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The Human Edge Over Automation In Customer Service

Interactive Voice Response

There’s been somewhat of a rise in concern over whether or not automation technology will completely replace human workers in customer service. In a recent article, Paul Whitelam reminds us that this concern is nothing new and people have been worried about computers replacing humans since the 1950s. While there will be certain positions will be filled with automation, Whitelam argues that technological innovation typically doesn’t lead to large unemployment trend and, if anything, it often creates new jobs. Much of the time, automation is integrated with human agents in an effort to assist them and increase productivity by taking care of menial tasks so the human agent can focus on the most important aspect of their job; providing a high-quality customer experience. Technology is constantly getting better, but the one thing it still lacks is the ability to think in the same way as the human mind. Because of this, humans will remain necessary in the customer experience.

A big example of humans remaining mandatory over machines is in grocery stores, where automated checkouts often lead to major frustration with customers and require employees to help them often. As a result, some companies have started removing the automated machines from stores in favor of traditional cashiers. Communication and making a connection are critical pieces of customer experience and people cannot get the same level of empathy and relation with a robot that they can with a human customer service agent. Whitelam offers the following pieces of advice to look positively at automation in the workplace:

  • If automation takes over one aspect of your job, take it as an opportunity to develop your skills and use the technology to your advantage.
  • Human emotions are required in many positions and machines can’t recreate true human emotion and social skills.
  • Embrace technology and view it as a learning opportunity to become the subject matter expert who people look up to for help.

This blog post is based on an article from CustomerThink. To read the original article, please click the link below: 

Hidden Figures and Automation Anxiety – Paul Whitelam


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