The year 2020 has been a remarkable one for many reasons, but in the world of business and information technology, it’s likely to be remembered as the year that artificial intelligence went from a luxury to a necessity. At the beginning of the year, only one in five online retailers was using virtual customer service agents, according to IBM. The corporation now forecasts that, over the next few years, nearly every online retailer will use virtual assistants.
The reasons for this transformation are rooted in consumer shopping patterns. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, consumers are moving their purchasing power online. This shift in demand places a real strain on customer service resources. When combined with the work-from-home revolution sparked by the Coronavirus, it’s easy to see why International Data Corporation believes that the development of virtual assistants will grow 30 percent a year every year through 2023.
More than ever, AI virtual assistants will be called on to answer basic consumer questions and encourage specific consumer behaviors. In the process, these virtual assistants will free up their human counterparts to handle more difficult customer service issues. The end results include a better work experience for employees and millions of satisfied customers.
It’s no question that AI solutions are now a technological necessity for organizations driven by success. The only question is “build or buy?” Drawing up cost-benefit analyses for build-or-buy conversational platforms is one of the first things a company should do when considering the implementation of conversational solutions for core operations.
Gartner weighs in on this question by acknowledging that 90 percent of DIY conversational platforms fail within six months to one year. This is an incredibly high failure rate; however, 100 percent of enterprises with failed conversational DIY projects still want to pursue conversational platforms because of the value and benefits virtual assistants supply.
A Shift from Build to Buy
At Aisera, we’re seeing a huge shift among enterprise customers away from DIY projects. In 2019, 40 percent of enterprise customers tried DIY conversational platforms. Thus far in 2020, only 10 percent of enterprise customers are trying DIY conversational solutions.
Big digital transformation projects like conversational solutions can make or break an organization. Careful and strategic planning is crucial to ensuring success. Conversational solutions are a pivotal area for organizations; however, these DIY projects are prone to failure.
Regardless of whether your organization has chosen to build or buy your conversational platform, or even if you’re still deciding, it’s important to understand the patterns in the marketplace. At Aisera, we’re continuously curious about the ongoing changes in artificial intelligence strategies. We think any company considering a move into AI-driven customer service should ask themselves the following questions:
- Why have some built their own?
- Why have others bought?
- Why have the DIY projects failed?
- What can we do about it?
These are all questions you’ve probably thought of already. We’re curious too–that’s why we’re asking you and other leaders for your feedback!
Join the Conversation
We’ve created a survey to gather industry insights on “Build vs Buy” strategies for conversational platforms. Want to see how others in your industry are answering? Fill out the survey, and you’ll be able to compare notes with your peers when we report on the results, which will be shared with all survey participants. To join anonymously and collaborate with your peers, start by answering our build vs buy survey here.