on from. They tend to be the kind of interactions a ‘tier 1’ rep might handle in a typical customer service center. It turns out there is a lot of turnover in tier 1 reps and the slots are increasingly hard to fill so applying automation to these kinds of issues for customers can be a win for all stakeholders. Higher stakes, more complex issues may be better handled by a human in term of the customer’s preferences and satisfaction, but this varies greatly by issue/process involved. I often think about how seamlessly Amazon handles product returns so quickly and completely via self-service as a reference model. It’s important to me, but if I can handle it quickly while addressing all my concerns via self-service, I’m good.

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Thanks all - really great insight!