Should You Build or Buy Conversational AI Automation for the Contact Center?
We’ve all been there. We want something done, and we have faith in ourselves to execute the task well enough, if not better than someone qualified to do it. There are many different reasons for our DIY urges:
• to have more control
• because we feel capable
• because we crave that personal satisfaction from doing something yourself
But for every reason to do something in-house, there’s a reason not to. Sure, what’s generally regarded as “easy” should be tackled internally, but in the case of conversational AI automation, it is anything but simple. Conversational AI automation is challenging to create, and when it is done wrong, it can cause a lot of customer frustration that does irreparable damage to a brand. And at the end of the day, all that money saved is money lost through other streams.
But why exactly should you buy rather than build an automation solution for your contact center?
Conversational AI doesn’t come perfectly packaged in a box the way a Hello Fresh meal does. There’s more to it than the implementation of technology. There’s using the right AI models for your industry-specific customer intents, building out the conversation flows, quality checking to ensure the experience is exemplary.
Using a managed service comes with it all covered. From ensuring the proper interactions are automated to customizing those interactions for each business and brand culture, time is saved because it’s already been done. By going with a managed service, time-to-market is cut considerably by months, even quarters.
BETTER DESIGN THROUGH DATA AND DESIGNERS
If we were to take a deeper dive beyond the technology of a conversational AI solution, we’d find that data powers it and designers guide it.
With the power of data, the capabilities to personalize an experience grow tenfold based on the type fed into the technology. For example, using ANI lookup or GPS location pinpointing, an intelligent virtual agent gains the human ability of personalization. But that’s just the beginning.
Integrating key business data into design takes an IVA from simple-minded in their interactions to a warrior wielding the power of complex handling. This further expands their capabilities beyond a basic interaction like routing to a live agent to negotiating payment arrangements or changing the shipping address on an order already placed.
Then there is the actual designing. There’s a lot to understand about designing a conversation: buyer personas, interaction keywords, keeping the responses human-like, and predicting variations in ways intents can be expressed. A good conversation designer can build an experience that will keep consumers loyal to a brand or business.
Conversation designers know how to construct a dialogue that drives customer engagement and resolution. They’re aware and skilled in context, which is what makes an automated conversation feel more genuine. Designers know the importance of turn-based and error-tolerant interactions and how to keep a customer engaged without ending up in frustration. They add the pieces of human intelligence to the artificial intelligence a virtual agent needs to be successful.
Expert Guidance Beyond Go-Live
Building your own intelligent virtual agent takes ongoing resources apart from the aforementioned critical components of technology, data, and conversational designers. There is no way to predict how a customer will interact with an AI virtual agent live. Having an on-demand team of multidisciplinary experts allows for continuous improvement through analytics and reporting. A managed service stays on top of updates while continuously monitoring for outages and issues and support or resolve what may come up at any moment of the day.
SmartAction has been in the automation solution game long enough to have over 100+ implementations with some of the biggest brands — DSW, Fabletics, Royal Caribbean, and Electrolux are just to name a few. Take the guesswork out of conversational AI and partner with SmartAction to reduce AHT, save money on call costs, and raise CSAT or NPS.
To learn more about virtual agents for voice, visit our Virtual Agents for Voice page!