In 2022, AI-powered automation is well and truly out of the sandbox. Today, various forms of automation technology power our activities and interactions at various touch points throughout the day – from the ride-hailing cars we book in the mornings, the autocorrect suggestions that help us type our emails quicker, to the algorithms that suggest new shows for us to enjoy in the evenings.
Businesses in Asia, in particular, have been steadfast in implementing AI solutions. According to McKinsey’s The State of AI in 2021 study, the wider Asia Pacific region boasts one of the highest rates of AI adoption, second to only Indian companies.
Consumers, too, have embraced the value of AI in their daily lives. Research from Pew Research found that sentiments towards AI among consumers in Asia Pacific were the most positive, with two-thirds or more consumers in most Asian countries agreeing that AI has been a good thing for society.
Where do businesses begin?
While there is a clear consensus on the value that it brings to businesses and society, AI and automation are ultimately an umbrella term, featuring a myriad of sub-sectors with a variety of solutions under each, which work together to optimise a particular part of businesses’ operations.
Naturally, decision-makers might be overwhelmed by the many solutions being offered in today’s market, and might choose to take on a wait-and-see approach to their investments in automation. Worst still, some companies might even invest significant amounts in automation, only to find that their solution isn’t reaping the right returns.
For starters, businesses looking to supercharge their operations through automation, while mitigating risk, would do well to take a look at their surroundings, and consider what has worked well for others. The same McKinsey report identified service-operations optimization and contact-centre automation, as being among the most popular and effective use cases of AI.
But investments in automation are a dynamic process – constant assessment and evaluations will be critical in ensuring that companies reap the benefits of automation. In particular, businesses should take note of the following considerations at each stage of implementation:
- Before procurement: Audit thoroughly to identify potential areas of automation
Most roles within businesses entail processes and procedures that involve repetitive work. During the audit process, businesses would do well to scrutinise operations that involve simple repetitions that can be automated.
Beyond cost savings, assessors should also consider the indirect benefits of automation. For instance, Up to 35% of all calls made to a call or contact centre are repeat calls that only jam the calling queue and balloon the number of calls that the agents have to deal with. The menial task of handling repeat or unnecessary calls can add a lot of undue stress to human agents. Automating such a process thus empower agents to be more productive and engaged in their work.
- When assessing solutions: Consult all parties and stakeholders
Once they’ve zeroed in on a few areas for automation, and consulted a few vendors, businesses should always embark on a proof of concept (POC) phase, implementing their chosen automation solution to a small part of a business.
In this stage, it is crucial that decision-makers listen to all parties involved in the test – these include on-the-ground staff, customers, as well as key stakeholders across departments. Explain the solution that was implemented, and consult with each party to learn what they found useful, and what they could have done away with.
- Upon implementation: Review data regularly. Identity synergies
The work doesn’t stop upon onboarding an automation solution. To reap the full benefits of AI-powered automation, solutions should always be adaptable to changing needs of the business.
Voice AI solutions, for instance, give businesses an added dimension of flexibility and scalability for peak seasons. Rather than spending weeks trying to procure agents on a moment’s notice during peak weeks, companies can scale up their Voice AI, and scale down once the period is over.
Ultimately, solutions should always be assessed against their original objectives. For instance, When it comes to decisions that will help you provide a better customer experience, the best tool to measure this is not just the cost implications – it’s the level of customer satisfaction.
As a prime example of a readily available automation solution, Voice AI lets you do both. It provides excellent customer experience and reduces costs, among many other benefits. It’s not about replacing your people but helping them do their work better, adding efficiencies in the system that let them do more without breaking the bank.
Crunching sales quotas, attending to endless customer service calls, and doing redundant admin tasks are tedious but nonetheless essential work in many businesses. Thanks to AI-powered voice automation, technology has taken over some of these workloads and helped to streamline complex processes to redefine the customer experience.