Ninety percent of Saudi consumers don't like automated phone services - Avaya study

Avaya holds Saudi events to explain how businesses can switch to AI-driven customer service.
Phones, Avaya, Tech, Business, Saudi Arabia, Middle East

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Avaya research shows most people in Saudi Arabia prefer more personal interaction than an automated phone service.

More than 90% of Saudi consumers don't like automated telephone answering services, and would welcome a switch to smarter AI-driven customer service, according to research by Avaya.

The research shows that more than 80% of Saudi customers would like customer service that instantly authenticates them when they contact an organisation, while most would be happy to use to use Artificial Intelligence and biometrics for self-service automation.

The company has hosted two events recently in Riyadh and Jeddah to help Saudi companies to understand the practical applications of AI and how it can be used to improve customer satisfaction and customer-facing employee performance.

"Organisations do not need an ‘AI' - they need solutions to business issues. Applying AI for the sake of AI can be tempting, but the main focus of any tech CEO looking to deliver and compete in best-in-class CX should be on utilizing AI if - and only if - it solves a business issue," said Fadi Hani, vice president for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Avaya.

To improve customer satisfaction rates, organisations need to define their business-to-customer or government-to-citizen experience and strategy, and analyse the customer journey, Hani said. They can then use AI to understand the customer better, and design AI solutions to the challenges identified. Organisations should also evaluate opportunities around leveraging AI for content creation.

Hani highlighted that one of the easiest ways for organisations to get results from business AI deployments is by implementing chatbots. According to Gartner, by the year 2020, more than 50% of large and medium-sized enterprises will use chatbots that employ Artificial Intelligence to imitate human dialogues.

The easiest and most common type of chatbot to implement is a ‘rule-based bot', Hani said, which customers can interact with through direct chat tools, e-commerce websites, or social networks. He also identified the quickly growing ‘chatbot' segment, which has grown to include 300,000 chatbots on Facebook and an almost equivalent number on Twitter. Chatbots are being used to automate customer service, online selling, and marketing, and are usually used to solve simple requests and inquiries.

The most advanced type is called and AI Bot, which is powered by Artificial Intelligence software. These bots are more complex than rule-based or social media programs - by combining Natural Language Generation & Processing (NLG) with Machine Learning with AI, they can dynamically analyse context and change the narrative to achieve a certain desired outcome. These are the types of bots that organisations are beginning to leverage to transform their customer experiences, and are the ones so favoured by Saudi consumers.

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