This October, Ambit hosted the online 10/10/10 Q&A event.
During this event our Sales Lead, Melisa Shore, and Business Development Manager, Dion Edmonds, answered your burning questions that you wanted to know about digital employees. Here is a complete guide to all the questions and answers from the day.
Navigate to a specific section through the contents below.
- 1. We think our business could really make use of Conversational AI...
- 2. I'll use the bot that comes with my CRM/live chat
- 3. Not another IT project!
- 4. We're updating our website, what's the point of getting a digital employee now?
- 5. We like the personal touch...
- 6. Why do you call it a Digital Employee?
- 7. What is NLU/NLP?
- 8. How long does it take to build?
- 9. Why are digital employees not usually a priority?
- 10. How do I write a business case?
- 1. How much benefit can an AI assistant provide?
- 2. How much monitoring does a digital employee need once implemented?
- 3. What process do you use to have more humanised responses?
- 4. What's the most unusual application you've had for a digital employee?
- 5. What does a digital employee cost?
- 6. Can you share thoughts about the ways to ensure seamlessness?
- 7. Why do I need a digital employee now?
- 8. Should a digital employee pretend to be a human?
- 9. How do we know it's adding value?
Ambit's Top #10 Most Asked Questions
1. "We think our business could really make use of Conversational AI. Can we just build it ourselves?"
Yes of course. Let’s just clarify what we mean by build, we’re not talking about hiring your own AI-specific developers any longer because that’s old school and there’s no need for it now.
We’re talking about whether to build your own using a platform like Lex or Ambit, or partnering with a company that will do the work of the build for you.
We have customers that use Ambit to build their own conversations using our Ambit platform, or we have customers that partner with Ambit to have their digital employees built.
From a long term business solution that gets proven results fast, I’d partner rather than build myself since with a partnership you’re getting proven dedicated functionality, known costs, access to specialists dedicated to digital employees - and remember having a specialist conversation designer build your conversations is more often than not - unless you have a prodigy - far more successful than if you trial and error design the conversation yourself.
It works out more cost effective in the longer run when you add up all the dependencies.
2. "I'll use the bot that comes with my CRM/live chat."
This depends on the use case. Like everything it comes down to what you want to achieve and the measurement of success. If you want an option just to have one, then use the one that comes with your CRM/live chat.
It’s a little like saying,
"I’ll just get my builder to do the painting too. He can probably do it, and it will probably look ok."
But you know that using a specialist will give you a better outcome.
If you’re investing in the future and have realised where customer user behaviour is headed, you’ll know to invest in a conversational AI strategy as part of your customer journey.
It’s more than just having the function on your website. Today companies are generating revenue, controlling costs and speeding up their workforces using automation. There are so many use cases and benefits for digital employees.
3. "Not another IT project!"
This is not necessarily the case. But we understand that there are certain processes that each business needs to follow. So there is usually a technology review.
Once that’s done - the Ambit platform is a no code conversation design platform. You can get started with a piece of java script to surface it on your website.
But overall it’s what we would call a low code platform. Personalising conversations with API’s and plugins.
Here is recent quote from a customer - “ you guys win the best vendor award, it was so easy and you project managed the entire build for us.”
4. "We're updating our website, what's the point of getting a Digital Employee now?"
The most compelling reason for adding a Digital Employee (even if you are about to do a website upgrade) is DATA.
There is a theme to a lot of these answers, getting started and gathering Conversational data to inform your decisions is something we can’t emphasise enough.
Say you have a website upgrade planned for 6 months time - you could have your Digital Employee up and running in weeks, and the data you gather can inform how you build your site.
Even covering your top 10 FAQ’s will meet a customer demand AND give you the opportunity to listen to what else your customers want to know.
5. "We like the personal human touch - our customers like a personal service."
We totally get this - I like the human touch too. But there are times that I don’t.
There is nothing worse than trawling through a website’s FAQ’s at 8 o'clock at night. That’s not a good customer experience.
Human when it counts - totally. Personalised CX - absolutely. But you need to be where and WHEN your customers are.
And not everyone wants human interactions.
Salesforce says 58% of users say chatbots have changed their expectations of customer service, by providing faster, more personalised customer experiences, 24/7.
6. "Why do you call it a Digital Employee?"
