CEO replaces 90% of customer support staff with AI chatbot, sparking major backlash online

A 31-year-old CEO has fired 90% of his customer support staff to implement an artificial intelligence system that has dramatically reduced running costs.

1 minute & 18 seconds read time

31-year-old Suumit Shah, the CEO of e-commerce platform Duukan, a Bengaluru-based company that assists businesses in setting up their online storefronts, has recently put himself in the online firing line for letting go 90% of his customer support staff.

Shah took to Twitter with his announcement, writing that "we had to lay off 90% of our support team because of this AI chatbot". Shah's post, which has been viewed more than 2 million times goes on to say that the while the decision was "tough" it was "necessary," and the AI chatbot has dramatically reduced customer support response times, resolution times, and running costs.

According to Shah, customer support costs were reduced by 85% when layoffs began in September 2022. Notably, Duukan, which currently employs 60 people, fired 23 of the 26 customer support team members, resulting in the company reducing its monthly budget for customer support to just $100.

Shah's announcement wasn't received very well online as many Twitter and Reddit users began criticizing his adoption of AI, with one user writing, "How not to announce layoffs" and another, "I'm terrified of the future where we will never speak to a human again in customer support which means we will never get a problem solved, you'll just be passed around between bots."

Despite the abundant backlash, Shah told Insider that his point remains true, "AI is taking our jobs," and that he regrets the way he went about discussing the topic on Twitter.

"Over time, everybody will start doing this. It's not just us. Maybe I'm just too straightforward to have put it on Twitter," Shah added.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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