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AI And Chatbot Helps Provide Exceptional And Personalized Customer Experience: LogMeIn India
Rahul Sharma, Managing Director, LogMeIn India, in an interesting interaction with Sarabjeet Kaur from BW CIO, discusses the broader implications of the impact of Customer Experience (CX) on brands
Photo Credit : veloxcore.com,
Customer experience (CX) is becoming a key competitive differentiator for companies all over the world. With the proliferation of on-demand services like Uber and Amazon and the rise of digital, artificial intelligence and mobile-first lifestyles, customers’ expectations of what makes a good customer experience is changing rapidly. They want quick and personalized service available 24/7 in the communication channel or channels of their choice. Today’s consumer is more demanding, highly informed, and less brand loyal than those of generations past. One bad experience is enough to send customers into the waiting arms of the competition. That being said, a good experience helps turn customers into advocates that can help increase revenues and create long-term brand loyalty. Rahul Sharma, Managing Director, LogMeIn India says that it is this reason that CX has become a boardroom priority.
BW CIO: What is the current scenario in India in terms of online customer experiences?
Rahul Sharma: Internet users in India are expected to double by 2020, and India has one of the fastest growing smartphone markets in the world. Companies in India are steadily realizing the potential of this trend, and they have been quick to implement strategies to seize the opportunity. Though still in its nascent stages, the potential for this segment is an enormous one. Indian enterprises are making leaps and strides towards their digital transformation. Over the last few quarters, the adoption of cutting-edge technologies to promote automation and artificial intelligence across different sectors of the Indian industry is becoming a reality. Interestingly, experts point out that adoption of AI would be much faster in the developing countries than the developed world.
BW CIO: How dissimilar is the global scenario for online customer experiences compared to the Indian backdrop?
Rahul Sharma: While different countries and cultures will shape the way businesses interact with their customers in unique ways, fundamentally, businesses in India will constantly need to keep exceeding their customers’ expectations at every interaction. Customers today have a wider choice than in the past and businesses are constantly trying to keep their customers loyal by giving them better customer experiences, each time they interact with them. The difference, if any, will be due to Indian backdrop being powered by knowledge workers who bring their expertise as touch points for customer experiences as against a largely global trend of adopting technology to do the heavy lifting at the front end to provide the customer experience.
BW CIO: How can AI bring in a wave of change for businesses for the betterment of customer experiences?
Rahul Sharma: Artificial Intelligence is helping enhance customer experience for both customers and companies. From the customers’ perspective, it ensures consistent and personalized experiences at scale. For companies, it helps in recognizing pain points and knowing more about their customers’ preferences, helping them serve their customers better and address issues efficiently.
As the adoption of AI in customer experience continues to increase, customer interactions will shift from being heavily dependent on human agent to a hybrid model consisting of the human element, with technology helping share the workload. AI helps empower customers to self-serve where appropriate and empowers agents to provide exceptional and personalized service with chatbot helping to feed customer information and recommendations to the agent.
BW CIO: What is the importance of Chatbots in providing lucrative customer experience?
Rahul Sharma: Chatbots were previously built on highly scripted interactions, and they lacked the conversational elements required for an effective CX model. Today’s chatbots, however, go beyond the script to provide a more intelligent, conversational and human experience. Chatbots provide a consistent customer experience that is infinitely scalable and available to customers anytime and anywhere. They provide a level of “concierge” type on-demand service that most customers desire, but few companies can cost-effectively deliver.
BW CIO: How can start-ups take advantage of customer experiences to drive business growth?
Rahul Sharma: Start-ups, like any company, are keenly aware of the importance of customer experience in their overall business model and strategy. As they are not burdened with legacy systems or obliged to follow traditional CX practices, often they can more easily build flexible processes and embrace emerging technologies to fit the demands of today’s landscape. When competing with much bigger and more well-funded companies, start-ups can distinguish themselves by delivering better, more personalized experiences that create higher customer value and build durable customer relationships that will grow over time.
BW CIO: With the existence of multiple channels, what measures can help improve online CX?
Rahul Sharma: In today’s world customers make use of multiple channels to engage with brands. It is important for companies to be where their customers are and support those channels completely. Customers need to have the same experience on their mobile devices as they get on websites and on Facebook Messenger as they get while calling through Live Chat. These methods of engagement need to work together seamlessly so that context and information is not lost as customers move from one to the other. While it may seem like a Herculean task, technologies like AI-powered chatbots are helping companies of all sizes provide consistent support across channels without overburdening the contact center.
BW CIO: What is Bold360 platform by LogMeIn and how is it powered by AI?
Rahul Sharma: Bold360 is a tightly integrated AI-powered chatbot and agent workspace. It includes the flagship Bold360 omni-channel agent workspace and adds AI chatbot and self-service technology in one solution. Bold360 makes handoffs from bots to agents and back again, seamless and offers support features like co-browse and file transfer – all from a single chat window. AI is incorporated across both self-service and agent-assisted channels to help deliver better and more personalized outcomes no matter how a customer engages.
It is built on patented Natural Language Processing that allows chatbot or virtual assistant to be conversational and interact with a customer to understand their intent, i.e. the problem or task they are trying to solve. Since human speech is not always precise and often depends on complex dependencies like context or personalization, Bold360 leverages machine learning to examine and use patterns in data to understand the question at hand – no matter how it is being asked, and delivers the best outcome.
BW CIO: What role does data management plays in enhancing customer experience?
Rahul Sharma: Data and proper management of it is a key component of a modern customer engagement strategy. Companies are sitting on a wealth of data that can provide them real-time insights into their customers’ preferences, history with the brand, location, and so much more. When managed properly and made accessible, this information can be used to not only provide personalized experiences to individual customers, but also to identify overarching gaps in the customer journey including places where customers are repeatedly having issues, abandoning the experience, or simply asking the same questions over and over. Having this type of actionable information helps a brand optimize its overall experience and improve future interactions.
BW CIO: What are the challenges a business can face in using AI for CX? How to overcome them?
Rahul Sharma: While the business benefits of AI are immense, like with any technology, it is only as good as the people and processes supporting it. At the end of the day AI is built on data and the quality of data impacts the quality of the result. Building on bad agent interaction data or simply random data that doesn’t support the desired outcome, unsurprisingly, leads to less than optimal results. All too often companies invest in technologies without a clear understanding of what success looks like and without that, it is nearly impossible to set the technology up for success.
My advice for companies who are ready to jump on board with AI is to start small. Try it out on one use case first, learn from that implementation, optimize around it, and then expand to others. Also, know what your chatbot will be good at and what it won’t and design around that. Finally, AI is not a replacement for human agents and should not be viewed that way. So the most successful implementations take a hybrid approach where the chatbot lives on the frontlines gathering information about the customer query and then, if necessary, can elegantly escalate it to a human agent including the entire context. Adding AI to the mix allows companies to leverage their most valued resource – human agents – for the most high-value customer engagements and leaves the heavy lifting of answering repeatable more simple questions to the self-service channels.