Episode 105 : How Artificial Intelligence is Mitigating Bottlenecks in Customer Experience

Dan Leshem has over 10 years of experience leading various products in a variety of companies and fields. He wrote his first line of code at the age of 14, and has not stopped writing ever since.

He is the co-founder and CEO of Plantt. He’s been leading products in various industries for over 10 years, an entrepreneur at heart, and he’s now setting himself a goal to make Customer Experience better than before.

Questions

  • Could you tell us a little bit about your journey, how it is that you got to where you are today and maybe share with us a bit about your company Plantt, what does not really do?
  • What has your experience been in customer experience, especially since the pandemic? Are there any trends that you’ve seen across industries? And how does your platform help customers to navigate their customer experience or brands to navigate their customer experience?
  • What industry do you specifically specialize in or is it for all different industries?
  • What are two or three top things that you think banks need to focus on as it relates to Artificial Intelligence, but also ensuring that they’re blending the human aspect of that into their customer experience because technology is great. But I still think that we need to have some human component attached to the technology. What are your thoughts on that?
  • What are some of the bottlenecks that you found customer experience teams have been experiencing, especially since the pandemic?
  • Could you share with us maybe one or two things that you think companies need to focus on in order to deliver a fantastic customer experience?
  • What’s the one online resource, tool, website or app that you absolutely can’t live without in your business?
  • Could you share with us maybe one or two books that have had the biggest impact on you?
  • Can you share with us maybe something that’s going on in your life that you’re really excited about – either something you’re working on to develop yourself or your people?
  • Where can our listeners find you online?

Highlights

Dan’s Journey

Dan shared that Plantt helps companies elevate their customer experience with AI (Artificial Intelligence) they help them find bottlenecks in their customer service, customer support, and then automate what they can without losing that personalized experience.

But before we dive into what Plantt, Dan shared that customer experience is very close to his heart mostly as a customer, this is how he ended up funding a start-up in that space. He as a customer, he had several not ideal experiences both with human and chatbot representative. So, this is where 2 years ago he started thinking about how to change and what he can do to solve challenges in this space.

How Does the Platform Help Organizations Navigate Their Customer Experience

Dan shared that the pandemic had a tremendous effect on customer experience because overnight companies really had to shift their strategy about customer experience and customer support. They had not only surge increasing in demand and in volume indicating and support and communication with the customers. But also they had logistic problem, they had to work remotely and Call Centres were shutting down.

So in his experience, as they work with companies, with their customers, they had to embrace technologies overnight. That was fascinating. During the pandemic in the first outbreak in March, they had customers running at them and just starting implementation of AI and automation to their customer experience. So that was very interesting to see.

He thinks now companies are re-evaluating their strategies about customer experience and how they can embrace automation as part of their strategy. So it’s going to be very interesting to see in the upcoming months to see how these things are developed.

Me: So, Plantt is an organization that will help you to improve on customer support in terms of, you will field telephone calls, handle support tickets, chats and that kind of stuff. And you do it for different types of organization. What industry do you specifically specialize in or is it for all different industries?

Industries that Plantt Specializes In

Dan shared that their platform is industry agnostic, but they mainly work with e-commerce and SaaS companies and financial services companies. These are the main three industries they’re focused on.

Me: Okay, great. In terms of the financial companies let’s say for example, for a bank. Tell me some of the things that maybe two or three top things that you think banks need to focus on as it relates to Artificial Intelligence, but also ensuring that they’re blending the human aspect of that into their customer experience because technology is great. But I still think that we need to have some human component attached to the technology. What are your thoughts on that?

Things that Banks Need to Focus on and Also Blend the Human Aspect into their Customer Experience

Dan stated that he definitely agree with your what Yanique said. He thinks that what we see is that companies are running towards automation. And we had this hype of chatbots a few years ago where everybody was talking about chatbots, but then chatbots just didn’t deliver on their promise, although it’s great. We all had a bad experience with chatbots.

And Yanique is right. There was a missing, that personalized feeling there or that human touch. So, he thinks companies before they go towards automation or chatbot, first they have to understand what their customers are really asking for, what they really want, way before they are run into automation.

