With all the ongoing advances in artificial intelligence, you have probably come across automated bots on every website. Technology has indeed changed several aspects of the world. Today, there’s an app or software to help you out with everything.
Although AI and machine learning have made the business process more efficient, some may argue that some services have lost the human touch.
This sentiment is most felt in the customer service echelons. As an internet user, you log onto a website to get help, but you are met with an automated customer service representative. This might be useful to some extent, but what about when you have a complicated issue?
Customer service automation saves a lot of time and effort, but the human touch plays a key role in customer satisfaction. What is convenient for the businesses may seem impartial and cold to customers.
The question to ask here is Whether convenience is more important than satisfaction? Some balance is required to produce desired effects for both the parties, and here’s why;
- The Human Touch
- Personalization and Brand Loyalty
- More Efficiency or More Hassle?
The human touch in the customer service community means empathy and respect with which all customers should be treated. We can’t deny that automated service delivers a timely response to every customer query, but it cannot achieve the nuance of a human conversation.
For example, in the health domain, if a patient has an ongoing health issue and they reach out to a company, should they be directed to an automated bot? According to statistics, more than 40% of customers prefer human service because humans act and buy based on their emotions.
If an industry has upgraded to automated customer services, there’s no room for human touch. As a result, customers choose to forgo their queries and choose to buy from another service. Sometimes, automated bots can help answer most of your questions, but customer service means dealing with every client on a personal basis.
Customers expect reassurance and to discuss their issues in detail, which only a human can provide. Moreover, consumers want to feel special; they like the attention given to them by customer representatives, and they like to think that custom solutions are being provided for their unique problem.
The future of every business depends on how well their customers are treated. If your clients have a good experience with your brand and customer service, they will have something positive to remember you. Positive experiences promote brand loyalty and trust among all your customers.
On the other hand, customers never forget a bad experience with a brand. It has been established that customer loyalty helps a business cultivate and promotes it. The customer service industry is a tricky one because you will have to deal with angry and upset customers once in a while, and only a human agent will be able to calm them.
There is a growing need for a personalized user experience among every company because everyone wants to stand out. There’s a competition to upgrade to every innovative technology you discover and stay on top of your game simultaneously. So, with a slight human touch, you can achieve all your goals.
It’s still important to leave room for empathy and flexibility in every domain because human agents can bend backwards to help out a customer and offer solutions to every distinct problem. Unfortunately, chatbots can’t show empathy, and they cannot negotiate or compromise.
An AI chatbot might offer robotic solutions and an apology, but we all know how it feels to be on the receiving end. Customer service is all about appeasing your clients and not be dismissive of their problems, so the need for more personalized experiences will remain forever because that’s the purpose of the whole industry.
Although many companies will raise the point that replacing live agents with AI ones will reduce overall costs and increase efficiency but is it the best approach? Maybe in other industries, automated technology can be adopted fully, but customer service is all about putting a customer’s needs first.
You don’t know the kind of customers you are going to be dealing with daily; that’s why humans are trained to deal with any kind of behavior. For example, if you are setting up your website and need help setting up a WordPress theme, will an AI bot be able to help you install the plugins and direct you accurately?
When you call for help, a computerized voice will leave you disappointed and change your whole experience with a brand. There might be less room for mistakes with a Chatbot, but any software glitch can misread the information and make a situation worse.
There have been several cases where information was misinterpreted, and it ended up being more expensive in the long run. So, it’s up to you to decide if you want to save costs with chatbots or save your company from any future hassle that might cost way more than all the amount you save right now.
Unfortunately, there are downsides to human-led customer service as well, because they are not machines and have slip-ups often. There is no machine-like efficiency as humans can be unpredictable. Therefore, balanced digitalization is very important.
According to research, 85% of customer service will become automated by the end of this year, so should human touch be completely removed from the equation? For example, you are not a tech-savvy internet user and don’t have any faith in most technologies. Will you rely on an automated bot to provide you information such as prayer times digitally?
The problem is not balancing the two things an industry relies on; the personalization of human touch and the efficiency of AI. Chatbots decrease the workload and collect every user’s data to help them out. On the other hand, you cannot expect to receive friendliness from them. Therefore, the key is to achieve the right balance between both. You may use AI to collect data to make human interactions more personalized. Similarly, you can use chatbots to answer simple questions while using human representatives for complex queries.
Despite all the great benefits that chatbots provide you and your customers, it’s important to remember that they are meant to help your human team, not replace them. So, the key is balancing between digitalization and the human touch.
It does not mean that you need to uninstall all your software and get rid of the automated bots. You can use this technology for your benefit and give your customers what they want at the same time.
Takeaway – Can Artificial Intelligence Replace Customer Service Agents?
It’s easy to feel like artificial intelligence means it’s the end for any human-led industry, but the reality is the opposite. AI is not a replacement for customer service agents. We need to remember that technology is made to make human lives easier but not change the whole course of it. There’s a need for both in every industry.
Companies that have mastered the art of balancing AI with human touch are the ones truly succeeding and staying on top of every competition. You can use the technology to help you gather and process user data and but have a human answer a customer’s complex queries. The best way is to draw a line between technology and human agents.
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