2 reasons - Ambit’s advanced NLP makes it smarter than a chatbot!
We refer to chatbots as basic FAQ type bots, and their functions are limited compared to a digital employee - so we like to use that distinction.
And secondly - you need to treat your Conversational AI as an employee. Recruit it, have a job description, train it, set KPI’s, do performance reviews. And most importantly - continually add to their knowledge.
How do you promote a Digital Employee?
Give it a new use case, add an integration to allow more personalised conversations or expand it across other websites.
It won’t even ask for more annual leave!
7. "What is NLU/NLP?"
Our NLP / NLU is a core component of the Brain and allows Chatters to ask questions, make statements and use keywords that will ultimately match them to a conversation flow in the conversation model.
Imagine the following statements from customers:
"Hi - my name is Bob and I would like to open a new account"
"I need a new account right now"
"I must new acccount open"
"Yo - bro - open me a new acount"
Some contain spelling errors, some contain slang, some are grammatically incorrect, some contain useless information - but they are all talking about the same thing - opening a new account!
Our NLP allows Chatters to provide these types of queries so that we can quickly and accurately provide the information they need or help them to carry out a process - in this example, opening a new account.
8. "How long does it take to build?"
This depends on what you want to say - with a no-code conversation design platform we can build, train and have a digital employee customer ready in as little as 10 days.
We are doing this right now for a retailer - their crazy time is about to hit. And we have their live chat data, so we know what their customers need and can build quickly.
Generally - Ambit Edge takes 3 days & Ambit Pro & Enterprise takes 6-8 weeks. This is fully trained and customer ready.
9. "Why are Digital Employees usually not a priority?"
There are quite a few reasons we have discovered:
- You don't know what you are missing out on.
- You don’t understand how they fit into your business strategy - there’s not enough specialists in companies yet with enough knowledge and capability so a lot are learning. It wasn’t long ago that people thought that AI was magic and black box. Now they’re starting to understand and adoption takes time.
- What is the compelling event to encourage the decision?
- You don't know what you are missing out on.
Those that have invested see the results and experience the value and so continue to leverage them as a key part of their strategy. They’re reaping the rewards and are getting ahead while others are still trying to work it out.
We’ve seen this in social media, in digital transformation - it’s just a case of catching up. If you take action now, you’ll be ahead of the curve and find it easier to achieve success (with less competition in the beginning) than those stragglers at the end.
10. "How do I write a business case?"
You’ll either be looking for a return on investment, or want to invest in the channel and technology. Or both. Let’s focus on the ROI component.
What do your customers want to know - we all know the 80:20 rule. It will apply here.
The top 20% of your customer enquiries will take up 80% of your team's time.
This is where you start.
Start with the analysis of customer contact data you have - calls, emails, live chats. Look at high volume, low value customer enquiries. And your first use case - be that I want to track an order, what is my balance, my power is out. Each business has an obvious starting point.
Here is an example - an Ambit customer with a “what’s my balance” common enquiry. We knew they had 1200 customer interactions per day, and that each interaction cost $6. We also know that our data and global data suggests call deflection rates of 20% in year one. The ROI in year one for this customer was 4.4x.
We can help you unpack the gold you’ll need for a business case.
Your Submitted Questions
1. "How much benefit can an AI assistant provide if our business' internal admin/customer information systems do not have API endpoints?"
There are 3 types of integrations we might talk about.
- Channel (Facebook, Whatsapp, Webchat, human avatar etc)
- Platforms (Salesforce, Zendesk, call centre software, AWS and other 3d party applications)
- Customer integrations - this is what you’re referring to
Things a digital employee can do without an API
- Concierge services
- Provide store information
- Promote special deals
- Recommend, upsell/cross sell
- Collect customer info (send through email)
- Escalate to live agent
- Document uploads
So enquiries like:
How do I get a refund? I want to file a complaint. Where do I find information around your packages? How do I install fibre at this address? My tv isn’t working, can you help? Password resets, log in support.
2. "How much monitoring does a digital employee need once implemented?"
When you first launch your Digital Employee we recommend you keep a close eye on its conversations. There will definitely be a few things your customers will ask that you didn’t expect. An hour a day of additional training should cover this ok.
About a month in, once a week checking and training works well.
