Deploying AI? Ask these three questions to your partner’s customer success team

Written by Can Ozdoruk on Jun 16, 2020

Companies are adopting conversational AI chatbots to solve business needs, enhancing automated customer service, reduce customer service costs, and improve the customer experience.

When researching AI companies, the folks spearheading these initiatives usually focus solely on the core AI abilities, platform sophistication, Natural Language Understanding (NLU) accuracy, and the ability for ongoing learning. It’s equally important, however, to ensure the AI partner you choose offers a dedicated and experienced customer success team. Customer success teams are there to help you achieve your goals, oversee your project and ensure ongoing success. 

At Netomi, we believe that true customer success begins with our people and our implementation services in parallel with our best-in-class AI. 

Not every customer success team overseeing AI implementations is equal. The level of dedicated support and communication varies widely. Here are the three most important things you need to ask a customer success team to ensure your AI program is successful and delivers against your goals.

1. Do you prioritize ‘time to value’ above everything?

AI is a technology that excites companies – from top-level management to customer service agents. That’s because the problems that AI is adopted to resolve are critical and fundamental to the health and viability of an organization. Customers today expect more convenient, effortless and omnichannel support, and are basing their buying decisions on the support that they receive. Getting AI agents up and running quickly to meet these demands, delight customers and drive revenue now impacts a company’s bottom line. Time is of the essence. 

Look for a customer success team that believes time is the most valuable asset. You’ll want a team that deeply understands how imperative it is to see a return on investment quickly. As part of the initial onboarding for AI, we follow a specific sequence of events to maximize value. For example, the first initial weeks are solely focused on prioritizing the scenarios that will provide the most relief to front-line agents. Once we establish that relief, we focus later attention on maximizing AI training, as well as continued user acceptance testing to ensure the AI is helping your users.

Look for a team that is ultra-transparent, is aggressive in timelines and provides quick turnarounds. A good customer success team will also minimize potential issues, foresee delays and be proactive.

When you’re considering your AI partner, ask about timelines, onboarding and launch processes, and what your team will be responsible for upfront. 

2. What is your dedication to pushing boundaries? 

The ‘AI space’ is rapidly evolving. So it’s important to look for a customer success team that pushes themselves to have a pulse on the market and adapt to new trends, opportunities and capabilities. You’ll want a team that is passionate and committed to imagining, researching and learning. This drive for continuous improvement will guarantee that the experience you’re providing your customers is always improving. Your CSMs should come to you with new ideas to improve your AI-powered experience and leverage new breakthroughs to surpass your business goals. 

3. Do you value partnerships? 

Your AI partner should not simply be a vendor delivering software. Instead, the company you work with needs to be committed wholeheartedly to solving your business needs, wowing your customers and supporting you. To become unified partners, your customer success team should communicate clearly and often. This should vary from high-level strategy to logistical next steps. 

If you’re developing a complex AI that integrates with various systems, there are sometimes unforeseen delays. You need to trust your customer success team to openly and proactively communicate blockers, and preemptively provide new timelines and solutions. A true partnership must also include transparency, accountability and ongoing advocacy internally. 

Finally, if an issue arises during your AI implementation, you need 24/7 support. In some cases, you can’t wait until the next business day to resolve an issue. Make sure that support is available when you need it most. 

Open communication is the most important thing to demand from a customer success team. 

What’s the ideal customer success team for an AI partner?

Customer success teams at AI companies will typically include a few key players: 

  • Customer Success Manager (CSM): Your quarterback and primary day-to-day contact for onboarding, launch, support and meeting business goals
  • Data Analyst: The Data, AI and Industry expert, keeping an eye on the intelligence of the implementation
  • Data Scientist: Owns the continuous advancement of the AI models, across channels and use-cases
  • Executive sponsorship: A very senior person at the company for oversight and escalation

If you’re considering bringing AI into your organization, make sure that superior AI technology is backed by an experienced customer success team. If you’ve currently adopted AI, ask yourself if you have a true partner who is always-improving, always communicating and delivering against expectations. 

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