Sometimes people prefer interacting with machines over other human beings. Recent research spearheaded by marketing expert Steven Van Belleghem found 70 percent of consumers want a businesses website to have self-service options. Instead of reaching out to human representatives when they have a problem or question, many customers want software and online platforms that can sell products, resolve troubles and change orders.
Automatic responses generated by machine learning are fast and to the point, which are two other qualities valued by consumers. While customer relationship management technology does offer numerous advantages, businesses should not neglect human agents. A human voice will always be an important service option and data solutions can provide employees with the same advantages as their robotic co-workers.
Machines are getting smarter
The Economic Times of India recently reported a Japanese airport will soon introduce a robotic customer service agent to passengers getting ready to board a flight. The robot speaks multiple languages and updates service options based on real-time data like weather and flight plan changes.
Not every business will launch robots in physical locations, but many companies use some form of automation to facilitate eCommerce channels and answer basic communications. Call centers are famous for using automatic routines to screen consumers and route them to the proper department. Recently, brand apps and websites perform all the necessary steps in business engagements and facilitate a self-service society.
As technology improves, the option to use automated consumer service should become more convenient to businesses and consumers.
“Machines will never fully replace humans in a customer care center.”
There is still a demand for human interaction
Jokes about wasting hours on hold lines speaking with robotic voices have been around for decades. Many consumers wish to bypass all these automatic channels and just communicate their problems directly to a person. While technology advocates may say these problems will cease once the digital processes speed up and eliminate miscommunication errors, other industry experts predict machines will never fully replace humans in a customer care center.
The Van Belleghem study found 89 percent of consumers what a consumer interaction to be friendly. While automatic chat and phone messages can be programmed with pleasant phrases, the Harvard Business Review said a human’s ability to communicate empathy will always be valuable to companies. Care agents can serve as a personal voice for a large brand, turning a faceless organization into a business partner.
In fact, human relationships are more important than ever. Customers have plenty of options available online when looking for products and services, and the company that can provide personalized care may stand out from the competition.
Best of both worlds
The same data machine learning programs used to create responses to each consumer request should be available to human representatives. If care center employees use software programs that feature the latest data management and analysis results, there’s no reason a business’s people can’t be just as smart as a robot.
Customer relationship management software provides a central source of information so employees can easily read data and apply results to each interaction. When automatic data processes display trends and highlight outliers, human agents can communicate the same answers a computer would give but with a voice full of empathy. As more customers reach out, the care agent should record the details with insight from their personal experience, giving the information a human touch.
A centralized solution integrated into the wider company infrastructure allows consumers to receive the same answers from websites, care agents and in-store representatives. Finding flexible solutions means a company doesn’t have to choose which care channel to prioritize, instead they can offer premium, intelligent and emotional service to every person who interacts across every possible solution.
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