Awhy is the first SaaS solution for automated, omni-channel, first-level customer care, which uses semantic analysis and comparative info matching of data to provide relevant answers to users’ questions, asked in writing, and answer their needs (thanks to a careful profiling and the possibility to implement pro-active marketing activities). Awhy customers just have to install a customizable widget on their website and it will interact in natural language (NL) in response to any question. When the question is too specific, a live chat will be activated. The possibility to track and profile the single user of an e-commerce website, gathering key data, differentiate Awhy from a simple chatbot. Awhy is then a disruptive Smart Assistant based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies able to: satisfactorily respond, in real time, to the on-line questions posed by the users, 24/7; enhance customer services; lead the way to marketing automation. First piloting activities carried out with paying companies are showing encouraging results in terms of both efficacy and efficiency.
The problems which companies currently encounter in the adoption of traditional assistance services are:
- Low staff efficiency: less than 30% of the staff has an adequate efficiency during the work period. 30% of the staff manages up to 9 calls / hour, with an average handle time (AHT) of about 6 minutes;
- Low speed of answer: the average speed of answer (ASA) to the phone is about 40 seconds, while 55% of the dedicated staff waits over 7 hours before answering by e-mail. 53% of online customers will abandon online purchases, if they cannot obtain a quick answer;
- High costs of staff and services: a company has high cost for training, recruitment and monthly salary of the dedicated staff and, on average, it supports about 6$/h for the answers to phone calls and email;
- 80% of customer inquiries are repetitive and 65% of information can be automated;
- Lack of efficient services of big data analytics for business purposes.
Customer Service trends detected for the year 2016 represent business opportunities that Awhy aims to take. First of all, millennials are lately more likely to resort to self-help customer services instead of calling a company, especially because millennial customers tend to be more tech savvy, have a lower tolerance level for slow response time and are open to newer, different, multichannel forms of communication. Such trend has already been captured by the market, which is seeing the explosion of the “conversational commerce” that pertains to utilizing chat, messaging, or other natural language interfaces to interact with people, brands, or services and bots. At the same time, companies are realizing the power of online word-of-mouth, as customers love sharing their experience online. From a technological point of view, Big Data are becoming more and more relevant: tracking data generated by direct feedbacks from customers and analytics picked up from monitoring trends and buying patterns, companies can send targeted advertising. Finally, key for Awhy business is the fact that E- commerce revenues are growing fast and tons of traditional business are starting to operate online.
Awhy will give direct answer to the needs of two different categories of subjects: its customers and the final users of online services. As regard the first category, it includes companies with a very strong digital approach which look for easy and economical solutions to optimize their customer care services, guaranteeing a punctual solution to users’ problems regardless of their formulation and input source. Moreover, they need to know how the users interact with their website and, consequently, an instrument to exploit such information for marketing purposes.
As regard the final users, especially the millennials more used to the fast digital word, they need quick and precise answers to their questions, as they could easily switch to other product/services providers. Moreover, they need an omni-channel service, easily accessible from any device they are using, without need to repeat their questions.
The economic benefit of choosing Awhy solution is outstanding. Traditional customer services are mainly based on human work, so that they have to face high costs for formation and salaries. A company that normally employs 3 full time operators, choosing to switch to Awhy, can save 98% of its costs. In addition, an operator cannot handle several requests at the same time. The average cost the management of inbound customer service requests is $ 1.3014.
Awhy, then, will use as unique selling point the incredible reduction of costs for the customer assistance services that companies operating online have to face and the optimization of those costs in which they will incur anyway. Awhy in fact, as SaaS service, will let businesses to estimate a fixed monthly expense, with an extremely small value compared to the intrinsic value of assistance and a consequent positive impact on annual cost budget.
Awhy market is the one of outsourcing contact centers. In 2014 this market valued, in Italy, was included between 1,910 and 1,930 mln €, with about 200 companies operating in the sector. It is a highly fragmented market, where the top 8 players generated, in 2014, approximately 48% of turnover, while 80% of the turnover was obtained with more or less 30 companies, about 15% of the total. The outsourcing contact center market (excluding revenue from back- office) in Europe in 2014 was worth about 14 bln €, of which 25% came from the UK, 17% from Germany, 16% from France, 9% from Spain and 7% from Italy.
Main Awhy competitors can be distinguished into two categories:
- Traditional call and contact center services based on human work. Compared to such companies, Awhy offers advantages in terms of: reduced response times and FAQs; digital native customers’ acquisition and retention; increase in labour productivity; optimization of costs; phone calls and emails reduction; periodic sales analysis; profiling of buyers; scalability of the service; big data analytics automated;
- More advanced competitors offer platforms that aim to improve customer services’ performance and provide data analytics services. Many of them are not interested in the use of semantic technology as Awhy does, and none of them offers a package of services ranging from automated first-level assistance, tools for the second level assistance and marketing automation. Most of the them requires human interaction.
- The innovation project is consistent with the strategy of the proponent: accelerating and optimizing - in an intelligent way - the process of the customer service, opening a new market niche where Awhy will be directly protagonist. Awhy Smart Assistant is a driver to reach this goal, as such innovation has its maximum expression in a commercial potential still not exploited. Our challenge is to develop and achieve the commercial validation of the new service on the market, at the Italian and European level both, boosting its growth.