By early 2020, companies plan to more than double their adoption of Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVA). The demand for Conversational AI technology in customer care is high, and so the question becomes how to implement the right solution.
To build or to buy?
When your business begins discussions on whether to build it yourself or buy a solution from a vendor, it’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Building your own solution allows the application to be highly customized to your brand and business requirements. It gives you complete control of what your application will offer and deliver to your customers. The downside is that if AI and customer care technology is not your business’s core competency, you may not be able to make the highest quality application. Also, training and tuning the application takes time and resources in the long run, so planning for additional staffing needs is a necessity.
On the other hand, there is an increasing number of companies offering a wide variety of solutions to meet the demands of the market. But many of these vendors don’t necessarily have the expertise that is required to deliver the highest quality of customer experience. They may be leaders in other areas of technology, but customer care is a niche field that requires a high level of experience as well as continuous improvement to stay operating at the highest level.
And, depending on which type of vendor you choose, you may be stuck with a rigid, one-size-fits-all solution that cannot meet your business needs.
But there is a third option that is not always considered: partnering. Unlike a vendor, a partner is a third-party solution that works with you to create an application that is both highly customized to your business and utilizes the best technology and expertise, without the burden of time and resources.
How do you choose the perfect AI partner?
Find a partner that shares in your success
Pricing models are the best way to determine whether the vendor will be there for the long run. If a vendor requires only a one-time upfront fee for their application, you should keep looking. You should also be cautious about volume-based pricing. If your vendor gets paid from the number of calls or transactions completed, it’s ignoring the fact that not all of those calls or transactions may be successful. That means that you could be paying for a failed interactions and bad customer experiences.
It’s best to look for a partner with a success-based pricing model. The vendor only gets paid if the transaction is successful, meaning that they have a high stake in making sure that the application is operating to its highest potential. Learn more about success-based pricing models here.
Find a partner that will grow with your business
If you’re going to have to build a new application every five or so years when a technology becomes outdated, it’s probably not worth the investment. Especially considering the rate at which Conversational AI is growing, customer care technologies are constantly being upgraded and innovated.
It’s important to find a partner that is at the forefront of innovation in the Conversational AI space that will keep your application at the highest quality. In order to determine this, evaluate the vendor’s background to see if their technology is something they believe at their core, or if it’s just an ad hoc project that may or may not be a priority in the future. Choose a company whose mission is focused on AI and has a track record of constantly innovating in AI.
Find a partner that has done what you are looking for (and at scale)
Early adopters beware– just because a vendor claims to have a great technology doesn’t mean that it can be applied successfully or at scale. Take a close look the potential vendor’s completed AI deployments. It’s important to find a vendor who has successful deployments in your particular industry, or for the use-case that you are looking to solve. Some industries, like collections and food services, have particular requirements that only an experienced vendor would be familiar with. A good track record is essential to achieving measurable results and an overall successful solution.
It’s easy to get caught up in the technology and features and not think about the impact of the vendor when choosing a Conversational AI technology. But, in order to achieve the greatest success with implementation, you must look at the big picture. For more considerations when choosing a customer experience technology, see our eBook on Implementing Next Gen Customer Care.