How to Set Up Your ABI Strategy For Success

Our digitized world is constantly shifting and changing — impacted by factors outside of our control like global events, the economy, and even a pandemic.

Many have turned to automation in an attempt to address CX concerns. But, I’d argue, that most of these solutions, or “chatbots,” don’t get at the core of what brands need to increase operational efficiency without compromising CX quality. This is why, despite widespread adoption, some businesses still worry that people find automation tiresome. Unhelpful. Unable to provide the VIP experiences that customers expect.

Typical chatbots are a bandaid fix. They don’t have the capabilities to guide people through the complete customer journey, and they aren’t equipped to anticipate customer needs. But done right, automation can increase efficiencies and cut costs without compromising the brand experience.

Choosing the right automation solution is important. But choosing the right automation partner is even more critical. The right solution should allow you to easily automate the bulk of your interactions, empower your customers to take action, and anticipate their needs to proactively engage with them. The right partner will help you set and achieve clear business goals, both short-term and long-term. 

So while you may be focused on immediate cost-savings now — with automated brand interactions that answer common questions — the only way to deliver value and drive growth is to choose a partner with the right framework. One that personalizes responses that facilitate action and even anticipate needs and proactively address them. 

At Ada, we call this the Automated Brand Interaction (ABI) framework. It’s the method brands can use to assign value to different kinds of interactions, and it’s the only way your brand can speak to anyone, anywhere, all the time. 

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Of course, you’ll need a team that can guide you through the ABI framework and help you set up a successful brand interaction strategy from the get-go. People that understand your vision and can steer you clear of the common pitfalls and all the ways bad bots can frustrate users. 

At Ada, this is the job of our Professional Services (PS) team. We help you bring your brand interaction goals to life, whether that’s scaling support operations, reducing costs, increasing conversion rates, and more. We work in close partnership with you to understand your business objectives and pave the best path forward — to not only create your ideal ABI strategy, but to empower you to own it and make changes with ease and agility. 

Want to learn what you can — and should — expect of a PS team? The formula to achieving true collaboration between an ABI platform and your brand? Of course you do, that’s why you’re here. Let’s hop right in.

What to look for — and avoid — when choosing the right automation partner

There is a lot to consider when you’re creating an automation strategy for the first time, such as:

  • How should you introduce automation to complement your existing CX strategy? 
  • What steps do you take to train your support and CX teams to support this new strategy? 
  • What are the ins and outs of using a new machine learning model? 
  • How can you create VIP experiences through conversational design best practices? 

You’ll need an expert team by your side — people who have hundreds of implementations under their belt using a system with a tried and true process. This is only achievable when you have a PS team working closely together with you on the vision and execution of your ABI strategy.

Avoid: minimal launch support and managed ongoing services

Most automation solutions offer minimal support when you’re getting started — and not having guided support will have you scrambling. It can take months, even years for brands to build this out in house or without an experienced PS team by your side. And likely, you’ll waste time on things that don’t matter.

Some solutions offer managed services — a team that will build, maintain, and run your automation solution on your behalf. However, if you’re relying on this, it will be impossible to own your ABI strategy. You will need to ask another team for every change, big and small, instead of optimizing your interactions and making changes on the fly. 

This takes a lot longer, and let’s be honest, in today’s economic landscape you don’t have the time. Also keep in mind that this other team will not know your customers like you do and can’t offer guidance or advice on what you can be doing to improve.

Look for: guided launch and the ability to make changes independently

With a guided launch, you get the benefits of expertise and more hands to enable the speedy launch of your most valuable interactions. The PS team helps take the pressure off by ensuring you launch on time with interactions addressing your immediate needs and more. 

This empowers you to put your ABI in the hands of people who know your customers best. Your own CX team can make changes based on the insights that they see firsthand interacting with your customers; no need to go through tech resources or a third party. 

For example, when Wave Financial looked to Ada to help scale their seasonal support, they were apprehensive about implementing an ABI strategy at the height of their busiest quarter. The PS team stepped in and worked closely with Wave’s support team to kick-start the process. 

