Where should startups focus their AI investments? Start here

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AI is the flavor of the week in many segments of business, and customer experience (CX) is not spared from both the hype and innovation. Startups face a unique challenge when it comes to embracing AI-powered customer experience strategies: their budget.

Young companies typically lack the resources to invest in robust AI solutions, so it’s important for startups to use money and time wisely and choose the right tools from the outset to meet your business’ specific needs. Resist the urge to implement new technology unless you’re sure it’s going to help you achieve your goals. Rushing into embracing AI without a clear strategy in place will only cost you time, money, and headaches down the line.

An experienced partner can help you explore options and choose the best tools to meet your needs. But even the best tech won’t help fix a broken customer or employee experience (EX), so brands need to be thoughtful when integrating AI into their broader CX and EX strategies.

Use AI to empower associates

One of the best areas for startups to make AI investments is in associate enablement. AI can’t, at this point, totally take over most ticket-related tasks, but it can make the job of associates much easier and more productive.

AI tools can analyze inbound tickets, for instance, and quickly provide resources to the associates interacting with customers. With more (and better) information at their fingertips,  associates can answer questions and facilitate resolutions faster.

Using AI to enable your associates brings many benefits. Associates will save a lot of time and their jobs will be easier, leading to a better associate experience and less attrition in the contact center. And customers will benefit from more efficient resolutions and shorter handle times, which improve CX and customer satisfaction (CSAT).

AI also is great for automating simple and repetitive tasks, freeing your associates up to handle more nuanced interactions that require a human touch. When used well, AI might not replace associates; but it definitely helps them work more effectively.

Improve QA with the right tools

Quality assurance (QA) is a key part of ensuring any contact center is meeting customers’ needs. Monitoring interactions between your associates and customers is critical to keeping your customer support operation aligned to your business’ goals – and AI can help.

QA has traditionally been a very manual process, requiring people to comb through mountains of data. The more tickets your center handles, the more data there is to analyze. When humans are at the helm of this process, they can only review a certain number of contacts and tickets, giving a limited view of the contact center.

AI can assist QA managers to review a much higher volume of customer interactions across all channels. With AI, you can analyze all interactions – not just a handful – and get a more complete picture that leads to better insights and decision making.

Specifically, AI-powered speech analytics tools can “listen” to interactions, identify and analyze trends, measure the quality of service provided, and identify areas of improvement – all of which leads to a better customer experience. And AI can do all this in real-time, for maximum efficiency.

Partner with an expert

AI has the potential to take your CX to new heights. But implementing it in the wrong ways can do more harm than good, frustrating your customers and employees. Hastily inserting AI into associates’ workflows or the customer journey will only lead to costly problems down the road.

A partner that has expertise in startups, AI, and CX strategy can guide you through the process, helping you assess what options are available and customizing the right mix of solutions to meet your needs. A partner can also help integrate AI into your existing systems and identify ways to cut costs along the way.

AI isn’t something that can simply be turned on and then forgotten. It needs to be continually monitored, evaluated, and improved so that it can keep evolving with your brand. The right partner can help you navigate it all.