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Integrating AI and Automation to Enhance CX in Indian Manufacturing

Integrating AI and Automation to Enhance CX in Indian Manufacturing

April 1, 2023 7:06 pm

Indian manufacturing companies are increasingly adopting digital technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), the Internet of Things (IoT), and machine learning to transform operations. However, exceptional customer experience (CX) has become a crucial differentiator. By integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and automation into their customer service, manufacturers can deliver high-quality service while reducing operational costs, ultimately future-proofing their business, says Vasudeva Rao Munnaluri, RVP India and SAARC, Zendesk.
How can Indian industrial robot manufacturers use digital tech to improve customer experience and implement automation in customer support and employee experience?
Innovation is at the core of industrial robots, which aim to provide convenience. Research and Markets predict that the Indian industrial robots manufacturing market will grow at a CAGR of 8.7 percent from 2022-2031 due to the adoption of digital technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), the Internet of Things, and machine learning. The Indian manufacturing industry is undergoing the Industry 4.0 transformation, focusing on integrating emerging technologies and strategies. However, delivering high-quality products and solutions is no longer sufficient to stay competitive in the global market.
Exceptional customer experience is now a key differentiator.
While businesses that manufacture smart robotic systems understand the benefits of automation, a 2021 Reuters survey of supply chain executives revealed that only 20 percent of respondents were using fully automated systems. Over half were still reliant on legacy planning systems. According to McKinsey, industrial robots will become automation enablers. Therefore, businesses in this sector should also consider implementing automation in customer support and employee experience areas.
Our 2022 CX Trends Report revealed that 80 percent of customers believe AI should simplify their lives. AI and ML can seamlessly collect and process data, providing insights into device failure, service and maintenance requirements, and part replacements. This information can help industrial robot manufacturers exceed customer expectations. As an industry that thrives on innovation, manufacturers can benefit from ensuring that their customer service matches the technological efficiency of their products.
How can manufacturers balance high-quality customer service and cost reduction in the face of an economic recession and rising expectations, and how can machine learning and AI help achieve this?
The World Bank predicts an economic recession in 2023, raising concerns for businesses across sectors, including manufacturing. As customer expectations continue to rise, manufacturers must deliver high-quality service 24/7 while reducing operational costs. Future-proofing through strategic planning is key.
Investing in machine learning and AI solutions can significantly impact future-proofing. IDC predicts that by 2025, extensive automation of business infrastructure will result in significant cost reductions. Customers want to be self-reliant and expect accessible automated customer service. AI and machine learning integrated with CX can provide customers robust self-service capabilities. Chatbots can provide customers with 24/7 support, directing them to relevant help centre articles or handing them over to a human agent based on query complexity. This reduces the time taken to address each query, and 40% of companies implementing automation and AI saw a 15% improvement in first response time. By freeing up agents’ time from mundane queries, they can focus on tasks that require a human touch, reducing roadblocks associated with human errors. Zendesk’s report found that a single bad experience can drive away 61% of customers. Automation can streamline workflows and processes, improving efficiency and transparency. A well-rounded technological approach can help manufacturers fine-tune their processes, saving costs and increasing success.
How can AI and ML improve manufacturing in predictive maintenance and supply chain management while enhancing customer experience and loyalty?
Manufacturers seek ways to improve their bottom line, and AI and ML are proven to be valuable assets in this regard as data becomes increasingly important across industries.
AI and ML can help with tasks like predictive maintenance, identifying and addressing bottleneck issues, and streamlining supply chain challenges. Manufacturers can analyse demand, forecast future trends, and adjust production and supply accordingly using AI-based order management systems. Additionally, IoT devices can monitor products throughout the production and supply chain processes to ensure they meet regulatory standards. A comprehensive approach to operations can help manufacturers differentiate themselves regarding customer service. By using data-driven and robust CX solutions, companies can exceed customer expectations and foster lasting loyalty. For instance, manufacturers can use help centres and chatbots to facilitate self-service and reduce agents’ time spent addressing many simple queries on the same topic. In the long run, taking a technology-forward approach can reduce the total cost of ownership, deepen loyalty, and improve operational efficiency.
How can businesses in the manufacturing industry benefit from the use of conversational AI and chatbots?
