Customer service automation: will it change everything?
Our Chief Strategy Officer Karsten Kraume discusses how advancements in automation will transform the future contact center.
Read time: 3 minutes
• Whether the process is automated or run by humans, the customer experience will always be king • Automation will help with the legwork, but not the content • Customer service will never be ‘set and forget’
Automation technology has advanced rapidly in recent years and, in the decade ahead, we can expect it to take over many of the tasks that currently require a human operator.
In fact, according to our recent report, which looks at the development of the contact center in the next ten years, the average center will operate a hybrid of automated processes controlled by artificial intelligence and human operators who either oversee the software or troubleshoot any issues customers can’t resolve through self-service.
However, while this evolution will bring far-reaching changes, there are certain aspects of customer service management that will remain the same.
Any successful customer-service program, whether automated or carried out by a human representative, must be underpinned by a solid focus on the customer experience throughout their whole journey with the brand.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for this. The customer journey in banking, for example, looks very different from that of an airline or an automotive brand, with different touch points and different expectations for how each one will be handled.
At every interaction a customer has with a brand, from the moment they first become aware of it to aftercare following their purchase of a product or service, the communication must consistently embody the company.
There are many aspects of this process that automation can help with, and there are techniques that would be impossible without it. Instantaneously duplicating information across different systems, for example, so that customers don’t have to start from scratch if they decide to change communication channel, or gathering behavioural data across channels and extracting actionable information so that relevant and helpful recommendations can be made.
The limits of AI
However, there are many aspects that will need the involvement of a human for the foreseeable future. Creating content that will get customers excited about products and services, and communicate their benefits in impactful ways, for example, will remain the domain of people rather than machines.
We will still need human managers to monitor and constantly improve the system, not to mention excellent customer service representatives as a backstop when a customer reaches the limits of the automated self-service system.
So, many aspects of customer service will be transformed by the proliferation of automation, but a surprising amount will also remain the same.
To read the whole report, Customer service in 2027: How Automation, RPA and AI will transform the way companies deliver customer service over the next decade, click here.