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One Partner's Experience Using AI To Measure Customer Satisfaction

MSPs can harness AI technologies to gain deeper insights into positive and negative feedback from their customers, according to system integrator Cloudbakers.

Cloudbakers, a system integrator focused on supporting cloud services and migration for its 500 clients, began measuring customer satisfaction using artificial intelligence a few years ago and has since successfully identified patterns and smoothed out problem areas.

"We see our job as 50 percent human, 50 percent tech. For us, monitoring our customer's happiness is a critical success factor," Eric Lannert, CTO of Chicago-based Cloudbakers, told MSPs at The Channel Company's NexGen 2019 conference.

Solution providers can harness AI technologies like sentiment analysis gain deeper insights into topics that are trending, and positive and negative feedback from their customers, Lannert said.

[Related: AI Explosion: How Solution Providers Are Cashing In Big]

Cloudbakers is a Google Cloud Premier Partner, so the firm selected Google's machine learning natural language API to automatically compute sentiment analysis for its cloud licenses it resells. The industry average response rate to satisfaction surveys typically runs around 30 percent, but CloudBakers wanted to see what would happen if they used AI APIs to innovate on the data it was collecting from its ticket system.

Google's sentiment analysis gave Cloudbakers a quantitative, emotional scoring on a 1-10 basis of text from their customers through the tickets by recognizing specific words and phrases.

"As a reseller, provisioning is usually a sticking point for customers, and we learned that amazingly, that was the most positive with our customers," Lannert said. "Interestingly from a problem-solving standpoint, PDFs were having an issue, which turned out to be a common theme across clients dealing with cloud syncing. The technology is helping us diagnose customer patterns across many different clients."

Today, Cloudbakers is considering reselling AI to track satisfaction as an offering for its clients, rather than only continuing to use it in-house, Lannert said. The firm is talking to its customers to learn which insights they'd pay more or less for, and how much analysis will the customer expect of Cloudbakers.

"This is giving us a good idea to build a pretty big offering set, he said.

Vistem Solutions, Inc. (VSI), an Irvine, Calif.-based MSP, specializes in supporting hospitality and labor union customers, as well as the shipping industry on the Pacific Coast. VSI has its own development team, so the firm can do data integration and software modifications to help disparate systems communicate with each other. VSI is interested in using AI to measure customer satisfaction for its hospitality clients to use during their guests' transactions, not after their experience is over, said Keith Nelson, vice president of technology for VSI.

"Customers like convention centers are very big into guest satisfaction, so I'm interested in tracking satisfaction and surveying along the process, versus at the end," he said. "Having a customer say they're mad afterward doesn't accomplish much."

VSI is in the process of evaluating several new cloud partners for development, including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, Nelson said.

MSPs interested in offering an AI-based solution to track satisfaction should take advantage of cloud platforms for building scripts that allow these solutions to be deployed in one click and automatically billed, lannert said. Channel partners will also have to identify the right customers within their base that will be open evolving their businesses, he added.

"Your potential early adoptions are people who are interested in machine learning," he said. "This is an example of moving from the procurement of hardware to the procurement of solutions, with the same level of automation and customer experience surrounding it."

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