In the final blog of our series, we have asked Dr. Venky Krishnaswamy to discuss the role artificial intelligence (AI) plays in the Koopid offering and how that can be applied in the contact center to deliver superior customer experiences.
This Q&A is taken from the video transcript of Meet Venky Krishnaswamy, CEO of Koopid.
What degree does AI play in Koopid's value proposition?
Two of the biggest trends in the contact center industry right now are Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Omnichannel. AI has grown by leaps and bounds in every aspect. Everyone experiences AI in some capacity, whether it is through your Apple iHome, Ring or what you are watching on Netflix. Simply put, it surrounds us to the point that we don’t even notice how smart our environment really is.
Omnichannel has become an industry buzzword for any contact center that aspires to deliver on an all encompassing digital transformation project that connects the customer experience across every digital and offline channel. Unfortunately, the promise of omnichannel has not come to fruition which has led to a bit of disenchantment with the ability of the industry to deliver on this channel.
I think it's very crucial to understand that technology is here to make our lives better or our businesses run more efficiently. Technology is not an ambient set. Therefore, businesses can be tempted to adopt the latest and greatest technology without understanding how to get the most out of their investment.
I always ask myself these three questions before diving into large technology investments:
What outcomes are you looking to achieve?
What do you want to improve in your business?
What do you want to do that will improve your customer’s experience?
If you approach it from the point of view of customer value business benefit, then you can make wiser choices with your technology investments. I suspect both AI and omnichannel have driven some potentially over enthusiastic adopters to lose sight of why they're doing it and get more enamored in the technology itself. AI, for example, promises the contact center world cognitive capabilities with the underlying theme being that AI can replace or it can be just as good as a human.
Another area of interest for contact centers is conversational AI and how to get the IVR to speak naturally to the caller, understand everything that is said, and be super intuitive. With enough effort and investment in technology those outcomes can be approximated. In some cases however, they are not thinking about the optimal ways of how AI can benefit the business and customer experience. As an example we noticed that a lot of users would rather click a button or swipe a user interface to get what they need, rather than having to explain it in and provide clarifications to get an outcome. So if you're thinking of AI, especially conversational AI, as the tool to humanize your interaction on your IVR, by speaking naturally you may find that you're spending a lot of time, effort and money in trying to get that right, but you can often get there sooner by saying that you'll make another interface that is much smarter with smaller investments. Our message to the market is don't confuse the technology with your outcome, use your technology, but start with the outcome or start with the experience you want to deliver and use the technology to fit into it.
We’ve engineered the Koopid platform to achieve the customer's desired metrics for self-service by simply mapping out a process flow that is pretty predictable and pretty structured, but making it extremely easy to access and use on a mobile device. That delivers a massive amount of benefit by simply overlaying the AI to nuance it a bit, or make the transition easier to a live agent, or provide the agent more visibility. Now, we have AI delivering additional value that you can be launched faster without going through the pain and expense of understanding the math and the computing behind the AI - which is one of the things that Koopid brings to the market.
The best possible use of AI technology is supporting an outcome for the business that combines AI with other tools and tricks of the trade. Likewise with omnichannel. The most common thing we've seen in the industry when people think about omnichannel is to have an agent desktop where the agent can see all of the digital channels and context related to those interactions. The goal is to deliver a more thoughtful, nuanced view of the customer's journey. In the middle of this journey is the agent's journey which is connected to the customer's journey that provides the outcome for the customer quicker, easier, and with a more pleasant experience and leaves the agent feeling that they've made another customer happy during the day.
I recommend not getting obsessed with having a desktop that has every bit of data but rather focus more on what you are trying to optimize for the customer, look at it from the customer's point of view. This approach will help you develop a better solution overall than a technology focused play.