CEO and founder of an e-commerce firm, Dukaan, Sumit Shah, has come under fire on social media after replacing 90% of his customer support staff with AI chatbots. He announced this change on Twitter and as the post began to reach more people, users slammed him for making such a decision which could gravely impact the lives of many employees.
He reasoned his decision in another tweet by saying this challenging decision was done to achieve profitability and efficiency. He further said that the first response time went from almost two hours to an instant, the resolution time went from over two hours to just three minutes and the customer support costs were reduced by a whopping 85%
He said that the decision was a tough one but it was a necessity. Shah added, “Given the state of the economy, startups are prioritizing “profitability” over striving to become “unicorns”, and so are we.” But Shah unsurprisingly faced much criticism from Twitter users after announcing this change. One user wrote, “He is talking about laying off people with the same glee that a kid has after getting a double scoop of ice cream.” Another user said, “How can anyone think AI chatbots give better responses?” Quick response vs. Quality response Profitability will be short-lived. No brand loyalty will be there.”
Shah, however, was ready to face the scrutiny when another Twitter user asked him about the assistance provided to the laid-off staff, he said in a witty reply, “As expected, ‘someone’ will get offended on behalf of ‘someone else’, so I had this reply ready: Assistance ke bare mein jab Linkedin pe post karunga tab dekh lena mere dost, yahaan Twitter pe log “profitability” dekhte hai “sympathy” nahi (I will post about that issue on LinkedIn, people on Twitter only look for ‘profitability’ not ‘sympathy’.)