Is This Goodbye? (For Human Interaction)

29th March 2018

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s hard to ignore the growth of automated customer service when making purchases and shopping for items.

From things like pop-up touchscreen points in take-out restaurants in which the only human interaction you experience is a quick hand over of food, to voice recognition in assisted apps, helping people run their everyday errands like book a taxi or order their weekly groceries. It seems like humans are moving away from face to face interaction in their everyday lives.

“By 2020, experts have said that 85% of all customer interaction will be handled without a human agent” (ibm)

What’s the cause of this trend? Are humans becoming more socially restrained? Or is it simply something companies are encouraging to cut down on costs? Well, recent research shows that people are more content when interacting with chatbots than real people, so it’s undeniable that this is a societal change. These automated interactions may seem fairly new to a lot of people, but for younger generations, it’s all they know. Chatbots would have been considered a novelty only a few years ago, a talking point for techies, now they’re the norm.

At Connect, we agree that some elements of AI customer service can be helpful, for example, someone searching for a tech support number on a website could instead be greeted by an automated chatbot who could solve their problem there and then, or even gather the appropriate info and pass it on to a human, cutting out any unnecessary explanation time when they get through. Although hypothetical, this sort of scenario shows that pairing AI with real-human interaction can sometimes save time and unnecessary hassle.

“64% of people agree that the top benefit of chatbot technology is to get 24-hour service” (ideal.com)

Consumers will struggle to build a real connection with a bot, with a lack of genuine empathy or emotion; But things like personal experience, familiarity and warm customer service is something we can personally provide through face-to-face interaction. Our engineers and personal account managers all build a trusted and genuine connection with our clients, which is one of our most appreciated selling points.

At Connect, we’re embracing the growth of AI and are excited to be part of the change, however, we feel human customer service and AI customer service can truly work best when complimenting each other, rather than 100% automated. Some things, only a human can do (for now!).