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The Balance Between Humans and AI

How do you automate without losing the human touch?

October 6th, 2020


Charlotte Flanagan

You might have heard the saying “robots are taking over the world”.  Just like Charlie’s dad in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - his job was to assemble tubes of toothpaste until a shiny new robot came along and replaced him. But whilst it’s true that some positions have been taken over by robots, it doesn’t mean that robot's rule. They still require a level of human intervention, whether it be from engineers or overseers. People have increased their skill levels to manage robots. Customer service is the same; it’s important to strike a balance between your human advisors and automation.

Automation Helps Efficiency

Increasing efficiency within your operation is something every CS manager wants to achieve. Having the right pieces of automation in place will streamline this. Using certain tools, you can route conversations and responses to help SLA’s. For one of our clients, we used advisor routing workflows to reduce their SLA by 83%!  There’s a multitude of other things automation can help with: you can pull data from external sources without the advisor having to look at it to speed up

 their service, or you can set up triggers to send post-live chat surveys to find out CSat. Canned responses such as content responses can be set up to prompt advisors and speed up response times, allowing them to focus on helping customers as efficiently as possible.

AI is Great, But You Need a Human Touch

Whilst automation and AI can certainly increase efficiency, the human advisor is crucial to any successful customer service operation. They’re empathetic, attentive and, most importantly, a real person. Automated responses can’t be as fluid as an advisors’– they lack the flexibility to react to conversational cues that can be the difference between a happy or dissatisfied customer.

A customer query isn’t one size fits all. They may have specific questions, or an issue that AI simply can’t handle. Have you ever been stuck talking to a bot that isn’t understanding what you’re trying to say? After screaming ‘talk to a real person’ when asked the reason for your call for the 10th time, you find you’re left feeling rather annoyed. That feeling of utter frustration is something businesses need to mitigate when implementing their bots and IVR’s.

Bots are coming on in leaps and bounds – they are great for understanding simple FAQ’s, but can’t grasp emotion and only knows what you train it or pre-program it to understand. That’s why you need humans as a back-up.

Humans Working Alongside Bots is Best

When utilised correctly, AI can actually help improve your advisors’ lives. Having a pre-chat bot to ask those initial questions, such as security info and reason for contact, paints a picture ready for the advisor to get stuck into helping when they are passed the contact. Because of the efficiency gains you’ll make from introducing automation and bots, you may find you can have less operators as they can handle more contacts per hour whilst still achieving a great CSat. That’s better (and costs less) than having more advisors that aren’t meeting  targets such as first contact resolution, contact per hour etc.

But, don’t forget, training your advisors is incredibly important and refreshing your advisors training is key to remaining with the times. Let them know when something new has been implemented, and conduct the necessary training to help keep your CS operation running smoothly.

With the right tools and training, your customer service team will be ground-breaking. If you’re interested in finding the best tools to help balance automation with your team of advisors, get in touch today. We have 8-years experience in finding the right blend of people and technology to curate some of the most agile, and successful customer service teams in the country for our clients.


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