For millions of people around the world, myself included, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is deeply embedded into our daily lives. In some form or another we have it in our homes with Alexa, our vehicles with talking GPS systems, our smartphones, stores, movie theaters, and television. It’s everywhere! In today’s society, humans have grown comfortable with talking to machines that are “blending technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Natural Language Processing (NLP), and Speech Recognition virtual agents are what customers have come to expect to talk to when contacting the brands they love”. For the purpose of this blog, we will examine how AI has impacted omni-channel contact centers nationwide and the customer experience.
With the accessibility of AI expanding at a rapid rate, we will soon live in a world where the blend between AI and human interactions will be so seamless that it will be almost unnoticeable. AI is an excellent and powerful tool for contact centers, so the allure of using it as the primary customer service strategy is understandable. However, we must make sure we do not rely too heavily on it. It is great to use in conjunction with other strategies, not as a single strategy for the overall customer experience. It has the capacity to greatly improve efficiencies in customer service and collect valuable customer data. Through AI, you can provide 24/7 customer service at a fraction of the cost of keeping human staff on at all times and you can greatly cut down on traditional costs such as training. While there are many benefits that AI provides, let’s take a look at some of its shortcomings:
- Human connection – While AI may be effective and can be personalized – it still lacks the “human touch”. Customers today still crave human connection, even with customer service interactions. AI takes away that element from the customer experience.
- Cost-effectiveness – AI can have a very high upfront cost with an unclear ROI path. It can also be expensive to maintain.
- Limited solutions – AI cannot be programmed to handle every possible scenario. If a situation arises that is not in its coding, the customer will leave the interaction with the wrong solution or no solution.
- Lack of critical thinking – AI doesn’t allow for critical thinking and reasoning where a human does. It also does not have the ability to exercise judgment and common sense that human agents can provide.
As you can see, AI alone cannot be used as your customer experience strategy in the contact center. It should not replace your entire agent staff. If anything, it should be used to supplement and enhance your current operations. It has its own limitations and obstacles where it cannot relate to human emotions, perform creative problem solving, show empathy, or practice common sense or intuition. When it comes to complex issues, your customers want to deal with a human agent and not a bot that is programmed for a limited number of scenarios and scripts.
As we advance into the future state of AI and discover more about the pros and cons, let CH Consulting Group help you to navigate through this rapidly evolving technology. I would love for you to Contact me for further discussion on how to effectively implement this technology into your contact center or if you are in need of evaluating your current AI solution.