Where is AI heading? Artificial intelligence in customer service
Future.Customer. chats with Karsten Kraume, CSO/CIO at Arvato CRM Solutions, about the future of automation and its impacts on consumers and businesses.
Companies are increasingly relying on artificial intelligence to optimize their customer service. How is this currently being used in the workplace?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is now regularly used in many industries, and ongoing developments mean that these technologies have the potential to revolutionize the way that customers interact with brands over the next ten years.
One other area that has had a significant impact already is which has transformed back office functions. However, RPA does not actually enable machines to learn, like AI does. Instead, machines using RPA automatically repeat rule-based procedures, consequently making processes faster, more accurate and more efficient.
However, we still have work ahead of us when it comes to educating people on the wider benefits of AI and automation, as people can be nervous about the impact that it could potentially have on their business and workforce.
So, the challenges and limitations aren’t just technical?
Not at all. Companies have to weigh up the benefits and risks of automation, and it’s important that they consider whether the initial investment will result in the improved customer experience that they desire.
Also, improving customer experience doesn’t mean automating everything, or using chatbots everywhere. Instead its’s about finding a balance of services that can help to improve the customer journey.
Can companies afford to avoid AI solutions altogether? “Digitize or die” is a common mantra?
I don’t think it’s as simple as that, as whether a company decides to invest in AI is ultimately their decision. In my opinion there is no way around AI, but businesses should have an understanding of the opportunities and risks before deploying new technologies at scale.
Let’s talk about the end customer, the consumer. How accepting are they of automation?
However, factors such as the age of the customer, why they’re contacting a company and where they live can have an impact on their attitude towards AI.
For example, in China communicating with chatbots and experiencing automation is the norm, so consumers are often more accepting than in other parts of the world.
In some instances, customers will also just prefer to speak to a human, and it’s up to a brand to decide what is the best option for their customers and their brand before investing in new technologies.
What are the advantages of giving dialogue systems and bots a human touch?
Giving bots a human touch is definitely an advantage, as it makes them more likeable. However, it has to be clear to customers that they are communicating with a machine, otherwise it can seem disingenuous.
Thank you for the interview, Mr Kraume.
Karsten Kraume, is CIO/CSO at Arvato CRM Solutions and leads a team of more than 1,000 experts on technology and portfolio solution design at 110 Arvato locations worldwide. Kraume represents Arvato as an advisory board member at the European Research Center for Information Systems (ERCIS) as well as at research programs such as Business Process Management RISE.