The Impact of AI on the Channel – Where are the Opportunities? - Elisha Telecom Ltd.

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The Impact of AI on the Channel – Where are the Opportunities?

While automation has been key to finding Channel efficiencies for decades, in the last few years, AI has taken the limelight, catalysed by significant advances in Generative AI such as Chat GPT, producing a more conversational AI that better replicates the nuances of true human speech.

While ChatGPT may be beneficial in enhancing chatbot services and marketing efforts, there is far more that AI can do to maximize channel margins and elevate the customer experience. 

But before Channel businesses rush to incorporate various AI-powered solutions into their portfolios, certain factors must be considered, such as ensuring it increases ROI, establishing how AI will address customer needs, as well as educating customers around what AI is and is not.

Promoting AI Through the Lens of Customer Needs

The key question resellers must ask themselves is how AI can benefit their customers. Given AI’s relative infancy, adapting what AI is already good at is the best place to start.

With that comes a need to educate clients on the practical benefits of AI beyond the buzz. This involves providing insights and education on AI tools beyond what’s commonly known, demonstrating through provable metrics the impact that AI can have in making a meaningful difference in business operations.

For example, given AI’s prowess in consuming conversations and analysing them, Sentiment Analysis is a perfect place to start, especially in Contact Centres where the sheer volume of conversations prevents a more manual approach.

Contact Centres are also brimming with metrics to highlight – customer satisfaction scores, call durations, repeat customer sales etc. – and if you have an AI-based product that helps boost those figures, then you’re already halfway to a sale!

For example, metrics often used to prove the efficacy of Elisha Insights are 100% call coverage and average call evaluation metrics (the assessment of a call’s performance, with 100% being the ‘perfect interaction’) being pushed higher than 90%!

Typically, Contact Centres only sample 5% of their total calls for evaluation, given the historical need to manually assess the call, with Elisha Insights, evaluating all call automatically.

Not only does this drastically reduce the number of calls requiring manual assessment to just the ones that the AI found problematic, but it also surfaces trends that may not even have been noticed by an entire QA team, with each member analysing subsections of the full dataset.

This positive cycle of assessing a higher percentage of calls and being able to extract more accurate insights from the data becomes a positive feedback loop, in turn removing agent challenges and improving agent performance far faster than manual processes ever could!

Shifting AI Perception while Increasing ROI

AI offers the opportunity for resellers to continue changing how customers perceive and consume IT services, especially as many managed services have already transitioned from one-off costs to subscription-based models.

Positioning AI as a managed service, rather than a one-off cost, that delivers consistent gains through improved efficiencies helps to transform resellers into trusted partners rather than mere suppliers.

Not only does this provide a more predictable and scalable revenue stream to maximise growth, but it also fosters longer-term relationships, which, in turn, enables resellers to have a more significant impact on customers’ businesses and reduce customer churn.

Addressing Fear and Misconceptions

Even with all the benefits that AI provides, there understandably remains considerable apprehension about how AI could potentially displace jobs and even entire industries.

Resellers and IT providers will play an increasingly crucial role in countering and alleviating these fears by educating customers about how AI should be used to complement and enhance existing staff roles rather than replace them.

For instance, AI can be pitched as a means to enhance staff engagement by automating tedious tasks and allowing employees to focus on more meaningful aspects of their work, leading to more positive interactions and a more fulfilling work experience – a win/win for all involved!

Reframing Solutions to Client Needs

Finally, understanding clients’ processes and pain points is essential for providing tailored AI solutions.

Given that Channel customers’ communication challenges, as well as their constant compulsion to grow sales, are influenced by so many factors, selling-in a solution that helps teams be more productive and understand those pressures in greater detail becomes much easier.

Identifying areas where AI can effectively resolve challenges, or at least reframing challenges in terms of the benefits that AI provides, ensures that Resellers and IT providers can package and sell AI-based services based on the value they bring to customers’ businesses rather than simply promoting what the product is and assuming the customer will be able to connect the dots themselves.

By focusing on these four elements, Channel businesses can ride this tidal wave of AI popularity without making empty promises or disappointing customers to the detriment of their brand and the trust customers put in them.

Sentiment Analysis is the ideal entry point to the AI market for most of the industry, as well. So, if you would like to discuss how Elisha Insights, our vendor-agnostic AI-powered solution, can help your customers understand their interactions better and find broad operation improvements, don’t hesitate to email info@elishatelecom.com