Can Blending Artificial Intelligence With Human Expertise Improve Customer Service?


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The use of artificial intelligence is very common nowadays. Artificial intelligence is the way computers and systems are programmed to mimic how human beings think. There are two types of them, machine learning and natural language processing.

We, as customers, interact with artificial intelligence every day, whether we are aware of it or not. Moreover, most companies do their customer service with the help of artificial intelligence. One of the infamous examples of artificial intelligence is the chatbot. Also called “front-end AI-powered bots,” they are computer programs that directly interact with customers.

There are also those “AI-assisted human agents.” Those are computer programs that still need human touch or assistance. According to a study conducted by the computer software company Oracle, almost 80 percent of businesses have artificial intelligence working for their customer service. Additionally, the same percentage is planning to utilize it by year 2020.

But how does artificial intelligence help human expertise improve customer service?

Since most companies let “front-end AI-powered chatbot” handle their easy customer inquiries, agents will handle the tough ones. And according to Daniel Hong, the Senior Product Marketing Director at [24]/7, this practice lessens the time of agents in handling customers. It improves not only the agents’ performance but also the overall customer service of the company.

Furthermore, chatbots also decrease the cost of companies for training agents and the cost of calls that can be answered by artificial intelligence. One perfect example of this is the China Merchant Bank. This company is one of China’s biggest credit card issuers. Their chatbots handles 1.5 to two million customers every day. Xiaoi, an AI technology provider, said this would typically need thousands of human beings just to answer that huge amount of queries each day. Basic questions regarding the customers’ card balances and payments are answered via bots.

On the other hand, people, especially the ones working in the customer service field, are worried about artificial intelligence. However, experts say people will still have jobs in the near future. Artificial intelligence will not take away their jobs. It might even improve their position. Most experts and professionals are in support of artificial intelligence. Seventy-nine percent of them are positive about it. Additionally, 72 percent of employees said they feel more important and needed by the company when chatbots are the ones answering the basic queries.

The skills and the impact of simple support professionals in an organization will increase. Since they will be more likely to be assigned to more intricate queries that will need higher understanding level and skills, it will develop them. Moreover, AI-assisted human agents will drastically improve customer service. Combining the speed of computer programs with the deep knowledge and understanding of agents, customer support issues will be resolve faster.

As artificial intelligence gets better and better, people’s jobs will also change. It will not decline. It will adapt to the needs of companies. Jobs like chatbots specialists will be more common. Monotonous jobs will be gone as more complex and difficult jobs will be assigned to human beings.

Fred Chua
I am a Philippine-certified Electronics and Communications Engineer who serves as the CEO of Magellan Solutions Outsourcing Inc. Magellan Solutions is one of the top call centers/BPO companies in the world that can deliver high-performing operations to businesses of any type and any size.


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