AI for E-commerce CX: This time it's different

Rafid Imran
Tuesday, April 2, 2024
5 mins
“Sooner rather than later, generative AI will transform the customer care function itself—and even, possibly, the company business model. Be ready.” - BCG wrote this 9 months ago here

AI has had a love-hate relationship with customer support, aiming for big automation rates for over a decade while businesses wait on magical promises. Finally, a little over a year ago, the inception of generative AI changed everything forever, really fast. Since Generative AI, we are seeing True Automation for the first time. True Automation is when AI resolves tickets from start to finish without any human intervention. This wasn’t possible until around one year ago.

Today, AI is overwhelmingly redefining every industry; this is even more true in CX. So, we have decided to highlight some of the most extraordinary recent cases and share our thoughts.

Insights on AI and CX that are making all businesses turn heads:

💡 According to BCG, 95% of global customer service leaders expect their customers to be served by an AI at some point within the next 3 years.

Takeaway: The countdown has begun. Adding AI to your CX strategy is critical now to stay ahead while increasing customer satisfaction.

💡 JetBlue very recently saved 73,000 hours of agent time in one quarter by adding AI to their CX stack.

Takeaway: Implementing AI doesn't just enhance customer support—it significantly boosts operational efficiency, freeing up your team to focus on more complex, value-added interactions.

💡 Last year, Klarna launched an AI assistant that completed 2.3 million conversations, a full 2/3 of Klarna’s customer service chats.

Takeaway: AI can manage a substantial volume of interactions and, as a result, increase sales and revenue.

These insights strongly indicate the future of customer experience in e-commerce. Embracing AI today equals survival in the near future. At Yuma AI, we are witnessing firsthand the transformative power of AI. Our top customers achieve up to 50% true automation of their total monthly tickets. This represents a significant leap forward, enabling businesses to deliver more personalized, efficient, and scalable customer experiences. That is what excites us and drives our core work at Yuma AI.

So here are our top recommendations for e-commerce businesses that are starting with AI for Customer Service:

1. Start with the Mundane and frequent

Automating frequent and mundane queries in the beginning sets a solid foundation for more complex Automation later. It also allows your team to adapt gradually. Some of the most frequent cases we see in e-commerce are ‘Sharing delivery status’, ‘Sharing shopping policies’, ‘Reply to order received messages’, etc. When looking for an AI solution, look for features that allow you to automate the easy stuff easily. Our customers achieve up to 10% automation in the first few days by automating common, mundane cases.

2. Integrate your tools tightly

First, list the mundane and high-volume tasks. Then, think about what goes into each task. While executing these tasks, if a human agent needs access to something, so does the AI. That’s why making sure all systems and services are integrated with AI is a must. Yuma, for example, works mostly with Shopify but also supports other e-commerce platforms. Gorgias and Zendesk stand out as our two most popular help desk integrations. Other integrations we support include but are not limited to, ShipStation, ShipBob, Skio Subscriptions, Recharge, Yotpo, Klavio, Loop Returns, Okendo, Bigblue, Subscribify, Shipup, Seal Subscriptions, Smile, and custom integrations.

3. Invest your own time and effort into the AI tool of your choice

Investing your own time is directly correlated to success, as training an AI is kind of like training a human being, and the early investment pays off in the long term. No two AI tools work the same, and the tool you choose needs to be able to grow with you. It’s good to remember that no one knows your business like you do, and the more you can reflect that in the AI, the better it will perform. A good starting point is looking at existing processes and policy documents that can be used to build AI automations.

4. Closely monitor your automation performance

Monitor the performance closely for each case until the AI reaches a point where it can run by itself without any supervision (other than significant updates). Keep iterating and watch your automation rate climb up week after week. If you are looking for a rough estimate, 40-50% true automation is a good milestone, but it’s in no way the limit.

5. Don’t settle for partial Automation

AI chatbots are good examples of partial Automation. They are frustrating, often escalate to humans, and are a pain to build. Partial Automation creates more debt than benefit. So, we advise finding out if the AI solution you’re interested in offers True AI Automation (besides chatbots). True AI Automation is when the AI can resolve customer queries end-to-end without any human intervention. So, the AI should be able to take actions like cancelling an order, updating an order, changing an address, and any other actions that are required beyond just chatting with customers.

These recommendations are drawn from our real-life experiences with customers. If you are wondering whether we provide support to our customers, the answer is YES. Helping businesses get to success with AI is one of our core values. We understand that AI is a new tech, unlike anything the business world has used before. Regardless of which AI solution you choose (or don’t choose), it’s highly recommended that you start exploring AI and how to add it to your CX stack. If there’s one key takeaway you should remember from the reading, it should be this one: AI is here to stay, and there is no going back.

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