Ultimate Software's Blog

In a World of Chatbots, People are Still Your Biggest Asset

It’s been said that 2017 is “The Year of the Chatbot” and many organizations are heavily investing in bots to assist retail, marketing, and customer support efforts. These AI-powered technologies have the potential to significantly reduce labor costs, and Gartner predicts that more than 85% of customer interactions will be managed without human assistance by 2020. Using AI to develop pioneering products and initiatives, including the option of self-service portals, is becoming more important to remain competitive. But in doing so, many companies have neglected their primary purpose of serving the needs of their customers. The missing quotient for many businesses is prioritizing people: you need great customer service (and employees) to be truly successful. Unfortunately, this is something SaaS (software as a service) companies often overlook. Because these companies are recurring-revenue based, once a sale is finalized and customers are “in,” there’s a tendency to let automated services take over and focus on service reactively instead of proactively. When it comes to customer service, what do your customers actually want? Automation is capable of incredible things, from streamlining arduous tasks to automatically analyzing and predicting data. But there’s a difference between automating tasks to maximize efficiencies and automating entire service departments. Consider the following:

While the average customer churn rate for a SaaS company of its size is between 6% and 10%, at Ultimate Software, it’s just 3%. To ensure we continuously deliver the industry’s best service, we heavily invest in our customer service resources—more than 80% of our employees are staffed in customer support and product development roles. When it comes to service, serving people should always be the top priority—not cutting costs through automation. Automation is a valuable tool to increase efficiency and manage tasks, but chatbots will never match the personalized and empathetic service of your employees.