Jeddah "Riyadh Daily"
Avaya demonstrates practical applications of AI for Saudi Arabian organizations

Avaya Holdings Corp. (NYSE: AVYA) this week shed a light on how organizations in Saudi Arabia can integrate artificial intelligence into their customer and employee experiences.

At Experience Avaya 2019 conferences, held in Jeddah and Riyadh on February 25 and February 27 respectively, Avaya’s top representatives made a series of recommendations to Saudi IT leaders. These delved into the practical applications of artificial intelligence, and how they can be used to improve customer satisfaction rates while improving the satisfaction and performance of employees working in the Kingdom’s customer service sector. 

“Organizations 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 – Middle East, Turkey and Africa, Avaya. 

Research conducted by Avaya in the report SuperServe: Five Strategies for Superior Customer Service, reveals that 90% of Saudi consumers are dissatisfied with the automated telephony systems that most organizations employ. The report also showed that over 80% of Saudi consumers want instant authentication when they contact large organizations, and most would be happy to use Artificial Intelligence and biometrics for self-service automation. Moreover, it was outlined that over 80% of Saudi consumers have experienced being promised a “call back” through an automated system or a customer service agent and not receiving one. 

Hani explained how organizations can help improve those satisfaction rates by following a series of recommendations on implementing AI at key points in the customer experience. His recommendations included: 

• Define your business-to-customer or government-to-citizen experience and strategy.

• Analyze your citizen or customer journey.

• Use AI to understand your customers better. 

• Use AI to build the right solution to the challenges you have identified.

• Evaluate opportunities around leveraging AI for content creation.

Fadi Hani, Vice President – Middle East, Turkey and Africa

One of the easiest ways for organizations to start down the path of intelligently implementing AI to solve business challenges is to evaluate the use of a chatbot. 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. 

Hani said that the easiest and most common type of chatbot to implement is a “rule-based bot”, 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 analyze context and change the narrative to achieve a certain desired outcome. These are the types of bots that organizations are beginning to leverage to transform their customer experiences, and are the ones so favored by Saudi consumers.  

These recommendations, and more, can be found in the Avaya whitepaper, Practical Applications of AI in Customer Experience in Saudi Arabia. 

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