Inforial (The Jakarta Post)
Fri, March 4, 2022
In recent years, the world has seen a shift in the new normal as COVID-19 continues to disrupt economies around the globe, creating long-lasting ramifications that have spread to all aspects of our lives.
As consumers grow used to conducting their daily activities over contactless and frictionless channels, the rapid acceleration of digital technology and services has led to an uptick in call volume at call centers across Indonesia. Pandemic-weary consumers have run out of patience, and want both speed and flexibility in their digital interactions.
This is where machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) come in. Big data technology, including AI, will prove invaluable to businesses for years to come, automating customer support services and self-service requests, helping businesses in Indonesia to scale efficiently and effectively . As the world learns to live with COVID-19 in the new normal, voice AI is set to take center stage to help businesses keep pace with shifting consumer demands, introducing new and effective customer service methods in Indonesia.
AI Rudder is a leading voice AI software as a service (SaaS) company that has helped hundreds of companies supercharge their customers’ experience. Its voice AI solutions are the new frontier of enhanced intelligence that enables businesses to automate customer interaction and boost employee performance and connection, instead of replacing human contact.
“What we want to achieve is not to use technology or AI to replace humans. What we want to do is to empower human and call center agents to work in a more efficient way so that at the end of the day, we have happy employees, happy customers and happy businesses,” said Kun Wu, the cofounder and managing director of AI Rudder.
The technology’s ability to take on an immense load of repetitive tasks and high-volume interactions frees up employees to focus on more complex tasks. AI support has been proven to enable better productivity, generate higher returns on investment (ROIs) and increase efficiency. This is how AI Rudder aims to help businesses solve business-to-consumer (B2C) communication challenges and reduce operating costs.
Moreover, AI Rudder believes that its innovation will help improve customer interaction by taking over the planning, execution and completion of repetitive tasks through AI-driven automation. The technology has the ability to understand a customer’s problem, respond in the customer’s preferred spoken language and answer a customer’s questions and concerns in a human-like way that is indistinguishable from human agents. With the help of AI Rudder, this is the new landscape of customer service at all levels.
“In today’s customer service centers, what we can see is there are a lot of different demands from customers, especially when certain services are available or when there are a lot of customers asking the same questions, so you can imagine the 80/20 rule that comes into play here,” Wu said, referring to how AI Rudder can help improve efficiency.
Robots can take over 80 percent of similar inquiries from customers, so employees can concentrate on the 20 percent of customers that need more attention.
Wu also revealed that before the pandemic, AI Rudder’s ideal customer profile (ICP) was largely based on technology-centric SaaS-ready companies as well as fast-growing technology companies, since one of its obstacles was raising awareness about the technology itself.
A shift in its customer base has been evident, where more established companies have recently become a part of its portfolio after they realized the necessity of using digitalization and technology to help them operate as smoothly as possible while their employees work from home.
Wu said this trend was the catalyst that accelerated the growth of AI Rudder like never before.
But not all businesses are convinced. The obstacle during the pandemic still remains how to persuade businesses to use AI or, at the very least, how to educate businesses so they are more willing to take the leap.
“All that you can wish is for more companies not necessarily to adopt AI solutions, but to at least give AI solutions a try. We will actually allow them to have a trial using AI, and then they can compare AI technology with what they have at hand today,” he said.
“Some of our customers are in finance. They can take [a trial period of] two to four weeks so they can really compare the efficacy of different accelerations.”
Between hiring 100 extra people for a company’s call center and putting in the time and resources to train newcomers, voice AI offered the perfect solution, Wu added, especially since most voice AI robots were also used to providing “outbound customer service” via automated telephone calls. This included telemarketing, promoting new offerings, verifying information and gathering answers from customers, as well as managing payment reminders and collections.
Backed by Sequoia Capital India and Sequoia China Seed Fund, AI Rudder is ready to expand to bigger markets. Its presence is known in most Southeast Asian countries, with a client list that includes businesses in India, Sri Lanka and Spain.
“We support more than 15 different languages, because when it comes to voice communication, languages and accents differ from country to country, [so] we need to support more than one single language,” Wu said.
“As I have mentioned, we need to do more business in the region, and then we will expand our business to the whole Asia-Pacific and beyond that, we will go to the European Union and North America as well.”
Wu also shared upcoming developments and plans: AI Rudder is actively building its technology and exploring more voice AI uses such as supporting inbound customer calls, where a customer calls to speak to a customer service representative to resolve an issue and answer other inquiries.
“We will do more,” he stressed, noting what clients could look forward to in AI Rudder’s products.
“Currently, we support cases like KYC [know-your-customer], answering questions, certain reminders and so forth. As we gather more experience and more data, we will support more and more machine and human interactions, not only for customer service, but for very different use cases, maybe like the internet of things, like smart vehicles that require such a new interface, another language interface for machines to interact with each other.”
In closing, Wu said he was aware that many industries and sectors were undergoing a very important and big shift in digitalization, which brought a larger customer base with it. He wanted more companies to be aware that managing and serving a large customer base necessitated the use of technology, preferably AI.