The telephone remains as the main platform used by consumers to connect with companies they have business with. In fact, a recent research conducted by Forrester revealed that the phone is still the most widely-used customer service channel – with 73% of customers calling into the call center. In a separate study from Arizona State University, the prominence of the telephone was also indicated: Customers are 11 times more driven to use a telephone to complain when they are angry. However, in today’s high-touch constantly connected world where information spreads rapidly, the term using a call center in customer service may seem like a thing of the past. These days, a lot of organizations and companies are looking to the next big things in the customer service technology and communication channels – such as the Artificial Intelligence and Bots.
Also categorized as a disruptive technology, both AI and bots are already transforming the face customer service landscape. Currently, Artificial Intelligence and Bots are being deployed to facilitate augmented messaging, organize email inquiries, and enhance customer phone calls. Food companies like Subway, Dominos, Starbucks, and Wingstop have all recently started using AI to let people place orders in different ways without human involvement.
Several banks are also making major moves for AI since people often interact with their banks to get basic information such as checking balances or to perform basic tasks like paying bills. Capital One recently unveiled their natural language assistant, Eno. Similarly, Bank of America plans to roll out Erica, their AI banking assistant, in the coming months.
With multiple international companies turning over simple, routine consumer interactions to AI and bots, it’s becoming clearer that these new channels will become a staple in the business landscape in the future. They have opened up a lot of new opportunities that can significantly improve the overall customer experience.
With the increasing popularity of these new technologies, many people now question the need for call centers in customer service. To clarify the conflict between the new technologies and the ever-important communication channel – the telephone – many business experts say that call centers are still and will remain the most important channel for companies.
There are lots of reasons to support this claim. First is that call centers are the front line of all companies– especially big corporations – providing a direct link between businesses and customers. They are also the avenue that can make or break the customer experience. So, while we are seeing forms of Artificial Intelligence and bots in the customer service industry today, proficient and intuitive human agents will not be overtaken by computer programs just yet.
To learn more check out this infographic by Global Outsourcing which discusses four compelling reasons of why call centers still – and will always stay relevant despite the emergence of Artificial Intelligence and Bots.