Will 2019 be the Year of the Human?
Buy local, shop brick and mortar, boycott fast fashion—more and more, people are choosing to support their fellow human beings with their shopping dollars. So, it’s not surprising that there’s a backlash against AI brewing, out of fear that bots will edge humans out of customer service jobs.
That fear, however, is based on the misconception that bots can do all the same things humans can. The reality is, bots have nothing on people when it comes to two critical areas: 1.) empathizing with customers, particularly when they hit bumps in the road on their buying journey and 2.) solving customer issues that are too complex for bots to handle.
Bots aren’t a replacement tool. They’re an enablement tool for better customer service. When implemented correctly, bots can actually make life better for customer service agents (not to mention customers).
Goodbye burnout, hello meaningful work.
68% of companies today report that they’re overwhelmed by their inbound traffic.* Everywhere, agents are working frantically to hit target metrics for response and resolution time, fielding one call after another as fast as possible. And the bulk of those calls are pure drudgery: pointing customers toward information available online or helping with basics like shipping and returns, account balance inquiries, or pricing information. It’s an assembly-line mentality, and it’s a recipe for burnout.
What’s great about bots is that they can play interference between customers and humans when it comes to these simple tasks—and they can do it fast. With bots on the front lines handling the day-to-day, humans can actually be less robotic, and shine where they’re really needed: Complex issues where their human judgment, intelligence and empathy are required. It’s much more rewarding work for agents, with the potential to transform customer service from a job into a career. As for those time- and volume-based metrics—don’t be surprised if they go by the wayside, replaced by customer satisfaction metrics.
Shifting—not disappearing—jobs for humans.
Nearly two thirds of businesses say that AI would allow them to retrain their agents or shift them to new types of work.* One of those shifts is the move to more meaningful work, as mentioned, and it’s best suited to high-level, experienced agents. Lower level employees, meanwhile, can play a strategic role in understanding (based on the data from customer-bot interactions) what customers need and where the self-service customer experience can be improved.
Pro-bot is Pro-human.
It’s easy to understand the fear that bots will drive human customer service agents into extinction. But with a more realistic understanding of what bots can and can’t do, and how to implement them effectively, companies can deliver both better customer service and better, more rewarding careers for human agents. You can’t get much more pro-human than that.
To learn more about business and consumer are thinking about chatbots and AI, download our research report: *LogMeIn 2018 AI Customer Experience Report: Impact of Chatbots and AI on the Customer Journey