And when you add new conversations, you’ll want to go back to a daily cadence, until you are confident once again your Digital Employee is handling questions as you’d expect.
Ultimately digital employees are like people. They can manage on their own, and if you give them a little love, they flourish.
3. "What process do you use to have more humanised responses?"
The Conversation Design process is definitely a highlight when it comes to building a digital employee. This is when we work with key people in a team, including subject matter experts, to understand how customers and businesses interact with each other, the language they use, their tone of voice, their brand. Every company is different and we workshop to build out the conversation journey map.
Once this is done, our Customer Success team works their magic. They are one of the most experienced teams of conversation designers in the country.
It’s pretty amazing what they can do.
They can design and build non-linear conversations which makes it feel more natural like you’re talking with a person.
4. "What's the most unusual application you've had for a digital employee?"
This is a great question. Maybe not unusual, but certainly unique. This goes to one of Ambit’s customers. Little Ones - a global support community for parents. They have sleep consultants around the world giving new parents support for their newborns and beyond.
Lee, their digital employee, operates behind a paywall to subscribed customers. Lee knows a lot about each of your children and can give advice and support that’s relevant to the issue and the age and stage of your child.
7 ways to burp your baby - 5 techniques to get your baby to sleep.
They say it takes a village to raise a baby - but no-one ever said you can’t have a digital sleep consultant in that village.
5. "What does a digital employee cost?"
Ahhhhh the million dollar question!
Kidding - it’s definitely not that much!
My answer is probably going to be what you’d expect. Which is - it depends, there is a bit of discovery work that needs to be done first.
However, we have Ambit Edge. Our entry level, which can be found on the AWS Marketplace and costs $990 USD per month. So that’s our starting price.
If you want to know more, you’ll have to spend a bit more time with us.
6. "Digital employees need to work seamlessly with human employees to ensure great customer experience. Can you share some thoughts about the ways to ensure seamlessness?"
Without using any fancy terminology I’ll explain it simply like this:
1. Understand your customer behaviour
Using conversation design workshops we look at things like:
- Map out the conversation journey
- Customer behaviour in a non digital environment vs a digital environment
- Previous conversation topics, sentiment, enquiries
And that helps us with the way we structure and design the conversation flows themselves.
2. Then it’s the Tech side of things, this is where automation comes in:
- We ask questions like how can we automate these processes effectively to provide a frictionless experience?
- We look at what integrations and tech we have to make this happen
Ambit being such a flexible platform enables us to do this pretty easily.
- Human handover
- The AI powered conversations themselves
- Integrations with software that triggers automations
And Ambit specifically excels at natural conversations. This is where we stand out.
7. "Why do I need a digital employee now?"
Yep - this question definitely asked why now. Not why in 6 months or a year.
We get this question a lot. It’s usually followed by - "we are doing a website upgrade," "we don’t have any available resource," or "we are putting in a CRM or ERP or <insert 3 letter acronym here>".
The answer is, if you don’t you’ll get left behind. Your customers want to interact with you in the channel of their choice, at a time of their choosing.
The sooner you start, the sooner your Digital Employee will learn, the smarter it will become. But it doesn’t have to be a bigger than Ben Hur project.
Let me share a brief example, we had a customer who was about to re-brand. They launched in June under the old brand, and when the new brand and website was launched (4 months later), so was their Digital Employee. Carrying over all the conversational learnings.
Just think - You wouldn’t hire someone today and expect them to know everything. So why would you keep putting off hiring a DE. The key is to get started with some small conversations, and then listen to your customers. Let them inform you what they’ll use the channel for.
8. "Should a Digital Employee pretend to be a human?"
Absolutely not, I can’t stress this enough.
No-one likes to be mis-led. And this is not the channel to mislead your customers.
9. "How do we know it's adding value?"
Data - track from day 1. Some of the data points you’ll want to ensure you have are:
- Website hits - page hits - what pages do your customers start chatting on?
- # of chatters
- Topic analysis - what are your customers asking you
- Handled vs unhandled topics
- Successful conversations
Then report on all channels - calls, emails, live chats, and automated conversations.
That way you’ll know the proportion of interactions that come through each channel. I’m sure you are doing this already - just make sure you add in your Digital Employee.