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Navigating the COVID-19 Disruption with Conversational AI and Automation

The 2020 pandemic crisis saw enterprises hastily implement work from home policies, adjust business operations, and brace for financial instability, even as they recalibrated their IT and communications setup to stay connected to employees, vendors, customers and other stakeholders. Across the board, straightforward workflows now needed to be analysed and modified to counter this disruption, without driving up costs. For instance, at a time when businesses were seeing the highest uptick in enterprise support call volumes – up 800% in some cases, call centers were also having to look at how to transition from a centralized to a decentralized mode. 

Now more than ever, call centers need to be available and functional, and this has been a challenge of epic proportions for some. This is because as call volumes as well as duration have gone up, agent capacity has decreased steadily, resulting in a negative support experience. The crisis has also affected productivity. Workers were already spending up to 20 percent of their time looking for information, and COVID-19 just made it that much more difficult. However, resilient businesses have quickly adapted to these complex, and ambiguous circumstances, countering uncertainty with flexible, intelligent workflows.

Conversational AI has been a key player in combating the effects of business disruption due to the pandemic and the sudden transition to en masse remote work. With costs going up and customer service, IT support, and supply chain taking a hit, there has been a discernible acceleration towards the technology in almost all sectors. For instance, with supply chains under severe stress, Avaamo customers are increasingly looking to AI and automation to handle front-end issues, such as questions about order status or when invoices need to be paid. In the early stages of the pandemic, Avaamo found that IVA users of several customers were asking for information regarding changes in policy, health updates, and so on. These customers quickly updated their IVA to ensure that these questions were answered, and managed to handle a 300% plus spike in user queries efficiently, without having to resort to augmenting with a large number of human agents.

From account management in banking, to policy management in insurance, to incident management in a service desk, Avaamo virtual assistants have been talking to millions of users everyday, taking the burden off human workers, and giving them time to adjust to the new normal. Self-service is now a business imperative and virtual assistants are the solution. Even as the crisis passes, companies will continue to automate as many tasks as they can to ensure that business runs smoothly once the next global disruption occurs.

To learn how conversational AI can help your business, reach out to sales@avaamo.com