Gartner predicts that chatbots could be the primary customer service channel for a quarter of global organisations within the next five years. As businesses look for cost-saving measures amid economic uncertainty, chatbots are increasingly seen as a cost-effective solution, with two-thirds of manufacturing businesses globally believing they drive cost savings, according to Zendesk’s CX Trends 2022 report. While chatbots can help reduce the workload of human agents, businesses should consider the complexity of queries and integrate chatbots with machine learning technology to hand off to a human agent for more complex requests.
At Zendesk, we aim to make AI and ML-based CX solutions accessible to businesses of all sizes and sectors, including those reliant on legacy systems. Our recently launched AI solutions, Intelligent Triage and Smart Assist, automate the triaging of customer support requests and provide valuable data insights to prioritise revenue drivers, guide agents in real time, and improve coaching and training.
How can LCNC solution help businesses develop a quality CX?
Customers’ preferences have shifted towards digital-first engagement, and they expect more control over how they interact with businesses. However, developers need more supply, making meeting these expectations on modern messaging channels challenging. The low code revolution, which provides an accessible and easy-to-use platform for customisation, is making it easier and faster to develop and meet these demands. The LCNC market in India is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 28.1 percent from 2021-2025, as it allows both developers and non-technical experts to build platforms to meet rising customer expectations.
Our CX Accelerator report found that only 47 percent of Indian companies use AI to make their service teams more efficient. At Zendesk, we want to change that by making seamless customer service accessible to businesses of all sizes through our AI solutions and nocode workflow tools. Our LCNC solution can empower manufacturers and other industries to develop their ideal CX and meet their customers’ needs, ultimately providing exceptional AI-based service solutions.
How can businesses ensure that their implementation of automation adds value to the workflow while maintaining worker safety and product quality?
By 2025, over 20% of products are expected to be manufactured, packed, shipped, and delivered without human touch, according to Gartner. With the rise of automation and AI, exercising caution and ensuring that automated processes add value and enhance workflow is crucial.
Before implementing automation, businesses should consider where it adds value, whether it takes charge of repetitive or unsafe tasks or enhances product quality. It is essential to seamlessly integrate new systems into the existing workflow and regularly review measures and practices. Employee training is crucial for safely and efficiently operating automated equipment and software. Workers should be equipped with the knowledge to conduct quality checks, navigate complex machinery, and interact with automated systems.
Although the future is heavily automated, it is important to remember that human collaboration is necessary. Therefore, regularly revisiting measures and practices ensure that human and automation strategies work effectively.
Can automation provide benefits beyond task automation in the manufacturing industry?
Automation can simplify complex workflows in the manufacturing industry by collating and organising processes and systems. Manufacturers can achieve a high level of transparency by having a single system that tracks and updates all tasks, communications, and data. Automated systems also facilitate cross-departmental collaboration, which can improve team productivity and facilitate the sharing of information and knowledge. This can help identify key challenges and roadblocks within the company and enhance the customer experience.
Employee well-being is a crucial consideration when implementing automation strategies. For instance, a robotics manufacturing company may receive the same query daily “how to turn on the robot?” With automated CX, human agents may respond to countless versions of this query daily, which is not the best use of talent. Chatbots could easily handle such tasks, freeing up live agents to work on other aspects of CX and enhance their technical expertise, ultimately boosting their performance and professional development. Redirecting mundane tasks to automated systems can enhance live agents’ technical expertise, performance, and professional development. This will allow them to work on other aspects of CX, resulting in more efficient use of their talents.
Could you share a case study that illustrates the impact of Zendesk’s services on improving customer experience and relationships for a manufacturer?
Manufacturing businesses have traditionally prioritised product specifications, pricing, and performance over customer experience, but as competition intensifies and the economy faces challenges, many are rethinking their approach to CX. Zendesk offers manufacturers flexible and user-friendly tools to help them digitally transform their services and develop customer-centric operations that build stronger customer relationships.
For example, Stanley Black and Decker had 10,000 monthly tickets and call centres worldwide, but they aimed to centralise data and improve the post-purchase experience for their customers. Zendesk’s Professional Services Team addressed their needs and provided seamless customer experience solutions. This included enabling multilingual support, integrating queries from platforms like Facebook into a unified system, using Web Widget to capture sales, and giving their service team access to additional support channels. As a result, Stanley Black and Decker experienced a 500% increase in sales compared to the previous year and a 300% increase in agent efficiency.

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