Beyond the Bot Buzz: Balance Humans and Automation

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There are plenty of buzz-worthy discussions happening in the customer experience space around automation, artificial intelligence (AI), bots, and the like. But just because you can automate something, doesn’t necessarily mean you should.
automation in businessBy putting the customer experience at the center of the discussion, companies can balance humans with automation to optimize interactions.
Customer interactions are becoming more digitally driven and automated to enable faster, convenient, precise interactions. People want a different way to interact with the companies they do business with, and bots are one way to achieve this.
Customers don’t want call centers anymore. At least not the way they exist today. And companies continue to digitize interactions to reduce costs.
  • Nearly half (42%) of global consumers predict that the call center will cease to exist by 2025.
  • 36% of call center interactions are a direct result of digital channels failing to provide answers.
  • Cost reduction and efficiency are top priorities among contact center leaders.
  • 44% of U.S. customers said they’d prefer AI chatbots for customer relationship management.
(Source: Conduent, Call Center IQ, Aspect)
Automated services are here to stay. So instead of "if," answer "how" to use automation in your business. As a guide, we recommend thinking in terms of "Big E" and "small e" experiences:
  • Automate repeatable small “e” experiences that reduce friction, improve convenience and speed.
  • Use humans for big “E” experiences that benefit from emotional, personal connections. 

Bots can’t replace the human value of empathy, cross-selling, or up-selling during an interaction. They won’t know be able to read emotional signals to stave off customer defection. They don’t themselves build a brand. And they won’t know when to take the conversation in a different direction when things diverge from the norm or get complicated. When in doubt, people will prevail.

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