Hate AI? Me too!

listen to dailystraits.com - something different! podcast on goodpods

Renae Smith By Renae Smith

Alright, brace yourselves, because I’ve got a bone to pick with AI chatbots. Seriously, these digital critters and I? We’re like oil and water, and I’ve become quite the expert at dodging any “live chat” option that even remotely hints at a chatbot encounter.
These chatbots seem to think you’ve got the IQ of a goldfish. So, you end up having to rephrase your questions a gazillion times, only to receive the most ridiculous responses that assume you’ve never held a mobile phone before!  “Have you tried restarting your phone?”
And don’t even get me started on the linguistic and cultural mishaps when you’re dealing with chatbots from faraway lands. It’s like trying to explain Brown Cardigan, or “Tube Girl” to your grandma – let’s just say… It’s not good.
To demonstrate – here’s a real gem from my recent chatbot tango:

Me: “Hello, my SIM card hasn’t shown up.”

The Bot: “Sorry, I didn’t quite catch that. Could you say it differently?”

Me: “My SIM order hasn’t been delivered yet.”

The Bot: “Hmm, try saying it another way?”


The Bot: “I’m here to assist! Please express your query in a few simple phrases.”
The result? I actually switched companies. Genuinely – I mean, who knows where that SIM is now, but at this point, I couldn’t care less.
Anyway, picture my surprise when Mark Fazio, a long standing client of mine and the big boss at MATE, spilled the beans to me about bringing AI chatbots into the customer support mix. My face said it all… I was 100 per cent against it and Mark knew he had some work to do to convince me this was a PR angle worth pursuing.
Despite his best efforts, it took not one, but two marathon phone calls for me to even consider entertaining the idea of pitching this concept for them. But hold on, because there’s a twist in this tale worth your attention.
MATE, in collaboration with Clevertar, has introduced “Grace” AI, the MATE AI Chatbot. Grace is not your run-of-the-mill chatbot; she’s something entirely different, and here’s why.
While most chatbots seem to amplify my tech-related rage, Grace doesn’t. She’s designed to be an extension of MATE’s human customer service team (nope, she hasn’t replaced any of them).  Instead of offering generic responses that leave you feeling more frustrated, Grace engages in a natural, human-like manner. Conversations with her flow and you’re not asked to rephrase your chat as if you’re speaking to a four year old.  You just say it how you’d say it – and she is designed to understand (she doesn’t even care if English is your second language or you spell terribly – she’s designed to get around all of that.
What truly sets Grace apart is her local touch. She’s created by Aussies and operates onshore in Australia. This ensures that Grace understands the specific needs, preferences, and cultural nuances of all Australian customers.
But it’s not just about being personable. Grace is incredibly efficient, helping MATE’s human workforce focus on complex customer needs, rather than mundane inquiries that could actually be fixed by restarting the damn router. This means faster resolution times, happier customers, and cost savings that benefit the customer, not just the bottom line.
At the heart of Grace’s brilliance (and one of the key reasons I became a convert) is Clevertar’s technology, a fusion of cutting-edge natural language AI and clever innovations. Seriously – these guys are BRILLIANT.  Their groundbreaking (and award winning) technology empowers Grace to provide responses that go beyond mere accuracy, offering highly tailored and relevant support.  And they’re from Radelaide… even better.
So, while the world may be full of chatbots that fuel my tech-frustration, MATE’s Grace serves as a refreshing antidote to the AI chatbot blues. Not all AI-driven customer support is created equal, and Grace’s exceptional performance, powered by advanced technology and a commitment to customer-centricity, proves that innovation can indeed transform the customer service experience.
As the telecommunications industry continues to evolve, MATE and Clevertar’s partnership showcases the potential for genuine innovation to deliver unparalleled customer service. So, if you’re like me and have a history of battling AI chatbots, Grace might just change your mind – she did for me.

About the author: Renae Smith is the Director of The Atticism PR. This is an opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of this publication.

Leave a Reply