Hello! Welcome to Skit.ai. Click here to book a demo.

Customer Success for Voice AI: Building Lasting Partnerships

For the second article of our “Meet the Team” series, we sat down with Joseph DeMarzio, one of our Customer Success Managers for the U.S. market. Joe lives in Staten Island, New York, and joined Skit.ai earlier in 2022.

Hi, Joe. Tell me a little about your professional background.

I’ve been working with start-up companies for the last seven years. I’ve specifically worked in the hospitality and travel industry, introducing a suite of tech products tailored to the hotel industry. Within the start-ups I’ve worked with, I’ve taken on many roles, including sales, customer success, technical integration, partnership development, building internal teams, and more.

What is your role at Skit.ai?

I maintain our relationships with our U.S. customers. I manage the onboarding process, product deployment, pilot testing, and KPI achievement. The overall goal of my role is to convert the pilots into long-term customers for Skit.ai; this is done by building a strong relationship. Additionally, I also work on partnership development. This includes managing discussions and integrations with third-party vendors — who help us enhance our product — and third-party sales organizations — who can help us by selling our product on our behalf.

What do you enjoy the most about working for a start-up company?

A CEO once told me that working at a start-up is like flying a plane while building it. That is very much true, as every day is a new challenge, and days are filled with both wins and losses. With that being said, the idea that my work contributes to the long-term success of the company is unrivaled. I love the fact that my input is heard and helps shape the product we are building. Start-ups also allow you to craft the company culture from the ground up. Start-ups grow at a rapid pace and thus it’s key to hire the right people also from the perspective of company culture.

What does a day in the life of a customer success manager look like?

A customer success manager’s responsibility is to bridge the gap between a client and the internal departments within the organization. A typical day starts with going through inquiries from our delivery team in terms of what is needed from the client, as we are responsible for both client onboarding and the life cycle with Skit.ai. Our job throughout the day is to understand and manage our clients’ expectations. We are responsible for keeping the client informed throughout the technical onboarding of the Digital Voice Agent. A customer success manager also focuses on the overall experience of the client through onboarding, testing, and ultimately live periods. We want the client to have financial success with our product as well as enjoy the experience of working with us along the way.

What do you think are the key factors that lead to a successful partnership with a customer?

Communication, transparency, and availability.

  • Frequent communication is healthy in normal relationships as well as business relationships. There should be an open flow of communication throughout the entire life cycle.
  • Transparency is key as you must always be honest with a client. If you are honest they will work with you instead of you feeling like you work for them.
  • Availability in the sense that the client knows they have someone they can always talk to. The experience of working with a “real” person should never be underestimated.

Tell me a fun fact about yourself.

Just one? I have an identical twin brother, my family owns a pizzeria restaurant, I have a JD (law) degree from Touro University, and I am an avid sports fan (specifically the Jets, Nets, Yankees, and Rangers).

Do you want to learn more about Voice AI? Check out our blog.

The Impact of Conversation Design When Crafting a Voice AI Solution

For the first article of our “Meet the Team” series, we sat down with a member of our CUX team, Ahana Sarkar, to chat about conversation design for Digital Voice Agents.

Hi, Ahana. Tell me about your professional background.

As a hospitality management graduate with a specialization in marketing, I developed a strong interest in marketing. After graduating, I interned at American Air Filters, where I honed my skills in content writing, blogging, strategic communications, and public relations, focusing on how to grow and engage the customer base. Thanks to my experience in technical writing and customer experience, I joined Skit.ai to be a part of the virtual customer experience journey. It feels like a natural evolution for me.

When did you join Skit.ai and what is your role?

I joined in September 2021, one year ago. I’m a Conversation Designer, working with the Conversational User Experience Team and designing the user experience provided by our Digital Voice Assistants. I ensure that the assistants are conversationally engaging and impactful for the end-users, and that they resonate with the voice of the brand.

Explain more in-depth how conversation design works. What are some of the most critical aspects of your job?

In a nutshell, conversation design allows computers to converse and hold casual conversations by using artificial intelligence (AI), almost like a human would. It’s a synthesis of several design disciplines, including voice user interface design, interaction design, visual design, motion design, audio design, and UX writing.

A conversation designer’s role is like the role of an architect—we map out what users can do in the virtual contact center realm, keeping in mind both the user’s needs and the technological constraints while curating human-like conversations.

The most important aspect of the job is to identify and understand the exact problem the client is facing and meet their expectations when working on the solution. We do user research and user education to get clarity on the do’s and don’ts for the Digital Voice Assistant.

I imagine you have to work closely with our customers to match the voice of the brand.

Yes, absolutely. The Digital Voice Agent’s persona depends a lot on the brand.

The designer must identify the words that the company uses while communicating with its target audience. Then, we shape the agent’s personality to align with the brand’s language and style. For example, a Digital Voice Agent for a restaurant is going to be friendlier than the one for an insurance company or a bank.

Here are the five elements designers should consider when creating a new Digital Voice Agent:

  • Name: Give the agent an interesting name.
  • Description: Define the background of the agent, including job, interests, features, to identify the tone and style of its voice.
  • Photo: The agent should have an image that showcases the personality of the bot.
  • Limitation: Defining the limitations the bot has to the client. For eg – language barrier. 
  • Goals: What are the goals that the client wants to achieve when the bot assists their customers?

How can companies use conversation design as a branding tool?

Conversation design helps simplify the overall user experience (UX) and customer journey. It works as a branding tool for many reasons such as:

Voice AI can help customers get their questions answered quickly and accurately. Nailing the user experience while handling numerous users at the same time can be a big challenge for companies in any industry. Conversation design can solve this problem efficiently. Contact centers that receive 1,000 calls a day are now able to easily process 6,000 calls and manage them efficiently and effectively.

Voice AI is designed according to the target audience. Conversation design allows for richer conversations, targeted advertising, and a much greater degree of personalization.

Voice AI drives conversations. Voice AI enhances the way the company interacts with its audience and helps build a relationship between the brand and consumers.

Voice AI builds loyalty. Voice AI keeps the customers engaged and motivated to come back for more.

What does a day in the life of a conversation designer look like?

My day starts by learning about the next Digital Voice Agent I’ll be designing. The first task involves learning about the customer’s requirements for the agent. I gather the requirements, work the project manager and the engineer to draft an initial conversation design flow. Then I get the customer’s feedback and send it for peer review. After a few iterations, I design the final flow that the engineer can use for the voicebot. The team then uses Skit’s bot-making platform to create and ship the new bot.

What do you love the most about working for Skit.ai?

At Skit.ai, I work with many young and innovative teammates. Working for a start-up gives you a unique sense of responsibility and the urge to contribute new ideas and make things happen. We have fun at work, while learning from each other’s projects or while recording voice prompts.

The team is very friendly and supportive. Team leads like Tiyas inspire us and pave the way leading by example. By the end of the week, we have fun at informal TGIF meetings. We bond beyond our working hours, with weekend catch-ups, hiking trips, or exploring the city trying new dishes.

Tell me a fun fact about yourself.

My dream vacation is to go to Cappadocia in Turkey and take a ride in a hot air balloon.

Are you interested in joining the team at Skit.ai? We are Great Place to Work Certified in India and we’re hiring both in the United States and India. Visit our Careers page to learn more.