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Along with getting hands-on with their build, the PS team guided Wave through automation best practices and empowered them to make their bot, Mave, consistent with their brand’s tone. The PS team also built specific use case flows to serve Wave’s unique ABI needs.

Mave launched in under a month. The team was able to take advantage of the bot during their busy season and realize its value right away — the bot was able to contain, on average, 70% of the interactions during their busy season.

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What a true PS partnership should look like

Your support and CX teams should be empowered to become true experts in designing automated brand interactions, and equipped to continue building on your ABI foundation once the initial implementation is complete. Here’s how we do it at Ada:

1. We start with developing a Bot Content Framework with you. This is the foundation of our implementation process, and the document from which we understand your current support processes and mold them to the first iteration of your ABI strategy.

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2. We look at all the existing data — previous support tickets and customer history — and the current processes you have in place.  When we’re looking over the data, we’re hoping to learn about your existing processes; we want to get in deep and understand what’s been working, what’s important to your support success, and where we can automate your existing support process.

3. We build answer flows based on your intents and the perspective of your customers, as well as your support stakeholders. As the PS team builds these out, they’re aligning your ABI goals and customer support criteria. Goals around reducing wait times for live agents and containment metrics are set here and will be expanded on when you’ve been passed over to the Customer Success team.

4. We walk you through examples of successful flows we’ve built in the past, so your team starts understanding ABI through the lens of best-in-class conversational design and is able to hit the ground running.

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Full transparency during this process is important. You’ll want to know the why behind our recommendations, what has worked well in the past, and how we think this will benefit your ABI vision. In order to provide a true partnership, we believe this expertise should be shared freely. 

This means, at every step of the process, you won’t be left to build your brand interactions in isolation or have to pay for the changes you need moving forward. We believe your ABI strategy should be owned and optimized by the people who know your business, product, and customers best. We train your team to take charge of your strategy — confidently and independently (with our support of course!).  

 A collaborative process is essential to a seamless launch. And we won’t leave your team hanging. By the end of implementation, your team will be fully enabled in Ada’s platform.

GCash is another standout example of this partnership. Before Ada, customers would have to submit a form in order to connect with the GCash brand. For a company that has over 60 million active users, this was clearly an unscalable solution. For one thing, your customers may be reluctant to fill out a form — leaving a number of customers with issues that GCash wouldn’t be aware of. On the other hand, submitting a form requires support teams to carry the burden of responding, and this takes significant time. Time away from projects that drive more pressing business goals. This leaves customers in the dark until someone is able to get back to them, and keeps the business stuck in a cycle of manual support that can’t scale growth. 

Completely new to automation, GCash and Ada’s PS team worked closely to align on an ABI strategy that would meet the needs of their customers and the business. The success of their initial launch says it all: over 125,000 customers engaged with GCash in an automated chat within the first seven days. GCash’s customers were eager to use the platform and interact with a brand in a more fluid, immediate way. As a result, GCash’s agents were able to handle more inquiries — easing their workload while giving customers the info they needed right away. Now, GCash is responding to customers instantly with automated brand interactions, and their team is managing and maintaining their conversational AI independently.

The support you need past implementation

You’ve successfully launched your ABI strategy. You’ve integrated the ABI platform with your tech stack, set up your answer flows, and the bot is live on your website, app, and social channels. Congratulations! What happens next?

To ensure that you can manage and build your ABI strategy independently and with confidence, the PS team will transition you to Ada’s Customer Success (CS) team with a plan for your future success. The PS team provides the CS team with full context of your ABI strategy, the implementation process, and every bit of information needed for a seamless transition. 

We’re here to help your brand grow and evolve. Choosing the right partner in automation can be tough, but launching a successful ABI strategy can be easy — with the right PS team by your side.

Kiryl Rusetski
Kiryl Rusetski

Kiryl Rusetski is a Professional Services Consultant at Ada, empowering clients to use Ada in innovative ways that align with their brand strategies. Outside of work you can find him out on a hiking trail or listening to records.

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