The language understanding technology these days is quite good. But you have to understand really what it is that your customers really want from you. And then you have to know what can be automated and what must be deal with more empathy and still require your support to intervene.

Me: So, basically as an organization you have to identify that not every aspect of your business is going to need full technology and automation or even some form of artificial intelligence.

Bottlenecks that Customer Experience Teams are Experiencing Since the Pandemic

Dan shared that if we can take for example, e-commerce companies, there was a lot of interference in the supply chain. So, they had like thousands of inquiries about delivery delays and people concerning about the delivery because of the pandemic.

So, they were able to identify trends that and they also as part of their platform, they also analyze the sentiment. So, they were actually analyzing trends of people worried about COVID and they were able to see that companies that were supporting, that were adding some empathy in their answers to the customer, the conversation was that there was satisfaction at the end of the conversation was way higher. So, bottlenecks they see, delivery delays.

Things that Companies Need to Focus on to Deliver Fantastic Customer Experience

Dan shared that the first thing they have to do is to understand what their customers are asking, what really keeps their customers busy because many customer experience directors and many companies have an intuition about what is it that their customers really want from them.

And there is that misconception where many people say customers want to speak with humans, they want to speak with customer support representatives. And therefore, we cannot automate; we cannot deliver great customer experience and also automate the customer experience and they think that’s wrong.

People don’t want to necessarily speak with humans, but they want to get the job done, they want for their problem to be solved. So, we need to understand what is the problem that we have to solve for our users, for our customers, and then focus on that. And in some cases, it can be automated and there are tools that can give you the insights about what these problems are. And in some cases, there is still need for human to intervene in the process.

Me: So basically, you need to find out what a problem is, what solution, what problem are you really trying to solve for the customer? And I guess for each customer that’s different and then you need to use tools to understand if they’re actually being resolved.

Dan mentioned that also, especially after the pandemic, because, we are entering in to a more dynamic, he would say, a dynamic era where in customer experience, where you would have to as an organization, you would have to navigate between multiple channels to deliver great customer experience because before the pandemic maybe you had, for example, retailer. You had customers reaching out to your store, now everything is shifted to online. And then you would have to embrace like messaging channels for the millennials and for Gen X, you would have to embrace voice channels like Alexa. So, it’s going to be way more dynamic, in his opinion.

App, Website or Tool that Daniel Absolutely Can’t Live Without in His Business

When asked about an online resource that he cannot live without in his business, Dan shared that that’s a great question. For him it’s loom, when the pandemic hit and we all switch to remote work, they were starting using loom.

Me: Is it similar to Asana or one of those platforms that you can basically communicate with your team and share projects and that kind of stuff?

Dan shared that it’s a really simple app that lets you record your screen while you speak and then you can send the recording to one of your teammates. And so, it’s really helpful when you’re not working in the same office, you can just share with your co-worker and it saves them a lot of hours.

Me: I imagine because you’re dealing with such technical stuff, it makes it easier for the persons who you’re sharing information with.

Books That Have Had the Greatest Impact on Dan

Dan jokingly asked if she wants the real answer or the smart answer. So, the real answer is, Harry Potter. When he was young, he fell in love with the series. And this is actually how he got into entrepreneurship and in building products in general because he started like a fan club website, this is the first website he ever built. So, it has a great impact on him.

What Dan is Really Excited About Now!

Dan shared that when they started Plantt over a year ago, they didn’t know where they were going to be with this and it’s really exciting to see how they help companies learn what their customers really want from them and being actually the voice of customers. So it’s really exciting. They didn’t start as an inside platform for companies, they started as just as a simple chatbot platform. But then when they moved forward, they learned about the importance of designing the experience and keeping the experience personalized. So, it’s really exciting for them to work with their customers, with their design partners and investors.

Where Can We Find Dan Online

Dan shared listeners can find him at –

Website – www.plantt.io

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/dan-leshem/

Please connect with us on Twitter @navigatingcx and also join our Private Facebook Community – Navigating the Customer Experience and listen to our FB Lives weekly with a new guest

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Links

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