A Glasgow tech firm specialising in AI and automation has posted ten-fold growth figures as demand for its services soars.

VKY Intelligent Automation puts its astonishing rate of growth since March 2021 down to changing consumer expectations when it comes to interacting with brands and services.

Its 1,000 per cent expansion has been driven by new business including household names in energy and utilities, insurance and contact centre sectors, and local authorities.

The company, which counts Edinburgh City Council and Aberdeenshire Council among its new public sector clientele, expects the trajectory to continue in the second half of 2023.

Other new clients include the global outsourcing and contact centre network, Ascencos, which has its headquarters in Motherwell and another base in Clydebank.

In addition to the significant increase in sales, VKY appointed Stephen Coia as joint managing director earlier this year.  

The business specialises in supporting organisations wishing to improve their customer experience and satisfaction levels through automation and conversational AI. The firm’s technology takes on many of the repetitive, time-consuming tasks that often bog down customer support staff.

Redirecting the majority of these kinds of enquiries frees up staff time to deal with more complex cases and focus on the interactions where they can deliver maximum value to customers.  

Stephen Coia, joint managing director of VKY Intelligent Automation, said: “Since we first formed the business, we’ve seen a significant shift in what consumers expect when it comes to customer service. This has contributed to organisations reevaluating how they prioritise the overall customer experience. While there has certainly been a change in customer expectations, stricter compliance requirements and increased pressures to do more with less are also helping to drive this transformation.  

Stephen Coia, joint managing director of VKY Intelligent Automation
Stephen Coia, joint managing director of VKY Intelligent Automation

“One of our core objectives is to help organisations reduce their churn – both in terms of customers and staff.  The organisations using this technology most effectively are those that seamlessly combine the human and AI approaches. 

“Contrary to some of the scare stories that are so prominent at the moment, our automation offering is designed to support, not replace customer service staff. It acts as a filter, taking on the more simple but arduous tasks by doing things like pointing customers towards a self-service option, such as a chatbot, where it’s available and is likely to solve their issue quickly.

“It will also ensure that the employees have all the information they need to deliver more value when they are speaking to customers directly. This improves the overall experience for the end user by reducing the frequency of pain points, such as being put on hold.” 

With customer service agent turnover rates staying consistently high, between 30 and 45 per cent, according to Customer Experience Magazine, improving staff retention is a major challenge for the sector. This is not just because of the difficult recruitment market but also due to the negative impact it has on customer experience. 

Coia adds: “Effectively integrating automation into a business can significantly improve its staff retention and satisfaction rates – a big issue given the challenges and costs relating to recruitment just now. 

“Staff churn tends to be particularly high in those organisations that require staff to perform a higher proportion of those more arduous and repetitive tasks. It’s an expensive issue and it’s bad news for everyone, including customers. Automation takes on a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to those repetitive tasks and means staff can use their experience and expertise to work on the more complex and rewarding cases. In other words, it allows organisations to stop treating their staff like robots.”