AI & Intelligence Augmentation

3 Common Automation and Customer Service Myths

As new customer service tools emerge, three myths are hampering innovation and strategic investment in them. Here’s what leaders need to know.

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A chatbot conducts lead intake on your website, and then machine learning parses the details before handing the customer to the appropriate person. Quizzes powered by artificial intelligence (AI) help direct customers to the best products or services for their needs. As customer service technologies advance, many experts have discussed where the line is—and whether the customer service process will be entirely automated in the future. I’d argue that this is an over-simplified view and that, instead, it’s important to consider how automation and machine learning will augment human capacity.

Myth: The Human Touch Is No Longer Needed

Customer service isn’t purely transactional. Some calls or requests are as simple as a return or a refund. But often, confusion or questions have a more emotional context. A chatbot is great at transactions, but it may be less effective at navigating the complexities of human emotion. Having well-trained agents who understand both your business and the psychology of dealing with frustrated, angry, sad, or unhappy customers is an essential part of long-term, high-quality customer service.

Myth: AI Will Completely Replace Human Agents

Automation always sparks conversations about whether human jobs are at risk, and a certain degree of that concern is warranted. However, brands are often finding that AI augments what their teams accomplish and increases their efficiency in their jobs. AI can help route calls to the correct agent, find out the next step in the process, and move things along more efficiently. AI can also complete routine tasks and free your agents to focus on the human interactions of customer service experiences.

Myth: You Can’t Control the Rollout of Automation

Automation is definitely coming to customer service because it increases the speed and efficiency of serving customers and takes stress off your team. However, it’s important that companies have a plan in place for rolling out automation. Consider starting small and focusing on one or two use cases that align with your most important problems. From there, measure your success, and scale up where it makes sense while controlling costs, risk, and process interruption.

Automation and AI are changing the future of customer service. From chatbots on websites to AI-assisted call center experiences, these tools are helping your team be more efficient while improving the customer experience. Be proactive and find ways to integrate these solutions into your customer service technology to stay ahead of future trends.